Topic: Hiniker Oboes

Hello all,

As you may know, Tom Hiniker (of English horn bocal repute) is now making/selling oboes (only about 30 or so instruments, so far).  I am expecting delivery of my new Hiniker oboe in the next month or two.  For those current Hiniker players out there, I was just wandering what your experience has been, good or bad.  I've played Loree exclusively for 25 years, so this is a big step for me -- I've never even tried one of Tom's instruments!  I'm going solely on the recommendation of a friend.  So -- friends -- how 'bout a critical analysis of your Hiniker oboe?  I'd love to hear from you.

Jonathan Marzluf
Owner, Marzluf Reeds
SoCal Freelancer/Educator
www.marzlufreeds.com

Re: Hiniker Oboes

You have done exactly what I would like to do, i.e. order one even though I myself have never played one.  I have heard nothing but GREAT things about his horns.  I did call and speak with him.  He told me that he would definitely be at the IDRS Conference this summer.  I plan to check his horns out at the conference. 

Please let me know what you think when you receive your Hiniker!

Best regards,
Mark D. Pye

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Re: Hiniker Oboes

Several of you have emailed me privately, requesting an update once I receive my Hiniker oboe.  Well, almost two years later, he has finally informed me that it's (almost) ready!  The poor man has been afflicted with injury and illness, so the delay is excusable.  He's doing the final assembly this week, and I have mailed payment.  So, I'll be happy to post a "critical report" on the instrument in another couple of weeks or so.  This is my first time buying a non-Loree, or any oboe without a trial or approval period, but friends are telling me I have nothing to fear -- we'll see!

Jonathan Marzluf
Owner, Marzluf Reeds
SoCal Freelancer/Educator
www.marzlufreeds.com

Re: Hiniker Oboes

Hello Jonathan,

I would be very interested to see what you think about your Hiniker Oboe. Buying unseen/untried seems to be considered risky but Hiniker has such a good reputation I feel sure you will get an excellent instrument. I too bought untried/unseen but from Loree Oboe (Royal125) and Cor Anglais (Royal)..both of which I am delighted with, I have to say the Oboe is sensational...I aspire to deserve it, the Cor is opening up very nicely and has good tone and projection. I took, against my professional playing freinds advice a huge risk, ordering from Paris via Howarths here in London a pair of instruments that I could not I suppose return if I didn't like them...maybe my lack of experience and a belief that if I was buying some of the best instruments available that I would be alright. Thankfully I have not been dissapointed and feel I spent my money if not wisely but luckily.

Hiniker is not a maker widely known here in the UK, we tend to stick to the French makers and Howarth here in Europe, but recently I came across "Frank" Oboes from Germany, played by many of Europes finest Oboists...Like Hiniker, Frank are a very small maker but have an excellent reputation and I know of two professional players who have Frank Oboes and wouldn't play anything else...From what I read players of Hiniker feel exactly the same so I feel certain you will get a superb instrument. I suppose I am asking (a) have you ever played a Hiniker Oboe or are you buying purely on reputation, and (b) I should be very interested to read your initial impressions of your new Oboe, albeit not played in, how it repsonds to your regular reeds, how you feel it varies to your previous Loree Oboes, it's strengths and weaknesses if it has any. I gather that Hiniker has sensational tuning but apart from that I know very little about them. Do they have a thicker wood, similar to the Howarth XL or Loree Royal...thus apparantly increasing the projection or dare I say darkening the sound ( skating on thin ice there I fear)....

Questions questions questions...sorry to have droned on but I am genuinely very interested...I hope you dont have to wait too much longer...

kindest regards

Andrew

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Re: Hiniker Oboes

Hello,

I too am on the list to get a hiniker oboe. I was wondering if you have gotten yours yet and if you have, the quality of it. I have heard all good things about it but nothing specific. I have never tested one of these instruments myself so I was wanting some info. Is the tone bright or darkish. Is it heavy or light. Is the tuning more to the sharp side or the flat side. Does it project well.

