Oboe Brands & Prices?

I’ve been playing oboe for 5 years now. I’ve been thinking of buying my own oboe (public school ones kinda suck). I want to find one the is affordable yet great sound. What are some good brands & price ranges? Hopefully anywhere from $400-$600. Thanks in advance. :]

Questions like this always make me a bit sad. I also worry that the young player will buy one of the cheap oboes that are good only to use as a lamp stand. Sigh.

I read it here.


  1. It is always difficult for a high school student(like myself) to buy an oboe. Either don’t buy anything or buy a decent one that you can work with. By the way, some public schools’ oboes are not even playable…

  2. Jean, I do know about that! I teach, and I advise my students and parents about the purchase of oboes. Some listen, some don’t. Some have brought in horrible instruments.

    I wish school directors would consult with oboe instructors before purchasing instruments. But even then, they might buy a good instrument but in the hands of a student who isn’t taught how to care for an oboe there might be trouble in any case.

  3. School instruments are prone to neglect and abuse – I hate to say this, but it would probably be for the best if people were obliged to put down money (when possible) before taking possession of one – a deposit, as it were. It’s the “I paid nothing for this” syndrome.

    I waited to buy a decent horn because the student models were almost as expensive (didn’t seem worth it).

  4. I’ve seen students misuse or abuse school instruments and then expect the school to pay for any repair. I think students should be told that prior to returning the instrument they must take it in for service. Maybe that’s what a deposit could be for, though. I think that would be a very good plan. I wonder why band directors don’t do that.

  5. It is so sad to see something like this, probably she checked ebay and saw some oboes in that price range…

    One of my new students just bought a mid-range oboe on her own (right before she started lessons – WISH she had waited just one more month!). It was a good brand, and I don’t have a problem with the model, but they got it at a non-authorized store on the internet. She had no idea how to care for a wooden instrument, and left it in the car during our below zero weather. This and not breaking it in at all contributed to the biggest crack I’ve EVER seen on an oboe – at least 3 inches long and a good 1/8 across! Holy cow.

    Of course, there was no warranty as they bought it at this discount place – and they ended up buying a new top joint for about 1500! What a nightmare, and possibly prevented by just having a teacher guide you through the process…

  6. Ooh, sad story, Jill. I hate hearing about things like this. But maybe if we write enough about ’em people will read them and catch on … we can hope!

  7. Awww, 3 inches crack on an oboe, that’s rare. However, the crack on my oboe was from the top to the bottom of the top joint(so like the whole top joint). Although it was huge, it was just on the outside and didn’t have any harmful effect on my oboe. I’m still not sure how it happened because I always put my oboe under my arms for 20 minutes before I play. I am so glad that my teacher makes sure I visit my oboe dealer for oboe repairing lessons.

  8. Cracks can happen even if we do all the right things, Jean. As long as it’s caught before going through to the bore it’s okay … well … not “okay” … but repairable with no lasting problems in most cases. One of my oboes is cracked and it’s remained my favorite!

  9. Yes, I do know that oboes crack easily. But for me, it could be a problem. My school has 10 oboists(2 own oboes); we only got 5 oboes. So when my oboe cracked, I didn’t have a instrument to use(I only have 1 oboe; I’m not pro).
    I could only practice on my English horn.

  10. Wow, 10 oboists! That’s a lotta oboists. 🙂

    What do you play on, Jean?

    (FYI: I have two Marigaux oboes and a Rigotaut English horn … almost bought another EH but I couldn’t quite deal with the expense. Sigh.)

  11. It is a lot of oboists, but only 2 of them are good(and sadly, 1 will be gone next year). I have a Cabart oboe and a Loree Englin horn<–but it's not mine.