Valve Horns

A Photo Album of "all available horns past and present" has been posted on the Yahoo Horn List by an anonymous ("ndspmustang") poster, including photos of some 132 models of horns. If there was ever a horn you wanted to see a picture of, any horn at all, this is the place to look.

Erin Schmidt of the University of Evanston has compiled a list of horn manufacturers that compares models, alloy, bore, (approximate) price, and other details.

See also Wikipedia's List of Horn Makers

See also Horn History for information on historical instruments

Ever wonder Who Plays What? - list players (teachers & orchestra players) and what horn model(s) they currently play.

What are the different types of French horns? - eHow video by Richard Deane

Ricardo Matosinhos has crafted an online survey that lists type of player (professional/amateur/teacher), type of horn, mouthpiece model for a random and limited but interesting comparison of what players are using these days.

Hatch Horns
Custom hand-crafted Geyer wrap yellow brass horns by Wes Hatch.
The web site provides an interesting look at each component of the horn (slide tubes, branches, leadpipe, valves, etc.), plus a memoir of Hatch's early experiences with the Holton company.


Medlin Horns - "Traditional horns with modern attitude"


Horn maker Jacob Medlin offers one price for a custom made Geyer wrap double horn "any way you want it" (one price for all - no extra charges for (e.g.) cut bell, water key, different metals,etc. Variety of bell flares, mouthpipes, etc). He also offers a single Bb horn with ascending and descending tuning slides. Attractive web site. Here’s an article on him.

Sorley Horns


Maker Darin Sorely makes a Geyer wrap custom double horn with a host of features, including detachable bell, adjustable finger hook, (optional) garland, various leadpipes.

Engelbert Schmid


Engelbert Schmid is both a virtuoso horn player and horn maker, and his horns are among the most sought-after - and expensive - in the world. He offers a variety of horns: various kinds of single horns, double horns, triple horns, natural horns, Wagner Tuben, as well as bells and mouthpieces. Read the interview with NY Philharmonic principal horn Phil Myers here. Schmid is the only maker to offer an F/Bb/high Eb triple horn. Check out this video portrait of Engelbert Schmid (in German) about his career as a player and as an instrument maker.
Depicted above is a double horn with a stopping valve.

Lawson Horns


Walter Lawson was an ace repairman turned custom horn maker. Widely esteemed as a bell, mouthpiece, and leadpipe specialist. 

Patterson Horns


Maker Jim Patterson has performed as an L.A. freelancer and with the L.A. Baroque Orchestra on natural horn as well.
He is a maker of highly regarded double horns, descant, and natural horns. Another specialty is making hybrid/conversion horns, where he installs his custom leadpipe, slides and valve caps to a factory horn, which he says makes for significant improvements.
Left: the Patterson Custom Double; Middle: Geyer-Knopf wrap; Right: the Patterson descant with stopping valve

Ricco Kühn horns
have gotten rave reviews lately. Available in the US from Ken Pope and Brass Arts Unlimited. Below is Model 293.

Cantesanu Horns
Felix Cantesanu is a both a professional hornist and an instrument repairman and horn maker.
Below is his Cantesanu Horn Model C


Rauch Horns
No link. Dan Rauch is an American horn maker living in Oslo
(coincidentally married to Frøydis Ree Wekre), now retired.


Berg Horns
Custom hand-crafted Geyer style brass horns.


Karl Hill - Kortesmaki Horns [no web site]
Hill horns are played by Bob Ward, Adam Unsworth, Dave Krehbiel, Gail Williams, and others
Address: 1474 Calvin SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49507


Dürk horns
Respected European maker of single, double, triple, and descant horns.


Also makes a Lewis-Dürk horn (left) in partnership with Chicago horn maker Steve Lewis. On the right is the Lewis double horn.


Finke is another German horn manufacturer whose horns have had considerable popularity. Finke makes a wide variety of models (including natural horns and Wagner tuben), plus some very unique ones, such as a G/F single horn, a compact horn (great for small beginners), and a Bb /hi Bb double descant. Below is the Finke double horn:


Alexander Horns


Among the most popular horns ever made, especially in Germany and Asia.
Maker of a huge assortment of brass instruments. Below is their famous Model 103, followed by the same with silver and gold plating.
Alexander now has an Online Shop where it sells wind instruments (its own and by others), guitars, e-bass, drums, percussion, keyboards, music software, pianos, PA & lighting equipment, and more.

Paxman horns have been legendary for generations.


They make everything: doubles, compensating doubles, descants (Bb/High F doubles), triples, compensating triples.
They are famed for their dual bore system and titanium valves.
Below L to R: new Paxman Series 3 horn, Paxman 25, and Model 83 Compensating Triple Horn.
The Paxman web site also offers used horns, sheet music, books, CDs & DVDs, accessories, mouthpieces, cases, a list of dealers, horn posters, care and maintenance information, "assisted purchase scheme," and more.

Lidl Horns - made in the Czech Republic. 3 models.


