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DO YOU HAVE ANY BOW HAIR QUESTIONS


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When I get a new hank of bow hair, it's secured on one end. Is this just to prevent tangles, or is there a preferred 'grain' or direction in which to mount the hair? Thanks.

: If you have any bow hair questions

: i will be very pleased to answer them

: for you.

: thank you

: mark sowden www.sowden.co.uk

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There are no bow re-hairing service in my place. But a place where I will be going a couple of months from now have a store. I tried to email them to ask for the price of their bow re-hairing but I received no response. Could you please tell me what is the usual price range of bow re-hairing using premium horse hair. And when you use the premium horse hair, is it a standardized thing in reputable stores, or there are still different grades of it, with different prices? Then what is the price range of re-hairing using the best horse hair? And also, is the cost of re-hairing the same for cheap violin bows and expensive ones?

Thank you.

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Hello Mimi,

For all the hanging around I have done at DS's shop, I don't get a discount. I'm allowed there because we have BOUGHT stuff at market value. The friendships have grown because of and through the willingness of DS to talk to and educate my husband and I, and his willingness to let me talk with and observe his various assistants. I found also, when our families became acquainted, that I have things in common with DS's wife, V. A family friendship has developed, but it doesn't translate into him giving me a discount. His business is how he supports his family, and I do not ask to take the food out of his daughter's mouth. The last time we had a bow rehaired (this past summer) the regular price was $30, or $35 if one wants a one-day rehair. He was aware that other local shops have inflated this figure. I know Ruth, who works on bows there, and her work is as good as anybodys! (And she has a cello bow she made for sale.)

AB

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We paid the $25 price in Maryland, mike, but at one point, that $25 shop screwed up the bow by putting too much tension on one side. Another time, the rehair wasn't done properly and most of the hair fell out within a couple of weeks -- granted, we practice a lot. So, I still use that shop sometimes, but when I have time, I take our better bows to another place -- I think he charges $45, but he is much more selective about the quality of the hair and I am much more certain that my bow won't be damaged. The increased tension on one side warped my expensive bow and I had a repair bill, so it actually isn't any more expensive in the long run to pay a little more and have it done properly. For inexpensive bows, I agree, the $25 job is fine, but when your bow is worth several thousand $'s, it is worth the extra to have it done right!

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: I just had my bow rehaired and it came back a lot thinner (not as much hair) than the last time I had it done. This is with a new luthier, since I have moved. Is this normal or is there a way that I can ask for more hair?

Perhaps you have a better technician this time. It has been my recent experience that "less hair is better than more hair." In fact I was told that specifically by a rehairer who made my Codabow far better after being rehaired than it had been when new. Taking his word as "gospel" I cut one-third the hair off my Voirin (very carefully), and for the first time in the 45 years it has been mine it is now worthy of its maker's reputation. Apparently it had always been rehaired too abundantly.

How is your bow playing after the rehair compared to before?

Andy

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i've never gotten anything but professional jobs from potters, and they eye the bow up pretty good before commiting to anything, in fact they seem to turn down far more bows than they rehair. they rehair bows for peabody students, nso members and other professionals. i don't know who did your bow, or at what shop, but if they gave consistently poor results i agree that finding another shop is in order. there are 2 shops i can think of though that charge the $25 that i would not trust anything with though.

mike

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Whilst destroying a lot of bow hair attempting to learn to learn rehairing, I found that the minimum number of hairs consistent with a thin flat solid ribbon produces the crispest performance from the bow. My run-of-the-mill German brazilwood bow was sluggish and sloppy, using the exact same brand of Mongolian hair, until I discovered this. I STILL ruin a lot of hair trying to get it right, but I stick to my own bows--no danger of putting Al out of business!

Regards,

Mark W.

: : I just had my bow rehaired and it came back a lot thinner (not as much hair) than the last time I had it done. This is with a new luthier, since I have moved. Is this normal or is there a way that I can ask for more hair?

: Perhaps you have a better technician this time. It has been my recent experience that "less hair is better than more hair." In fact I was told that specifically by a rehairer who made my Codabow far better after being rehaired than it had been when new. Taking his word as "gospel" I cut one-third the hair off my Voirin (very carefully), and for the first time in the 45 years it has been mine it is now worthy of its maker's reputation. Apparently it had always been rehaired too abundantly.

: How is your bow playing after the rehair compared to before?

: Andy

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Dear please.stop.advertising.com,

In response to Mr. Sowden's invitation I posted a question to him on this BBS regarding an issue with some bow hair I'd bought from another vendor.

Mr. Sowden promptly responded to me by private email (he didn't even post it here) with a solution that's working perfectly. Not once did he push his products or his company, he just gave good honest advice.

Needless to say, when it's time to rehair my three bows you know who's getting my order.

Of course you're entitled to your opinion, just as you're free to hide behind your alias "please.stop.advertising.com," but many of us appreciate Mr. Sowden's expertise. Please find someone else to pick on.

Cheers,

Steve

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