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Rehaired cheap bow vs non rehaired expensive bow


G,dae
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Bit of a dilemma. Due to having no decent bow rehairers near me I have been looking at buying a £100 PH carbon now that allows you to buy DIY rehairs. The appeal of this is that I can replace the hair every 6 months - 1 year.

PH carbon bow

PH hank rehair

on the flip side 

I can spend more on a Musing C2, Jon Paul or CodaBow but getting it rehaired will require special trips which won’t be anywhere done near as frequently.

Given this scenario which would be the better option? Cheaper bow-more rehairs, more expensive bow-fewer rehairs?

 

 

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3 hours ago, G,dae said:

No, I don’t. My current hair has lasted 7 years. I realise it’s going to be tricky to get a true answer as a) some believe that hair doesn’t need to be replaced until it physically wears and, b) some don’t believe bows make any difference to tone anyway.

The "some" in question are wrong.

You should buy the bow which feels best to you and helps you to sound best. Coda is a good brand and have a number of models. 

If you don't break hair you can certainly go a year or two between rehairs and possibly quite a bit longer. If you don't hear or feel a difference after a rehairing then try waiting longer the next time. Except for very sensitive players the decline in the bow hair is so slow that you won't notice but may feel and hear the change with the new hair.

Why the reluctance to ship a bow? If you use a bow case inside a mailing tube it should be quite safe and with a really expensive bow a case enclosed in a schedule 40 plumbing pipe would probably withstand any thing short of being run over by a truck.

 

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Reluctance to ship is due to cost and reliability of UK shipping. I don’t trust them.

I agree, I would love to try them all but there are no shops nearby that sell all of the ones I want to try in one go. This leaves me to try from several shops via mail order. Some stores take full responsibility for shipping both ways, some don’t, which narrows down choices further.

The bottom line is the preferred method of buying a bow is out. I get to try a couple from 2 ranges...eg a £100 PH and a £350-£400 Musing...leading back to the original question. I may prefer the more expensive bow initially but after a couple of years would the sound of the expensive bow drop below that of a newly haired £100 bow?

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My experience with CF bows has been that they do not change their basic characteristics in at least 20 years - that's about as long as I have had any of them. Good then - good now.

With pernambuco bows good then - good now (but that's been 70 years. I would bet the CF bows will follow that pattern too.

A good rehair can bring a bow back to its best behavior. Good rosin helps too!

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I agree with Strad O. Various Jr - one of the few times... :lol: The standard for shipping here (states) is a very stiff cardboard tube - like for fishing rods or good posters, but shorter, inside a triangular shipping "tube" that Fedex and others use.  If a very expensive bow, as with expensive fishing rods, use PVC pipe tubes - with caps even. These are very cheap - you can make your own at the local hardware store, and will withstand anything reasonable, including a car driving over it.  Put that in the triangular shipping tubes a la Fedex.  Why the reluctance to ship? With insurance, and stiff packing, there is almost no chance of anything happening. Others use a bow case inside a shipping box or even inside the tringular tube if one bow, but the very stiff tube within a traingular container works quite well.  Don't forget the shock absorbant packing material inside to prevent rattle. 

Why the reluctance? Practically everyone here in the states ships bows with virtually no problems.

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There is no problem whatsoever shipping bows safely in the UK. See recommendations above, but also consider a purpose made bowtube with a screw on cap - very secure.

There are some shops also that stock all those bows and offer a mail out service!

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Please guys, I am not asking about shipping. Shipping is not specific to violins. I am asking about cheap bows rehaired more often vs more expensive bows rehaired less often.

So far I am not really any the wiser. Thank you Andrew who confirmed that rehairing improves a bow but again this doesn’t really answer the question. I’m guessing it’s one that people just don’t know the answer.

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33 minutes ago, G,dae said:

I’m guessing it’s one that people just don’t know the answer.

with the P&H Carbon bow, you are planning to use their prepared bow hair hanks,  what if you are not satisfied with the quality of the hair they supply? It may be worth trying though, since it's a bow that you can easily re-sell if you don't like it. I have a customer who is a professional orchestra player and  touring musician. He bought a series of carbon fibre bows (the Carbondix, which is a popular brand here) , he chose the best two for use in touring and recording studio (yes!) and sold the other ones.

