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Bow for electric violin

Mike Margolis

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Hi All,

Been gone from here for quite a while, back with a question.

My son (18 years old) has a Ned Steinberg (NS Violins) electric violin. (Yes, he has a nice "normal" violin too)

He is not happy with his regular pernambuco bow with the electric instrument.

He can only say (and he's been playing for 13 years, so I guess he knows a little bit) "I just don't like this bow with this instrument."

Before I go and have him try all sorts of things to see what he DOES like (yes I know, very subjective, duh), can someone here who has a nice electric violin give me a suggestion of what you like with yours?

Main ideas are: synthetic (i.e. Coda etc) or wood?

Any an all suggestions are appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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I have a Steinberger violin and I put perlon strings on it rather than the helicores that come on it. Come to think of it, you might want to try that first. It might change everything, and it would be a lot cheaper and easier than bow shopping. Just put on some used perlon strings of different types to try it out. See what he thinks. The response is a lot different from the metal strings that are on there and it gets a warmer fatter sound too. Also bear in mind sound varies a lot with whichever amplifier and/or preamp you use. Many variables. I made my own amp using an Acoustic Image head (highly recommended) and copied a ported jazz guitar cabinet. A regular guitar amp isn't quite right. Keyboard amps can be ok with a crossover and tweeter to cover the frequency range of the violin. Theres a lot to it. I wouldn't necessarily assume it's the bow....although it might be.

You probably know there is a Coda Electric Bow which is probably worth a try if it really is made specifically for electric violins.

There is also an Arcus bow, also composite, made for 5 string violins, and they might have an electric bow too.

I would guess with all things violin you really have to try it out. I mean there is maybe even a pernambuco bow that would work better too. I would try different strings first though. Hope this helps.

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