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Once upon a time, French horns were made almost exclusively in the key of F. That design made it a challenge to stay accurate above third-space C, however, so the Bb horn was eventually introduced. It was a good solution... except it just couldn't produce the same quality of sound in the low to mid registers. If only there were a way to get the F horn's high-end accuracy with the Bb horn's low-end timbre! Cue the double horn: this variety of French horn was created to bridge the gap between F and Bb models (hence its name), delivering the best of both worlds. With that kind of versatility, double horns soon became the go-to French horns for orchestras and bands everywhere - a status they still hold today.
Like most French horns, the double horns in this section feature European-style rotary valves. There's a model that comes in at the right price point for just about any budget, so no matter if you're a beginner or an experienced pro, the right fit is waiting for you here. Take the Woodwind & Brasswind BW203 Series Double Horn for instance: it's a fantastic choice for a new player. At the other end of the scale you'll find instruments like the Hans Hoyer Heritage 6802 Bb/F Double French Horn, featuring a string mechanism and loaded with high-end design elements aimed at the discerning player.
One instrument that stands out from the rest in this lineup is the Kanstul 325 Series Compensating Double Horn 325. That's because it's a compensating model, which makes it lightweight and agile, not to mention pleasantly easy to play - especially in the high register. This double horn is a great choice for any type of performance, from soloist to quintet to chamber music to recital. It's also the only production-model compensating double horn made here in the U.S.A., so you can count on a high standard for build quality from this instrument.
Whether you choose a compensating or traditional design, there's nothing but great options in this selection of double horns. From the impressive range of brands to the different finish options each one has to offer, you've got plenty of wiggle room to find the French horn that's uniquely you. And once you've picked out the best instrument for your needs and preferences, you'll be well on your way to delivering your best performances yet.