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Bows
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
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Ferenc Simon
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January 24, 2018 - 3:47 pm
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It does seem like a standard student bow, but those can be just fine.. The leather being torn and the discoloration on the metal winding happens to everything.. even to the most expensive bow so you can't really measure it by that.. 🙂 Those can all be replaced.. the value of the bow is pretty much determined by the stick..

Much like with the violin.. where the fittings (pegs, chinrest, tailpiece, fingerboard) can all be replaced, the bow has it's own fittings.. the frog, grip, winding, end-screw... but like in the case of the violin where the body is what decides if it's a student or a professional instrument with bows it's decided by the stick.

Anyway.. generally.. if you look down the length of the stick and it's straight.. the balance is nice when you hold it (not too heavy on the front.. not too heavy in the back).. has a nice arch (when you loosen the screw at the end, the hair touches the middle of the stick) and it's comfortable to hold and play with.. then that's a good bow. It doesn't really get much better regardless of the price, the only remaining factor will be the springiness.. for when you want to do spiccato - that's where most professional bows will excel. Obviously you still need hair on it that isn't worn out.

Regarding rosin.. there's tons of it and every one of them claims to be 'the best', it doesn't hurt experimenting with them as they have the possibility to cause a pretty major difference depending on your violin and the strings you use - there are some rosin topics around here 🙂 Maybe get one that resembles normal rosin (haven't tried Jade and some people online like it... but you know.. green is probably not that classic rosin color haha then you'll at least have 2 which you can compare and start forming your own preferences) 

In any case you might want to check out that Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber bow.. mainly because it's cheap.. and that carbon fiber stick really resembles much more expensive bows.. Plus it doesn't hurt to have a backup bow, even if you don't use it as your main.

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Mimi Aysha
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January 24, 2018 - 3:51 pm
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Aha - thanks Simon - I just called the violin shop that gave it to me - they said it was a used bow, they had re-haired it and they could do the same again if I wanted, (I declined and I'll keep it as a back up or give it to my friend who has one way more tore up)

I thought it was nice that they remembered me! When I first began they were super sweet and had left me in a room to try out some beautiful violins (none of which were in my price range) I left with one that was made slightly wrong, and heavily discounted, probably more so than it should have been - but I love it - apparently the neck piece is slightly thinner by just a touch, so better for someone with smaller fingers just like me. A guy from an orchestra who played it before I purchased was amazing!!!! - he said that the tone was wonderful (haven't quite matched the tone myself yet) but one day....maybe...

Anyways its just like me - a little flawed, and thats what makes it special to me, it will be my violin for life.  

They are going to put a new set of strings on for me, and I'll take them some coffee and deserts! - and I am going to treat myself to a new bow. Woo hoo - fiddlershop here we come! 

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Ferenc Simon
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January 24, 2018 - 4:06 pm
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You're welcome 🙂 It's good that you managed to find out that they did in fact re-hair it.

I forgot to mention one thing though 🙂 

A freshly rosined bow will always have slightly more grip and will make you get a tone even in spots where you normally aren't supposed to get one with that speed and pressure.

That effect wears off pretty soon as you play and wipe the strings and such.. so it could be that you're used to THAT kind of grip as your baseline and adjust your speed / pressure and sound point based on that.. however once that initial boost in stickiness wears off you will start making a metallic ringing / buzzing sound if you happen to be closer to the bridge and using a higher speed than needed. 

Just to test that, the next time you feel like you need to rosin, simply wipe off your strings and move closer to the fingerboard with the bow or slow down your bowing without rosining and see what happens. Try experimenting with playing like that for a while (it's highly unlikely you will run out of rosin so much that you can't play at all).. You might even be able to get a much clear and ringing tone with slightly less rosin. So just try getting used to having less on the bow instead of dismissing it as a bad bow and see what happens.. it might be bad, who knows 🙂 but it's worth a shot.

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Mimi Aysha
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January 24, 2018 - 4:13 pm
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OK will do - Never wiped my strings or bow, didn't want to mess anything up... there are 2 bows in my price range so I guess wood or carbon, and I see that there is rosin at the fiddler shop so its not too expensive to add that in and a little cleaning cloth - both Pierre approved - I'm presuming can't go wrong!

