Report Tone vs. Playability in a bow in The Pegbox Posted January 6 I have given the debate topic of this thread a large amount of thought over the years. And after years of buying and selling (many) bows, developing a taste for what works for my playing style and instrument, I have settled on two bows that for me personify the sound versus playability question. One is a very old bow by a very fine known maker that has a dark, dense sound that is even throughout my instrument and always comes in first or second in bow comparisons with colleagues. However it is a bit unwieldy to play, particularly repertoire which requires an agile right hand, like Mozart (and consonant attacks are more difficult to actualise..everything is beautiful, but round). It is not a subtle bow and it really can crank out sound. The other I commissioned from a well-known modern maker. It is a “copy” of another bow I really admire, but “improved” upon to make it more responsive. I have never played a bow that allows me to have this feeling of control from frog to tip and with articulation and shapes. The feeling is really extraordinary. However, the sound is thinner, leaner, more narrow in comparison to my older bow and others like it. The high register, especially, is a bit thin. I truly enjoy playing this bow, but I sometimes feel like I am making too much of a professional compromise in sound and spread. I realise this is a crisis of privilege, but I have trouble deciding which bow to use for any given situation. Just curious how you all would advise clients or colleagues on the matter?