Best French Horn: 5 Models That Will Help You Play Like A Professional Musician
French horns has been with us since the 1600s and it is considered as one of the most beautiful musical instruments made by human hand. Of course, it is highly desirable these days and it is commonly chosen by those who want a unique sound. Now is your turn to find the Best French Horn, with our help. We will teach you all you need to know and we will present you 5 models that are stunning in the lack of a more appropriate word.
The first thing you will have to consider is the type or a kind of a French horn. They are not the same and they are desirable due to completely different purposes. For an untrained eye, all of them look the same, but take a closer look and you will see plenty of differences. Anyway, the most common types are:
- Single French horns- This kind is the most popular among beginners. As some of you will know, they are great for playing notes from just one range. For instance, F models are suitable for playing mid-range notes. B models are preferable for playing higher notes and they are useless when playing lower notes. Marching French horns can be members of this type, but they are usually much smaller and easier to hold.
- Double French horns- As the name suggests, they can be used for playing F and B notes and they are much bigger. The secret is in the rotor which is used to switch between the notes. There is no need to add that these models are more expensive and reserved for intermediate users. The two main sub-types are Kruspe wrap models where the fourth rotor is located above the 3rd Geyer sub-type is when a 4th rotor is behind the third.
- Triple French horns- They are the best, the most expensive and the obvious choice for professionals. They have an added alto F capability compared to double variations.
Linkage of the rotor
It is mandatory to consider the way how your rotor is added or linked to the French horn. If a manufacturer used a spring, you would get quieter performance and a more versatile usability. The negative side is the fact these springs may break and they will have to be replaced. The alternative is a metal pipe. They are far more durable.
Size of the bell
As you would expect, the size of a bell is mandatory. You will need a unit with a bigger bell if you want to play louder notes and you want to use a French horn for professional applications. However, these models are also more complicated to use.
How your French horn looks also affect the sound. For instance, a gold-finish is excellent for most users. Silver finish will provide a darker sound while rose finish is superb for responsiveness. The differences are minimalistic, but they are essential for professionals.
If you are planning to use the Best French Horn in different locations, it means that you will have to transport it. It is essential to add a detachable bell to the equation. It makes transport so much easier and more comfortable.
Top 5 French Horns
The Conn 8D CONNstellation Series is the Best French Horn we were able to find and it is one of the most desirable models of this kind. As you would expect, it does come at a price, but it is a professional model that can be used for more advanced and more complicated applications. In addition, it is a double French horn.
We liked the sound. It is excellent compared to similar models and it is suitable even if you are planning to play French horn as a professional. Don’t forget that the attention to details is above average and the entire instrument looks and feels high-quality and solid.
More open sound
Due to the finish, which is silver (nickel) the sound is more open, more professional. If you recall, we mentioned that French horns are affected by the finish they are coated with. This is the same for all instruments of this kind. As such, the sound is definitely one of the many advantages you will like.
Due to a mixture of the finish, the keys and all other elements, the French horn we have here is extremely responsive. The keys feel pleasant when used and you will appreciate the design, the curves and the overall responsiveness. All of this is something you will notice and adore after the first time you started using the French horn.
- Sound quality
- Complicated to transport
The next model on our list is made by Yamaha. It is a special French horn that has been with us for quite some time. Yes, it may be expensive, but it is a professional model. We would like to recommend it to all users who are planning to play music professionally and who have high goals when it comes to their career. If you are one of them, you will like the tested model.
We were more than just impressed with our tests. The model has a wide throat opening and a massive bell. The bore is 0.472 inches which is standard for all professional models. However, there are a few advantages or better said a few benefits more you will have to know.
Two sound types
You can choose between gold or silver finish. As you already know (we assume you do) the sound is different and it depends on the type of finish manufacturer used. Silver ones are better for darker sounds, while gold is preferable if you want warmer sounds. The bottom line here is that each, potential owner has the ability to choose the sound type he needs.
