I played a little bassoon in high school about 3 years ago, and I am looking to pick it up again. I don't have really any money to spend, but I don't want to spend as little as possible. What are some horns I should be looking at?
I'm not a bassoonist (nor do I play one on TV) but I have a fair number of bassoonist friends, I follow eBay closely, and am very familiar with the Kohlert brand --- I've noticed quite a few reasonably-priced Kohlert bassoons on eBay --- I would speculate that the 1950s-through-early 1970s Kohlert-Winnenden, Germany models are pretty good modern designs that can be had for cheap -- this bassoon was the basis for the current Bernd Moosman instrument.
I own an old Cabart which is a Loree' intermediate brand known for quality oboes and english horns. I had to get it worked on for it to play. It plays well, responsive and in tune. I bought it off of ebay for $400.
Just remember that French-made bassoons are probably "French" or "Buffet" system, which is a very different key system and tone quality than German "Heckel" system bassoons (which are what is used nearly everywhere but in France). So be careful when looking at French bassoons such as Cabarts --- they may not be what you want.
My Cabart is the German system. I checked the key work before I bought it. I did have to make sure mine was the German system first before I bought it. I definitely wouldn't buy anything that isn't Heckel fingering based, that is the standard.
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