Shopping for an oboe can be a bit different than grabbing some other instruments. As not many people play the oboe like the flute and clarinet, there aren’t as many cheap, basic, mass-produced beginner instruments available. Generally, folks who play oboe start off on a different instrument. This indicates that you’re likely to stick with it if you take up the oboe and can then splurge on a top-notch one instead of feeling like your money is going down the drain.
If you’re looking to save some money, you could buy a pre-owned oboe. Just make sure it’s still in good condition. That being said, experienced and intermediate players could shop for a used instrument from a reputable maker. In this article, we’ll be checking out the top oboe brands and featuring some of their recommended models. This way, you’ll have all the info you need to make an informed decision when purchasing an oboe!
Best Oboe Brands
For those looking for the best oboe for their skill level, we’ve got you covered. We’ll explain the best brands for beginners, intermediate and advanced players. The rest of our top picks have been listed afterwards in order of our preference.
This list should give you an idea of which oboe brands to look into. Not all may fit your budget, ability, or other needs, but it’s a great starting point for your search.
Best Oboe Brand for Beginners
Recommended For: Beginner
Ammoon is a great choice for beginner oboists as their instruments usually cost no more than a few hundred dollars, which is way cheaper than pricier options out there. They are also an ideal starting point to figure out if you actually want to pursue playing the instrument.
Analog, more advanced
Oboes are usually more budget-friendly since they’re made of plastic or synthetic wood, which unfortunately affects the sound quality. So if you’re just introducing your student to the instrument and want to give it a try without investing too much, this brand is a safe choice. If your student is set on playing the oboe, then one of these brands should work well for them.
Complete starter kit
ammoon Oboe C Key Cupronickel
ammoon C Key T9M1
Best Oboe Brand for Intermediate and Advanced Players
Recommended For: Intermediate/Advanced
Fox is well-known for producing top quality intermediate instruments for oboists and bassoonists. Their model 330 is perfect for those in middle or high school who take music seriously. In addition to their professional-grade models, they’re also offering more beginner-oriented ones. They have a variety of instruments available so you can find just what you need.
Fox Renard Model 330 Oboe
Best Oboe Brand for Professionals
Recommended For: Professional
When it comes to professional oboe, usually people talk about Loree. These oboes come from Paris and are made using the finest materials. They create a rich and beautiful tone that’s suitable for any type of performance.
Oboists have the option of choosing either a Standard or American-style bore. The latter offers a deeper and more focused sound, with less shrillness.
Loree Oboe d’Amore
Loree Royal Oboe
Best Oboe Brand
Recommended For: Intermediate/Advanced
Yamaha is another great option if you’re looking for an oboe. They offer a wide variety of models for different players and budgets, from student to pro-level instruments. You can choose between plastic or wooden models too!
If you’re looking for a musical instrument, it’s worth checking out Yamaha. Professional models are usually played by experienced musicians in big orchestras, while many beginners go for student or intermediate options.
Yamaha YOB-241 Series Student Oboe
Yamaha YOB-441 Series Intermediate Oboe
2. Buffet Oboes
Recommended For: Beginner/Intermediate
Buffet is famous for crafting excellence in the clarinet world, but their oboes aren’t bad either. They offer a wide selection of pro-level models, plus a student instrument if you’re just starting out.
Buffet BC405220 Student Intermediate Oboe
Buffet Crampon Model 3613G
3. RS Berkeley
Recommended For: Beginner/Intermediate
RS Berkeley makes some really impressive oboes for students, particularly at the beginner level. They offer great value for money and the key mechanism is really smooth and comfortable on your hands which is perfect for students to learn with.
Oboes are crafted from ebonite, which is crack and moisture-resistant, giving them a fuller sound with great projection suitable for all kinds of performances.
RS Berkeley OB400
RS Berkeley OB425 Oboe
Top Oboe Models Review
1. Yamaha YOB-441 Series Intermediate Oboe
Experience the pinnacle of oboe playing with our intermediate YOB-441 series. Boasting a modified conservatory system, semi-automatic octave keys, and left-hand F key, this modern oboe produces a sound that’s simply delightful.
