Topic: How to Afford a Professional Bassoon?

Hi. I have been playing bassoon for 8 some years and have somehow managed to not buy a bassoon. I currently use my conservatory's '93 Fox 661. I should probably buy a bassoon for grad school eventually (I have about three years till then). My parents and family have no interest in financially supporting me. So how in the world do I come up with 20k for a good bassoon???

Share

Re: How to Afford a Professional Bassoon?

You can usually increase your cost of attendance at your school to get qualified for more student loans.  That's how I paid for mine.  Well, I'm still paying for mine!

M.M.A., D.M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign: B.Mus. Lawrence University
Bassoon Specialist at Midwest Musical Imports

Re: How to Afford a Professional Bassoon?

Did you have to get special permission to do so? And did you get all the money in one year?

Share

Re: How to Afford a Professional Bassoon?

It really depends on your financial aid department.  You might have to be quite convincing.  Go to your financial aid counselor and make sure you have some solid prices (a few places list prices for pro Fox bassoons on their website).  It might take some finagling.

M.M.A., D.M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign: B.Mus. Lawrence University
Bassoon Specialist at Midwest Musical Imports

Re: How to Afford a Professional Bassoon?

Yeah, my FinAid office isn't the nicest place. I've had problems just trying to pay for school and them not helping. But I'm sure it won't hurt to try.

Share

Re: How to Afford a Professional Bassoon?

At my school you can get a loan of several thousand dollars towards a laptop but some students have been getting them towards an instrument instead.  It will only go part way towards a bassoon, I know.

Dr. Kent Moore
Principal Lecturer In Bassoon and Theory
Northern Arizona University

Re: How to Afford a Professional Bassoon?

Try researching for a grant online. Sometimes you can write a paper saying what you intend to do with the money, and instruments are a worthwhile reason. Sometimes it is luck. Also, if you can wait until grad school, you can get a bigger amount from financial aid than you can as an undergrad. It takes patience, saving, and collecting from numerous sources to pull it off, but it is possible. Just be glad you don't play violin or any other string instrument.

Last edited by minds_eye (2010-11-14 00:07:49)

Share

Re: How to Afford a Professional Bassoon?

Try a Takeda bassoon.  Great intonation and sound, at a very good price.  I bought mine for $6000, and it is better than many instruments costing far more.

Last edited by Dean (2010-11-16 06:45:49)

Bassoonist Ordinaire, all around nice guy.
If anyone needs a damn fool, I'm your man!

Share

Re: How to Afford a Professional Bassoon?

I've been going through this same dilemma.  As a multi wind player, I need to get a new flute/picc, clarinet set and bassoon at least, and am trying to find a way to get a decent set of instruments!  So maybe during DMA I can do so!

Ronnal Ford
DMA Oboe Performance '14
Multiple Woodwind Performance/Theory Cognate
Graduate Teaching Assistant, UNCG

Re: How to Afford a Professional Bassoon?

Here's a thought.

Your parents and family may not be interested in financially supporting you, but are they interested in making a financial investment (and able to do so)?

Had my family and I had the forethought to have purchased a new Heckel for me when I graduated from high school, it would have appreciated in value substantially. It would not have kept up with the Dow Jones industrials, but the rate of return would have been far better than, say, a bank CD -- plus I would own a fine Heckel today and could have made music with it for all these years.

A similar purchase in another brand of bassoon probably would not have yielded this level of appreciation, but at least a fine bassoon from a reputable company such as Fox or Puchner will not depreciate at the same rate as, say, a car will. People buy cars all the time in the full knowledge (or without thinking about the fact that) they will lose virtually all their value over time. Good bassoons won't, at least not on the timelines within our life spans, absent some cataclysmic change in music or bassoon technology.

Here's another thought: do you have to spend $20K (US dollars) to buy a "good" bassoon for yourself?

A used Fox 601 or 660 of recent vintage will probably cost less than $20, even after you buy a Heckel bocal for it. For example, here's a six year old 660 listed for sale here on this website:

http://www.doublereed.org/IDRSBBS/viewtopic.php?id=9762

The going price is $14K.

