Topic: Fox-Renard 240
I am in the middle of trying a couple Fox-Renard 240 bassoons. For the past 6 years I've played on a 1992 Fox 601 which has served me well, but as a chemistry major in my senior year of college, starting Ph.D. studies next year, I don't have as much time to practice as I did freshman year, or while in high school. I am looking to get a bassoon that is a bit more free-blowing and flexibile, such as the 240. I would consider the Fox 201s as well, except I am trying to hopefully make some money by selling my 601 and buying a "cheaper" bassoon. I've heard tons of good things about the 240s so I have a couple brand-new red maple ones out on trial.
First, I love how easy and unresistant the tenor and high registers are. The projection in these registers is impressive. Volume-wise, I can scream high notes out a lot louder than on my 601. I feel like the 240 is a bit weaker in terms of projection in its middle and lower register. My reeds are not the best for low notes at the moment, but I am having some trouble playing loud and low on the 240.
Of course volume isn't everything, good timbre is goal #1 for me, but most of what I do these days is ensemble playing (symphony orchestra and wind ensemble) so it is still an important factor.
My observations are that the 240 requires a much bigger half hole on high G and high Ab than on my 601, so I've been squeeking or not getting these notes to speak a lot. I'm also squeeking more in the tenor register. After talking to friends that play 240s, the G and Ab seem to be finicky on a lot of 240s. Does anyone have experience with this? Is it something you get used to?
I've been squeeking a lot in the tenor register, not just on the Ab and G. Something that is disconcerting. My teacher said that it is the different bore, and that it took her a long time to adjust after switching to an older Heckel after playing on a larger bore Puchner.
The keys are pretty stiff and sluggish, and the tenons are tight, but nothing I couldn't get my bassoon repairman to fix. It feels like my hands (which are perfectly fine on my 601) are almost a little "too small" for the 240. I'm thinking this could just be an illusion due to the fact the keys are stiff, although I hope not.
The right thumb rollers drive me crazy after 6 years of playing on a 601 that does not have them. Were I to buy one of the 240s, I would almost certainly have them replaced with regular right thumb keys.
Any thoughts? All advice is welcome, especially from those of you who play on 240s as your primary instrument! I just want to make the right choice for my long-term bassoon enjoyment
Ask not what your reed can do for you, but what you can do for your reed.