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What's your favorite weight of a violin bow?


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Suppose it's a pernambuco bow. Do you have a favorite range of weight? Why?

And balance point - what's the optimistic point of balance for a violin bow?

I've been watching the JE Martin bow and J Martin bow on ebay for a while now. Some of the descriptions include the word "perfect" in describing the balance point while some don't. Are the ones with the description like "It weighs x grams. It is 29 3/8" in length, and has PERFECT balance at 10" from the end of the stick (not including the button)" better than the bows without the word "perfect"?

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Since no one else has posted yet, I'll give you the answer that most here might write and will probably leave you wanting....

Weight? It depends. No two bows seem to be alike even from the same maker. Weight and balance are things to be taken as part of the "whole". For example, you may have a bow that weighs less than another bow but due to the stiffness of the stick may actually feel heavier. Or, you may have two bows with the same length and weight but have a slightly different balance point due to the frog's location. The list can go on and on. Some players here have attested that after trying a number of bows from a maker were able to get enough consistent bow feel to know what weight they like from the maker.

While weight is measurable on a scale, in human terms, it becomes subjective. If you are asking because you are looking for a bow, the best advice is try a number of bows both above and in your price range, before selecting one you feel comfortable with.

Here's some good reading on bow specs and effects by fellow Maestroneter Andrew Victor. (many here have seen it noted before): Bow Magic

Again, sorry if it sounds to vague, simplistic or repeats what you probably already know. As someone once said, "It's all a punch in the dark until you get in the ring."

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  • 2 weeks later...

Generalizations from the sales world: What's easiest to sell is between 59.5 and 61 grams, which I guess says something about the preference of violinists in general. Lighter bows than 59 gramsare nearly impossible to sell to most professionals unless there's something really exceptional about the bow, and heavier bows go mostly to teenagers, many of whom will trade them in for something lighter later when finesse becomes more important than gross amount of noise produced. :-)

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