(I know nothing about this instrument nor its owner; I list it just as an example.)

Etc. for other professional-level or high-level student instruments.

Share

Re: How to Afford a Professional Bassoon?

I wish the banks were willing to give instrument loans as easily as they do car loans.  Especially considering some instruments (bassoons, strings, some flutes) can cost more than a lot of new cars!  As many credit card offers that are sent for the purchase of a car, I wish just one of them would allow me to make the purchase of something that I really need (especially since my car is paid for!).

Ronnal Ford
DMA Oboe Performance '14
Multiple Woodwind Performance/Theory Cognate
Graduate Teaching Assistant, UNCG

Re: How to Afford a Professional Bassoon?

I have heard of some banks financing mechanic's tool sets (value of 24,000 dollars and more) using mortgages.  I know of this as I spoke with the mechanic concerned.   He told me that his bank was willing to do it as it allowed him to have a job, which in turn allowed him to buy a house (with another mortgage, of course!)  If you want to be a professional musician, this might be a way of doing it.  Keep in mind, though, that if you want a conventional mortgage, you must have at least ten percent of the value of the instrument for a down payment, and that there will be notarial fees to pay as well.  But it would allow you to buy the instrument with a monthly payment that would be quite manageable.

Last edited by Dean (2010-12-04 21:24:03)

Bassoonist Ordinaire, all around nice guy.
If anyone needs a damn fool, I'm your man!

Share

Re: How to Afford a Professional Bassoon?

Hmm. Well I won't be buying a house anytime soon so that doesn't work, although it does sound good.

Keep giving out ideas! I want to explore every possible way to do this before settling on something (that's just the way I am).

Share

Re: How to Afford a Professional Bassoon?

It does not matter if you are not ready to buy a house.  The bank would do it in the hope that you will return to them when you do decide to buy.  What does matter is that you can easily and effectively prove that the asset that you wish to buy (the bassoon) will not depreciate in value over the period of the mortgage, and if it does, that it will not fall more than that of the local real estate market.  You must also prove that  you're good for the money. 

The moment that you can get a loan manager to think of the bassoon as an asset, you can get a loan of some kind to buy it.  I said mortgage as it is (to me) the loan that should give you the most flexibility in re-payment options when you do get a job.  Pay back the regular payments now, increase your payments later when you are working.  You must also keep in mind that that the bank will have a lien against the bassoon, therefore if you decide to change or sell it, you will again have to cover the notarial fees. (In my area of Canada, they are currently $700.00.)

In proposing this, I am taking several things for granted:
- That you are a good credit risk with an excellent credit rating.  (if not, fuggedaboutit right now!  Just turn the computer off, and go away!!!)
- That you are extremely serious about making this your profession.  (The banks will not take you seriously if this is just a hobby.)
- It would also help if you are doing your Masters degree, or if you are very close to finishing you Bachelors, preferably with excellent marks.  (Ironically, this  is not necessary, but it would help if the bank has some paper evidence to back up their decision.)

Another possibility would be to go and talk to a mortgage broker.  They have incredible knowledge of the mortgage market, and they might be able to give you the name of a loan officer who would consider this right off the bat.  If not, you will have to start knocking on doors, and in today's financial market, many banks will refuse this.  However, in the end, for a bank this is an excellent investment, and sooner or later, you will find someone who is willing to take your money!

Doing this yields the following payment plan based on the following information.  The bassoon is  worth $25,000, and you have paid 2,500 as a down payment.  Remember, the higher the down payment, the better the chances of getting the terms that you want. I plugged in an interest rate of 3.00%.  Due to the fact that you cannot live in a bassoon and that a bassoon is somewhat more mobile than a house, the interest rate will probably be higher as the banks will rightly perceive the risk of default as greater.  But I do not know what the final interest rate would be.

