Heckel Bocal Markings: What do they mean?
There are many factors which influence the characteristics of Heckel bassoon bocals. They are represented by numbers and letters that are stamped on the bocal. You can learn the length, bore (internal size), alloy (body metal) and type of metal used in plating the bocal by knowing what these marks mean.

We've compiled these charts from the original specifications published in German by Heckel:

The bore or internal shape
  • CC -- middle of the road, good upper and lower range response
  • C -- like the CC but thinner metal, enhanced overall response
  • B -- narrower bore than the CC for upper note response
  • BB -- similar to B with smaller tip opening for greater high note response
    The following letters are modifiers for the above bore types
  • D -- slighter thinner metal to aid in low note response
  • E -- with an even smaller tip opening
  • V -- specially curved for exceptional high note response
  • XL -- new style bend for added high note response
    The length from tip to rear
  • 00 -- shortest length, raises the overall pitch the most
  • 0 -- raises the pitch less then the 00
  • 1 -- a popular bocal for slightly higher overall pitch
  • 2 -- standard with new Heckel bassoons for A=440 pitch
  • 3 -- longer bocal, creates flattening of pitch
  • 4 -- longest bocal, creates most flattening of pitch
    The alloy or type of metal used to make the body
  • G -- gold, described as having a medium-hard sound
  • S -- sterling silver 935, slightly brighter tone quality
  • N -- softer German silver, needs little care, quite shiny
  • Z -- harder German silver, needs little care, quite shiny

    Heckel bocals are generally made of brass with plating over the brass.
    The different alloys may be nickel plated, silver plated or left unplated for a lustrous brass finish.

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