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So I know all about the fiddlerman CF bow --I have two and I love them both!
But I also have one of those $50 woven CF bows and I think that one's pretty neat, very light, but perhaps too stiff and not as responsive as I'd like it to be.
I noticed there are tons and tons of these low- and mid-priced woven CF bows running around amazon.com. I can't tell just by looking what the differences are. I'm thinking about getting a new bow, and I'd like it to be an upgrade from these entry level CF bows. My local shop only carries Coda CF bows, which are out of my budget. Does anyone own a ~$150 CF bow? what are the differences compared to the fidderman CF bow?
Hi there, I have a $150 cf bow (this is Australian dollars mind you) it is a Schumann. I did blind test coda and arco's. Although I can't compare it to the fiddlerman one, this one is light, sturdy, responsive and suits me and my violin very well. IMHO buying a bow is such a unique and personal thing, it will maybe sound and play differenly on your violin compared to mine, or indeed in your hand compared to others. I know this doesn't help, is there any chance you can travel a little further to try out some alternatives, or shop around for ones that can be returned easily?
Good luck with your search Firstpancake! (great name btw) 🙂
I use FM carbon fiber bow.
I love it. I used another brand before that and like it as well.
For some reason... I just want to play with wood. It has nothing to do with anything except I want to play with wood.
Is that just ignorance... ? Stubborn? I just feel I should cave into my desire...
I have an inexpensive wooden bow.. I want to say in the 29-49 dollar range... I don't use it because some how I figured it was inferior to a good CF.
So anyway.. kind of a thread jack or side track... just my thoughts this Thursday am on bows.
Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato
@coolpinkone , I totally get it. I think if you can afford a good one, why not if it keeps you practicing happily 🙂
Back before carbon fiber, there was fiberglass or wood. Fiberglass is tough and relatively inexpensive, but very heavy and frustratinly unresponsive. A good wood bow is expensive, and word was that all the good pernambuco to make good wood bows was slowly going extinct. Now we have carbon fiber, and the game has totally changed. Dollar for dollar, carbon fiber will get better performance over wood in the low-mid range areas. I'm not sure about the super fancy 4-figure stuff.
I've noticed a quality wood bow is still much more expensive. The bow I bought with my "serious" violin was a $300 pernambuco bow, which at the time (15 years ago) was the lowest-end bow the luthier would sell to me to go with my violin. It's a great bow, but just looking at price --$300 vs $70? I'm not sure if it's 4 times better than the fiddlerman bow at all. If I had to imagine the feel of my fiddlerman bow as a wood bow, I would have guessed it to be a $125-$200 bow. Of course, that's a purely subjective thing, and I have the benefit of already owning my wood bow and taking it for granted.
I have five bows, one is fiberglass which, I didn't like and sacrificed to my curiosity and took apart, and one is a cheap brazilwood, the others are carbon fiber. My favorite is the fiddlerman carbon fiber. However, I picked up a cheap $15 supposedly carbon fiber bow on Amazon that I like. It was surprisingly light and responsive. My teacher let me try her expensive permanbuco, and her husband's expensive carbon fiber. I could tell the difference, but at my level it's not enough for me to justify the price. This is a little off topic, but has anyone tried the JonPaul Sandalwood bow that Fiddlerman has on the violin shop web site?
@coolpinkone I know this thread is a little old, and maybe you bought a new bow since this... but I was searching the board for threads on bows, lol...
I have been wondering about wooden bows for a couple weeks, just curious and wanting to try one out to see if it really sounds or feels different. In class yesterday my teacher let me borrow a wooden bow for the hour, and I lurved it, lol. It brought out a whole new warmer tone to my Ming, and a lot of my squeaks were gone, too. A nice wooden bow is now going on my shopping list, lol. I'd order one from the shop, but I need one that is on the shorter side, so I need to go around to some local shops and try them out to find what works for me before I settle on one. I'm not sure what length I need, my teacher suggest a 3/4, but the one she let me borrow is a full size, but frog to tip the hair was about a half inch shorter than on my bow, though the overall stick was the same, and that seemed almost perfect for me.
I would like to try a decent wood bow myself also. I have a wood bow..but it isn't anything special. Funny you brought this up...
