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Why is the french horn so expensive?

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There are many reasons for this.
For one, the horn is a complicated instrument with so many twists and turns in the wrap and skillful bending of tubes.
This is the typical answer, but it goes deeper than that.
Most makers go into research trying to make the instrument play better, more even, more in tune, etc. Thus they experiment with many different options trying to find the best one, or one that provides a characteristic. This raises the price.
If somewhere in the tubing, the diameter is inconsistent, the sound is going to be off and the harmonics are going to be out of tune. It requires a huge amount of skilled labour to keep the tubing or the tapering consistent. This adds to the price.
The metal used also has something to do with it. If inferior metal is used, the sound and response of the horn will be impaired, while if higher quality metal is used, the opposite is true. High quality metal will add to the price.
So you have all of this, then you have to add in the cost of manufacture, and the cost to make a profit from the horn to the manufacturer. This makes the price even higher.
Then you have makers like Schmid and Rausch, who are significantly higher because they are in such high demand and the waiting list is so long. Plus every horn is made by hand, therefore making it more expensive.
So you have a range of the cheapest one I could find (a single for around $750.) And the most expensive I could find (a triple for around $24k.)
Hope this helped.
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