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Tenor1

How Do You Compare Bows from 2 Shops

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Andy Victor gave me good advice in my thread regarding two bows, which is compare the $700 bow (that I like) with a $3,000 bow. The $700 bow is the most expensive in my local shop. The bow I like is made by Marco Raposo.

Would it be tacky to take the $700 bow to another shop to compare it against other bows? The bigger shop is quite a drive so I wouldn't want to take bows on trial and have to return them. I think the comparison could be made at the shop.

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If I was one of the two shops I certainly wouldn't mind if you brought them both together at one shop, but I'd always prefer it was at my shop, not the other. Any dealer would appreciate a quick preliminary decision so he could get his stuff back as soon as possible if it's not going to sell, I'd think. The danger of having one's stuff at another shop is that lots of places would take advantage of the situation to comment as negatively as possible on the other shop's approval.

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Dealers seeing other dealers' stuff seem to be professionally polite, in my experience. Nor are they necessarily going to notice what you're comparing their stock against.

I find bows are tough -- a minute will tell me whether I like the basic tone, a couple more minutes will tell me whether the handling is in acceptable range, and then it takes days to figure out if I can adjust to the point where the handling is really comfortable.

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Thanks Michael and Lydia, I agree with with both of you. I will make an appointment with the shop and let them know my intentions of comparing bows. It may not be fair to compare the $700 bow to $3,000 bow (although it would be interesting) because I have no intention of spending THAT much at this time. It is realistic to compare bows up to $1,000 since this is my set budget.

My local shop has a used W. Seifert bow for $250 that I absolutely LOVE. Unfortunately, it is 3/4" shorter than standard length.

Would a shorter bow make much difference? I feel it WOULD but not that experienced in the matter. What do you guys think?

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I personally wouldn't want to own multiple bows which are different lengths - if I could help it. When you get toward the tip, knowing how much farther you can go is based a lot on the extension feedback from the muscles in your bow arm (sorry I'm not a medial kinda guy).

I've seen enough violinists messing around with fractional sized bows go right off the tip by several inches, to confirm this.

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I have an old bow that is just a bit shorter than the bow I am currently using. Whenever I get the old bow out and try and use it, I do end up bowing off the end of the tip.

I would not believe that such a small measurement of distance would make such a difference, but you do get used to whatever amount of distance you have.

Yankee Fiddler

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Thanks Yankee and James because I was VERY tempted to buy the shorter bow. What I will do is try to find a bow that plays as close as possible to that bow. At least I know the sounds and characteristics that I like and that is a big thing for me

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