Nirschl French Horns
Good student instruments at very good prices. The D-500LQ [lacquered version of the the D-500 depicted below] is a 3/4 wrap (size) Geyer style double that currently has a street price of about $1420. The smaller wrap is a better fit for student beginners than full size, which is often uncomfortably large.
5 models: 3 Geyer style, 2 Kruspe style
Read a description and review of these NIrschl horns by John Ericson here.
3 depicted below:


The Czech instrument maker Amati's V. F. Cerveny horns (below L to R: CHR32 & CHR 345 student models)
are available in the US from Winston band instruments (listed as the 101L and the 104L in their catalog)


Cerveny professional models: CHR 681PX & 781DX


Hans Hoyer is another major German horn manufacturer. Geyer model double horn depicted below. Osmun offers a Kruspe-wrap Hoyer , the 6800 series.


Italian horn maker Kalison makes a variety of models. Below are the A2000 (Geyer model), Crott, and Giuliani models.


Dawkes Music in the UK sells several makes and models horns that have a smaller wrap for children - why don't more manufacturers make horns that actually fit children?


Left: Rosetti Series 5 Kinder Single Horn in Bb
Right: Besson 602 Kinder Single F Horn

Dieter Otto
German maker of double, Bb/high F, and triple horns. Depicted is the new Model 166K.


Willson Band Instruments of Switzerland
specializes in low brass, but makes a variety of double horns


Fehr Horns
Dutch Maker Klaus Fehr makes handcrafted double horns.

Cornford Horns


"Christopher Cornford has developed in co-operation with Peter Steidle, formerly horn player in the Radio Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt, a new double compensated triple horn, which is marketed under the name: Mod. 3 S. Characteristic of this horn is that it weights only 2250 grams, therefore being lighter than usual double horns." Cornford also does repairs, overhauls, lacquering, plating, etc.

Atkinson Horns
Depicted L to R: Atkinson-Geyer model, Elkhart model, Erfurt model, Professional model


is an Austrian maker who makes both regular double horns and Vienna horns.
Below L: 148GM Center: 148M R:Haagston Vienna horn


Yamaha makes all kinds of horn models in various metals. Below L to R YHR-668N, the 667D, and the 668IID
See all models here or here (Yamaha site).


More: L to R: YHR567, YHR314 (single F)


Holton Farkas horns are very popular in the US and offer many models.

Below, left to right: H179, H281, H378, H175[Merker-Matic]


The Holton H652M, left, is a single F horn "designed for younger, smaller students, with a tighter wrap and 10" bell. Street price of about $1700. Middle, the H651M, a single Bb with a tight wrap also designed to fit smaller, younger players, 10" bell, about $1680 street. Right, the H650, a regular-sized student single Bb, about $1730.


Conn also has many models. Left to right: 8D, 10D, 6D


Jupiter Horns are popular student instruments.
L to R: 952RL Mainz Model, 854L Student model,


Wisemann Mini French Horn in Bb


"This is a great instrument one can practice playing high one without worrying about accuracy as much as on the regular Bb horn." -Jeff Nelsen

The Vienna Horn is a unique instrument - you really have to play it to appreciate it fully. These single F instruments are a joy to behold, to play, and to hear. Play one of these once and you come down with incurable Vienna horn envy - until that fine day that you acquire one yourself.
Note the terminal crook, wide garland on the bell, and the pumpen valves.
Below, left to right, are Vienna horns made by Robert Engel, Alexander (92M), and Yamaha (YHR-601)
Check out the Vienna Horns CD(sensational!!), The Art of the Vienna Horn CD, the Wikipedia article on it, and the Scottish Vienna Horns web site, with its Vienna Horn Gallery, Buyers Guide, and Links. For some scientific data and studies on the Vienna horn, click here. For YouTube videos of the Vienna horn in concert, click here.
See Making a Vienna Horn - a YouTube video of Robert Engel making a Vienna horn.
Comparison between the Double Horn and the Vienna horn - YouTube video. is an excellent site with many subsections (check the CD shop and the photo gallery); in German only.

The Vienna Horn - (pdf) - translation of the thesis of Thomas Jöbstl, then principal horn of the Vienna Volksoper (2001), now of Die Wiener Philharmoniker


Triple horns (F/Bb/high F) are made by a variety of manufacturers. [see John Ericson’s article on Descant and Triple Horns]
Left to right: Alexander 303; Finke; Schmid F/Bb/high Eb; Hoyer;
2nd row: L-R: Paxman [compensating triple]; Yamaha 892D





And now for something completely different: the German maker Thein ("The Brass Brothers") uses a nontraditional wrap for the valve configuration. Below is Model R, doublehorn.


M. Jiracek also has a different vision for the double horn:


Something Completely Different, Part II: The Veneklasen Horn

Walter Hecht's article on Mark Veneklasen's idea for a revolutionary horn.

For a gallery of photos of Mark Veneklasen and his horn, click here.