I now play on a fox and I desperately need a upgrade. I was also wondering about his synthetic top joints and if you have played on one. I heard that Matt Dine plays on one and he is loving it.

Sorry so many questions but I am very interested in the hiniker oboes.

Alex

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Re: Hiniker Oboes

I realize that this thread is a couple months old, but I have comments to make from recent experience.

I was fortunate enough to get to try two Hiniker oboes last week, an older one and a brand new one.  Instant WANT !! 

There's a biblical story about a man finding a treasure buried in a field and selling everything he owns to buy the field and get the treasure.  That's fairly close to how a feel about the Hinikers.  I've always had to work for, or sometimes fight for, low notes.  With both of the Hinikers, you put your fingers down and blow.  The instrument (metaphorically) says "Yes, boss" and produces the note, effortlessly.  After about two minutes of trying the first one, I said to the other people in the room "You go ahead and talk.  I'm just going to sit here and play low notes all evening."  The high notes were just as easy.

I was so taken with the sensuous feel of playing the instrument that I didn't try to analyze the sound, so any comments about that would be questionable.  However, my teacher was there and had only positive comments to make about the instrument.

I had never before played an instrument with a left-hand C# key, and both of these had them.  Another case of instant want.  That's a feature I'll look for on any new instrument.

Alex, you said you are on the list.  If you get yours and don't like, let me know.  I'll probably be interested in buying it.

Loren Weaver

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Re: Hiniker Oboes

Hello all. It's been quite a while since my first inquiry regarding Hiniker oboes, and a lot has changed (for me) since then.  I offer this brief review of my current Hiniker "situation."

I am presently the owner of two Hiniker oboes. #33, in grenadilla, is now approx. three years old. This was the first oboe made by Tom with a PET plastic sleeve in the top joint. It has 24 karat gold plated keys, and includes a "long" left C-sharp in addition to all the standard French conservatory key work (including F and B-flat resonance, 3rd octave, "Philly D," etc.). After having played Loree "ak" oboes exclusively for more than 25 years prior to receiving this horn from Tom, I will never go back. I will forgo going into detail as to why this is the case, as I would undoubtedly resort to flowery subjective terms that would still come short of expressing my love for this instrument. It has been the best oboe I have ever played... until today.

Today... I am happily in receipt of Hiniker oboe #44, in cocobolo. The first of its kind. This oboe has the PET liner (as is now standard on all of Tom's wood oboes), and also has ABS liners on all tone holes down to the F resonance vent, and on the B-flat resonance vent in the bell. All key work is identical to #33, with the addition of a screw for adjusting the height of the pad over the C vent (top joint). This oboe is truly a work of art, as Tom's extreme attention to detail has been focused on one of the most beautiful pieces of wood I have ever seen. The sound is absolutely amazing. Dark, rich, supple, complex, flexible. These terms may mean different things to different people, but to me they mean that I finally sound exactly the way I have always wanted to sound, as a "main stream" American oboist, with much less effort. The response is immediate and full throughout the range, and the scale is as even as I have ever encountered. There is a comfortable resistance which allows for extreme dynamics on both the soft and the loud end, without compromising tone or pitch.

Suffice it to say that Tom has now convinced me -- twice -- that his oboes are by far the most beautifully made, and most beautiful playing instruments available today. My recommendation to any serious American oboist would be to add yourself to his wait list before he finally decides it is too long.

I will have both instruments with me at the IDRS conference in Tempe, in case anyone is interested in a brief test run (dependent on acceptable temperature & humidity conditions).

Meanwhile, I have taken a photo of the new cocobolo Hiniker (#44), and have placed it on my website. Here is a direct link to the image:

http://www.marzlufreeds.com/data/storage/attachments/d41b6b01a9de510a4ca4716dc73bd844.jpg

Enjoy!