$173.20  Monthly Payment 
$51,959.83  Total of 300 Payments

$16,416.08  Total Interest Paid 
Oct, 2035  Pay-off Date

$12,500.00  Total Tax Paid  (Depending on your jurisdiction.  This would probably be far lower for a bassoon.)
$543.75  Total PMI Paid  (I think PMI means Personal Mortgage Insurance.  In most places, this is optional.  Due to the fact that we are talking about a bassoon, chances are you could insure it with a rider on your home insurance policy and the bank would find it acceptable.)

(An aside here.  In Canada, my bassoon is on my house insurance, even if it is stolen from my car or elsewhere.  In you are a professional musician, you have to get a separate rider (a separate clause added onto your home insurance policy) to insure your instrument.  For mortgage purposes, the bassoon MUST be properly insured, and there are many options for doing so.)

Monthly PMI
58 Monthly PMI Payments of $9.38 Each
Sep, 2015 PMI Pay-off Date
   

Monthly vs Bi-weekly Payment
$173.20  Monthly Payment 
$86.60  Bi-weekly Payment

Oct, 2035 Monthly Pay-off Date 
Apr, 2032 Bi-weekly Pay-off Date

$16,416.08 Total Interest Paid
$13,653.89 Total Interest Paid  (bi-weekly)

Total Interest Savings: $2,762.19 (if you pay bi-weekly)

The tax would be lower than stated here.  As I understand it, you would only pay the sales tax that is normally charged for the  instrument, or if it was bought from an individual, there may not be any tax payable.  The notary should be able to help you with this.  At any rate, from where I am sitting, the most tax that you could pay would be the sales tax of the state in which you live.  In Ohio, it's 5.5%, which means that on $25,000, you would pay only $1375.00 rather than the $12,500.00 listed above.

Please note that if you follow the terms of the mortgage to the letter, you will end up paying $51,959.83 for a $25,000 bassoon, assuming that the tax payable is as stated above.  So flexibility in the re-payment plan is all important as this amount can be greatly reduced by doubled payments, or other payments against the capital that many mortgages allow you to make.  Make sure that you sign on the dotted line ONLY if you are comfortable with the re-payment plan. 

Dean.

(P.S.  I talk too much!)
(P.P.S.  Try a Takeda!)
(P.P.P.S If you want to discuss this, but you do not wnat to put financials all over a public board, feel free to PM me.)
(P.P.P.P.S.  Why is it P.P.S and not P.S.S.?  Or P.P.S.S. for that matter??  Or even P.S.P.S?!??  I bet you never thought about that!)

Last edited by Dean (2010-11-20 08:42:35)

Bassoonist Ordinaire, all around nice guy.
If anyone needs a damn fool, I'm your man!

Share

Re: How to Afford a Professional Bassoon?

Yoshi or Saxton, can we sticky Dean's post here?!

M.M.A., D.M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign: B.Mus. Lawrence University
Bassoon Specialist at Midwest Musical Imports

Re: How to Afford a Professional Bassoon?

Hello

Consider to buy a used bassoon. I bought my Moosmann 200 (it was 2 years old) several years ago for 7,5k euros. At that time price for new were around 12k euros. I am extremely happy playing with it. Of course I had to search a lot.

Also starting from now try to save 150$ each month. (If it’s possible even more or less). So in 3 years you will have 5400$. It can be good start.

Good luck

Re: How to Afford a Professional Bassoon?

Honestly it just takes time and some work but it's possible.  I was in the same boat you are, and my parents were never able to financially support me and they didn't have the credit ratings to do so if they tried.  The thing we as bassoonists have working to our advantage is that our instruments don't loose value as quickly as, say, and oboe does so it's entirely possible to 'work your way up the ladder' so to speak.

When I was in highschool I worked full time each summer and a decent amount during the winters.  I purchased a Renard 240 when I started auditioning for school.  Of course at this time they were around $5000, so it wasn't quite the outlay it is now. 

I went to school at a state college and I was able to save extra student loan money to sell my Renard and upgrade to a Fox 201 during my senior year.  I'm not sure if policies have changed, but at the time (2004) you could borrow the full amount for a Federal Stafford loan above and beyond the cost of tuition.  Having scholarship money that didn't count against the loan helped as well.

