I bought this for my 11 year old son for school band. He tried out the different instruments and was best at Oboe, Probably because he is a lefty like his mom. I priced these and about fell over!! Ended up buying an old used one first for a 1/4 of what this cost and it just didn't sound right to his band teacher. My son has shown that he is sticking with it ( for a year) and LOVES playing, So went the extra mile and bought him this one. His teacher is ecstatic about how it sounds-Loud and Clear!!. He was telling me the other day about how he drowns out the flute section now with the volume this oboe produces. I am a guitar player myself and know how important music is to me. Am thrilled it is passing onto my son in his own niche. Even as expensive as it is, as long as he sticks with it and gets my moneys worth out of it, I am happy I spent the extra $$$ and received an instrument that will last, As this seems to be. Sam ash customer service was great and even received a follow up call to make sure I was happy with my purchase. Have only had a few weeks so not sure about longevity, But DO appreciate the 1 year warranty it comes with ,Just in case. Overall we are VERY pleased with this purchase, Look. Quality, Playability, Etc. is Top notch!!!