Topic: lefreQue sound bridge for bassoon--anyone tried it?

Hello colleagues,

Has anyone tried the lefreQue sound bridge system on bassoon?  If so what are your thoughts?

--Richard Ramey

Richard Ramey
bassoonhipster@gmail.com
bassoonbonanza.com
javalinapress.com

Re: lefreQue sound bridge for bassoon--anyone tried it?

Our flute section loves them. We in the back row are not so convinced. I tried them on both my Heckel and Buffet instruments and found that they add a bit of stiffness to the feel of the horn and do make the sound brighter. Our clarinet section felt the same. It does add a certain brighter volume, but I can get a more desired improvement from a good reed. I think it is a personal preference issue, it does do something, it is just whether you like it or not. I think there is an inexpensive non plated version you can purchase here in Spain, I would try them before buying those gold ones. I just hope non of the brass players get them, they are just loud enough, thank you very much.

Principal bassoonist, Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, A Coruña, Spain. Bassoonist, bassoon dad, bassoon husband, bassoon uncle, bassoon brother and bassoon son.

Re: lefreQue sound bridge for bassoon--anyone tried it?

Richard....I know that Kim Laskowski and I think Roger Nye both use them in the NY Phil.  I think that I read in an ad or maybe a testimonial that Roger couldn't believe how much better he sounded with the bridge.  (I hope that I have this info correct!)

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Re: lefreQue sound bridge for bassoon--anyone tried it?

Here is an excellent article about the lefreQue sound bridges by bassoonist Lynn Hileman of West Virginia University.

http://lynnhileman.com/?p=623

Last edited by delmar (2014-09-03 08:52:47)

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Re: lefreQue sound bridge for bassoon--anyone tried it?

After listening to two top level players go back and forth with and without, and testing them myself on my bassoon at Martin Vonk's booth at the IDRS conference I'm absolutely NOT convinced at all. Just my opinion.

M.M.A., D.M.A. University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign: B.Mus. Lawrence University
Bassoon professor at University of Wisconsin Eau-Claire
Maker of the Little-Jake electric bassoon pickup and Weasel bassoon reeds

Re: lefreQue sound bridge for bassoon--anyone tried it?

I tried the bridge on my Walter between the bocal and the tenor joint. It could not be attached as designed (on the side of the bassoon away from the player) because it did not allow the whisper pad to move since the Walter whisper pad/cup is not round. It was then placed on the "back" of the bassoon; meaning same side as the flick keys, which seemed to more awkward/difficult. The band that holds the device on the instrument also slightly spread the bass and tenor joints apart which disallowed use of the body lock. Circumstances were such that I could not give it a valid trial as I was in unfamiliar territory/acoustics.

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Re: lefreQue sound bridge for bassoon--anyone tried it?

I had the chance to try one out this summer and I was extremely skeptical beforehand. I used the bocal/wing joint bridge on a recent red maple Fox 601 with a Heckel CD-1 bocal. I played in a relatively small room for two listeners, a bassoonist and an oboist, running through some excerpts with and without the bridge attached. All three of us noticed a massive difference in sound and I was personally shocked (in a good way) by how much the response of the instrument was altered. The feel and sound with the bridge attached were like a good Heckel bassoon. There were more high partials in the sound. The low register felt more secure at low dynamic levels. The most remarkable difference was in the tenor register - it became both more even and more flexible, giving that wonderful feeling of the resistance somehow adjusting itself to your dynamic level.

I've heard reviews both good and bad from people who have tested them out more thoroughly in larger halls and with other instruments. Because of the way it boosts the high partials it seems to me that the system delivers a greater benefit to "darker" sounding setups. At any rate, the difference with the bridge is significant enough that I'd highly recommend at least testing it out if you get the chance.

Michael Macaulay
2nd Bassoon, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony

Re: lefreQue sound bridge for bassoon--anyone tried it?

I have heard two pros playing with and without.  I heard no difference.

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

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