I did some shopping last night. I am not ready to make the plunge. I wish I had tried out my violin partners wooden bow before she moved back to New York. She had a good wood bow.. the kind that was worth rehairing... I got the feeling she was not impressed by bows other than wood. I noticed when I would bring my bows to a jam and I would reach for the wood one, that seemed to please her. 🙂
After I recover from the Ming Splurge.. I might examine bows a bit more......
Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato
@coolpinkone LOL I hear ya. I need to save up before I buy anymore violin related stuff 🙂 I'd like to have the new bow for my recital, but I don't see that happening, since it's only a few weeks away. Her advice was not to go under $150, unless you can find a good quality second quality bow at a steal. My teacher told me not to be shy about going to a violin shop and spending a couple hours trying out different bows, to find a sound and feel I like in my price range. So when I get time I'd like to spend some time at a couple shops noodling around with different bows.
My teacher isn't against CF bows, and she said they are excellent for playing outdoors, where wood is more challenging to play with outside. In her opinion they tend to emphasize the squeaks and scratches a little more than wood, and I agreed. I played the one part in a song that always scratches for me, no matter what I do, but the wood bow just played smoothly.
I don't know what happened to the "Pernambuco" bow I purchased from "Fiddlershop".
I just checked and it's no longer listed. It was $245.00 when I bought it last year and I love it. It's got a really smooth response and excellent balance.
Maybe he doesn't sell it anymore, or it's gone up in price to $349.00.
Help, Pierre, where did it go ?
FWIW, I recently did a bow trial with 4 bows in the 300 - 400$ range. 2 CF's, 2 pernambuco's. CF's were CodaBow Diamond and Presto Ovation. Can't remember the pernambuco's but they were right around $400...
I've been playing a little over a year with a Fiddlerman CF bow.
Per my teacher, I would play a scale, an etude, and a piece with one bow. Then the same three, on the next bow. And so on, over and over, until I could develop a preference. I also took the bows to a lesson, and my teacher played a couple of excerpts that included different techniques such as spiccato, which I haven't done yet, to compare the bows in the trial.
While my teacher didn't have a preference for any, they were acceptable as in "just OK for a 300 - 400$ bow" to her, but her advice was to keep playing and eventually I'd know what to do. I did.
I sent them all back. None were $300 better than what I already had, as far as I'm concerned. My advice? No one can tell you what bow is going to help you play better. Only you can find that bow, and not without doing some trials and comparisons. As for me, at this point, bows in that price point are not significantly better than what I already have. I'll go another year, and next time I look it'll likely be at a higher price point than $400.
@Fiddlerman Maybe I'll have to do that in the near future. That wood bow spoiled me, loved how it sounded with my Ming lol. My only problem is I need a slightly short one. The one my teacher let me use (it was on loan to her while she is getting several bows rehaired) was shorter just where it was haired, end to end it was the same length as my current bow, but the hair was at least a half inch shorter than mine. She thinks I will need a 3/4 bow, but she thought that one worked well for me, so if I could find another similar I think I'd be good.
@Fiddlerman I'm willing to keep going with a full sized one. That's just the only thing my teacher has zeroed in on me the past couple weeks, is my short arms when playing the top half of the bow, lol. My short pinkies she works with, my apparently short arms bothered her, lol. She thinks the short arm and long bow might start to hinder my ability to get up to speed on jigs and things. We're working on getting ready for a recital, so I think she's watching everything I do a little extra close.
If you guys are interested in great Pernambuco bows, we will gladly do in-home trials for you. We have bows that are better than any bows that come close to their price at any shop I have ever checked out. We stopped buying bows from distributors because the stuff we get from the makers themselves is so much better and there is no middle man. 🙂
Yes, it's true that a great Pernambuco bow sounds better. The difference is for many difficult to hear but those who are well tuned to hearing these subtle differences can definitely tell a difference. Vibrations travel through the stick as well and seem to affect the violins tone.
I think it's great that you do the in-home trials. There is just no better way to evaluate a bow. The difference is definitely difficult for beginners to discern. When you can tell, you're ready. When I can tell, it will be a pernambuco. I'll check you out then, FM...
is this the least expensive pernambuco bow you offer now?
Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato
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