But we didn’t stop at exceptional sound quality. The YOB-441 series is crafted with the finest seasoned grenadilla wood and features silver-plated nickel keys for a touch of class and style.
Whether you’re performing solo, with a band, or in an orchestra, this intermediate oboe is versatile enough to meet your artistic expectations. So why settle for anything less than the best? Choose the YOB-441 series for an unparalleled oboe-playing experience.
2. Schiller Elite Conservatory Oboe
Experience the amazing craftsmanship of the Schiller Elite oboe. With its affordable price, you can start your oboe journey at a professional level. This instrument boasts outstanding features such as resonance keys, low Bb, Ab to Bb trill keys, left-hand F key, and unique left-hand C to D trill keys – a revolutionary design that adds an exciting twist to this classic instrument.
Preserve the Schiller Elite with the included case, while mastering its keys for improved performance. This oboe may have a surprising design, but it’s actually easy to handle and even easier to play.
Whether you’re a professional musician or a student striving to become one, the Schiller Elite allows you to play beautiful music, no matter your skill level.
3. Buffet Model 3613 Professional Oboe
Looking for an eco-friendly oboe to match your green lifestyle? Look no further than the Buffet Model 3613 Professional Oboe. Made from recycled wood, this instrument is not only environmentally conscious, but also durable and resistant to temperature and humidity.
Considered the “gold medal” of Greenline musical instruments, the Buffet Model 3613 Professional Oboe boasts a full conservatory system with features such as a low Bb key, left F key, and forked-F resonance. Plus, with a lifespan of several years and accurate pitch and tune, playing every piece on this oboe is an unforgettable experience. Don’t miss out on the holy grail of eco-conscious musical instruments.
4. Ammoon Oboe
Attention all aspiring oboists! Get ready to start your musical journey with the perfect starter pack from Ammons. Our C-key oboe, made with a durable Bakelite wood body and cupro-nickel keys plated with silver, comes with a stylish leather carrier. And that’s not all! You’ll also get a user-friendly reed, cleaning swabs, lubricant, gloves, a screwdriver, a leather case, and a comprehensive instruction manual. All to make your oboe learning experience easier.
Analog, more advanced
Our Ammoon oboe is crafted with high-quality materials, including a metallic mouthpiece, a needle spring, and a solid rock system to ensure longevity. The soft wood joining parts add even more durability. And the best part? The magical sound this student oboe produces will leave you in awe, making you fall in love with the instrument over and over again. Get your Ammons oboe starter pack today and discover your musical talent!
5. Selmer Model 122F Intermediate Oboe
Looking for a reliable oboe that produces heavenly tones? Look no further than the Selmer model 122F – the perfect choice for transitioning student oboists in middle or high school, or for any musician looking to master their craft. Crafted from durable grenadilla wood, this oboe is easy to handle and boasts a modified conservatory system that produces breathtaking sounds, ranging all the way down to low Bb.
But it’s not just about the sound – the Selmer model 122F also looks and feels sophisticated thanks to its silver-plated Ab to Bb and left-hand C to D trill keys. Whether you’re playing at a formal event or simply practicing at home, this oboe is sure to capture the attention of anyone who hears it. Available for oboists of all ages, the Selmer model 122F is the perfect addition to any musician’s collection.
6. Bulgheroni Professional Model Oboe D’Amore
Embarking on your oboe journey? Look no further than the Bulgheroni Professional Model Oboe D’Amore. Impressively crafted for a student oboe, this piece is easy to handle yet creates some of the finest sounds in the woodwind family. Made with the same professional-grade materials, its ebony body and cupro-nickel silver-plated keys give it a stunning appearance.
You’ll have bragging rights among professional oboists with its fine architecture and excellent sound. This crown jewel of beginner oboes even has 3rd-octave and semi-automatic keys, making it a musical wonder that can compete with some intermediate oboes. Don’t settle for less – get the Bulgheroni Professional Model Oboe D’Amore to experience music at its prime today.
7. Jupiter JOB1000 Modified Conservatory System Oboe
Get a reliable and long-lasting beginner’s oboe with the Jupiter JOB1000 series. Say goodbye to the fear of buying a low-quality instrument – the JOB1000 is made of durable ABS resin and has a unique wooden appearance.
