Big news is the retirement of Judith and myself from our teaching positions with Illinois State University. Neverheless, we are in the thick of musical things. I will continue performing as principal bassoonist with the Peoria Symphony Orchestra and the Heartland Festival Orchestra. And, I continue as contrabassoonist with the Illinois Symphony Orchestra.

My work as a bassoon repair/service specialist is more active than ever! Also, I just completed a course in metal lathe at NAPBIRT. I hope to make use of some new skills.

With more freedom in my life, I am able to spend more time traveling for business. My established association with a German bassoonist continues to provide a source of pre-owned Heckel bassoons which I am able to offer to U.S. bassoonists.

Please keep in touch. I'll keep you informed of the news with my business.


Does my oboe or bassoon come with a warranty?
Your new Fox/Renard instrument has perhaps the best warranty of any manufactured product. It's covered for one year from date of purchase for any flaw in materials and workmanship. Also, (now here's the really good part!) your warranty includes a servicing at the factory free of charge any time during the first year of ownership. All you pay are the shipping costs.

The warranty service includes: complete tear-down of the instrument; examination of all parts; cleaning of the body and all keys; necessary adjustment and lubrication of mechanisms; play testing. This is a remarkable benefit to which you are entitled as the owner of a new Fox/Renard instrument.

Do you check the instrument before I buy it?
Great question! Of course, I play the bassoon and my wife plays the oboe. Sometimes there are minor adjustments necessary. Over the years, however, I've found that Fox ships their new instruments in top condition.

I do not make any changes to the design or construction. Fox has spent millions of dollars and several decades researching every aspect of the bassoons and oboes. I don't believe that there is any individual in the world who can second-guess the decisions and the craftsmanship which Fox has employed in creating these instruments!

Will the Renard Model 330 Oboe get my daughter/son through high school?
This is one of the most remarkable instruments available in the musical world today! Never a crack. World-class workmanship. A sound and feel like oboes costing twice as much.

So why doesn't every oboist play one? Ego! ( offense meant). "If it's not wood it couldn't be any good," is the skeptical thought of many experienced oboists. But I can tell you that as teacher, player, and dealer, I've observed lots of eyebrows raised by big time pros trying a Model 330 for the first time and being thoroughly impressed.

Also, it's an investment! I will buy used Model 330's whenever I can find them (and so will lots of others!). The owner often recoups a great portion of the price paid when the instrument was new. Try this with a used big-name French oboe!

Finally, if you're a serious oboist don't ever sell your 330! Keep it for outdoors or touring after you buy your expensive pro oboe. That way you'll have an instrument to play when your wooden one's crack is being repaired!.

Which is right for me: Model II; Model 201; or Model 601?
Only you can decide this. I think "conditioning" has a great deal to do with your decision. Have you been playing on long or short bore bassoon till now? Do you play high in pitch? Are you looking for a big sound? Etc.

If possible, you will want to visit Fox Products and compare these models. Just call and make an appointment at the factory: (260)723-4888. Tell them I sent you, and you'll get the "Royal" treatment. You'll be treated GREAT - no matter what!

As bassoonists we're lucky to have a company that offers three designs to suit almost any taste.

Why don't YOU stock the "pro" bassoons so that I can try them?
First, I simply don't have the funds to sink into an inventory of relatively expensive professional instruments. Second, and even more important -- I want my customers to benefit from the continual research and development at Fox Products. I deliver to you only the newest, most advanced instrument...nothing that's been on the shelf!

Finally, you have a significant price advantage by ordering the bassoon setup exactly as you want it: the right bell ring; the right whisper key lock; an extra trill key (or 10!); etc! You name it and it can be done as the instrument is being produced for YOU at the factory. Retrofitting can be done, but it's more expensive.

Just a reminder that I discount the prices of options! This can be a big savings.

I would love to answer all of your questions. So, why not contact me directly by email or give me a call! I'll do my best to help you or direct you to the appropriate resource.

Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to serve you,

Michael Dicker

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