Brands of Beginning Instruments (The big discussion)

This discussion will focus on director preferences regarding the testing, over time, of various brands of instruments designed for beginners (Please, no references to intermediate models here, just entry level instruments).  

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Like many of you, I need to choose brands each year for my students.  Many are coming through the doors and some are pretty good and some the repair people will not even touch.  Let's add the positive reviews and perhaps some recommendation of models to avoid.  Some of the time tested instruments that have really worked for me with regard to durability, sound and reliability include:

Flutes:  Jupiter, Yamaha, Gemeinhart, Buffet

Clarinets:  Buffet, Yamaha, Jupiter, Selmer, Noblet, and Bundy

Alto Saxes:  Jupiter, Yamaha, Keilwerth

Tenor Saxes:  Jupiter, Yamaha, Keilwerth, Antigua Winds

Bari Saxes:  Yamaha, Jupiter

Oboes:  Yamaha, Jupiter, Loree

Bassoons:  Yamaha, Jupiter

Bass Clarinets:  Buffet, Yamaha, Jupiter

Trumpets:  Jupiter, Besson, Bach, Yamaha, BAC (Kansas City)

French Horns:  Conn, Holton, Yamaha

Trombones:  Jupiter, King, Yamaha

Baritones:  Jupiter, Yamaha, 

Tubas:  Jupiter, Yamaha, Conn, King

Sousaphones:  Yamaha, Conn

All model numbers are entry level.  These instruments are not without problems, but these are some of the brand names that have stood the test of time.  I'm sure there are some others and I will update as newer brands present themselves, however for this morning, these brands have served my programs well over the last 26 years.  

Please let me know what is working for your programs.

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