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Eco-friendly violin bow?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (2 votes) 
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NoirVelours
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February 17, 2013 - 2:29 pm
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I need advice on how I could eventually replace my current bow to be more eco-friendly.

 

The bow itself is no big deal, I will buy a carbon fiber. My problem lies with the horsehair. I'm vegan and want to use a bow that doesn't exploit animals (it's an ethical thing not open to discussion). From what I already know, nylon bow hair are pretty low-quality right? Or is there quality in them also?

 

If anyone know an alternative to horsehair please tell me! Thank you for your time :)

"It can sing like a bird, it can cry like a human being, it can be very angry, it can be all that humans are" Maxim Vengerov

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Almandin
Stockholm, Sweden
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February 17, 2013 - 3:04 pm
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Intriguing question! I'm not vegan, but I applaud those who are. That kind of dedication to a cause is admirable. Will be watching this topic!

Also: welcome back, NoirVelours! I wasn't here before you "vanished", but I've talked to you on YouTube a bit. smile

~ Once you've ruled out the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be true. ~

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TerryT
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February 17, 2013 - 3:10 pm
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Hi Nv,
I'm not sure by Iguess that no horse is killed for its hair, and it is a sustainable product, ie it grows back, so would this allay your fears?

I was born with nothing,
and to my surprise I still have most of it left!

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Almandin
Stockholm, Sweden
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February 17, 2013 - 3:26 pm
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No, vegans believe that no animal should be used for any purpose, because simply by keeping them we're exploiting them against their will. If it were me, I'd probably be okay with using hair from the tail of my own horse – that I would know loved me as a friend – for my own bow, because in a thick tail, the thin wisp of hair required for one bow is so insignificant to the horse's welfare. But that's obviously a matter of opinion.  And there may be vegans who don't like the thought of keeping animals as pets either. 

~ Once you've ruled out the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be true. ~

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Ferret
Byron Bay Australia
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February 17, 2013 - 3:48 pm
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Hi

No wood. No horse hair
http://www.incredibow.com/

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

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KindaScratchy
Massachusetts
February 17, 2013 - 7:00 pm
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So, aside from animal right issues, here's an interesting article on environmental sustainability in instrument making:

http://www.allthingsstrings.co.....ainability

 

When the work's all done and the sun's settin' low,

I pull out my fiddle and I rosin up the bow.

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StoneDog
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February 17, 2013 - 10:57 pm
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Is horse hair the best thing to have on ones bow? > I sort of am thinking it is but I really don't know. Sort of brings back memories of years ago. I wanted to play the viddle but I loved horses. When I was young I think I heard that the bow was of horse hair~~~ that stopped me from playing > There was much drama within my passion to play > so I did not. Eh > I loved horses. > Interesting, now I know why I waited so long. But now I am thinking about horses again and one of their tails is part of my bow.

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Ferret
Byron Bay Australia
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February 18, 2013 - 5:06 am
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Myself, I have no trouble with the horse hair. No horse need die to get it. But what about the 'hide glue that holds a violin together?

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

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Fiddlestix
Michigan, USA
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February 18, 2013 - 6:33 am
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Maybe there are no fly's in Mongolia.

@ Noir, If I'm not mistaken (I probably am) didn't you bring up the subject last year about the "spider silk" violin strings ?

Welcome back, I've wondered where you've been and if you gave up on the violin. I'm happy to hear you haven't.  clap

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Kevin M.
Nicholson, Pa
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February 18, 2013 - 9:26 am
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Please don't comment on why NV has made a decission to be Vegan.  That is what she wishes. She only asked about a bow not using horse hair.

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DanielB
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February 18, 2013 - 9:40 am
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I have only done one bow rehair, and I haven't played on many bows at all, so I am not sure as I would know the difference in actual quality.  But what I used for the rehair on a bow for a friend was not nylon exactly, but a synthetic fiber they call Hervex. 

It took rosin ok, about the same as any new bow I've met.  It made a sound that wasn't unpleasant, but was slightly different.  I didn't play with it much, but I'd say it was a little less "husky" than at least the cheap real hair the bows I own are.  Volume and response speed seemed ok, or at least I didn't notice anything bad about them.  So it might be an option to discuss with the luthier or whatever that you'd get to rehair a carbon fiber bow, they'd know more about it and other options, I'm sure.

