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A Bow Makes A Big Difference?


Fellow
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Hi all,

I was disappointed on trying a violin that I am just finishing repairing. So, I double checked my repair work

and could not find anything particularly wrong. That was the time when I used a carbon fiber bow (about $400) to play the violin.

By a coincidence I switched another , my best wooden bow (about $1, 200) to play it , the result of sound was completely amazing. The phenomenon that

violin is so much apt to the bow is beyond my expectation. Just some experience that I would like to

share with you. Thank you if you have any comments. (different brands of strings is another story by itself)

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It's been my experience that it can make a great deal of difference. The weight and balance of the bow, the spring, and even the quality of the hair used can create a completely different response a given instrument.

My best bow has a fair amount of damping in the stick. It is not especially "soft" but it is a bow that some people would not like for "bouncing." It lays into the string and makes a much better sound on nearly any violin as compared to other bows I have.

Perhaps the older bows are desired because they "break in" and to me that seems like increased damping in the stick. It stays glued to the string.

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Every bow is different as is every instrument and every player. One bow may work horribly for one player and yet be perfect for the next. The same can be said for bows and instruments. It is all about finding the right combination.

When it comes to carbon fiber bows, they will not give the sound of a good pernambuco stick. They can't because they are not pernambuco. Weight and balance do come into play, here, as well as how the carbon fiber bow was made, but they will never be able to reproduce the same qualities of sound that an organic material can due to the fact that they do not "age," the properties do not change, whereas wood continues to change as it ages. This is both carbon fiber's strength and weakness. Sound wise, it will never win out in the long run, but it is both stronger and more stable (not prone to being affected by changes in the weather). However, as far as I know, it cannot be repaired if broken.

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When it comes to carbon fiber bows, they will not give the sound of a good pernambuco stick. They can't because they are not pernambuco.

Aren't you assuming that there is such a thing as a "pernambuco sound" ? This is a very mystical statement. What do you mean?

Weight and balance do come into play, here, as well as how the carbon fiber bow was made, but they will never be able to reproduce the same qualities of sound that an organic material can due to the fact that they do not "age,"

Maybe CF does change. Maybe it fatigues. The resin binder is organic. More mysticism here. I will admit that playing likely increases damping in pernambuco, but could this not be put in a CF at the start? You sound like a musician, not a scientific person.

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Science has nothing to do in this field. Carbon fiber anything will not in any of our lifetimes replace or approach old wood and craftsmanship. Wish I could put a big old 'period' sign on this statement.

Teo

Not aesthetically. I was talking only about the performance of the bow. To me, total lack of understanding means total ignorance. It would be nice to understand what in a bow makes it good. Norm Pickering has done a good deal of work here.

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Science has nothing to do in this field. Carbon fiber anything will not in any of our lifetimes replace or approach old wood and craftsmanship. Wish I could put a big old 'period' sign on this statement.

Teo

Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

But the truth is that, unless you claim to be omniscient, you do not know this - it is an opinion.

While I can respect your opinion, I do not (and should not) respect your telling me what to think about the matter.

Period.

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It is a fact that some violins and some bows and some players pair up nicely - while other combinations do not work out as well - yes, even some carbon fiber bows or alternative wood bows can be included in this category...

It has been my experience that (in my case) it really took some years of playing to be able to tell the intrinsic difference between bows.

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Well speaking from not much experience, and being not much of a player in the scheme of things. I was surprised how much difference a bow makes, playing and sound. I have a bout 4 of 5 that I have used over the last 4 or 5 years and a couple of different violins, so its not a lot of evidence. In my mind or instinctively I can't see how it can make that much difference, but it did. I also doubt that anything I have is worth $1200, kevin

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Well speaking from not much experience, and being not much of a player in the scheme of things. I was surprised how much difference a bow makes, playing and sound. I have a bout 4 of 5 that I have used over the last 4 or 5 years and a couple of different violins, so its not a lot of evidence. In my mind or instinctively I can't see how it can make that much difference, but it did. I also doubt that anything I have is worth $1200, kevin

++++++++++++++++++++

Atleast 15 years ago, I accompanied a pretty good player who came to my city for shopping a "good bow".

So I showed him the most well known shop in Chicago, the salesman brought four violin bows out from the back room

and put them on the counter. My friends could not wait and asked how much were they. The cheapest started from $3k

Unless bow prices come down a lot, you cannot get anything decent under $1,000 ?

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Well speaking from not much experience, and being not much of a player in the scheme of things. I was surprised how much difference a bow makes, playing and sound. I have a bout 4 of 5 that I have used over the last 4 or 5 years and a couple of different violins, so its not a lot of evidence. In my mind or instinctively I can't see how it can make that much difference, but it did. I also doubt that anything I have is worth $1200, kevin

++++++++++++++++++++

Atleast 15 years ago, I accompanied a pretty good player who came to my city for shopping a "good bow".

