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 Post subject: Bass Bocal Needed
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 9:53 am 
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I'm looking for a replacement bocal for an Ideal F-Bass recorder. I'll even take another brand and make it fit if I have to! Any leads appreciated. Also, what makes a recorder play "stuffy" i.e., note barely speaks or sounds "airy," and is there anything that can be done about it? Thanks a million!


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 Post subject: Re: Bass Bocal Needed
PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:48 pm 
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D_Woolf wrote:
I'm looking for a replacement bocal for an Ideal F-Bass recorder. I'll even take another brand and make it fit if I have to! Any leads appreciated. Also, what makes a recorder play "stuffy" i.e., note barely speaks or sounds "airy," and is there anything that can be done about it? Thanks a million!



Hi there,

is 'Ideal' the actual name of your bass recorder?

I don't know it - but if it is a standard bass recorder bocal, anything from flexible plastic tubing; oxygen mask plastic tubing; wiring tubing, or anything else with an approx 7mm aperture will do.

What causes stuffiness?

A bocal made of cheap plastic :lol:

Actually, all bocals contribute to 'stuffiness', which is why direct blow and knick basses with bent heads were invented. You need a really decent bocal bass recorder design to get rid of any sound loss.

Causes of stuffiness:

1) the bocal - as above - mechanical, or poor embouchure seal with air leaks
2) air leaks in the system - from the bocal joint entry to the cap; from the cap to the wood cork; from within the block to the perimeter of the headjoint; between the headjoint and the body due to ageing/failing cork seal; damaged pads in the keyed finger holes; cracks in the cap; cracks in the labium. Any breach in the air tightness of the bass recorder.
3). condensation due to moisture. This is the most common cause. Down the wood block in the head joint, in the narrow 1-2mm slit where the air passes to hit the labium, moisture collects in droplets, causing stuffiness after about 5 minutes. You need anti-condensant to stop this. Do not try and oil this fragile area.
4). A dry or warped or damaged labium.
5). Modified keyholes - if someone has foolishly tried to convert a bass recorder into a keyed version, or widened the holes, without realising that they upset the balance of the fingering scales.
6). Poor blowing technique. Just because it's a recorder, doesn't mean it's easy to blow beautifully! Any monkey can make a sound from a recorder.....but to learn how to blow using low pressure efficiently....that's really skillful. I'm listening to John & Peters Whistling Book and the players are fantastic.


Best to check your recorder in all the above areas. Then make sure you oil the correct parts of the recorder, and wax/grease the cork areas. Then try and get some decent anti-condensant - it really does work. If you don't know how to oil your recorder, check out the tips on www.mollenhauer.com

Welcome to the bass recorder club :)


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 Post subject: Re: Bass Bocal Needed
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:06 am 
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I would check around for a woodwind repair shop. Bending tubing isn't that big a trick (most plumbers have bending tools), but a repair shop might have a source for electroplating services as well. If I were to replace my bocal I would consider adding a water key. Those are usually seen on greatbasses and larger instruments, but I think it would help a standard bass as well.

For stuffiness, I'll add two items to James' list. Periodically clean and dry the inside of the receiver (cap) where alarming amounts of water can accumulate. Also warm up your bocal by blowing gently while closing the fipple with a finger. It's the same as clearing water from the labia, but with a gentle blow instead of a sharp puff. Several breaths will warm up the metal.

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 Post subject: Re: Bass Bocal Needed
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:36 am 
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I have never heard of an Ideal and I suspect it's a cheap plastic "school" model. In which you can do nothing except buy a better one. Try both the Aulos and the Yamaha to see which you like best.

Cleaning the windway (with warm soapy water and a feather) and adding a tiny droplet of detergent to it before playing might help.

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 Post subject: Re: Bass Bocal Needed
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 9:36 am 
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The only reference I've found for "Ideal" recorders suggests that they are wooden, but probably student grade. A tenor in C is listed for about $45 new. No info on any bass is listed.

I also can't find any source for replacement parts at all. You may end up replacing the whole thing. If so, I recommend the Aulos as a good starter instrument. I've had one for a couple of weeks now and I'm impressed with it considering the price.

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