Holton H180 Review

3.9 Overall
4.5 Users (3 votes)

-Dark, resonant tone
-Good build quality


-Less responsive than H179


The Holton H180 shares the same design as the more widely played nickel silver H179 model, but its yellow brass construction makes it ideal for a player seeking a darker more resonant tone quality. But this advantage also has a disadvantage: while the sound may be darker, the horn is also a little less responsive due to the brass metal. Additionally, yellow brass horns can dent more easily. For this reason, we recommend sticking with the H179 for beginning students -- even if the gold color makes the horn look more appealing. But for a more advanced player seeking a more complex tonal quality, the H180 may be the better choice.

It used to be quite popular for more advanced players to purchase an H180 and upgrade its lead pipe and bell with higher quality materials from makers like Lawson. But due to price increases, the cost of upgrading an H180 would be not be so much lower than buying a new custom horn.

Cost: The Holton H180 sells for $4,349 new.

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Also consider: A medium sized alternative to the H180 is the H178. Also in yellow brass, its smaller bell may be more comfortable for some players.

Tone quality
Value for money
What people say... 3 Leave your rating
This was easily the most comfortable horn I've played, having used it for two years for high school and many auditions. Although I am going to find a different horn to use for college, I would most definitely not be opposed to playing with this horn. It has great tone quality and my range on this horn went from a D-flat above the staff to a D three times below the staff. I definitely prefer it to the 179 model and if you're looking for a good Holton in terms of tone quality, I recommend this horn.
June 30, 2017, 4:47 pm
Tone quality4.5
Value for money4
Since 1978 Beautiful sound!!!
While a graduate student at the University of Michigan School of Music in 1978, Louis Stout, my horn teacher got me the 180 model since he would go the factory in Kenosha WI several times a year. It is still is in excellent condition and has a beautiful resonant sound. I have no idea what it is worth, but I paid $465 for it back then. Enrique Trevino
March 22, 2017, 12:22 pm
Tone quality5
Value for money5
plays great
Some might call this a student horn but I've tried a lot of horns and keep coming back to the 180. It may not be as responsive as the 179, but the sound quality is colors it produces are fantastic. Got it reserviced 5 years ago and still going strong.
March 25, 2015, 11:36 pm
Tone quality4.5
Value for money4
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