Its modified conservatory system and low Bb system allows for more exploration in your oboe playing.
The silver-plated keys extend to the low Bb, and its lightweight and easy-to-dismantle design makes it convenient to carry around.
Rest assured that the rugged ABS molded case will protect it from harsh conditions.
Whether it’s for music classes or your debut performance, the Jupiter JOB1000 series is the dependable choice for student oboes.
8. RS Berkeley ob425 Signature Series Oboe
The RS Berkeley OB425 is the ideal choice. Not only is it perfect for beginners, but it can also be used by intermediate and professional players. This series includes everything you need to get started on your oboe journey. Our added features make it the best start-up kit around. In addition to the oboe itself, our pack includes a care and cleaning kit, music stand, band folder, essential element book 1, tuner, and metronome. These tools make it easy to start learning the oboe and rehearsing on your own.
The essential element book 1 features popular songs that are easy to play, as well as exposing students to the unique features of the oboe. With the OS425 series pack, mastering the oboe has never been easier – learn new things, enjoy the quality and durable features and produce a marvelous tune at the same time.
9. Simonnet Oboe Ob425 Signature Series
Introducing the Simonnet OB425 signature series by RS Berkeley – the ultimate professional oboe designed to inspire and unleash your artistic potential. Crafted with a resonite body, this full conservatory system boasts a left-hand F key and low Bb key, allowing for a flawless and versatile performance.
The silver-plated keys are of impeccable quality, fused to the instrument with a durability that will endure even after prolonged use. This oboe is highly respected within the international oboe community and widely regarded as one of the best in the world.
With a signature series name, the Simonnet OB425 oozes sophistication and style. Its crisp and powerful sound can cut through even the loudest of musical ensembles. This exceptional oboe warrants your immediate attention, so grab your music sheets and prepare to be blown away. Let RS Berkeley elevate your music to whole new heights, because we are always here for you.
10. C Key Oboe with Grenadilla Wood Body Silver Plated Keys
Looking for the perfect instrument to begin your oboe-playing journey? Look no further than the C-key oboe, and specifically the little tail c-key model. Even as a beginner, this instrument will exceed your expectations and provide a stylish touch to your playing.
But it’s not just about aesthetics – the body is made from unique African grenadilla wood, which means it can last in storage for over ten years without moisture damage. And while cracks and water damage are common issues with oboes, this instrument is resilient and well-designed.
With white copper keys that appear silver and a lightweight, easy-to-handle body, the oboe also boasts pitch accuracy thanks to strategic sound hole placement. Plus, with a comfortable adjustable thumb rest and a shockproof compact fit case with built-in card slot, transportation is a breeze and you’ll never have to worry about damage during transport.
In short, for anyone looking to start their oboe journey in style with a reliable and beautiful instrument, the C-key oboe with little tail c-key model is the perfect choice.
11. TALLJO® Oboe Instrument ABS Pipe Cupronickel Keys of C for Beginners
Looking for an oboe that matches your sophisticated style or a perfect birthday gift for your child who’s interested in music? Look no further than the Talljo oboe. This ABS resin instrument is perfect for beginners and professionals alike, producing lovely tunes that can brighten up any cloudy day.
Crafted with fitted silver-plated cupro-nickel keys, the Talljo oboe boasts an integrated design that makes it versatile and efficient for various situations, including lessons, presentations, formals, and music production. Every note that flows out of this oboe is sure to leave a lasting impression on your mind.
Made with hard-to-crack high-density resin, this oboe is built to withstand external pressures and the test of time. So, invest in the Talljo C key oboe today and experience the joy of beautiful sounds that will never disappoint!
12. GMS Composite Oboe, Student – Advanced
Upgrade to the GMS Composite Oboe for serious learners. This oboe is constructed to withstand external pressure and produce immaculate pitches every time you play. The sound quality is indescribable and boosts a learner’s morale while enabling them to hear every mistake for easy correction.
The durable body comes in a treated wooden case with silver-plated keys and a canvas carrier for added protection.
Say goodbye to low-quality student oboes and hello to the upgrade you deserve.
Get the GMS Composite Oboe today to accelerate your journey to being a professional oboist with style.
