Bassoon bocal enhancement
The use of plastic or metal on oboe tubes and cor anglais bocals, instead of cork, has proved to enhance the output from these instruments. My own positive experience with this* inspired me to look closer at the bassoon bocal - maybe something could be gained there too, by exchanging the cork with plastic. It was worth a try.
*Please visit oboetube.com for more info on this 'plastic vs. cork business'

Compared to the cor anglais bocal, the bassoon bocal is so much longer and thicker - the cork covered part relatively small - so I really did not expect any difference, just be replacing cork with plastic. But my first bassoon 'test pilots' and I were in for a surprise: more of the good stuff - more focus, resonance and 'that something'!

Click here for a few comments from other exited bassoonists.

How can this be? you may ask. Actually, we are not sure, but a good guess is that the combination of less cork-dampening of sound as well as an improved connection between bocal and bassoon provides for this effect. And it is audible for a listener, not just something you feel when playing yourself. According to bassonists, it surely affects their playing: better intonation, a more well defined 'noble' tone, easier to play soft and in general a more free feeling while playing.