I hate jumping to conclusions, but the Octagongal Arcus P6 VIOLA bow definitely has a richer sound than the P4 I tried earlier!
The balance makes it feel like an extension of my fingertips and will also be great for playing on my 5-string violin!
For being so light, I'm still amazed that it doesn't take any effort to illicit immediate string response...so cool! Makes double stops easier!
...can't get a Codabow Viola bow this light.
Delighted I'm not finding a bouncing issue with this P6 Octagonal bow - like I did with the previous P4. Thought maybe I was just playing better, but...
Also trying another 'Round' P6, because these bows are picked to sound close to a standard for each category - which means there are still differences within each category, and this round stick is definitely bouncy (more than the previous one I tried)... not good.
...now I need to see how I feel about both of these bows after a week of playing. 🤗
Actually, I could've easily passed over the Arcus bows - still NOT pleasant to hold, at least not without a little tweaking. Like I said earlier, the edge of the frog where the thumb sets against, is thick and blunt - NOTHING like the comfortable bevel on the Codabows!
I don't know about anyone else, but if my thumb isn't able to set right & securely, then my whole hand feels 'off' & it effects my playing! So, I temporarily tied a rubberband around the stick, left just enough room for loosening the hair - this makes the stick thicker next to the frog, a better spot for my thumb.
Now, MUCH more comfortable!
I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE anyone who is having trouble with their bow grip to consider this: if I end up purchasing one of these bows, I'll file a little bevel on the frog and thicken the thumb pad. Or, you can try another recommendation in the Bow Grip Thread - post 22.
I have, and from what I've seen, will always have to make a small modification for my thumb and grip - even the Codabows don't have a thick enough thumb pad for me.
I'm noticing more professional violinist's bows modified with thicker thumb pads! Bow makers should take note of this!
I AM a little peeved that I have to adjust anything for this cost, but maybe there's people out there that prefer that tall, blunt edge on the frog and thin thumb pad - maybe people with large, fat thumbs. (lol)
What's more important is I can't adjust sound, the way a bow draws, I refuse to adjust balance - so, right now, I'm really very happy with the Arcus P6 Octagon stick. It's definitely the best I've played!
...I just want to take the time I'm given to make absolutely sure this is what I want.
Btw, your decision to choose the Joule over the Escent helped me quite a bit!
Thank you! 😊
That is true. i dont. but its a violin bow. they make a viola version which is what i was talking about.
as far as viola i cant say i use my violin bows. more likely to keep viola bow in hand on violin.
I seriously don't know why I'm even doing this.
Kevin just came home from working the Air Show, stood & waited for me to finish what I was playing, then said -
"Hey, that new bow sounds really good!"
...what he heard me using was my old $87 FM CF Weave Violin Bow. 😳
I'd been taking turns playing different kinds of music with it & the 2 Arcus Viola bows. And, not having any bouncy issues with the Arcus round stick, today!
I'm starting to wonder if 2 weeks is going to be of any help.
🤔... maybe the mouse doesn't taste as good without the cheese.
It hasn't been a week with these bows, yet - I don't know if it's my strings or something about Edgar being a CF instrument, or playing without a shoulder rest, but as of right now I can't justify the cost of the Arcus bows.
Yes, I like them better - not THAT much better.
I'm going to change my C, G & D strings back from Virtuoso Soloist to the regular Larsen Virtuoso - just to see if it matters, but kinda scary if bows are completely string dependent.
I'm seriously back to considering trying some VIOLIN bows - as long as they have a firm stick.
...maybe it's time to try the FM CF Pro and Codabow Escent VIOLIN bows.
Changed my strings - I may not get as loud as with Virtuoso Soloist strings, but I like the regular ones better.
As far as the bows go, I still have a few days left of the trial. I prefer the Octagonal stick, but honestly, I'm becoming much more impressed with how good my brown FM CF Weave bow can sound - this VIOLIN bow is definitely holding it's own against the VIOLA bows!
June 1st was my 3 year mark - this might just be a magic number. I've noticed major improvements over the last couple months and I'm pretty happy with the way I sound on Edgar. It's getting much easier to apply different bowing techniques & learn new pieces. All of my recent extra focus on bows and bowing has been tremendous help - maybe perfect timing for where I'm at in my learning process. ...I'm sure people who have had the benefit of a teacher are way beyond me, but this has been a GREAT experience! 🤗
I haven't recorded anything using these latest bows, so I might try this weekend - just to see if there's much of a difference from what I hear.
All the VIOLA Arcus bows may sound better on a wood instrument - I do LOVE their balance and they engage effortlessly. The P6 will be hard to part with.
The VIOLA Codabow Joule is still an excellent sounding light-weight bow - enjoyable to play with, if you like a little more weight at the tip end.
...still want to try the FM Pro & the Codabow Escent VIOLIN bows - maybe even a Baroque bow.
I'm extremely grateful for the Fiddlershop home trials. I had originally thought it would be so much better to visit a shop in person and spend time trying many different bows all at once. I've changed my mind about this - not so sure it's possible to really understand all the characteristics of a bow in a few short moments.
If there is one thing I hope VIOLISTS take away from all this: consider trying one of these lighter Viola bows if you want to play your Viola like a fiddle - also consider a VIOLIN bow. 😊
Only 3 days left with these current bows and it still leaves me in a quandary.
I do love the richer, stronger tone with the Acus P6 bows, but I'm still noticing something different, a little squirrely, about this particular P6 Round stick that I didn't have with the one in my previous trial. And there is definitely a difference in balance between this P6 Octagonal and the earlier P4 Octagonal I tried, that I don't like as much.
I'm frustrated, because I feel I'm very close to what I want - and I don't know if I should continue trying other P6's. Arcus seems upfront about having differences within each category, so it's quite possible I might just need to try more.
Before anything else, I think I better rule out some Violin bows (not Arcus - too light) - then afterwards, I think I'll inquire about the Arcus S series Viola bows. I see Fiddlershop carries the Violin versions, so maybe they can help me with a Viola bow.
The 7th level of any of the Arcus bows is beyond what I'm willing to spend, but I had seen these videos a while back and think the "S" series is worth looking into!
So much for those reviews, S series is discontinued for Viola bows.
There might still be a few floating around, but I'm not tracking any down.
Just for the heck of it, I had Kevin weigh all 3 bows this time - my brown FM CF weave Violin, and the 2 Arcus Viola bows.
Turns out my brown FM CF weave is 59gms - lighter than my other black one!
These 2 Arcus are both 58gms. Confirms what I suspected about the balance of this Octagonal being more toward the tip than the Round, because it feels a little heavier. I was hoping for the opposite, a lighter feel - like the P4 Octagonal I tried earlier.
My point is they are all close in weight, which I think has made it easier to compare other qualities.
@ELCBK If by firm, you mean stiff, I don't think it is stiff. I think it is flexible, but balanced--I think it responds better at the upper part of the bow with less effort than the Coda Luma (I had the Luma on trial at the same time as the Presto, along with two pernambuco bows). I do think it is easier to play softly with it than loudly.
Not sure if that is helpful.
Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.
Yes, that does help me!
I don't want much stick flexibility for the G & C strings on Edgar, or I'll bottom out if I get energetic (lol) - why I don't want to try the Codabow Diamond GX.
Not pursuing a Presto Impulse Viola bow, because it has to be heavier than the violin bow - don't want that.
I have no problem playing very softly or very strong with my Fiddlerman CF Weave or with any of the Arcus bows - so that is important.
Anyone have a Fiddlerman CF PRO Violin bow?
I'll like to know if it's firm or flexible or in the middle.