Bassoon Buyers Guide

Makes to look out for: Adler, Moosmann, Fox, Puchner, Schreiber, Yamaha, Heckel
Priority features: No. 2 (or no 3 if Fox) crook, High D key, Body lock (holding the wing joint and long joint together).

Nice to have features: Whisper key lock, Low C additional touch, Additional rollers, Additional trill keys, High E Key,  divided long joint (if you are going to need to fly with your bassoon as this allows for a smaller case) 

Play test:  Play the bassoon with a reed that you know is good on a No 2 crook (no. 3 if Fox crook) as this should tune to A=440.    Play every note and listen for any which sound very different to others around it.  Listen for any notes that are way out of tune.  If you are new to playing then ask an experienced player to play it for you.

Common problems – things to look out for:

Worn or damaged pads.  Repads on bassoon cost more than most woodwinds.  Damaged crook – look for signs of dents, cracks (especially on the underside).  Patched crooks often play fine. Unscrew the ‘U’ bend under the cap on the bottom of the boot joint (the widest joint) and check for signs of wood rot at the bottom of the bore.  Beware of any seller that won’t let you inspect the bore or play test the instrument before committing.  Look down the wing joint (the thinnest joint and the one that the crook plugs into) and check for any scratches or gouges (often caused by removal of stuck swabs).  Check the tenons and the sockets into which they fit for cracks/ chips or signs of repair.  


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