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  1. Hello folks, Some of you may be familiar with my longish-threads about viola bow buying. You all gave me some sage advice and really helped me understand what my goals are. Rather than continue one of those threads, I would like to start a new discussion based on where those trials (and your advice) led me. I discovered through much comparison that I really can't find an equal for my Georges Tepho bow. Its sound is unparalleled. While a smidge on the heavy side at 72g and in need of a rehair (which might change the balance a bit) It would seem the problem is me. I would like to be worthy of my Tepho and get better at both using the whole bow, playing at the frog, bow distribution in-general, and my intonation. Through my many trials, and had the chance to try a cheap generic carbon fiber bow. While it was inferior in all ways, I did notice that it handled surprisingly well. So, I decided to check out the contenders. I tried the following Carbon Fiber bows: Coda Bow: Luma, Diamond GX, Marquise (x2) JonPaul: Bravo, Avanti, Carrera (flexible) Arcus: P6, M6, Musing C2, C3, C4 (x4), C5 (all round sticks) The first thing I learned is that the lighter the bow, the better I played fast passages, but often sacrificed tone quality. (they sounded thin). For example, the Arcus P6 came in at only 58g (!!!) and was demon on the strings. It actually sounded decent - kinda like a pure tone as opposed to the multiple overtones from a Pernambucco. I discovered that I could better hear my intonation though....My problem with it was that 14 gram difference made it extremely hard coming back to my Tepho - kinda made it feel like bricks and that was a deal breaker (that and the $2.5k price...) The heavier bows played and sounded more like wood, and that includes the JonPaul Carrera and the Codabow Marquise. They were 71g and 70g respectively. The Carerra was the flexible version and was too soft for my instrument - but it sounded great. The Marquise is better balanced with a slightly stiffer stick and a similar good wood-like sound, but not nearly as precise as the lighter bows. The balance was good and it would make a great single bow for a player or for me it would make a nice true backup to my Tepho in terms of performance in public. With it being 70 grams, the weight difference is negligible and I could go back and forth between it and my Tepho without huge adjustments. The middleweights that were contenders for me were most of the Musing line of Arcos bows. Coming in at between 62g-63g each, they had better tone than the P & M Series bows, but could also play fast passages with ease thanks to their good balance and stiff sticks. I determined that the C4 was the best of the line in terms of sound/value. I would describe its tone as being very clear (similar to the p6), but having more character. Not a bow for public performance I think (especially compared to my Tepho), but not bad at all. I think what I like about this bow is it allows me to work through difficult passages during practice with relative ease. Kinda like playing the viola with a violin bow, but one able to really pull tone out of the bottom two strings. I noticed right away that I did not have to worry about my bow arm when playing with it and could focus on my intonation, fingerings, bowings, etc.. Also, for what it's worth, It doesn't sound so great as to "seduce" me with luscious frequencies (like my Tepho) and I inevitably wander away from the mast to familiar tunes. Rather, I can stick to the business at-hand. It may be my imagination, but after playing for some time with the Musing C4, and then coming back to my Tepho - while I did notice the extra 9-10 grams - I found that it had unlocked difficulties I had had from before and I could play them now suddenly. I do realize this is also the definition of practice, but there was something about the idea of having a "workout" bow that has begun to grow on me. Truly and honestly, I have only one real concern and that is why I am writing today. Many of you can see further down the road than I and I would like your thoughts on this. If my ultimate goal is to play with my Tepho the best I can, am I doing my self a service or disservice by practicing with a lighter, more nimble bow? My greatest fear at this point is no longer being able to play with the Tepho because of the weight. That would be a disaster. It just sounds so good on my viola. My other option is the Marquis. It sounds great & plays great if not as nimbly as the Musing C4. It's closer to my Tepho in terms of balance ad sound, but no where as easy to play as the C4. I kind feel like it's more like a full-size spare tire. You know - get a flat and you can change the the tire without all the speed and safety concerns of a donut. I don't think it is giving me anything as a "workout" bow other than keeping the miles off my Tepho. It does play nice at the frog though and I was able to play better on some difficult passages, but not sure if that's a good enough reason to buy it for my stated purpose. Thoughts?