Topic: Evolution of Fox professional bassoons
I'm a reasonably competent amateur who is considering upgrading from my 1980-vintage sugar maple Fox 201. It's a nice instrument and very responsive, but the tone is a bit thin (especially compared to my teacher's Walter) and I am hoping I can find something easier to play in tune. (Probably a Fox, for the same reason that I keep buying Hondas.) I play in a variety of groups (quintets, orchestras, bands) as both first and second so I would like as much flexibility as possible, but ideally a more powerful sound without sacrificing intonation. That said, I don't think I'm ready to invest the $30,000 or so that a new top-of-the-line Fox costs. I have seen a fair number of 601s from the 1990s for around half of that, which is more affordable. How would these compare to the newest instruments, and mine? I know Fox has continued to modify the design, for example the high-resonance finish, but I don't have a sense of how much difference these would make, or how big of an improvement over my 201 I can expect.
(I realize that I can't actually be certain about this without trying instruments, but since this is likely to involve some significant shipping costs I'd like to do some research first.)