13. F. Loree Paris Professional Oboe
Discover the masterpiece in the world of oboes – F. Loree Paris. This renowned brand is trusted by professionals worldwide and has graced the stages of renowned orchestras. Its epic tones fit any occasion and will captivate any audience.
With its stunning sound and design, the F. Loree is the pinnacle of a full conservatory. This exceptional instrument is the perfect choice for dedicated oboists who want to craft artistry beyond expectation. Don’t let anything stop you from securing this exceptional oboe if you dare to go the extra mile.
14. Tiery Model J10
Looking for the perfect oboe to master your skills? Look no further than the Tiery J10 model. With its silver-plated keys and gorgeous grenadilla wood body, it not only looks amazing, but its easy fingerings make it simple to learn. Plus, it’s built to last – oboists have relied on this model for years.
But that’s not all. The Tiery J10 comes with everything you need to keep it in top condition. We’ve included cleaning swabs, gloves, lubricant, and even a protective case to keep it safe from harm.
And the best part? Anyone can play it! You don’t need any special skills to master the Tiery J10. Its simplicity and amazing sound make it the perfect choice for beginners and professionals alike. Trust us – you won’t be disappointed with this incredible instrument.
15. Fossati Model D Oboe
Experience the unmatched reliability and craftsmanship of a handcrafted instrument with the Fossati D model oboe. Forged by some of the greatest artisans, this oboe boasts a grenadilla wood body and rhodium plated keys, making it stand out among others with its impeccable intonation.
The full conservatory system provides everything you need to play a full symphony, while the aged grenadilla wood gives the instrument a timeless look and lasting durability.
The shock absorbing leather case further extends the lifespan of this work of art. Don’t settle for anything less than premium quality.
Elevate your oboe skills with the Fossati D model – the envy of every other oboist in your band or class. Get one today and see for yourself the unparalleled sound this instrument produces.
16. Tempest Agility Winds Oboe
Attention all oboists and aspiring oboists! Did you know that most oboes are made from either wood or high-density resin? Well, feast your eyes and ears on the Tempest Agility Winds Model, a truly unique hybrid of both materials. This French-style full conservatory system boasts almost all keys imaginable and produces soul-lifting tunes that will leave you in awe.
Crafted from a cross between grenadilla wood and high-density resin, the Silver-plated keys of the Tempest model are remarkable. The name “Agility Winds” is fitting, as it emits sounds with a ferocity that will make a statement, especially during performance. Whether you’re practicing at home, recording in a studio, or performing on stage, the Agility Winds Model comes highly recommended. Don’t hesitate to make this masterpiece yours.
17. Patricola Evoluzione Professional Oboe Rosewood
Experience the magic of the Patricola brand, a renowned name in the world of oboes. Handcrafted by skilled artisans in Italy, the Patricola Evoluzione Professional oboe a masterpiece that is highly sought after by orchestra and chamber music performers.
Crafted from rosewood with a semi-automatic system, the Patricola Evoluzione Professional oboe lemits heavenly tunes that add charm to every performance. This one-of-a-kind piece is perfect for professionals and intermediate oboists alike, boasting a feel that’s enhanced with a silver coating.
Expect unparalleled quality of sound and longevity, as some of the most respected instrument makers in the world came together to create this gem. Its clarity and resonance make it ideal for studio recording, while its beauty makes it perfect for any live performance.
Don’t miss your chance to shine effortlessly and thrill your audience with the soothing sounds of the Patricola Evoluzione Professional oboe. Get yours today and experience the best of the best in oboe craftsmanship.
A Few Things to Watch For When Buying an Oboe
If you’re looking to buy an oboe, checking out some of the popular brands on this list could be a smart move. Even if it’s used and not brand-new, it can still be worth your money as long as it’s been looked after well. If you’re in the market for a second-hand oboe, make sure you get someone you trust to give it a thorough examination and check if it’s of good quality.
Oboes are a tricky business as they are handmade and each one varies from the next. It’s important to do your research and get one of good quality that works for you and your style particularly.
Student oboes are usually plastic-based which makes caring for them way easier compared to traditional wooden ones. You don’t have to be concerned about any weather conditions affecting it or worry about it cracking. Student keyboards usually have a few less keys, like no left-F or low-B-flat key.
