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New bow shopping!!


Dwight Brown

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Due to a bit of trauma I would rather forget about I am in the market for a new bow. I have a nice Silver/Ebony David Samuels violin bow and I would like to have another bow to compliment it, I have about $6,000 to spend (give or take) and I would like your best thoughts on Makers (ancient and modern), your favorite dealers, and anything else you think I should know. I am, as always, entirely at your mercy:-)

Dwight

FKWG

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Due to a bit of trauma I would rather forget about I am in the market for a new bow. I have a nice Silver/Ebony David Samuels violin bow and I would like to have another bow to compliment it, I have about $6,000 to spend (give or take) and I would like your best thoughts on Makers (ancient and modern), your favorite dealers, and anything else you think I should know. I am, as always, entirely at your mercy:-)

Dwight

FKWG

I know we are not to use this forum as a selling place, but I do have a Otto Hoyer bow I am willing to part with for half the price you name. If you do not want to buy from me, I still recommend you try one of these lively and responsive bows to see if it is to your liking. I Believe that David Kerr Violin shop also has one available from their store in Portland Oregon.

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Due to a bit of trauma I would rather forget about I am in the market for a new bow. I have a nice Silver/Ebony David Samuels violin bow and I would like to have another bow to compliment it, I have about $6,000 to spend (give or take) and I would like your best thoughts on Makers (ancient and modern), your favorite dealers, and anything else you think I should know. I am, as always, entirely at your mercy:-)

Dwight

FKWG

You might contact John Greenwood in San Francisco. My principle fiddle and viola bows were made by John, and they are both very, very fine. I don't know what John is charging for his bows these days, but I'm sure it is nowhere near $6K.

He's a good guy, and a very fine player himself.

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OT, but I had one of Adam's Betas (which later became the Fiddler's Bow) and could never get it to work for me; the balance point was too far forward and always screwed me up. I believe this was by design, from his observation that most fiddlers like to play in the upper half of the bow and deciding he could get more power and control in that area by moving the balance point towards the head an inch or two (I can't remember the exact number any more). Assuming the Fiddler's Bow has the same weight distribution as the Beta I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who had substantial classical training (and like me, is apparently too old to learn new habits). Interesting that it worked for you, crossingthepond! I know a number of fiddlers who love this bow, so it obviously fills a need.

Personally, my favorite bow is an Arcus Sinfonia (around $1500) and if I had a few K$ and needed a better bow I'd probably splurge on one of the higher-end Arcus models. -Steve

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I really appreciate Roy Quade's work. If I had 6k ear-marked towards a bow, I'd most likely go there. The good news is that there are lots of great choices for modern bows. Some truly fine makers out there. At this last VSA, I can't recall seeing one bow that wasn't a wonderful piece of workmanship.

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One of the best bows I ever tried was a top-of-the-line Berg, believe it or not. It seemed to just play itself, like it really came to life. It didn't complement my cello, though. I looked for 18 months and found a really nice gold mount John Norwood Lee from the late 1980's/early 90's. Everyone who's tried it raved about it, especially a friend who played it on his Burgess cello. :) A close second was a Tom Dignan bow. His bows really are very nice.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Ummm... Adam? Is that you? I guess you WOULD be a fan of your bow, then!

LOL - typical - seems like it is looking at that link. It's the multiple personality thing again. Is his middle name Sunday?

Steve, I believe it's you who sent me a Beta Bow after my one failed after about 6 months... Well this one failed about 3 months after you sent it. Same problems, complete loss of tension, and an inability to screw up the frog to get tension.

Epic fail in my opinion, even thought it worked really well when it did work.

m

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I did try a very nice Raguse Gold/Tortise and some others. I have a Pierre-Yves Fuchs that I am trying at the moment. It drives my violin well and is very beautifully made. Fuchs has done well at VSA and was a member of the jury in 2006. I have a feeling that I am not worthy of any of these bows and I am pretty sure I would be happy with most of them. Here is a link with a bunch of short bios of current bow makers.

http://www.aitchisoncellos.com/bowmakers.htm

Dwight

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Out here a lot of good players like Doug Raguse bows.

I did like the Raguse bow I tried. I contacted Doug Raguse for some further information about the bow. He was very kind, and had some great stories. He has made bows for my teacher David Holland and Mr. Holland gave a glowing review of him and his work. This was a fairly early bow of his and was, infact, his first tortise shell frog bow. That with the 18K gold mountings made for a stunning look.

Dwight

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  • 1 month later...

$6K puts you well in the range of the top modern master bow makers. Silver-mounted and depending on the maker, even gold-mounted bows by the likes of Ole Kanestrom, Pierre-Yves Fuchs, Morgan Andersen, Benoit Rolland, and others.

With that budget, there's no reason not to come away with a great bow. Your real challenge is that you have so many options open to you at that price point.

Have fun shopping!

- Ray

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I wound up with a very nice Pierre-Yves Fuchs bow from Robertson and Sons violin shop. The bow plays very well and is beautifully made. Robertson's was very easy to work with and I actually paid for it at The TMEA convention. They had some really high end instruments and bows at the convention. I tried a 1671 Nicolo Amati violin with a twin of my bow - pretty cool. I like the way Fuchs number stamps his bows on the bottom of the stick so that they can be told apart, a small thing but nice.

Dwight

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