So I showed him the most well known shop in Chicago, the salesman brought four violin bows out from the back room

and put them on the counter. My friends could not wait and asked how much were they. The cheapest started from $3k

Unless bow prices come down a lot, you cannot get anything decent under $1,000 ?

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Well speaking from not much experience, and being not much of a player in the scheme of things. I was surprised how much difference a bow makes, playing and sound. I have a bout 4 of 5 that I have used over the last 4 or 5 years and a couple of different violins, so its not a lot of evidence. In my mind or instinctively I can't see how it can make that much difference, but it did. I also doubt that anything I have is worth $1200, kevin

++++++++++++++++++++

Atleast 15 years ago, I accompanied a pretty good player who came to my city for shopping a "good bow".

So I showed him the most well known shop in Chicago, the salesman brought four violin bows out from the back room

and put them on the counter. My friends could not wait and asked how much were they. The cheapest started from $3k

Unless bow prices come down a lot, you cannot get anything decent under $1,000 ?

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Well speaking from not much experience, and being not much of a player in the scheme of things. I was surprised how much difference a bow makes, playing and sound. I have a bout 4 of 5 that I have used over the last 4 or 5 years and a couple of different violins, so its not a lot of evidence. In my mind or instinctively I can't see how it can make that much difference, but it did. I also doubt that anything I have is worth $1200, kevin

++++++++++++++++++++

Atleast 15 years ago, I accompanied a pretty good player who came to my city for shopping a "good bow".

So I showed him the most well known shop in Chicago, the salesman brought four violin bows out from the back room

and put them on the counter. My friends could not wait and asked how much were they. The cheapest started from $3k

Unless bow prices come down a lot, you cannot get anything decent under $1,000 ?

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Well speaking from not much experience, and being not much of a player in the scheme of things. I was surprised how much difference a bow makes, playing and sound. I have a bout 4 of 5 that I have used over the last 4 or 5 years and a couple of different violins, so its not a lot of evidence. In my mind or instinctively I can't see how it can make that much difference, but it did. I also doubt that anything I have is worth $1200, kevin

++++++++++++++++++++

Atleast 15 years ago, I accompanied a pretty good player who came to my city for shopping a "good bow".

So I showed him the most well known shop in Chicago, the salesman brought four violin bows out from the back room

and put them on the counter. My friends could not wait and asked how much were they. The cheapest started from $3k

Unless bow prices come down a lot, you cannot get anything decent under $1,000 ?

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Well speaking from not much experience, and being not much of a player in the scheme of things. I was surprised how much difference a bow makes, playing and sound. I have a bout 4 of 5 that I have used over the last 4 or 5 years and a couple of different violins, so its not a lot of evidence. In my mind or instinctively I can't see how it can make that much difference, but it did. I also doubt that anything I have is worth $1200, kevin

++++++++++++++++++++

Atleast 15 years ago, I accompanied a pretty good player who came to my city for shopping a "good bow".

So I showed him the most well known shop in Chicago, the salesman brought four violin bows out from the back room

and put them on the counter. My friends could not wait and asked how much were they. The cheapest started from $3k

Unless bow prices come down a lot, you cannot get anything decent under $1,000 ?

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Well speaking from not much experience, and being not much of a player in the scheme of things. I was surprised how much difference a bow makes, playing and sound. I have a bout 4 of 5 that I have used over the last 4 or 5 years and a couple of different violins, so its not a lot of evidence. In my mind or instinctively I can't see how it can make that much difference, but it did. I also doubt that anything I have is worth $1200, kevin

++++++++++++++++++++

Atleast 15 years ago, I accompanied a pretty good player who came to my city for shopping a "good bow".

So I showed him the most well known shop in Chicago, the salesman brought four violin bows out from the back room

and put them on the counter. My friends could not wait and asked how much were they. The cheapest started from $3k

Unless bow prices come down a lot, you cannot get anything decent under $1,000 ?

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But at these prices we are talking about very advanced players. Of course even beginners like me can still hear the difference between 2 bows, but this difference is almost always mainly one in the volume of sound (better hair, heavier or lighter bow, different rosin on the hair, etc). But until you are proficient in staccato, ricochet, spicatto or martele (the strokes that really put the bow at test), I mean really proficient, buying a $1000 bow is hardly understandable in my opinion, especially if you don't own at least a $5000 violin.

Even a good $100 carbone fiber bow will be enough for anyone other than a solist or an orchestra palyer. As usual the player is very often the limiting factor.

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with permabuco being endangered what of other woods I'm thinking about Osage Orange I is considered the premier wood for bows (bow and arrow bow) in n america for is's strength to weight and flex memory I is also very common in the south Mississippi valley? and has bueatifull color.

I speak as a player and believe a quaility bow is as important for producing an optimal sound as a quality violin. I have tried carbon fiber bows but find them stiff and cold compared to a fine

pernambuco bow. I currently use a Tubbs and a Sartory.

For the scientifically minded and not, very good article about wood for bows here;

http://www.amjbot.org/cgi/content/full/93/10/1439

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