Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Bow advise please!!


DStein
 Share

Recommended Posts

My mother has been playing cello over 30 years. Long story short she mentioned Arcus bows. For Christmas I’m going to get her one but am truly stumped on which line to get. For all around the same price, there is an Arcus T4 and an S4 but there is a C4 Musing bow made by Arcus also. My mother plays all sorts of composers and all sorts of ensembles. Which one would you do? Please help. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Agreed!... short story... I have a violin client, whose violin I have maintained for many years. He absolutely loved his fibre bow and never wanted to even try anything else. Finally, After a small violin repair for him, I had on hand  a nice Tourte bow, pernambuco with silver fittings, rehaired with premium siberian horse hair, and I asked him for a favour to just try it, no obligation and that I would appreciate his evaluative comments as a few who had tried it really liked it, and in my case I am not a good player, so getting a players perspective is of significant help for me.  

He agreed and that night he called saying I was not going to get the bow back!  Synthetics are great for students... but you can't beat high quality natural materials.

But..... if you feel Arcus is the desired result, then find a reputable supplier, buy all 3 versions, have your Mother test drive them all and return the rejects for a full refund. A good supplier should not have a problem with that arrangement.

If that does not work, check the info on their web and then contact Arcus directly and they should be able to answer questions and define some of the differences intended with the various models.

https://www.arcus-muesing.de/en/products/cellobows.html

 Cheers, Mat

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

Buy a real bow. Not carbon fiber.

Carbon fiber bows are real bows, and they work very well on many instruments for many players.

Here is what is important to @DStein: Do not buy your mother a cello bow on your own. Bows, like violins, are very personal choices, and you are very likely to buy her a bow that she doesn't like, but may feel obligated to use. Buying her a bow is a wonderful gift idea, but she needs to be the one to personally select it. So take her out for a few afternoons, and enjoy the time together with her as she selects a bow she likes!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gift certificate from a shop carrying Arcus and a great selection of wood bows. She can try bows in person, then use your gift for full price or as a way for her to afford something even more expensive than your gift. Maybe make travel to the shop and your assistance getting there part of the gift.

Give your city or general location and the smart people here can steer you to a shop that fits the bill.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If mom wants an Arcus bow then she should get (or at least try) an Arcus bow...especially seeing she's been playing 30 years. (And there are also task specific bows - maybe she wants one just for those col legno passages :D).

Regardless, bows really are very individual preferences...so she should try them out first.

As was mentioned, you could:

i) get her 3 on trial (one of each type)...and she can keep one (or none).

ii) get her a gift certificate to put towards one.

iii) take her shopping for a bow, as George suggested. That would be an added value gift!

(I do agree with Philip though...Arcus are not real bows...hahaha...:ph34r:).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Mat Roop said:

Agreed!... short story... I have a violin client, whose violin I have maintained for many years. He absolutely loved his fibre bow and never wanted to even try anything else. Finally, After a small violin repair for him, I had on hand  a nice Tourte bow, pernambuco with silver fittings, rehaired with premium siberian horse hair, and I asked him for a favour to just try it, no obligation and that I would appreciate his evaluative comments as a few who had tried it really liked it, and in my case I am not a good player, so getting a players perspective is of significant help for me.  

He agreed and that night he called saying I was not going to get the bow back!  Synthetics are great for students... but you can't beat high quality natural materials.

But..... if you feel Arcus is the desired result, then find a reputable supplier, buy all 3 versions, have your Mother test drive them all and return the rejects for a full refund. A good supplier should not have a problem with that arrangement.

If that does not work, check the info on their web and then contact Arcus directly and they should be able to answer questions and define some of the differences intended with the various models.

https://www.arcus-muesing.de/en/products/cellobows.html

 Cheers, Mat

Must be nice to have clients who can afford to buy a Tourte bow for tens (hundreds?) of thousands on a whim.

