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I'm really interested in taking up the bassoon. Unfortunately, my college only has one bassoon player, not a major, who owns her own, and I don't think the school has one. Is it possible to find a working bassoon for around $200? (less would be better as being a college sax major tends to drain one's already near-empty pockets, but I'm not pushing it :wink: ) It doesn't have to be anything spectacular...just something I can learn on. Is $200 a reasonable price? I just saw an auction end for $330...is this more in line with the standard low prices?
Thanks!
 

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Hi,

Bassoons are in a whole different price category than saxophones. A new "cheap" bassoon runs about $3000 (for which price you could get a pro saxophone). And I really am talking about the cheap ones--plastic body, no-frills keywork, out-of-tune scale. A truly top-of-the-line bassoon (like a Heckel) might cost $25,000 plus a trip to Germany. A second-tier pro bassoon like a Puchner or a Fox (not Renard) might be $10-15K. (I play a "pro" Schreiber, which is a significant step down from there. Note the quotes around pro. I was lucky to get it used for less than $2000.)

Frankly I would be surprised if you found any bassoon, in any condition, for less than $800--and then you get what you paid for. Sometimes they go cheaper on eBay, but my experience there is that you get even less than what you pay for. It might not hurt to check and see if the school does have one.

I wish you luck on the bassoon, but realize that doing it right is a HUGE investment of both time and money. A $200 bassoon would probably play like a $25 saxophone.

Best,
Bret
 

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Yup, bassoons is expensive.

Ever think about getting a windsynth?

A Yamaha WX-5 along with a VL70-m synth box will set you back $1300 brand new and has an excellent bassoon sound and many more instruments (the purists in the orchestra will turn up their noses but I used the bassoon and oboe settings on my Christmas albums and you cannot tell them from the real thing....) It is an excellent doubling instrument due to the wide range of sounds for the price and it fingers like a sax.
 

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I don't know how 'cheap' they are, but here, students often play the plastic Fox bassoon, or a Mooseman. I have been impressed with both of these in their standard of manufacture. But I am no bassoon player.
 

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I would agree that the plastic Fox bassoons are nice, sturdy instruments and maybe the best of the student bassoons. Unfortunately they, too, are "cheap" to the tune of $3000 American new, and seem to keep their resale value well--so they're not very cheap, even on eBay. Most of their plastic instruments are in the "Renard" line and are student instruments. They make a few pro-line plastic bassoons, and they come as cheap as $3500 from WW&BW.

I've heard good things about the Moosemans, but have never seen one in the US.

The differences that a bassoon player would notice are in the shades of tone color. You get a much fuller spectrum with a high-end instrument.

Bret
 

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I frequently see older used Kohlert (Winnenden, Germany) bassoons on eBay for very low prices --- this intrument was the basis for the current Bernd Moosman bassoon. Even after paying for the inevitable refurbishment, a good Kohlert bassoon should be attainable for well under $1000 US.
 
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