I'm vegetarian (not vegan), but don't particularly avoid animal products in things like clothing or musical instruments.  I can understand the ethical point, though.  And while one doesn't have to kill horses to get horsehair for bows, it usually comes from countries where the horse is a meat animal.  So most commercial bow hair would be a product of the slaughterhouse.

 

"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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NoirVelours
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February 18, 2013 - 1:35 pm
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I will have to read reviews on the incredibow. As for the violin glue I have no idea what went into it, would not be surprised it was in part animal, but it was bought when I was still vegetarian not vegan so it never crossed my mind at the time.

I'm hoping to find a good quality synthetic hair bow, I mean we have nice synthetic strings so why not bows right?

"It can sing like a bird, it can cry like a human being, it can be very angry, it can be all that humans are" Maxim Vengerov

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Mad_Wed
Russia, Tatarstan rep. Kazan city
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February 20, 2013 - 3:16 pm
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Hi, Noir Velours! Can't tell anything about the synthetic hairs, never tried them... But also heard that they are not good yet. But i think progress is going far and they'll be good and animal-parts-free soon. 

If You'll get one that You will be happy with, let us know!

Missed You here!coffee

PS: that incredibow looks kind a baroque style amuse

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Tyberius
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February 20, 2013 - 8:23 pm
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Although I can honestly say I don't understand the vegan belief/life style, it doesn't make it less valuable, less important or present more/less drive then my beliefs do for me. On that, I am not familiar with a synthetic hair. Here is a web site that offers synthetic hair for you to replace your present bow hair with.\

http://www.columbiarivermusico.....14521.html

"I find your lack of Fiddle, disturbing" - Darth Vader

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JaredA
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February 20, 2013 - 8:33 pm
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I read somewhere, perhaps from a manufacturer bragging about their product, that they used hair that fell out on it's own, for a very specific reason. I'm guessing that's only true of extremely expensive bows, not necessarily a cheap bow. This incredibow thing is kind of intriguing to me. 

 

All quality made violins use hide glue because it can be melted in order to disassemble the violin for repairs, and then glue it back together. Synthetic wood glues are typically permanent. Cheaper made factory violins often use synthetic glues i hear. 

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NoirVelours
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February 20, 2013 - 8:41 pm
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Mad_Wed said PS: that incredibow looks kind a baroque style amuse

It sure has the right curve! The reviews I read so far place the current incredibows in the middle, not bad but not awesome. Probably slightly better then the bow that comes with a 300$ and less violin (wild guess).

 

Tyberius, that's the super bad cheapo extreme nylon hair. I got in contact with my luthier and they were totally against nylon hair bows because of the sound. I'm at a dead end unless I try that incredibow. Will contact my vegan association to see what they think about this.

"It can sing like a bird, it can cry like a human being, it can be very angry, it can be all that humans are" Maxim Vengerov

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Kevin M.
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February 21, 2013 - 1:38 pm
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If you like I can send you some horse hair from one of my horses which I can guarantee are not harmed in any way. Then have your luthier put it in your bow.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 21, 2013 - 10:18 pm
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Have you tried that with your own horse's hair Kevin?

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

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Kevin M.
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February 22, 2013 - 12:01 pm
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I haven't tried it yet. I think it's time to take some hair from Patrick's tail.  He's a redhead.  My wife's miniture horse had a beautiful long black tail but I put the neighbor's goats in her stall and they ate her tail so now it's way too short.  Needless to say my wife was not impressed with the mini's short tail.

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NoirVelours
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February 22, 2013 - 2:57 pm
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The goats were jealous!

Like I said on another post, I'll try the incredibow and see how it sounds, if not I'll gladly buy some cruelty-free horsehair from Kevin. I'm vegan but I don't want to stop playing violin so I'll go for the lesser harm if synthetic doesn't do the job! Good thing Zyex strings are synthetic :)

"It can sing like a bird, it can cry like a human being, it can be very angry, it can be all that humans are" Maxim Vengerov

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