My daughter now wants to add bassoon to her list. Actually she has been working her way up as her fingers have grown. Ive recovered from the shock of how much a reasonable student bassoon costs (silly me, I thought her Yamaha Bass Clarinet was expensive - ha). I'm hoping to find a reasonable 2nd hand bassoon, either a Fox 222 , 220 or 41. Appreciate the 41 isn't wood. I'm inclined to spend extra for the 222 or more for the 220, but is the price difference (all else being equal) worth it? I realize I'm looking at $5000 plus even for a used one. Looking for hints, advice from experienced players who have walked this road before. Thanks
The plastic Fox bassoons are made to the same high standards as their wooden ones - so the tuning will be just as good but the final sound quality is not quite up to the woodwn ones. However this is only likely to be a problem if she wants to take her playing up to professional level. I know one player of almost professional standard who plays on a 41 & she can knock spots off many other good players with her sound.
You only mention Fox instruments - do consider other brands like Moossman or Adler - the latter, especially, would be cheaper but imo are excellent beginner to intermediate instruments.
However never buy a second hand instrument from anywhere other than a well known supplier (who should know whether it is good & will also give a warranty). If you do buy privately or from a general music store, who is not a bassoon specialist, ensure you are able to get it checked over by an experienced player/teacher and a competent bassoon technician. (I say both as even an experienced player will not necessarily notice mechanical problems which can be expensive to fix a bit along the line.)
Get guidance as well from a local specialist teacher or pro player if you can. As well as knowing the best places to search they might also know of suitable instuments for sale.
Bassoons are initially an expensive outlay. However, most bassoons do hold their value exceptionally well as long as they are looked after with a reasonable level of care.
Fox bassoons are good because they are a respected brand. If you ever decided to sell or upgrade your daughter's bassoon then a Fox would have a good part exchange or re-sale value. The same also applies for other makes such as Adler, Schreiber, Moennig, Huller, Moosmann (this is not an exhaustive list - there are other good makes, but these are some of the main ones).
The key is to choose a good example of the particular make you choose though. You can get help with this if you buy through a specialist bassoon seller with expert knowledge. A reputable seller will be able to assess the condition of any bassoon and should give a clear description. They should also allow you to borrow the bassoon on approval before making a decision on whether to buy or not. This allows you to take it to your daughter's teacher for a second opinion. She can also try it out at orchestra to make sure she is happy with it (which is the most important factor!)