Wolf and Wolf-Grundmann Bassoon Bocals


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Wolf and Wolf-Grundmann Bassoon Bocals

Bassoon bocals made by Wolf have caught on very quickly because of their exceptional response, powerful sound, and excellent price point. We carry a wide variety of different options of bocals from Wolf, and all of the variables result in hundreds of possible configurations. This can be confusing. We generally suggest that you pick a length that is appropriate for intonation for you, and ignore the other variables and decide on a bocal on its own merits, rather than on the theoretical aspects of the metal, bore, plating, thickness, etc. Once you have a bocal you like, you can use this guide to understand what it is that you’ve selected.

Wolf bocals are manufactured with innovative bore designs, metal configurations, metal forming techniques, and wall thicknesses.

They are available in the following metal types:
N – nickel silver
M – Brass (alloy)
T – “Special” (rose-brass) alloy

The bocals are typically Unplated, but some are Silver Plated.

The metal can be either simply Drawn (like most bocal manufactures) or Forged (will have the letter “G” on the bocal). Drawn metal is economical and consistent, but Forging the metal makes it harder, which improves the vibration characteristics. Additionally, some bocals are forged further times to increase the higher partials in the sound. This does not make the tone “bright” but does add carrying power to the sound.

These bocals come in a wider variety of thicknesses than any other bocal maker. This thickness is very clearly indicated with a number next to the metal type indication. The number represents the thickness in tenths of a millimeter. They range from .5mm thick to 1.0mm thick. For comparison purposes, a Heckel CD bocal is .5mm and a Heckel CC is .6mm.

Wolf also makes bocals in a wider range of lengths than most manufacturers. The numbers do not completely coincide with Heckel lengths, and there are finer gradations between the regular lengths (for instance 2 and 2. and 2..). The length is not meant to determine the pitch level of the instrument, but do have a subtle effect on the sound quality and comfort level of the player. This should be a lesser concern than the material construction when choosing any bocal, but especially Wolf bocals.

There are two bores available: standard bore or wide bore. The wide bore bocals are similar to “pre-war” Heckel style C bocals. The advantage is a bigger sound and an easily responding extreme high register, but the pitch can be more difficult to manage. The standard bore is the best choice for all around playing and for modern bassoons. The wide bore is especially well suited for “pre-war” design bassoons, or if you have special needs.

Finally, the special “Grundmann” bend option is also available.

wolfbocals__51245.1410107058.1280.1280These bocals are designed with a special curve developed by Professor Roger Grundmann of Dresden University. Grundmann’s research includes work on fluid dynamics and acoustics of wind and brass instruments. The special curve allows for air to flow more directly with less resistance and greater resonance and projection. High note response is also improved dramatically. The additional benefit is an improved ergonomic, where the bassoon is held lower on the body, letting the wrists, elbows, and shoulders of the player be more relaxed. The bassoon is also held more directly upright, improving balance especially when standing, and reducing stress on the left wrist. The lack of an upward curve also removes the common problem of water catching in the bocal and causing a “popping” or “spitting” sound.

Wolf bocals are available for trial just as any other bocals. Call Trent or Jessica at 1-800-926-5587.

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