I am not a big fan of carbon bows but sell a lot of them. Obviously none will compete with  a Tourte but if shopping below $1,000 they are worth looking at. Like all bows you must try them to see how they feel to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have 3 ARCUS bows, one each violin, viola and cello. They are the early Concerto models. They have a useful place in my bow collection.I purchased them early enough (around 21 years ago) in the evolution of the ARCUS evolution that a relationship with the company founder, Bernd Müsing, was established.  After my purchases he sent me a number of later ARCUS bows on approval with the understanding that if I did not want to purchase them I could turn them over to the violin shop I had frequent dealings with. I felt that as the company developed new models (that I tried this way) their performance became more and more "sophisticated."

I also have (or have had) 3-bow sets of CODA classic and CF DURRO carbon fiber bows, and BERG Deluxe and Rolland Spiccato (Paris) violin bows. In my opinion these bows can have a useful place in a player's quiver. One may be more likely to get a very good bow for "off-string" strokes with a CF bow, but perhaps not as good tone production to the player's ears (but close).

My pernambuco bows include Albert Nürnberger, Paul Martin Siefried and a Brazilian Marco Raposo cello bows,; F.N. Voirin, Richard Weichold, and Paul Martin Siefried violin bows; and viola bows labeled  W. Seifert and C. Bazin. So I do have a range of CF and wood bow experience over the past 80 years. In addition my few bow-purchasing excursions included trials of dozens of violin bows and over 100 cello bows (all priced at less than $10,000).

As far as non-wood bows go, one of my violin friends, with whom I played piano trios for 20 years, preferred his Rolland Spiccato bow (and his CODA Classic) to his French Lamy on his Enrico Rocca violin. For me my Berg Deluxe is my best "players" violin bow, but ranks below my Paul Martin Siefried in tone production - perhaps with the Weichold.and Carl Holzapfel

The intended owner of a new bow MUST be sure it suits themselves - their instrument(s), their hands and arms and their ears. Some low-cost adjustments of balance (i.e., CM location) are possible that can have a big effect on playability, and in my experience they have not changed the quality of tone production. I had that done on my Weichold violin bow and with Müsings help on 2 of my ARCUS bows. Also the amount of hair in a bow should be proper for the stiffness of the stick. Too much hair can ruin the behavior of a soft stick (i.e., Voirin - and from what I hear - a Tourte - never got to play one of those).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, carbon bows are real bows! I sold many Arcus bows, even to professional orchestra violinists. The higher priced ARCUS bows 7 and up tend to be very light (50grs or less) and demand a lot of technique, but due to their weight they play with less effort and energy. The lower priced ARCUs (6 and down, still on the lighter side) could be compared with other quality carbon bows (CodaBow, Carbow, JonPaul)

Müsing bows are the Braided Carbon Fiber (BCF) sticks made by the same producer as ARCUS, alhough lighter in weight, they can be compared with e.g. CodaBow.

The makers of ARCUS used to advise to get used to the lighter weight of their bows for a couple of weeks, before definitely buy (or return) one.

Trying out several (wooden and carbon) bows within your budget is still the best strategy! Remember that choosing an instrument is complicated, but piece of cake compared to choosing a bow.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

39 minutes ago, Andrew Victor said:

I have 3 ARCUS bows, one each violin, viola and cello. They are the early Concerto models. They have a useful place in my bow collection.I purchased them early enough (around 21 years ago) in the evolution of the ARCUS evolution that a relationship with the company founder, Bernd Müsing, was established.  After my purchases he sent me a number of later ARCUS bows on approval with the understanding that if I did not want to purchase them I could turn them over to the violin shop I had frequent dealings with. I felt that as the company developed new models (that I tried this way) their performance became more and more "sophisticated."

I also have (or have had) 3-bow sets of CODA classic and CF DURRO carbon fiber bows, and BERG Deluxe and Rolland Spiccato (Paris) violin bows. In my opinion these bows can have a useful place in a player's quiver. One may be more likely to get a very good bow for "off-string" strokes with a CF bow, but perhaps not as good tone production to the player's ears (but close).

