Topic: Bassoon Boost
Inspired by the fact that replacing cork with plastic on oboe tubes has a positive effect on the resonance, response and tone of the oboe and Cor Anglais, I recently decided to investigate, whether this idea could be applied to the basson bocal.
I started by examining a couple of Adler bocals and have had a couple of prototypes made, suited for this particular bocal. Since I don't play the bassoon myself, I have to rely completely on what I hear and what my basson colleagues say about it.
What I do know by now is that there is a definitely positive effect of this. The sound is more focused, slightly larger and more 'interesting'. My test'pilot' says the basson is more pleasant to play, the reponse from the bassoon seem improved, at the same time smooth and firm. I don't know exactly why that is, but there is something about the translation of vibrations to the instrument, which is enhanced by using plastic instead of cork. Could be the 'irregular' vibrations are grounded better than when using cork. It is a mystery yet.
The fact is, it only takes a very simple procedure of removing the cork from the bocal and gluing on a plastic tube instead, and you have a better instrument.
You can see a picture of the idea here: http://www.oboetube.com/bocalfit.htm
I think this is a real gain for every bassonist, pro or amateur, so I am currently investigating the variation of bocals, among the bassonists in my town. So far I have seen two types, as shown below. Fox, Püchner, Heckel seem to belong to type A; Adler is type B. The great thing would be to settle on a good compromise, designing a piece which fits them all, or maybe narrow it down to a couple versions; one for type A and one for type B.
If anyone wants to give input to this, it is most appreciated. In the drawing below are the measurements I would like to determine the variation of. AMAX and BMAX being the biggest diameter of the conical part of the bocal.
I have searched the web for any previous research in this field, but I haven't found any. If someone has heard about this before, I would like to hear about it.
Thanks in advance