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I Used To Play Trumpet Book/CD
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This instrument or product has been carefully played/used and returned to us in
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Marigaux Model 2001 OboeThe Marigaux 2001 oboe is a striking addition to the Marigaux line of oboes. The 2001 features keywork that has been ergonomically redesigned to facilitate certain problem areas of oboe technique. Also the 2001 makes a subtly elegant statement with its gold posts and rings contrasted against the silver keywork. The rich tone and ease of response have helped to make Marigaux the must have oboe for European players.
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First let me say that Sue S. here at The Woodwind and Brasswind is awesome! Not only was she very friendly and knowledgeable about oboes, but she is very open-minded and encouraged me to consider as many different oboe makers as I could try, not just the more well-known Loree, Marigaux, etc. She spoke to me at length about her experience with each one (a hard thing to describe). As a result, I played through about a dozen different models and makes and was able to learn the differences myself (sometimes subtle, sometimes not). Ultimately found the one that resonated best with me ? of course your milage may vary, and that is what makes finding an instrument that is right for each of us a individuals so rewarding.
My trial included a Fossati 20th Anniversary (similar to the Soliste V), Howarth XL, Loree Royal AK (x2) and Marigaux 2001 (x2). *I would have loved to included a Patricola S7 Evolution, Bulgheroni Opera and Yamaha 841-LT (lined upper-joint) but I just could't find and/or coordinate them with the others. That is the great thing about going to the IDRS conference (which I plan to do this year as well). I also had several other musicians listen to each one "blind" and found their feedback similar to my own, which was interesting if not at least reassuring.
? The Fossati looked (and played) like fine jewelry (I think it is the most visually stunning oboe ever crafted). It had a unique sound, one that I have trouble describing but it was most un-like the others. I love the innovations they have implemented (the one-hole trill for C, rather than two is very cool) and it certainly would be a great oboe to have.
? If one end of the spectrum is dark, round and maybe even a bit covered, then this would describe my experience on the Marigaux (I did prefer one make over another - making it important to try more than one example of the model you decide upon). It felt reliable and had an even tone and pitch-center up the scale. Perhaps a bit on the side of almost being limited, it *always* had a beautiful, mellow sound to it. Although projection wasn't a problem, it didn't seem (from the playing perspective) to have the range of the Howarth and Loree (although the folks in the room said it sang out quite nicely and didn't notice that as a limitation of it). For my reed making (and even some that I had purchased), the pitch of the Marigaux was perfect note-after-note. I honestly don't know why, and perhaps it really is just down to the particulars and variables that make us all unique, but I found it much easier to play in-tune on the Marigaux than any of the others.
? If the other end of the spectrum is more bold, silver, focused and deep, then this would describe my experience on the Loree (again, I did prefer one make over another). The key work on the Loree is the best, but is also the heaviest (I weighed them all!). The Loree seems a bit more sensitive to the quality of the reed, and although when I was being mindful I could make the instrument quite dark and lovely, it can also get quite wild as it was *very* flexible. So unlike the Marigaux it wasn't always pretty (again, take my own level of skill into account), but it seemed capable of a wide variety of color and able to do anything.
? The middle of this spectrum, would then describe my experience on the Howarth. I felt like it was very easy to move air through the instrument. Although not quite as dark/round/mellow as the Marigaux, it also wasn't as constrained, seemed (from the playing perspective) to have a wider dynamic range and was also quite easy to move air through. Although not quite as bright/silvery as the Loree, it was still very focused and had the same depth that makes the Loree and Howarth capable of sounding quite bold.
If all of these oboes were like cars, my experience was the Marigaux was like a Rolls-Royce quite refined, whereas the Loree and Howarth was like a race-car with a lot of gas/umph! The Marigaux gave me a feeling of comfort and confidence because I felt like I knew the sound would be pretty and people would say "a-a-a-w" when I played. The Loree and Howarth sometimes made me unsure what sound was going to come out (sometimes not so nice), but when I was mindful and gave the instruments what they wanted, people would say "wow" when I played.
After spending two weeks narrowing down and playing through them all, I fell in love with a Marigaux 2001. I feel confident in my intonation and sound when I play on it, and have come to love the warm, personal almost-singing quality of this instrument. However, it was a very difficult decision because I also really appreciate the strength, flexibility and balance of tone that the Howarth XL has. *The folks at Howarth are super-nice as well. So although this time around I chose a Marigaux 2001 (specifically "this" Marigaux that I found), the next instrument for me is definitely going to be a Howarth XL.
Bought my first one in 2003 and never looked back. Hands down the BEST oboes around. Tone quality, key comfort, looks... this horn has it all. It's a little heavy but for the sound is worth getting used to the weight.
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