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Dark horsehair bows?
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Mt. Fiddler
Adirondacks, NY
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January 12, 2013 - 7:58 pm
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a fiddler buddy of mine has his bows strung with dark grey horsehair.  He says it's more mellow but doesn't last as long.  Has there been some discussion on this?

 

M

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 13, 2013 - 8:45 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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I used to be one of the only ones in the orchestra (among violins and violists) that had black hair. It started with our first concert master Anton Kontra and he swore by it so I gave it a try. He stopped after a year or so but I kept on for a few years. After a while I always had one bow with black hair for pop concerts when I was in a band.
The black hair is not more mellow, rather has a courser grip. It lasted at least as long if not longer. There are however, many grades of quality available. Not all hair is created equal.
Many bass players use black hair.

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

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DanielB
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January 13, 2013 - 8:47 am
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Well, if the horsehair is from a climate warmer than Mongolia, then it would be thinner and probably wear out a bit faster than the usual Mongolian stuff.  Cold climates give stronger horsehair and denser more close-grained maple and spruce.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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ftufc
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January 13, 2013 - 6:42 pm
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This is a VERY interesting thread!  I always wondered if color made any difference at all.  I thought not, because I assume the darker colors were just the same hair but dyed.  Apparently I was mistaken, lol.

I'm definitely going to try to find a green-haired bow,,, to use on St. Patty's day of course!  Daniel, where do you think the green-colored horses grow???

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 13, 2013 - 9:18 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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I can get you one Fred. For real :-) Any of the Glasser bows except for the Basic Fiberglass bow, are available in all these colors both sticks and hair.

Stick colors: red, green, blue, purple, metallic gold, metallic silver, pink, black

Hair colors: red, green, blue, purple, yellow, black, pink

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

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Mad_Wed
Russia, Tatarstan rep. Kazan city
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January 15, 2013 - 5:19 pm
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Fiddlerman said
I can get you one Fred. For real :-) Any of the Glasser bows except for the Basic Fiberglass bow, are available in all these colors both sticks and hair.

Stick colors: red, green, blue, purple, metallic gold, metallic silver, pink, black

Hair colors: red, green, blue, purple, yellow, black, pink

The hairs are synthetic too? Or coloured real horse hairs?duncecap

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cdennyb
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January 15, 2013 - 8:05 pm
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good reading.

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"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 15, 2013 - 8:22 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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Real hair only Naska :-)

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

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Mt. Fiddler
Adirondacks, NY
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January 15, 2013 - 10:11 pm
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cdennyb said
good reading.

If this information gets out to the general population, there will ne all manner of bow-hair advertisting... like the study of the effect of Cold-eze zinc tablets help shorten the duration of the common cold.  So.. which will it be?  Mongolian?  Chinese? 

 

Thanks cdennyb.  And... Fiddlerman... St. Patrick's day is coming... stock up on those green bows!@@note

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Feathers
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January 16, 2013 - 2:33 am
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Glad this topic came up.

It wasn't long ago I saw a black carbon fiber bow with black hair, and wondered what effect, if any, it might have on sound. As far as looks go, it was classy and also very cool!

And now Fiddlerman has completely ruined me with the prospect of maybe being able to have a purple one!  facepalmtongue

"Music is what feelings sound like." ~ Author Unknown

 

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 16, 2013 - 8:51 am
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Go for it Feathers. I can't promise you will like it but you will be fairly unique :-)

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

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ftufc
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January 16, 2013 - 11:22 am
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Very interesting read Denny; wished the author had summarized a conclusion but my take on it was, if tensile strength is the most important characteristic to the player, the most commonly-used (Mongolian) is clearly not the best, and that there might be some support here for the old perspective that FM had identified which was, black hair offers the best playing qualities.  Or did I come to incorrect conclusions?

I'm thinking about GREEN FM!

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Fiddlerman
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January 17, 2013 - 11:07 am
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Perfect for St Patriks day Fred :-)

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

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Mad_Wed
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January 17, 2013 - 11:21 am
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Black stick with red hair could be perfectamuse ....hmmm...drooling

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 18, 2013 - 8:43 am
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That would look cool Naska. smile
Wonder if you could just take a FIDDLERMAN bow and dye the hair red?
Anyone have input on that? I have a used CF bow that I used for a year and could probably test dyeing the hair. Don't know about red for me but as an experiment........

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

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Mt. Fiddler
Adirondacks, NY
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January 18, 2013 - 9:05 am
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I'm thinking that whatever is used to dye the hair could affect the physical properties of the hair.  Water based food coloring, for example wouldn't be that good.  I got some saddle/leather dye to do the top of an old guitar after refinishing, that is an alcohol based dye.  I'm thinking that stripping the rosin and prepping the hair, then application of the dye with rubber gloves and a sponge.  In such a way you could do sections at a time of the hair and maybe even have colored sections fade into each other, like a tie dye or rainbow.  Now that sounds like a catchy business idea.  The Fiddlerman RainBow? 

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Fiddlerman
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January 18, 2013 - 9:19 am
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Not sure what to use but Glasser is obviously doing it somehow. So saddle dye is what you recommend?
I'm game to try anything. More suggestions?

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

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VinceKnight
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January 18, 2013 - 10:26 am
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Why not plain old Hair Dye?  I know that my hair, after I dyed it the one and ONLY time in my life, felt more coarse every time I washed it after dying so it's possible regular hair dye would make the horse hair even more "grippy"

 

-Dennis

The pack depends upon the wolf, and the wolf depends upon the pack. The loss of one means the destruction of the other.

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Mt. Fiddler
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January 18, 2013 - 2:55 pm
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What I used was Fiebings Green leather dye.  It was so very deep and so very green that I ended up cutting the dye with high percent rubbing alcohol to make it less intense. I had various glasses set up in the kitchen with varying degrees of greenness, and it looked like a laboratory.  Then selected the one that I imagined would look the best.  It's potent stuff and despite my best efforts and hygiene, I got green fingers!  Figuring there is some (pro and con) discussion about using alcohol to clean the bow hair, maybe it wouldn't have much or any effect on the performance.

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Feathers
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January 19, 2013 - 2:06 am
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Fiddlerman said
Not sure what to use but Glasser is obviously doing it somehow. So saddle dye is what you recommend?
I'm game to try anything. More suggestions?

I decided to browse some horse forums to see what they use, and there was a source for actual horse hair dye that they put on their main and tails for shows, etc. And also some other ideas from different members there.

This is the one for the hair dye, and has different colors: http://www.luckypony.com/Produ.....dcategory=

Another person said they use human punky color on their horse's main. I had to Google it, and found this place: http://www.funkyshop.com/punky.html

Someone else just uses a color hairspray that they get from Walmart. But they also mentioned that it brushes out easy, so I don't know how well it would stay on the bow hair.

Here's the forum I was at if you want to read the page. If you scroll towards the bottom, there's pictures of the horse decked out in the color hairspray.....lol!

http://www.horsegroomingsuppli.....00045.html

Hope that helpssmile

"Music is what feelings sound like." ~ Author Unknown

 

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