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I have tried Glasser Composites, Glasser Carbon Fiber, and CF Durro bows. I see no reason to think but that they are all the same bows (everything I've measured is the same) - so one can do better in value by buying the Glasser Composite. It may not be as well finished as the others, but the differences are not great (for example, you can install a new thumb leather yourself). Sometmes the bows (all the varieties) come with too much hair and need a little trimming so that the resilience of the stick will play properly - otherwise some bows can seem mushy, when there is basically nothing wrong with the bow itself.

Given this, Glasser Composites are not only likely to be better than "brazilwood bows for the same money" but also better than pernambucos in the under $500 range, especially in terms of balance and handling for off-string strokes.

I have tried these bows for violin, viola, and cello so my remarks hold for all three instruments. The sound from these bows is not a great sound such as you would expect from a great (and very expensive pernambuco bow), but on some instruments the sound can be just fine, better than some pernambuco bows, certainly - sometimes I've noticed it may have more "high end" than I want from a particular instrument - or that a particular note has trouble sounding (on some cellos or violas) but these bows are definitely not alone in that.

If you are after a violin bow and want to spend enought to go to the higher priced Glasser CF or the CF Durro (that I no longer see advertised) then I would suggest the Coda Aspire, but for less than $100 go Glasser Composite. I've been recommending them for years.


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I played for a couple of years on a Glasser Carbon Fiber, which as Andy said, plays much the same as the Glasser Composite. Other than looking better and being more comfortable to hold, I found the Carbon Fiber to pull a fuller, smoother tone than the Composite, at least on my violin. I now play on a Brazilian made pernambuco bow, but I had to go through 40 plus bows in the $400 to $500 range in order to find one that was noticeably better than the Glasser CF in all areas (handling, balance, tone, looks, etc).

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I feel I must reiterate that in my experience with the Glasser Composite and Glasser Carbon Fiber bows - it has only been the amount of hair in the bow that has made a difference in the sound.

My Glasser CF cello bow has never been able to meet the same tonal standards as my Glasser Composite or my CF Durro. Although all three bows give essentially the same static measurement results - any differences must be due to the stck resonance - and in this case the CF is at the "bottom."

The Glasser CF has one feature that a lot of people seem to like. It has a "nice," cushy thumb leather. I feel this is conducive to bad playing because it lets the player hold the bow too tightly without feeling the pain that should accompanythat error. For this reason, I definitely consider it a "beginner's" bow - and one to treat with some caution. I find that if you hold one of these bows, with their slightly swollen thumb leather, properly - they are kind of hard to play with and interfere with hand flexibility.

I still vote for the cheaper Glasser Composite - or the "step up" Coda Aspire - if you want to pay more - but try before you buy!


[This message has been edited by Andrew Victor (edited 01-23-2002).]

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