I'm looking for a new bow. If I'm going to continue to progress I need to upgrade. Beyond the "carbon vs wood" question there's also the question of "fully mounted or not" as well as type of winding.
So... Skipping the carbon vs wood question: besides the supposed wear avoidance issue, what benefit is there from a bow that is fully mounted vs one that isn't. Were bows originally mounted or is that part of the "redesign" from the original patterns used back when violins were first invented?
Next: What benefit, if any, is there to whalebone windings? Is it just traditional or something more? Does it wear better than metal wire, despite it being plastic rather than real bone these days? It looks cheap but if there's a benefit I'll consider it. I'm not really interested in silk because I already know it doesn't wear well.
I have 3 possible candidates in mind. 1 of them gives me choices on mounted/unmounted and winding type. I'm fairly certain it's the best of the 3 (and the one with the highest cost) so I need to get more information about the options for it.
My own bow is a composite which I got with my fiddle when I bought it. I did get a pernambuco which I used for a year but recently I have gone back to the composite now that I can actually feel the difference it feels a better bow with better sound and is slightly lighter.
As for mounting on bows it it adds weight dont know if thats the reason for it, but obviously gold mounted is heavier than silver, bows originally didnt have mounting, the baroque bows at least didnt and they were the forerunner of the modern one, I would like to try one to see what they feel like.
Dont know anything about whalebone.
I will probably go for a composite again next time I get a bow, I have heard codabows are good. Not much help to you I am afraid.
Modern whalebone is plastic lacing, just like the leather lacing used for braiding, only man made. The white shoe on the tip of the bow is called "bone" but it's plastic too.
Most of the bows I'm looking at are fully mounted, there's just the 1 which isn't. Which seems kind of odd or cheap for a bowmaker to somehow not take that extra step while still charging a ton of money for the bow.
I think my current bow is "tone deaf." It's certainly not balanced well, very very tip heavy, and has little to no bounce when the stick is tapped against my forearm after tensioning. Which is fine for what it is - a beginner's bow - but I think I need to move on from it.
2 of the current contenders I'm looking at are Pernambuco, 1 is carbon weave. I'd prefer the carbon because it's tougher and I'm sometimes a bit clumsy and knock the bow against things. 1 of the Pernambuco bows is on sale at around 50% off, which is a great deal unless it was way overpriced originally and they're trying to unload inventory that didn't move. The carbon bow is the leading contender at the moment. Which could change in 5 minutes. Or not. Unless... The other bow is expensive and 2x time the price of the others.
Supposedly all 3 are "hand made" which is a meaningless term. The one thing they have in common is that all of them have top quality hair and not the basic "consumer grade" Mongolian horse hair.
Decisions, decisions, decisions...
I would also consider a hybrid. I use a C.F. Iesta, which used to be sold under that name but is now sold in the US as the JonPaul Fusion Silver. When I bought it, I went to shops with a $2000 budget, and tried out bows priced at up to $2500, and the $500 hybrid bow ended up being my favorite.
The principal violist of my orchestra, who is a full-time pro, started using a JonPaul Fusion Silver after trying mine; she actually switched to it from a much more expensive bow. Another member of the section, after trying our principal violist's bow, is about to get one for a home trial. So I'm not the only one who has been impressed by hybrid bows.
Gordon Shumway said
I just found this lovely quote by Michael Cleveland. It may or may not swing your choice: - "I've always used carbon fibre fiddle bows - they make really good bows, especially for the weather that sometimes you get in bluegrass festival conditions"
remarkable tone from the bow, fiddle and playing from him. I was impressed with a glasser carbon violin a few months back. sounded better than any of the wood violins they had. I Like the way he is bowing and how he is holding it. I havent really listened to much of his recordings..think Ill do some watching now.