The Downside of the Triple Horn 1

My current horn is a triple horn, an instrument that combines a regular double horn with an F-alto side – in theory combining the advantages of a regular double horn with the advantages of a very short F-alto instrument.

I am currently using an older Paxman 75 from the late 80’s or early 90’s, and it is probably one of the best instruments that I have ever played (at least for me).

Paxman 75

Paxman 75

A good triple horn has a lot of advantages (although the learning curve can be quite steep), but it comes with (at least one) big disadvantage. Make sure that you have plenty of slide grease:


13 slides for 5 valves. With the removable A/stop slide (not pictured), that total comes to 14 slides and 6 valves. And about 20 pounds of horn!

Although this is a great instrument, not all triple horns (just like double horns) are created equally! I actually played a triple horn (by a different manufacturer) for a few years, and that was not a great experience. While I was looking for a new instrument, I wasn’t actually looking for a triple horn, but after trying this horn on a whim, I realized that I would be comparing other horns to this one – when I reached that stage I knew that I should just bite the bullet and buy it!

About Colin Dorman

Colin is a freelance horn player and teacher, as well as a fan of tech of all sorts, aviation, and increasingly complex flight simulators. He also enjoys beer, bourbon and fitness - but not at the same time. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, as well as right here at!