During my master's I was able to do the same thing again and purchased an absolutely fantastic Yamaha 821c from my teacher.  I ended up really loving the Yamaha and keeping it, but by the time I graduated I would have been able to take out additional student loans to finance a Heckel had I thought that would be a better option.

So yeah, it kinda sucks because every Freshman fantasizes about having a stunning Heckel 7000 with matching pre-war bocals.  It's frustrating watching fellow students, younger than you and with [in your opinion] less talent playing on new Heckels that their doctor parents bought them when they were in high school.  It's also tough working full-time, going to school, and finding time to practice.  But life isn't fair and sometimes you just need to do what needs to be done.  I was incredibly lucky along the way to have two wonderful teachers who let me play on (or purchase) their backup instruments, giving me time to sell my old horn before needing to look for a new on, but most schools own something decent you could use until you have the money.

Share

Re: How to Afford a Professional Bassoon?

Obviously Hecklels are considered the ultimate in bassoons.  How much is deserved and how much is keeping up with the other bassoon players.  At bassoon camp folks compared the serial number series and were convinced there were differences.  Many like one or another of the older series.  But the price of an older Heckle is still very high

I own a Fox 240 top of student Renard line that I bought used at a good price from the father of a young woman who played it through her college performance degree.  She didn't upgrade; she changed professions probably due to the lack of bassoon jobs. 

Fox certainly has a good reputation.   They have great factory support and will answer questions about their bassoons based on the serial number.

The first question you have to ask for Fox is do you want a long or short bore and then whether you want thick bore or regular.  Their website discusses the alternatives.  I've known some good players who have bought Puchner's and are happy with them'

A dilemma you are facing is how much to spend now vs. getting the ultimate right away.  For oboes they say that how well they are played is 90% the players, 9% reed and 1% instrument.   Since you are financially  limited and perhaps not interested in mortgaging your life for a Heckel you might want to find a used Fox.  There is a lot of hoopla about the new treated red maple options for Fox which add another $3k, but the older Mountain Maples are still good instruments.

Brian Charles typically has a good selection of used bassoons (and oboes) including Heckels.  He sold an uncommon brand oboe for me at much better than I could have earned on eBay.  He also requires that the seller pay him to bring the instrument up to his standards so I doubt anyone buying from him would be disappointed and like most dealers you can return it with paying shipping both ways.  Of course you can always go to Conway NH and try them out.

I have bought all my bassoons on eBay but the 240 is the best one I have. I communicate questions with the seller before making a bid and have some feeling of whether this is just a sales person or someone who knows bassoons.    Sales of top of the line Fox bassoons or any Heckels or Puchners are not very common.  But I won't buy any instrument that is not a Fox due to their great factory support for their used bassoons.  Perhaps you can find a dealer or teacher who is very familiar with these brands and where to get them repaired or optimized.

Share

Re: How to Afford a Professional Bassoon?

I'd be completely content with a Fox, no doubt. I've been playing my school's 661 for 4 years now and love it. I've played around on my friend's Renards (mostly 240's) and can't STAND them. While a Heckel would be nice, I'm not planning on playing in any major orchestras, so it's not really wise to spend twice as much just to have a Heckel.

And the general problem isn't about which instrument I should buy. The issue at large is how I can possibly afford one in the first place.

Thank you to those that have given your input thus far.

Share

Re: How to Afford a Professional Bassoon?

Sara this doesn't help you, but there is a program to help people still in high school purchase instruments.

http://www.mhopus.org/Apply

Share

Re: How to Afford a Professional Bassoon?

bassoonsara wrote:

I'd be completely content with a Fox, no doubt. I've been playing my school's 661 for 4 years now and love it. I've played around on my friend's Renards (mostly 240's) and can't STAND them. While a Heckel would be nice, I'm not planning on playing in any major orchestras, so it's not really wise to spend twice as much just to have a Heckel.