It’s not really necessary for a novice to have these keys but as you become more experienced, you’re definitely going to need them and appreciate the sound of a wooden instrument.
It’s important to remember that the type of reed you use can really influence how an oboe sounds. Even if you have a bad instrument, with a good reed, your music could easily sound way better than someone playing a great oboe with a poor quality reed.
A big part of how an oboe sounds is the material it’s made of, and almost all professional models are crafted out of wood. Most commonly they use Grenadilla, which is a type of hardwood with great density. Apart from the more popular kinds of wood like maple, beech, oak etc., there are a few others that are less common but really cool – think cocobolo, snakewood, kingwood, rosewood and violetwood!
Where to Buy Oboes
If you’re looking to buy an oboe, you’ll want to check out third-party sellers like Amazon and eBay. While the former has a limited supply of oboes, the latter usually offers used ones. RDG Woodwinds is also a great option for oboes and other related items such as reeds, materials for making reeds, music, and instruments.
They just got some fresh gear from Loree, Marigaux and Buffet. Plus they have pre-owned stuff from those manufacturers and other brands too. The new instruments they usually get straight from the oboe makers, which makes things easier since it’s simpler to stay in touch with them than trying to get in contact with a business based in Paris.
Midwest Musical Imports is one of the external vendors, dealing in new instruments from Lorée, Marigaux, Howarth, Buffet and Fox and second-hand pieces. Besides these, they also stock many other items like reeds and related accessories available at RDG.
Woodwind Brasswind might be a good place to check out when you’re looking for an oboe. They offer plenty of options and have lots of student models as well. They’ve got Fox, Selmer, Yamaha, Buffet and Jupiter – to name a few – so you won’t be stuck for choice!
FAQ for Best Oboe Brands & Models
What are some of the best oboe brands?
Some of the best brands of oboes include Marigaux, Loree, Bulgheroni, Fossati, Howarth and Fox. These brands are known for their high quality instruments. Marigaux, based in France, is known for its oboes with a vast octave range and superb timbre. Loree, also a French brand, is one of the most famous and respected oboe manufacturers, making instruments for professionals for over a century. Bulgheroni, an Italian brand, is known for its excellent oboes, made with advanced technology and high quality materials.
Fossati, also a French brand, is known for its custom-tuned oboes that are highly responsive and precise in their intonation. Howarth, based in the UK, specializes in making oboes for professionals and students. Fox, an American brand, is known for its quality oboes for every skill level of player. Choosing a brand of oboe depends on the individual preference, playing style and budget of the musician. It is important to remember that the best oboe is the one that fits the needs and sound of the individual musician.
What are some of the best oboe models?
There are several reputable oboe models that are widely considered as some of the best in the world. Some of these include the Loree Royal, Yamaha YOB-841, Marigaux 901, Howarth S40C, and Bulgheroni Opera.
The Loree Royal is renowned for its exceptional craftsmanship and rich tonal quality. It offers a flexible range of tone colors and projection, making it a favorite among professional oboists. The Yamaha YOB-841 is also highly regarded for its precise intonation and ease of playability. Its excellent design and meticulous attention to detail make it a top choice for many players.
The Marigaux 901 is another popular model that is highly sought after by professionals. It is known for its exquisite craftsmanship and superior sound quality, providing players with a warm, full-bodied sound. The Howarth S40C is a model that offers exceptional stability in intonation and an even scale throughout all registers. Its comfortable key work also makes it highly favored by many oboists.
Lastly, the Bulgheroni Opera is highly regarded for its seamless blend of artistry and craftsmanship. Its rich, vibrant tone and excellent projection make it a top choice for many advanced players. These are just a few examples of the best oboe models, and what makes them exceptional can vary depending on individual preferences and playing styles. It is important for aspiring oboists to try out different models and find the one that suits their needs and musical goals the best.
What are the differences between oboes?
The oboe is a woodwind instrument renowned for its distinctive sound and versatile range. Despite their similar appearance, there are several key differences between oboe models. These variations primarily stem from the shape and dimensions of the instrument’s bore, reeds, and keywork.
