Re: Renard 280 and Fox 680
The new models are the 260 and 680.
The 260 is a student model 660, or you can think of it as a thick walled 240.
The 680 is a new bore design, close to the 660, but with a thinner wing/right side of the instrument like a 201. So you get the lightness of the 201 in the tenor register but the low end is still there since the bass side of the instrument is still thick-walled.
The 260 is a generous improvement to the other Renard bassoons, as it maintains the character of the short bore design, but solves some of the stability issues I've always felt were inherent with the 240. It is definitely worth looking at if you need something more than the 240 would offer, but can't afford a professional model. Price will be substantially more than a 240.
The 680 is the best pro Fox bassoon I have tried. I played two in red maple at the IDRS conference this summer and was split a bit as far as how much I liked it (but I tend to not care for the Red Maple horns) but did decide it was my new favorite model. A few weeks ago I played two of them in mountain maple though.... best Fox bassoons I have ever played (for my taste) hands down. They should be priced the same as the other thick-walled pro Fox bassoons.
Bassoon professor at University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire
Maker of the Little-Jake electric bassoon pickup and Weasel bassoon reeds