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Why does the bow make a difference?
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Photogirl
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February 17, 2014 - 9:13 pm
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I have been doing a lot of reading, and studying about the violin, and something I read across the board is how much difference a good bow can make. I am not questioning the validity if it at all...my question is I would like to better understand the why?

 

What makes a good bow?

Why is it a good bow?

What qualities should one look for in a good bow?

What is a price point in a good bow and not so good bow?

 

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Oliver
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February 17, 2014 - 9:51 pm
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A "good" bow is a bow that improves the sound of a violin and a "good" bow may not sound as good on all violins.  You have to try the bow with your violin. 

(I have no idea why/how bow prices have soared into 5 digit prices.)

I would also judge a bow on how stable it will be.  My 3 wooden bows are all crooked.

My CF is doing fine.

I would not spend more than $300 for a bow but that's an opinion, not a fact.

 

 

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Ferret
Byron Bay Australia
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February 17, 2014 - 9:54 pm
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As you say. There seems to be many criteria as to what a good bow is.

I'm not a very experienced player but one thing that I will say on the subject is that 'price' is not a good indicator of a bow's quality.

My 'sometimes' teacher uses a rather expensive snakewood baroque bow and it's very nice. I have a much cheaper one of the same kind and she can't pick any difference between the two.

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 17, 2014 - 10:43 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Photogirl said
I have been doing a lot of reading, and studying about the violin, and something I read across the board is how much difference a good bow can make. I am not questioning the validity if it at all...my question is I would like to better understand the why?

 

What makes a good bow?

Why is it a good bow?

What qualities should one look for in a good bow?

What is a price point in a good bow and not so good bow?

A good bow is one that feels and sounds good.

Weight, balance, flexibility, durability.

Find a bow that produces a good sound on your fiddle, plays evenly from frog to tip (with the right technique), bounces easily when required, has just the right amount of flexibility.

If you are lucky you can find a great bow for a dollar and if you're unlucky you can get a bad one for thousands. Sorry, but this is a REAL tough question.
I feel like we at Fiddlershop offer the absolute best bow money can buy for little money. Check it out here: http://fiddlershop.com/quality.....o-bow.html

If you are not happy just ship it back to us for all your money back.

Our "FIDDLERMAN" Carbon Fiber bow is also a bargain IMO. I've seen tons of bows.
http://fiddlershop.com/fiddler.....iolin.html

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Photogirl
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February 17, 2014 - 11:32 pm
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Thank you everyone for your answers. I am very new to the violin...I am loving learning.

Thank you Fiddlerman for the link to the bows. I will look at them.

 

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CJ121
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February 18, 2014 - 12:00 am
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I have a carbon bow and a brazilwood bow, and while I can't tell much difference in the feel and playing (the carbon may be faster), the wood bow has a NOTICEABLY deeper and fuller tone to my ear. I was quite surprised it made such a difference in tone.

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Photogirl
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February 18, 2014 - 2:08 pm
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Thank you CJ121, I was wondering about the difference in wood verses carbon fiber, there are certainly a lot of opinions on the differences.

I have an inexpensive carbon fiber that came with my Cecilio. I bought a little more expensive Brazilwood bow to go with my Rosalia that I will be picking up in few weeks. I am looking forward to comparing them.

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Oliver
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February 18, 2014 - 3:00 pm
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Once upon a time bow ads usually included commentary regarding bows offered in different stiffness.  Rhetorical question ...... how does one decide whether a bow is different (better?) based on material or taper?

Most of my 6 or 7 (cheap) bows are light/medium action and I don't even use another (also cheap) few I have with "heavy" action.  ("cheap" = $200 or less)

Again however it comes down to the best match for individual violins.

 

 

 

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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coolpinkone
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February 18, 2014 - 3:16 pm
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Great topic.  I love hearing about bows.  I use two carbon type bows.  I have the carbon fiber bow from Fiddleshop.  I like it.   I have a wooden bow.  I think I might work with it for awhile to see what I think.  

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Oliver
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February 18, 2014 - 4:04 pm
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I believe that I have found the greatest difference in bow (weight/taper) is noticed when playing in the upper 3rd of the bow. 

No big deal but you might find it interesting to experiment there.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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AdverseD
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February 18, 2014 - 6:29 pm
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     I have 2 wooden bows that came with the violins I have, a Glasser carbon graphite bow, and a Fiddlerman CF bow. In order of my preference on how they sound, I prefer the Glasser, then Fiddlerman CF on acoustic. On electric I actually prefer the CF, I don't know if this has something to do with how it responds on steel strings, or if this is just something to do with flexibility, seeing as I have steel on the electric, and synthetic cores on the acoustic. 

     The two wooden bows I have are probably not even worth mentioning, they are definitely just something you could use with the violin if you don't already own a bow.

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Uzi
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February 18, 2014 - 8:03 pm
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Such a great topic.  Thanks for asking the question.  I have no answer at all, but the question is something I've been wondering about.  I have a pair of FM carbon fiber bows and I got the chance last weekend to play a Coda Prodigy and a Coda Diamond as well as a several hundred dollar pernambuco. I couldn't tell much difference between them (except the pernambuco felt a little heavier), but then, I don't play violin worth a darn -- yet. I am really interested in the question though.  Has anybody who can play well compared a Coda vs a FM carbon fiber and was the difference enough to justify an additional 300 bucks or more?  What can you do with the one that you can't do with the other and why?

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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