All you will need
The model also includes a professional case. For all French horns it is a mandatory piece of equipment. Without it, you would have massive issues transporting your new instrument. There is no need to tell you that damages are more than just common and repairs are expensive. You won’t have a desire to play on a damaged French horn.
- Two different finishes
- Attention to detail
- Poor user manual
- Isn’t suitable for beginners
If you are still looking for a French horn that comes and looks completely different, this one is right for you. We all liked the package, which is excellent and we will tell you a bit more, a bit later. Then we have the build quality. It is impressive in the lack of a better word and it is stunning how this French horn sounds. Let’s also add that it is exceptional value for money.
The warranty is one year which isn’t much, but do not forget that we are discussing an affordable model. Overall, it is directed for beginners and intermediate users, but they may find this French horn insufficient to meet all of their requirements.
One of the most interesting things regarding this model is the package which includes metronome. Yes, you get an analog version which will help you tune the strings. Furthermore, it can be used for multiple, different instruments and it is especially beneficial if we know that this isn’t the cheapest metronome out there.
Keys are truly special when it comes to this morel. They are well-made, they are lightweight and they feel better than any other model from this class has to offer. We loved playing the instrument and we liked the feeling our fingers got when a key is pressed. Chances are high you will like the same things.
- Metronome is included
- Lightweight keys
- Value for money
- Mechanical linkage
- Case is soft
- One year warranty
It is an affordable single row key model that is a bit different than all models from the same price range. Even when you take a first look at the French horn we have here, you can see that it has a few advantages. First of all, it is a well-made instrument that comes with a full package. You won’t need anything else in order to start playing it. This means that you get a case, gloves, cloth and all the additions.
The mouthpiece is above average as well. It is comfortable to use and it is oriented towards musicians who want a bit more from their French horns. Actually, the entire unit is focused on comfort and this may be the biggest advantage in general. All of us were satisfied with the sound quality besides the comfort. It is available in a gold finish and made of brass, just to add.
Leather element for added comfort
The manufacturer knows that you will use this French horn for a long period of time. That’s why they added a leather strap at a place where you will hold your hand. This makes the comfort significantly better and also prevents slipping. As such, we can add that the instrument will enjoy in your hands, while you will enjoy also.
Normally we wouldn’t mention this element but we should and here is why. The French horn comes with an included hard case. It is capable of protecting the instrument while traveling and while it is far better than a soft case. The bell can be easily removed which improves the traveling requirements. Don’t forget that this is a full package so you get all you are going to need.
- Hard case
- Leather comfort strap
- Full package
- Delicate exterior
- Slippery keys
The last model on our list may be a newer addition to the market but it is also one of the most desirable, entry-level French horns. As you would expect, it is a full package so you get an organizer, the case and etc. Don’t forget that you will enjoy playing the instrument and you will probably want to play it as long as possible.
Additionally, we can explain that the organizer comes with pen holders and several additional compartments where you can place your stuff. The strap for the shoulder is implemented as well and it makes playing and carrying the instrument far easier. But, the main advantage is the toughness of this French horn.
Shock absorbing frame
If you take a look at the frame, you will see that it is slightly different than similar models have. This is done deliberately at the factory in order to make the frame suitable for heavy-duty usages. It can absorb shocks and it will last as long as you need it. As a matter of fact, the frame is suitable for the most demanding users.
Very resistant exterior
The exterior is designed and made of 1680 gauge ballistic nylon. What this means is that it is completely resistant to water and abrasion. Keep in mind that water resistance is important for all French horns and it can make a difference if you are planning to use your instrument for years. A more important matter is that the exterior looks great, like on other French horns, even on some more expensive models.
- Very affordable
- Tough exterior
- Shock absorbing frame
- Nice organizer
- Isn’t suitable for professionals
- Poor customer support
The Best French Horn for us and definitely for most of you is going to be the Conn 8D CONNstellation Series. It is perfectly made, comes in a great package and responsiveness is impressive. This particular model gets 5 out of 5 stars and it can be used by professionals as well. If you are interested in something else, or you seek an affordable model, then keep into account other French horns we mentioned on the list.