My pernambuco bows include Albert Nürnberger, Paul Martin Siefried and a Brazilian Marco Raposo cello bows,; F.N. Voirin, Richard Weichold, and Paul Martin Siefried violin bows; and viola bows labeled  W. Seifert and C. Bazin. So I do have a range of CF and wood bow experience over the past 80 years. In addition my few bow-purchasing excursions included trials of dozens of violin bows and over 100 cello bows (all priced at less than $10,000).

As far as non-wood bows go, one of my violin friends, with whom I played piano trios for 20 years, preferred his Rolland Spiccato bow (and his CODA Classic) to his French Lamy on his Enrico Rocca violin. For me my Berg Deluxe is my best "players" violin bow, but ranks below my Paul Martin Siefried in tone production - perhaps with the Weichold.and Carl Holzapfel

The intended owner of a new bow MUST be sure it suits themselves - their instrument(s), their hands and arms and their ears. Some low-cost adjustments of balance (i.e., CM location) are possible that can have a big effect on playability, and in my experience they have not changed the quality of tone production. I had that done on my Weichold violin bow and with Müsings help on 2 of my ARCUS bows. Also the amount of hair in a bow should be proper for the stiffness of the stick. Too much hair can ruin the behavior of a soft stick (i.e., Voirin - and from what I hear - a Tourte - never got to play one of those).

That is a very valuable comment and I appreciate your experience and perception. I would be happy to have a collection equal to yours(sans CF, of course.)

I do stand by my comment, however. Get a real bow. Life is too short to play anything else.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Damn, a bunch of close minded people ITT. Carbon fiber bows are unequivocally REAL bows and can be absolutely fantastic tools. My Arcus S9 and my JonPaul Vetta are excellent bows and have been my main and backup sticks for more than a dozen years.

Arcus bows require a different technique from wood bows. If you don't know how to use them properly, you won't be realizing their full potential. I started with an P7 and it took me a few days of playing it exclusively to figure it out. I didn't like it at first, then loved it.

Arcus bows are generally either stiff or soft (relatively speaking) and heavy or light (relatively speaking). The letters indicate the configuration and the higher a number indicates a better grade.

The S line is stiff and light, the T line is the same but a little of the weight focused at either end to settle the bow down some. Octagonal sticks are a bit livelier than the round sticks.

When trying an Arcus, play it *exclusively* for a few days to learn how to handle it. It's not a wood bow and is not trying to be one.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Arcus bows have a different sound from good wooden bows. And most of them that i played, sincerely, have a sound that in my opinion "is not sufficient".
If sound is a non trascurable factor, they can work for a player or not.
A trial, or a real return policy, is mandatory.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was able to actually hear the difference (when played) between a good wood bow and an expensive CF bow.

I didn't think that was even a possibility.

And...it was not a flattering sound for the CF.

A tiny sample size. But still! An eye opener!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I have found is that the differences between CF bows is at least as great as the differences between pernambuco bows.

Surprisingly though, I did experience that the CF bows seemed to be designed and built for more consistent (and better) off-string behavior (even the "turn of the 21st century Glasser "composite" bows.

 

There can be a strong relationship of bow preferences to the instrument's characteristics.

 

Check out the last paragraph of my entry at this post:

https://www.violinist.com/discussion/thread.cfm?page=2539

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

Carbon fiber bows are real bows...........

 

4 hours ago, Mr. Bean said:

Yes, carbon bows are real bows!.....

 

2 hours ago, Spelman said:

Carbon fiber bows are unequivocally REAL bows and can be absolutely fantastic tools...........................

