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What should be the next bow upgrade?
I currently use the Holstein Ipe Wood Bow, and I am looking to upgrade.
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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Elwin
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April 8, 2021 - 11:38 pm
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Here is what I'm looking for in a bow:

Good Power, but not at the expense of richness, and can handle a decent amount of early-advanced techniques (spicatto, sautille, marcato, riccochet, etc.), but not be hard to control. Oh, and one that doesn't easily shake.

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Mouse
April 9, 2021 - 7:00 am
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I would call Fiddlershop.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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Irv
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April 9, 2021 - 10:15 am
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@Elwin .  Regarding bow requirements, oh, is that all?  Your specifications caused my fevered brain to remember a thread here (currently residing on page 20) on the Rolland Spiccato Premiere bow that received a US Patent.  It has a tensioning cable connecting both ends of the carbon fibre stick that can be adjusted via a supplied wrench inserted in the frog end.  It is no longer manufactured (Benois Rolland moved on), but they often come up on the “four letter auction web site that cannot be mentioned but starts with e and ends in y.”  I am sure that a search can develop other leads. 

Obstructions makes one clever.

The future is already here—it’s just not very evenly distributed. —William Gibson

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stringy
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April 9, 2021 - 2:54 pm
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The only thing affected with a bow in humidity is the hair.

The stick will warp if you dont release the tension after use due to to the moisture in the hair.

I was told this by a luthier, so I tend to believe what he says.

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×?@?#?@

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Elwin
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April 9, 2021 - 3:00 pm
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stringy said
The only thing affected with a bow in humidity is the hair.

The stick will warp if you dont release the tension after use due to to the moisture in the hair.

I was told this by a luthier, so I tend to believe what he says.

  

Good to know. I am now leaning more towards a Carbon Fibre Bow, because I plan to eventually get a Glasser Acoustic-Electric Carbon Fibre viola, and my opinion is that aesthetically, a wood-bow with a Carbon Fibre instrument doesn't look good.

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Mouse
April 9, 2021 - 3:37 pm
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Elwin said  I am now leaning more towards a Carbon Fibre Bow, because I plan to eventually get a Glasser Acoustic-Electric Carbon Fibre viola, and my opinion is that aesthetically, a wood-bow with a Carbon Fibre instrument doesn't look good.

I am curious, Why would how it looks matter more than how it works, feels, etc? I mean why would how it looks override how it best suits your playing? I have heard this rationale before and it puzzles me. If a player is at first looking for, say a bow, that helps the player play better, produces a specific sound, etc, why is all of that forgotten in favor of aesthetics? Like, I stated, I have heard this said before. Puzzling to me.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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stringy
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April 9, 2021 - 3:41 pm
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I have a pernambuco bow, and I also have a composite, they both seem very similar to me, but that could be because of my lack of skill at the moment.

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×?@?#?@

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Elwin
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April 9, 2021 - 3:41 pm
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@Mouse 

I never said I will sacrifice playability. I'm just the kind of person, when I see a black carbon fibre instrument, played with a brown wooden bow, the look drives me crazy. The bow just looks out of place. If a wooden bow works better, I'll just get a brown Carbon Fibre instrument.

 
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Mouse
April 9, 2021 - 3:50 pm
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@Elwin That makes sense, now. I do have an idea, though.

Maybe, get a brown carbon instrument and brown carbon bow to begin with. That way you are covered if you find that maybe now the carbon bow works and later you find you definitely need the brown wood bow? That way, if your needs change, you are covered with the brown instrument.

Just an idea. I hope I said that right.

The Bumblebee Flies!

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JohnG
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July 11, 2021 - 4:23 pm
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I got to pondering about my bow. My eyes perceived it as not having much arc when loose and wondered if I should replace it. Yet when I took a picture of it with a yardstick, it appears fine.

My questions are is it the right curvature and ends right distance from hairs, and is it the proper length for a viola?

Any thoughts?

fUZNkAH.jpgImage Enlarger

The old curmudgeon!

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stringy
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July 11, 2021 - 4:39 pm
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Nothing Wrong with the curve John, just make sure you loosen it after every practice.

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×?@?#?@

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JohnG
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July 11, 2021 - 4:42 pm
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@stringy - Thanks, as I said, to my eye it looked almost straight, but the picture showed me different! Eyeball assessment is not always right!

The old curmudgeon!

