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Holton H179 Farkas Series Fixed Bell Double HornThe Holton H179 Professional Farkas French Horn is regarded among working professionals and leading academics as the flagship of the Holton line. It produces the centered tone sought by all players. True temper makes it a delight to fly over even the most difficult passages. The solid nickel silver edition of the model H179 French Horn has especially good center and projection. This free-blowing Farkas horn features a rich, dark sound designed especially for the "big horn" artist. The tapered tubing and throat of the bell are larger for a bigger, darker tone. The bell flare produces a mellow, velvety tone plus a little overtone of a ringing quality. Hard nickel silver responds quickly and sounds brighter up close.Holton- Bb/F double French horn, Farkas The solid nickel silver edition of the H178, model H179 has especially good center and projection. This free-blowing horn features a rich, dark sound designed especially for the big horn artist the tapered tubing and throat of the bell are larger for a bigger, darker tone. The bell flare produces a mellow, velvety tone plus a little overtone of a ringing quality. Hard nickel silver responds quickly and sounds brighter up close.The lowdown: Key of Bb/F double, .468" bore; 12-1/4" bell of hand-hammered nickel silver; large-throated .310 venturi of nickel silver; noiseless string action, short stroke with stainless steel spring; solid nickel silver slides inside and out; tapered hand-lapped brass valve rotors; nickel silver finish.
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The Holton H179, although having similar specs as the Conn 8D, has a slightly brighter, more focused sound than the 8D. Thus, if you want the "big horn" sound but have difficulty controlling it on large horns, the H179 may be the perfect solution.
Obviously, it is not the most free-blowing horn in the world, and the mid-low range, particularly the low Ab, is quite stuffy. However, the mid-high range is very clear, open, and secure. In addition the intonation is quite good and the valves are comfortably tight. Many players complain about its difficulty on slurs, but I have not found this to be even a minor detriment.
The H179 is best suited, I believe, for high school players. This is because most college musicians are able to put in more air than the horn is capable of receiving. This makes it somewhat confining and limits the maximum volume obtainable from the horn. However, for most high school players and even some college players, the H179's balance of volume and resistance makes it ideal as an all-around instrument.
The H179 is truly a professional instrument, despite certain people's thoughts that it really isn't. I believe it fits players of a certain sound concept, build, and/or ability level. If anything, the H179 should be considered as an alternative to the 8D that sacrifices a bit of volume and darkness of tone for superior high register control, focus of sound, and flexibility.
I play this horn a lot. I currently own the H179 and a Conn 8D. Both horns play great! I like playing either, but I tend to gravitate to the Holton. The horn has a nice warm mid to low register, and playing a lot of quintet and 2nd/4th parts the mid/low register is what I use most of the time. The low register is nice and full. Playing from Low C (2nd space Bass Clef new notation) to the G below is rich and full.
The high register is clear and it plays well when I need it. The F to the C speaks as needed, sometimes with a little more harshness than I like.
Overall a great horn and I recommend it to any horn player!
This horn is decent. I'm a intermediate level player going into high school. I got First Chair Honors Band (1st out of 38) in All-Region competition. My Band Director gave me the new 2010-2011 model. For the horn it doesn't have the tonal quality I would desire in the horn, but; it is easy to hold and I can get to any note easily on the horn. I mean for a professional model it should be better. I'm would prefer a horn with a medium bell-throat. Plus this horn doesn't add volume even though I'm trying my best to make that possible. This is good for middle-school player only.
The Holton H179 is good for all skill levels, but does not project enough sound for larger ensembles. If you are playing in a large symphonic orchestra, get a Conn, Schmid or other brand that sells horns with larger bells. This horn is good for Medium-small to Average sized ensembles and large chamber groups. Dissimilarly, Conns would be too prominent in such ensembles, yet they project more sound and would fit in symphonic orchestras and concert bands.
But back to the Holton. It does what it is built to do and does it well. It has an excellent upper register and a controllable lower register, though playing out double-pedal notes is nearly impossible. The mouthpiece that comes with the horn does not offer a wide range though, so buy one separately. It is an agile horn once you get comfortable with it, but it is NOT a good starter horn. It does take some time getting used to.
Just remember, if you are switching from a Conn, don't think you will get a bigger sound, but expect a more fine sound. The Holton may not project well, but it does give out a good sound.