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The HOLTON 180 ‘Farkas Model’, designed by Philip Farkas, the legendary former Principal horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, is a superb horn with a comfortable, compact feel, well-balanced in the hands, and with a potential sound of outstanding tonal beauty.  Its ‘Medium-Large-throated’ hand-hammered bell produces a medium-dark singing tone with excellent legato characteristics. The yellow brass body produces a bright, pure tone colour with multiple overtones and great projection.

This lovely horn can deliver pianissimo to fortissimo, ‘staccatissimo’ to ‘molto legato’ with great clarity and sensitivity.


 Key: F-Bb.

Pitch: A=443 with independent tuning of the Bb side by a dedicated slide.

Bore: 11.89 mm

Mouthpipe: nickel silver, with 7.784 mm venturi

(narrowest dimension).

Valve levers: noiseless string action, short stroke with stainless steel springs.

Valve rotors: tapered hand-lapped brass.

Bearing plates: tapered brass.

Alloys: brass branches and bows, solid nickel silver connecting ferrules.

Slides: solid nickel silver outers and inners.

Fixed bell: 12.25” diameter, medium-large-throated, hand-hammered yellow brass.

Water key: conventional type, on the mouthpipe.

Weight: 2.5 kg / 5lb 8oz

Mouthpiece: 2nd hand silver-plated Alexander medium size (#8) in ‘well-used’ condition, together with an as-new Denis Wick mouthpiece ‘booster’ (clearly visible in the photos). This somewhat unusual-looking combination works very well with the horn, although of course the booster is removable and can be used with virtually any mouthpiece for enhanced tonal focus and projection.

Case: old-style fibreglass case, only about 50% of the weight of the typical very heavy wooden original Holton case.

NB: This horn is in generally excellent condition, with just one small area in the upper bell neck where there is some slight lacquer loss.

NNB: 'Price comparison': A new Holton H-180 currently costs (best discount prices):  £5440 from Trevor Jones, Bristol, and £4550 from Alan Gregory, Manchester.


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