One major distinction lies in the bore design. The oboe can have a cylindrical or conical bore. The cylindrical bore offers a focused and direct sound, while the conical bore produces a broader and warmer tone. Musicians often choose the bore design based on their musical preferences and the style of music they play.
Reeds also play a critical role in an oboe’s sound characteristics. The oboe reed can be handmade or machine-made, with varying degrees of stiffness and resistance. A harder reed can produce a brighter and sharper sound, while a softer reed can result in a mellower and more mellow tone. The choice of reed greatly influences a player’s articulation, dynamics, and even intonation.
Additionally, oboes differ in their keywork systems. There are various key configurations, including conservatoire (full-automatic) and thumb plate (semi-automatic) systems. The conservatoire system features a complex mechanism of interconnected keys, allowing for a greater range of notes. On the other hand, the thumb plate system, often preferred by beginners or Baroque enthusiasts, features a simpler and more straightforward mechanism.
Apart from these main differences, oboes can also vary in materials, such as the type of wood used in the construction. Common wood choices include grenadilla, rosewood, and cocobolo, each imparting distinct tonal qualities to the instrument.
Ultimately, the choice of an oboe depends on a player’s individual preferences, playing style, and the specific needs of the repertoire they perform. Whether it’s the bore, reeds, keywork, or materials, each variation contributes to the unique voice of the oboe and allows musicians to express their artistry in a way that resonates with them and their audience.
How do I choose an oboe?
Choosing an oboe requires careful consideration of various factors. Firstly, it is crucial to identify your skill level and playing goals. Beginners can opt for a student model with simplified key mechanisms and a more affordable price. Intermediate players may seek a higher-quality instrument with improved sound and intonation. Advanced players should look for professional-grade oboes, which often possess superior craftsmanship and tonal complexity.
Next, it is essential to test the oboe’s sound and responsiveness. Play a variety of notes and scales to assess its tone quality, projection, and ease of control. A good oboe should produce a rich, resonant sound with good projection capabilities.
Additionally, inspect the instrument for build quality and durability. Check for any visible defects, such as cracks or loose keys, which might affect its longevity and performance. The key mechanism should also be smooth, free from friction, and responsive to your fingers.
Consider seeking guidance from a reputable oboe teacher or professional oboist who can provide valuable insights and recommendations. They can advise you on reputable brands, models, and help you find the best fit for your needs and budget.
Ultimately, the choice of an oboe is personal and subjective. Take your time, try out different instruments, and trust your own judgment. With careful consideration and research, you can find an oboe that suits your playing style, skill level, and musical aspirations.
What is the best oboe for a beginner?
Choosing the best oboe for a beginner can be a crucial decision, as it sets the foundation for their musical journey. A good quality instrument is essential for a beginner to learn and progress effectively. When considering an oboe for a beginner, key factors such as durability, playability, and affordability should be taken into account.
One of the most recommended oboes for beginners is the Fox Renard Model 333. This wooden oboe offers a balanced tone and excellent craftsmanship. It is specifically designed for beginners and provides them with a reliable and consistent sound. The Renard Model 333 has a durable plastic lining, making it less susceptible to cracks due to temperature and humidity changes, which is particularly important for beginners who may not be accustomed to proper instrument care yet.
Another highly recommended oboe for beginners is the Yamaha YOB-241. Yamaha is a well-respected brand known for producing high-quality instruments. The YOB-241 offers a reliable and smooth playing experience with excellent intonation, making it ideal for beginners. This model also includes an important feature, a simplified Conservatoire system, which allows beginners to focus on developing their technique without being overwhelmed by the complexity of a full Conservatoire system oboe.
For those on a tighter budget, the Selmer Student Model 1492B is a great choice. It is a plastic-resin oboe that offers a decent quality sound while being more affordable than wooden oboes. This model provides beginners with a durable instrument and a solid foundation to start their musical journey without breaking the bank.
Lastly, it is crucial for beginners to consult with their music teacher or an experienced oboist to get personalized advice. Every beginner has unique needs and preferences, and it is essential to try different oboes to find the one that suits individual playing style and preferences. In conclusion, the best oboe for a beginner depends on various factors such as durability, playability, and affordability.