bocal

bocal

    
bocal    20:27 on Thursday, January 25, 2018          

yshelton
(4 points)
Posted by yshelton

I haven't played seriously since undergrad. I don't have a great horn or bocal, but they work.

I'm playing in a really good community band now, so I bought myself a new bocal and it sounds great. I like it a lot. It's like I have a new horn. It's easier to tune and the sound is very nice.

Here's the problem. The new bocal will not sound the c and d above the staff correctly. It tries to jump down an octave, or you can hear some sort of resonance or grinding. I've tried 3 different reeds that all play well with my old bocal, but have the identical problem on my new bocal.

This is really unfortunate, and I am bummed about it.

Has anyone out there ever experienced anything like this before? Can I fix it?


Re: bocal    04:13 on Friday, January 26, 2018          

contra448
(770 points)
Posted by contra448

Especially if the new bocal is a second hand one maybe it needs a clean. The first thing to check is that the vent in the bocal is not blocked - even new ones have been known to come with blocked vents. What makes of bassoon & bocal do you have & how long is it since you regularly played?


Re: bocal    09:00 on Friday, January 26, 2018          

yshelton
(4 points)
Posted by yshelton

Thanks for the feedback! I will clean the bocal and look for a blockage.

I have a Conn (yes really, Conn) student model bassoon from the stone age. It only goes up to the 2nd b above the staff, so no screaming high notes for me. I bought it for next to nothing a long time ago. It came with a not so great #3 bocal. Before I played on it, it sat in a band director's basement for I don't know how long.

The new bocal is a #2b. No brand name on it. I got it second hand on the cheap.

I played very well about 20 years ago. After undergrad, I didn't play again for a long time. I picked bassoon back up about 6 or 7 years ago. Then I switched to oboe for a few years, and now I'm back on bassoon again.

I've got the chops to make everything sound on the old #3, but the bocal just doesn't have a nice tone. It's too long, and it's hard to tune. I don't like it.

The new #2b sounds fantastic, except for this weird issue on those 2 notes.

I'm thinking about getting a new horn, but I hate to spend all that money if I can make the horn I currently own work.



Re: bocal    04:17 on Saturday, January 27, 2018          

contra448
(770 points)
Posted by contra448

There were two versions of Conn bassoons - one made by Conn in USA but later they bought them in From Schreiber (or maybe Kohlert) in Germany. The latter were better. If it doesn't say which country it was made in the quick way to tell is that on the US ones there small grub screws in the key mounting posts for securing the key pivot screws.

Your problem is odd. Other thoughts I have - there could be a slight leak in your new bocal. Is the vent securely soldered to the body; or there could be a very slight leak from a splitting seam in the body of the bocal. To test for these block the vent & large end with thumb & finger & suck out the air, block the tip with your tongue & see how long the vaccuum lasts.

Have you had the bassoon serviced recently? After 20 years things can deteriorate. It is possible there leaky pads and/or misadjustments in the keywork - just a small fault can cause odd problems with apparently random notes which also vary with different bocals & reeds. I suggest getting the whole thing checked over by a specialist bassoon technician.

Good luck.

Ian


Re: bocal    15:45 on Saturday, January 27, 2018          

yshelton
(4 points)
Posted by yshelton

Thank you!

I'll look for those screws and for a leak in the bocal. I'll get the horn serviced again as soon as I can get it in.

It is a WEIRD problem. I've never had an issue like this before.

I am do disappointed that it's happening.


Re: bocal    18:02 on Tuesday, January 30, 2018          

yshelton
(4 points)
Posted by yshelton

I think the whisper key hole was blocked!

I checked for leaks, but didn't find any, so I cleaned the bocal and pushed a pin through the whisper key hole. The pin came out with some kind of dark material on it, and now all of the notes are speaking.

I think the horn might be European made, because it has adjustable screws, not grub screws.

The possible history of the horn is so interesting to know. All of my bassoon friends and I have wondered when in the world Conn ever made bassoons, because it's the only Conn bassoon any of us have ever seen. It's been a running joke for us, and the WHOLE reason they've ALL been telling me to buy a new horn since the minute they laid eyes on it.

I'm going to keep playing this horn for now (because I'm ornery). You've saved me a few thousand dollars. Thank you so much for your time and feedback. You are awesome Ian!


   




This forum: Older: Bassoon part playability
 Newer:

© 2000-2018 8notes.com