Yup.  I can agree with that.  I've got some.  I just don't use them to play my violins, for reasons already given by others.  CF arrows are great too.  [Sends one flying from her Diamond Deploy SB into a hay bale at 50 meters, where it buries itself with a satisfying "WHACK!!"]  I just love modern technology, where it's needed.  :ph34r: :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/1/2021 at 2:03 PM, DStein said:

My mother has been playing cello over 30 years. Long story short she mentioned Arcus bows. For Christmas I’m going to get her one but am truly stumped on which line to get. For all around the same price, there is an Arcus T4 and an S4 but there is a C4 Musing bow made by Arcus also. My mother plays all sorts of composers and all sorts of ensembles. Which one would you do? Please help. 

OTOH, If Mom wants an Arcus cello bow, get her one for Christmas.  The Müsing C4 would likely make her very happy.  Welcome to Maestronet! :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If she talked about it, she must have played one somewhere. I must emphasize that there are not only the S, M and T series, but also that they have a number after that. In my experience, the bows starting nr 6 are interesting and those below are not (I found the sound they produce very superficial). The different series (types) are minor differences compared to the numbers (quality) in my book. If you could find out which bow she tried somewhere, that would help a lot because you will know what kind of quality she expects. If she tried a nr 7 then she will be disappointed by nr 4. In any case, I would advise you to decide what quality (number) of bow you wish to get her, then contact a dealer in your vicinity, or otherwise Arcus themselves, and ask them if you could try out an M, S and T bow in that particular quality. It is fairly common that they will send you a case with three or more bows to try out, after which you pick one you like and send the others back. I would like to point out that each bow is a handmade stick, meaning that each bow will have some individual characteristics as well, so the one T6 is not the other T6. I hope that helps!
 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, baroquecello said:

If she talked about it, she must have played one somewhere. I must emphasize that there are not only the S, M and T series, but also that they have a number after that. In my experience, the bows starting nr 6 are interesting and those below are not (I found the sound they produce very superficial). The different series (types) are minor differences compared to the numbers (quality) in my book. If you could find out which bow she tried somewhere, that would help a lot because you will know what kind of quality she expects. If she tried a nr 7 then she will be disappointed by nr 4. In any case, I would advise you to decide what quality (number) of bow you wish to get her, then contact a dealer in your vicinity, or otherwise Arcus themselves, and ask them if you could try out an M, S and T bow in that particular quality. It is fairly common that they will send you a case with three or more bows to try out, after which you pick one you like and send the others back. I would like to point out that each bow is a handmade stick, meaning that each bow will have some individual characteristics as well, so the one T6 is not the other T6. I hope that helps!

Useful comment.  Fixed it for ya.  :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 12/1/2021 at 2:03 PM, DStein said:

there is an Arcus T4 and an S4 but there is a C4 Musing bow made by Arcus also. 

The usual is to contact a good shop, mail order/web if need be, and they will send you several to try.  Keep the one you want or send them all back.  Normal process, easy, they're used to it and set up for it.  There's a good chance they will ask for your teacher's contact info.  If they do, give them the name of a friend, and if you buy the bow they will get a kickback and owe you a dinner

Link to comment
Share on other sites

21 minutes ago, baroquecello said:
If she talked about it, she must have played one somewhere. I must emphasize that there are not only the S, M and T series, but also that they have a number after that. In my experience, the bows starting nr 6 are interesting and those below are not (I found the sound they produce very superficial). The different series (types) are minor differences compared to the numbers (quality) in my book. If you could find out which bow she tried somewhere, that would help a lot because you will know what kind of quality she expects. If she tried a nr 7 then she will be disappointed by nr 4. In any case, I would advise you to decide what quality (number) of bow you wish to get her, then contact a dealer in your vicinity, or otherwise Arcus themselves, and ask them if you could try out an M, S and T bow in that particular quality. It is fairly common that they will send you a case with three or more bows to try out, after which you pick one you like and send the others back. I would like to point out that each bow is a handmade stick, meaning that each bow will have some individual characteristics as well, so the one T6 is not the other T6. I hope that helps!
 

Why so blue?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...