I am looking to buy an used oboe for my 4th grader who will need one to start her band classes this fall. Her instructor has asked for these needs:
1) full set of keys, except no 3rd octave
2) wood not plastic
3) model made after year 2000
4) easy (relatively) for beginner to handle and learn
This oboe will need to last for at least four years till she is done with middle school. My budget is no more than $3,000. If I were to rent one from school my daughter would get a Selmer student model oboe, which I know it's probably not a best bet.
Thank you for all your help.
Re: oboe recommendation 17:39 on Tuesday, January 15, 2019
In my opinion as a professional oboist and oboe teacher with 40 years of experience, your daughter's band director does not know what he's talking about when it comes to a few of his "requirements."
Full set of keys: This is nice to have but not needed at that age. I recommend an intermediate-level instrument of good quality. These instruments are commonly referred to as "modified conservatory key system" oboes.
Wood: For a 4th grader, a plastic oboe is much to be preferred over a wood oboe because of potential for maintenance problems and cracking under the care of a child. Modern plastic oboes sound and play so well that I wouldn't refuse to play one in a professional concert.
Model year: Generally, I agree. If you buy a modified conservatory instrument, you can get one less than 10 years old in your budget.
In my opinion, American brands like Selmer, Bundy, Linton, Larilee, etc. are poor quality for the money. Intonation and reliability are questionable. Intermediate Oboe models that I recommend to my students' parents are the Fox 330, Howarth S20C, and Fossati Tiery. I do not recommend the Yamaha YOB-441 because it is missing a crucial key for developing players (the articulated C# key).
There are several dealers in used oboes, but the one I recommend above all others is Hannah's Oboes (http://www.hannahsoboes.com/). All my students who buy instruments have gotten them from Hannah and have been very satisfied.