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JohnG
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August 21, 2021 - 1:25 pm
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I know 90% of my tone is due to my technique, but I'm still concerned that the bow may not be helping. I've done some searching and found the following:

Length of a violin bow is 73 to 74 cms, a viola bow is 72 to 73 cms

Balance point of the bow should follow these guidelines:
Violin = 9.5” to 9.75”
Viola = 9.5

An instrument’s bow should fall into the following weight ranges: 
Violin bow = 57 to 63 grams
Viola bow = 67 to 73 grams

Mine is 74 cms, 10.5", and ~60 grams.

Should I consider that "good enough" or contemplate replacing it.

@Fiddlerman - I'd really appreciate your feedback on this.

The old curmudgeon!

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stringy
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August 21, 2021 - 2:02 pm
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Dont know if this is any use to you John, I copied and pasted from the net as I know jack about bow lengths.

 

The following bow sizes correspond with the associated viola size: 4/4 bow should be purchased for a 15”-16.5” viola, a ¾ bow should be purchased for a 13”-14” viola, a ½ bow should be purchased for a 12” viola, and a ¼ bow should be purchased for an 11” viola.

 

Apparently full size for a normal adult male is 75 centimetres?

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×?@?#?@

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Mouse
August 21, 2021 - 3:01 pm
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@JohnG I am no expert, as you know, but maybe your bow is a tad too light? I know that I cannot play with a bow that is in the lighter end of the scale, be it violin, viola or cello bow. I definitely can’t get a good sound, even for me, from a viola bow at the light end of the scale. Just my 2 cents - probably worth - 1 cent 😂😂😂

The Bumblebee Flies!

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ELCBK
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August 21, 2021 - 4:57 pm
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I think figuring out what you need in a bow can be fun and frustrating! 

I believe having more weight in a Viola bow helps so you don't have to make as much effort to coax good sound from the C & G strings.  Just remember, all the strings need to be played differently to get the best sound (I have a 5-string Violin).  You'll probably notice the biggest difference between how you play the C string vs. your A, but even different brands of strings respond differently. 

Your best option is to try a few different bows. 

You can always contact the Fiddlershop and ask what they can do to let you try a few of their 'higher end' Viola bows. 

You probably won't have the trouble I do with a heavier bow.  I have also learned there is much more that goes into a good bow, than weight - and your needs may change as your playing progresses. 

Here's the extent of everything I went thru to help me figure out what I need - with help from the forum members & FM's insight. 

Carbon Fiber Bows - Violin

Anyone Ever Tweak Their Bow's Balance?

Loven' The New Improved FM CF Bow - review 

I like a lighter bow for faster manipulation and had to find I like a certain balance.  I'm happy with what I am currently using.  Was thinking I could benefit from a slightly stiffer bow for when I want to dig into the C string, because I have to be careful my hair tension is enough I don't bottom out. 

 

... so, not completely done with my perfect bow quest, just yet. 

- Emily

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
August 21, 2021 - 6:08 pm
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JohnG said
I know 90% of my tone is due to my technique, but I'm still concerned that the bow may not be helping. I've done some searching and found the following:

Length of a violin bow is 73 to 74 cms, a viola bow is 72 to 73 cms

Balance point of the bow should follow these guidelines:

Violin = 9.5” to 9.75”

Viola = 9.5

An instrument’s bow should fall into the following weight ranges: 
Violin bow = 57 to 63 grams
Viola bow = 67 to 73 grams

Mine is 74 cms, 10.5", and ~60 grams.

Should I consider that "good enough" or contemplate replacing it.

@Fiddlerman - I'd really appreciate your feedback on this.  

@JohnG - 60 grams is perfect. What kind of material, is there a lot of action in it or is it dead? Does it have a nice arch?
What are you looking for in a bow. Forgiveness, power, sound quality, a bouncy bow?
I'll be happy to guide you.

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

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JohnG
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August 21, 2021 - 6:27 pm
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@Fiddlerman - 60 grams seems to be perfect for violin, but I have a viola. Sorry if I didn't make that clear.

Edited: Should have specified looking for better sound quality and less bounciness. 

The old curmudgeon!

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ELCBK
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August 21, 2021 - 8:55 pm
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@JohnG -

Not trying to get off topic, but I know you followed this thread & was just curious - did anything help with bounciness? 

Bowing Problems

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JohnG
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August 21, 2021 - 9:09 pm
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@ELCBK - Tightening the bow more, helps some, but still not perfect, but that's probably me! lol

The old curmudgeon!

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