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On 9/2/2020 at 10:48 AM, G,dae said:

Bit of a dilemma. Due to having no decent bow rehairers near me I have been looking at buying a £100 PH carbon now that allows you to buy DIY rehairs. The appeal of this is that I can replace the hair every 6 months - 1 year.

PH carbon bow

PH hank rehair

on the flip side 

I can spend more on a Musing C2, Jon Paul or CodaBow but getting it rehaired will require special trips which won’t be anywhere done near as frequently.

Given this scenario which would be the better option? Cheaper bow-more rehairs, more expensive bow-fewer rehairs?

 

 

I really don't understand your thinking here. Making a bow choice based on the fact that you don't like postal workers!

From a playing point of view, you would want the best bow you could get within your budget surely, as this is likely to play better, be better balanced, sound better (subjective), everything fits properly, higher quality materials etc.

Buying some horror show bow, just because they can potentially be rehaired at home doesn't make much sense. Those hair hanks are not going to be good quality, especially as they were intended to be used on super cheap fibreglass kids bows. Something like a Musing will have higher quality hair in, and it will likely last much longer before needing rehaired, as a result.

Any bow with really worn out hair is hard to play on, you can't get proper contact, and no amount of rosin, or cleaning the hair makes much difference. At this point, any working bow will make a better sound, and be more efficient. You might as well just buy a new £10 Chinese mystery wood bow every year.

 

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2 hours ago, Giovanni Corazzol said:

with the P&H Carbon bow, you are planning to use their prepared bow hair hanks,  what if you are not satisfied with the quality of the hair they supply?

I think this is a really important thing to look into before you decide what you want to do - attached a picture of the packaging of (vintage?) P&H DIY hair I have lying around:

PH_Hair.thumb.JPG.8da4f4fa01e5b073ada9e8bd2a99d458.JPG

"With Horse Hair" is not exactly confidence-inspiring, and the included hank looks truly awful. While this pack is of an unknown vintage, it does not appear that P&H were putting much effort into the product beyond the marketing.

Iit almost seems that you are asking the question: "What matters more - the stick, or the freshness of the hair on it?". If so, you should probably start to factor in the quality of the hair and rehair as well - the two options you outline are as different to one another as your choice of bow-sticks. 

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1 minute ago, notsodeepblue said:

"With Horse Hair" is not exactly confidence-inspiring, and the included hank looks truly awful. While this pack is of an unknown vintage, it does not appear that P&H were putting much effort into the product beyond the marketing.

Iit almost seems that you are asking the question: "What matters more - the stick, or the freshness of the hair on it?". If so, you should probably start to factor in the quality of the hair and rehair as well - the two options you outline are as different to one another as your choice of bow-sticks. 

P&H were making very cheap bows for school children to use, they were often included in beginner type outfits.
The main selling point was that the fibreglass shaft were harder to snap, when pretend sword fighting at lunch break.

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There is much more to a bow than its hair !  There is much more to a rehairing than the hair.  If you are happy  with the cheapest fiberglass bow, then you can rehair it yourself.  If  you can play at all, have your bow done professionally every other year.  And take your  violin for a check up and new strings! And some  fun conversation about everything!

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A cheap diy rehair bow will always be less satisfactory than a better quality one, regardless of how recently it was rehaired. These kinds of bows are designed for durability in the hands of careless young people. 

I would go with the more expensive bow option.

If frequent replacement of the hair is of importance to you get two so you have a backup.

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1 hour ago, Jo Stephens said:

A cheap diy rehair bow will always be less satisfactory than a better quality one, regardless of how recently it was rehaired. These kinds of bows are designed for durability in the hands of careless young people. 

I would go with the more expensive bow option.

If frequent replacement of the hair is of importance to you get two so you have a backup.

Given that the OP's current bow has lasted 7 years before needing rehaired, it seems that regular replacements aren't of importance, but how they can avoid having it rehaired in 7 years time.

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