Kindest regards,

Jonathan

Jonathan Marzluf
Owner, Marzluf Reeds
SoCal Freelancer/Educator
www.marzlufreeds.com

Re: Hiniker Oboes

Jonathan,
Could you reply privately -- I am curious how much the horns were each? I am considering putting my name on the wait list but budget is an issue.

Oboehotty@aol.com

Shawn

Shawn Reynolds
Professor of Oboe, Faculty Wind Quintet --  Westminster College, New Wilmington PA
6, 7, 8 Grade Band Director and High School Assistant Director --  Howland Local Schools - Warren, OH
MM Oboe/English horn Performance - Cincinnati Conservatory of Music (CCM)

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Re: Hiniker Oboes

I heard from a specialist repairman who I won't name, so he doesn't get in trouble for this, says that hinikers are about 40 cents flat.

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Re: Hiniker Oboes

oboecho wrote:

I heard from a specialist repairman who I won't name, so he doesn't get in trouble for this, says that hinikers are about 40 cents flat.


40 cents, eh?  Compared to what?  Loree?  Every oboe sits in a slightly different place, I suppose.  Over the years, I had been experiencing increasing levels of difficulty getting Loree oboes to play down to 440.  My first Hiniker (#33, grenadilla, ca. 2008) registered about 15 cents (on average) lower than my Loree ak #KW57, ca. 1992, which I still had at the time of the Hiniker's delivery.  This was a welcome change for me.  My second Hiniker (#44, cocobolo, ca. 2011) plays a bit higher than the first, by about 5-10 cents (give or take), so it is a bit more "in line" with what my old Loree was doing before I sold it, but still lower.  It may very well be that a current Loree may be even higher (or lower) than its predecessors.  I would guess that 40 cents is probably a stretch, though.  I wonder how many Hiniker oboes your specialist friend has played, thus far, considering there are still only about 50 of them out there.  Whomever he may be, I know he has not played either of mine. 

By the way, not that I'm particularly interested in knowing the identity of your specialist, I want you to know that any opinion in the oboe world is probably a valid one, when viewed from that individual's perspective.  Therefore, you need not worry about him, yourself, or anyone, "getting in trouble" for offering up the fruits of their observations.

If you are ever in the Southern California area, please contact me to set up a play test of my Hiniker oboes for yourself, if you are interested.  Or, find another Hiniker owner close to you who may be willing to let you try theirs.  You need first hand experience in order to make an informed decision.

Jonathan Marzluf
Owner, Marzluf Reeds
SoCal Freelancer/Educator
www.marzlufreeds.com

Re: Hiniker Oboes

In rebut the aforementioned opinion, I have a Hiniker #39 which plays an absolutely impeccable scale-- in tune from the B flat to the altissima G. One of the best things about the Hiniker is how easy the notes play above  high D and how resonate the instrument is.
It's a beautiful horn for the principal or professional oboist.
Mark Ackerman (Principal, San Antonio Symphony) recently played my Hiniker and said that it was a wonderful oboe that, "he could play in tune."

Last edited by dolce oboe (2013-03-22 06:58:01)

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Re: Hiniker Oboes

Having fun with my friend, Terry Halvorson, yesterday:

http://youtu.be/plnYkQJsrxo

Last edited by Jonathan Marzluf (2013-11-24 12:40:45)

Jonathan Marzluf
Owner, Marzluf Reeds
SoCal Freelancer/Educator
www.marzlufreeds.com

Re: Hiniker Oboes

awesome jonathan. thanks for sharing. wish i was the person in OH the horn was going to. ah but alas no sad

Shawn

Shawn Reynolds
Professor of Oboe, Faculty Wind Quintet --  Westminster College, New Wilmington PA
6, 7, 8 Grade Band Director and High School Assistant Director --  Howland Local Schools - Warren, OH
MM Oboe/English horn Performance - Cincinnati Conservatory of Music (CCM)

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