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The current poll question about bows asks if we are using a cheap carbon fiber or an expensive carbon fiber, a cheap pernambuco or an expensive pernambuco. What's the price break between cheap and expensive?
Cabon Fiber < $300 cheap?
Pernambuco < $1,000 cheap?
Is that about right?
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright
Cheap is when even *you* can't deny it was a waste of your money..
Expensive is gear you'd like but can't afford, at least not right now.
Between those two is Reasonable, which is the range where it works well for you and it was in your budget. Almost any musician, regardless of what they paid for a piece of gear, considers the price to have been Reasonable if the gear works out for them and they managed to afford it.
There is another category above and beyond Expensive, called Ridiculous. That is where something costs so much that you wouldn't pay that for it, even if you hit the lottery.
"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
I'll add my definition to the above:
Not having access to any music shops apart from online, I've bought my whole kit that way; all of it, including replacement strings and bows, after much research.
When a cheap purchase becomes expensive is when I receive it and realise that it was a total waste of money, and the postage to return it is a waste as well. By the time I research something else and buy it, I could've spent more money in the first place than I'd planned to.
If you think you can, or you think you can't, you're probably right.
I can understand all of your comments, but I submit that there is a place for cheap. Be it violin or bow, I would never do to an expensive piece, what I do to the cheap ones I own. I am in a learning phase and am doing that which for me is necessary to learn everything I need to know about playing a violin. After I know how to treat a violin or bow, then I can upgrade without fear.
If though, I bought expensive first, how would I learn? Because someday the post will fall or the bridge will crack or the hair will turn into a mass of bumps of rosin, the tailpiece will strip its retainer and all the pegs will fail to hold tension,,,and and,,and my teeth will fall out and my hair will turn green, too. I decided to do all my learning now, here, not when I'm playing the wedding march with the bride's mother staring at me.