Topic: Amati Contrabassoon

I was wondering about the quality of Amati contrabassoons. I was wondering how it compares to pricier models? I need to find a pretty good contra that is "affordable."

Bassoonist, Contrabassoonist, Composer.

Ask not what your reed can do for you, but what you can do for your reed.

Re: Amati Contrabassoon

Hi Again Hunter:

Take a look through these for info about contras and the Amati in particular.  http://www.doublereed.org/IDRSBBS/search.php?search_id=1264712372

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

Re: Amati Contrabassoon

Hunter-
I purchased an Amati contra from the Woodwind and Brasswind 1 month ago.  I like it very much.  I had Leon Chodos, the contrabassoonist with the Utah Symphony try it and he was impressed.  It plays easily with a nice sound and even scale.  I have had to "experiment" with the fingerings but I am pretty comfortable now with the instrument.  The price was nice, and theWWBW sent it without shipping charges!  They also give you a 45 day trial, which is really nice.  I studied at USC where we played on an old Mollenhauer and this seems much better (of course, that was 28 years ago!).  I like the Dave Brundage reeds but have recently made reeds from Glotin cane (good) and RDG cane (I like the best - about $4.75 for a GSP stick). 
Good luck with the search!
Brian Peterson
bpeters@pol.net

Re: Amati Contrabassoon

Brian, did you by chance purchase the blemished instrument that they had?

Just wondering.

Tom

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Re: Amati Contrabassoon

Tom -
I don't think so - where was the blemish? I went over it pretty well myself and with Leon Chodos.  The slide works fine and I can't find any dents in the metal or scratches, etc. in the wood.  Did you try one of them out or know someone who did?
Brian

Re: Amati Contrabassoon

If you had bought the blemished one it would have been stated as such in the item listing. I checked their website after I posted here and I couldn't find it. I worked on one or two when I was working in the shop there and just had to ask. It had mostly some key fit issues...

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Re: Amati Contrabassoon

Hi Brian, I bought my Amati in January - and I really like it but just a bit frustrated with now with the notes being out of pitch - how are you finding open F and high C#, D and above?

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Re: Amati Contrabassoon

I just picked one up myself so I have been reading threads on the Amati.

It seems solid, well built and came with two bocals. Nice, solid feeling instrument. I have to get some reeds - that is the key, I think. With my oboe I tended to favor medium-soft reeds, with the cor anglais that is a work in progress, but seems the same.

Do you generally prefer soft or medium soft on the contra? Not sure here... I would think soft would get muddy below B, but I may be wrong.

Cor anlgais and Contrabassoon enthusiast!

Amateur in all regards, but learning! I love unusual and unique instruments!

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Re: Amati Contrabassoon

The Amati contrabassoon is a great instrument. I have played the new one in bassoon quartets and other settings. They have very good intonation and a surprisingly powerful sound. Considering the price they are outstanding value for money.

Oliver Ludlow

Re: Amati Contrabassoon

I've had my Amati contra since 1999. bought new from WWBW. It has been a very good instrument for my purpose (I've become quite popular with the local community orchestras!). I would say it is much more delicate than the more robustly built Fox, Heckel, Puechner and Mollenhauer contras, and has to be handled with care-- I had to have Holden McAleer remake one of the braces that broke a couple of years ago. The scale is pretty good, although some of the notes like open F and the ones at the "break" (G, G#, A to middle C) take a bit of work, but the overall sound is quite pleasant. I make my own bassoon reeds, but since the beginning I've been purchasing my contra reeds from Dave Brundage-- excellent reeds!

David Bell
Alexandria, VA

David Bell
Alexandria, VA
amateur bassoon and contra bassoon

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Re: Amati Contrabassoon

Brian:

That Mollenhauer contra at USC is, perhaps, older than you think. It was there in 1961 when I entered as a Freshman. One of the bassoon section rituals was to make any Freshman lug the contra (named Granny) around when we were on tour. Granny was heavy. I never played contra at USC, but vividly remember the instrument and how much it seemed to weigh.

George Adams
adamgeor@isu.edu

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Re: Amati Contrabassoon

My Amati is really nice. One slight ding (my fault). The case and instrument are really nice and I can pedal low B/Bb easily. It has a nice, rich tone and looks sharp. The case is solid too.

Cor anlgais and Contrabassoon enthusiast!

Amateur in all regards, but learning! I love unusual and unique instruments!

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