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Quality of Horsehair on Synthetic Bows


Ann
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There have been several recent posts concerning the quality of the horsehair on Coda bows. I have a Coda Colours which I dislike, but I have reserved final judgment pending a rehairing. It has never been reliable, producing little nasties which I know are not in the violin because they only pop out when I use my Coda. Does anyone have any opinions about the quality of the hair used on other synthetic bows? I find it so useful to have a synthetic bow for school- no one has succeeded in doing anything to it yet- but I also want a bow that serves me reasonably well when I don't want to use a better, but more delicate bow. It seems odd to me that a company with such a good reputation (Codabows) would market a bow with less than terrific hair.

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Ann, look in "Fingerboard" the thread called SW Strings and Coda Bow. Someone there suggested rehairing the Coda Bow.

Maybe an expert reading this can evaluate the Coda Bow hair quality, up to the task Mr. Darnton, Mr. Holmes or HKV? All others are also welcome. We don't want to falsely degrade a fine product. To quote my dad "If the monkey can't dance, it's because the floor is crooked." Maybe the blame is mine.

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I haven't tried the Coda bows, but you asked about other synthetic bows as well, and I just purchased a Glasser carbon fiber about a week ago. I'm due to join some kind of rock/pop band soon, and wanted something break-resistant.

The hair was incredibly slick; it just would not play with a normal amount of rosin. I had to use so much rosin just to get *any* sound that I don't like playing the bow now.

I also thought that the hair itself in general didn't look as good as hair on my other bows. I had a passing thought that it looked somehow "unhealthy." I'm considering dropping it off at my local shop and having it rehaired, even though it's new.

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Scott:

I also purchased a Glasser Carbon Fiber several months back. I had the worst time getting it rosined, as you say. It was slick and no matter how much I rosined it, it didn't seem to hold the rosin in the hair. I have used it sparsely, never really considered having it rehaired. But now, over time with playing it, (on and off) and wiping it off, re-rosining it, etc, it seems that the hairs are "breaking in" and I like to play with it. I also think there may be some differences in rosins and if you use a stickier rosin, it may do your Glasser alot of good. Try Hill dark or Millant-Deroux Gold & Silver. These are both supposed to be sticky. The second I mentioned is for sale on ebay for $5.00

[This message has been edited by crystal (edited 02-20-2001).]

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Right you are, TenorI. I don't think Coda bows would have the kind of reputation they have if it were undeserved. I just think the quality of the hair tends to put some people off, especially if they've only played one Coda. If it weren't for my problem with the bowhair on my present bow, I would be ordering a viola Classic right now, sight unseen.

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quote:

Originally posted by crystal:

if you use a stickier rosin, it may do your Glasser alot of good

I've used Hidersine dark for a number of years, along with Knilling dark rosin. They're both pretty sticky, especially the Knilling. I'm just frightfully annoyed that I spent all that time rosining the darned bow, now I spend a bunch of time trying to clean the rosin off! I hope it's worth the effort in the long run.

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I've found the hair quality in all the synthetic-material bows to be OK. Some are better than others, of course - but then, some of the synthetic bows sell for $4,000 - $5,000.

It is true that the Glasser hairs are very slick, and some of the individual hairs may be quite thin. My approach from the first Glasser Composite that I rosined 3 years ago was to apply pressure with my thumb to the "inside" of the bow hairs against the rosin cake - even separating your thumb from the rosin with a slick cloth so the hairs do't grab your thumb and break. The bow is well rosined within a minute or less - and then rosining it subsequently is no different than any other bow. There is a certain feel to a bow when it is grabbing the rosin cake just right - and one swipe like that is all it takes - then quit.

Coda bow hairs are OK - perhaps a little more hair than some of the bows need. The one Coda Classic I had rehaired did end up better than with the factory hairs - at least for my playing - but it also was rehaired with fewer hairs.

Also be sure your strings are clean.

Some instruments do have "glitch notes" with some bows - more so with violas than violins, and even more with cellos. You just have to learn what works best. SOmetimes a certain tension in the hair will solve the problem, or a change in rosin brand - don't use too much rosin a couple of slow swipes should he enough.

Andy

[This message has been edited by Andrew Victor (edited 02-20-2001).]

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I have a Coda Aspire - it's about 4 months old and while I noticed no problems as far as rosining it, it did take a few weeks to "stretch", at least it seemed so to me. I talked to a Coda rep about it when I first got it because it seemed very taught and stiff and he suggested to play it in.

I have to say that I find it a very usuable bow, although my experience with a wide variety/grade of bows is somewhat limited. The Coda Classic was lovely, but way out of my price range.

Greta

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