And the general problem isn't about which instrument I should buy. The issue at large is how I can possibly afford one in the first place.

Thank you to those that have given your input thus far.

Then in that case, start trying every single bassoon you can lay your mitts on.  Many bassoons that one bassoonist hates will be the instrument of a lifetime for the next person who tries it, and the only way to find out if it is your bassoon is to try it yourself.  Go to local and regional bassoon symposiums, (in my area, there was one yesterday in Kingston, and the McGill University Bassoon Day is next April) go to reputable woodwind shops and try every single instrument you can.  Last year at the McGill bassoon day, I tried a Bell, a Moosemann 222, a Heckel, two Puchners, two Kohlerts, and a Schreiber.  Of all of them, I got the nicest sound out of the Schreiber, and the Moosemann felt the best in my hands.  However, neither of them are nearly as good as the Takeda that I now have.  I would never have even tried the Takeda except that someone (my teacher) insisted, and, like, WOW!  So get out there and find your instrument.  And when you are trying them, check the sound that comes out of it before looking at the name stencilled on it or the number on the price tag.

Another option is the rent to buy plans offered by many stores.  While they are quite expensive, it does make the instrument somewhat affordable.

So many bassoons, so little time!

Last edited by Dean (2010-11-28 10:50:13)

Bassoonist Ordinaire, all around nice guy.
If anyone needs a damn fool, I'm your man!

Share

Re: How to Afford a Professional Bassoon?

I notice, Dean, that you say you tried some Kohlerts. Were these new or vintage ones? As far as I'm aware they haven't been made for about 30 years.

Re: How to Afford a Professional Bassoon?

Ian White wrote:

I notice, Dean, that you say you tried some Kohlerts. Were these new or vintage ones? As far as I'm aware they haven't been made for about 30 years.

They were both vintage models.  One was a Kohlert Winnenden, and the other pre-dated the Winnenden. (IIRC, it was a Kohlert Graslitz, but I am not sure.)  Both were nice bassoons, but I did not really connect with either one.  Hell, I had a Kohlert Winnenden myself, and I never really liked that one either. Then, Joelle tried it, and to my great surprise and total disgust, she made it sing.  She owns it now!

The Kohlert factory was bought out by Moosemann, and since that time, the only thing I have seen that was stamped with that name was a wooden clarinet stand.  I have never seen a Chinese Kohlert bassoon.

Last edited by Dean (2010-11-28 16:43:55)

Bassoonist Ordinaire, all around nice guy.
If anyone needs a damn fool, I'm your man!

Share

Re: How to Afford a Professional Bassoon?

delmar wrote:

Sara this doesn't help you, but there is a program to help people still in high school purchase instruments.

http://www.mhopus.org/Apply

Thanks delmar, but unfortunately they have closed 2011 grant cycle.. It will open again in July 2012..Gottta be waiting for this time.

Công ty [thiet ke web chuyên nghi?p Vi?t Nam.

Share

Re: How to Afford a Professional Bassoon?

Since my reply to this topic, November 2010, I purchased a new bassoon to replace my 240 and fortunately got a good trade in price.  As I said before, the mountain maples are very good as are the red maples.  I learned from Fox and Barry Trent, that there have been many improvements on the Model II in recent years so buying one a few years old would be a different instrument.  I chose a long bore model II mountain maple because my problem (3 years playing) is intonation not flexibility.  This model is labeled as the Hugo Fox model.

The red maple is touted as having a new treatment to make it more responsive.  Its hard to get detailed information out of Fox, but Barry told me that the mountain maple had a similar treatment to the wood.  I didn't buy the red maple version because of its additional cost of 15% or more....  I've been very please with it .  I know that I can't blame the bassoon for my shortcomings. 

The new Fox R2 bocals come with a new instrument.  Barry recommended a #1 and #2 because of the longer bore.  I seldom use anything but the #1


I realize for most this is just too much cost to absorb especially as a student.  However, I would caution against buying a 20 year old model II because it doesn't have any of the improvements

Share