Thank you for your time...

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Ferenc Simon
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January 24, 2018 - 4:24 pm
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Well, it's generally not a good idea to wipe the bow, don't do that 😉

But you should wipe off the strings every time you finish playing violin, so it doesn't build up on them in the area where you're bowing.. 

Built up rosin can harden on the strings forming a layer of sticky mess (almost like it's sugar-coated lol) and that will sometimes make the sound more scratchy. If that happens you can still wipe it off, but it takes slightly more effort.. you will feel the rosin gripping on your cloth as you wipe it off and it will make a creeeking sound till it's gone 🙂 

Anyway, I was talking about this bow https://fiddlershop.com/fiddle.....iolin.html the simple CF bow, but obviously if you can afford some of the others and want to try them go for them.. all of them should be okay, I merely mentioned this one since it's a good value for money bow and I own one as well so I actually tried it haha. 

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 25, 2018 - 3:04 pm
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Mimi, if you purchase the Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber bow and are not satisfied, we'll refund the purchase. Without spending over $200 or getting an IPE wood bow, you won't find anything better. Most people love their Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber bows. Check out the reviews. 🙂

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

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Mimi Aysha
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January 27, 2018 - 12:33 am
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Yes I was looking up them up - I may have been slightly put off as I borrowed a glasser carbon bow and found it a little heavier than the wood one but didn't have it long enough to see if I could get used to it.

so carbon and wood - I like do like the sound of your Hybrid and Jon Paul Fusion.

OR wood - Holstein Ipe or John Ipe Wood Violin Bow - but maybe this one is too high quality for my level? My hubby suggested getting the best one I can afford so I wouldn't outgrow it (I dont think thats gonna happen for a while)

Whatever you think would work best for me - I never considered than 1 might be more forgiving?

I trust you since you would know way better than me, 

thanks

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Ferenc Simon
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January 27, 2018 - 8:11 am
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@Mimi Aysha Carbon fiber bows aren't the same.. in fact the benefit of carbon fiber is that they can mold it to any specifications and have any weight. There are bad ones and good ones. (the material itself is lighter and stronger than wood, they add weights in the inside to balance it, so the fact that you tried one and it was too heavy was only due to the weights added to that particular bow) 

The reason I suggested you get the Fiddlerman CF bow is simple... it's cheap.. almost indestructible and acts like a professional bow. If you're looking at higher price ranges, that kind of defeats the purpose of 'value for money'. 

So no, it's not really a choice between 'carbon or wood'.. it's a choice between getting THIS particular 68 dollar or so carbon fiber bow or a much higher end wood bow (which will kind of act the same way, but will look pretty, but also be more fragile). Getting a carbon fiber bow that is more expensive than this one is not worth it imo, since it won't be any better than this one, in fact you're lucky if it will be at least this good, so you're basically losing money, without getting any additional benefits.  

The benefit of wooden bows is that, since they're made of wood people claim they resonate more and have a chance of producing a slightly richer sound (barely noticeable and only to the ones specifically trying to hear that). But none of the cheaper wooden bows (like Fiddlerman said, the ones under ~$200) come even close to the playability of this simple 68 dollar carbon fiber bow. That's why I said it's more of a choice between this bow or a much more expensive wooden bow... 

Now I haven't tried hybrids.. which claim to do both of these, but I highly doubt a hollowed out stick with a CF insert will have the same resonation as a solid wood bow.. but who knows.. Given their price, If I didn't like the simple CF bow for some reason, I'd probably still go for a slightly more expensive wooden one, unless I couldn't afford it and desperately wanted it to look like a wooden one. 

What I can tell you is that I have a wooden pernambuco bow from a master bow-maker, with his name engraved on the stick.. and it pretty much plays the same and has a similar weight / balance as the 68 dollar Fiddlerman CF bow.. the tone might be slightly better though... didn't really compare them, but my violin seemed to sound decent with either of them. So you can't really go wrong with that particular CF bow... some people here on the forums own 3 of them haha... and even if you get an expensive wood bow, it's always nice to have one of these around as a backup. 

If you really want to throw some money at it, look into the Holstein 1-3 star pernambuco bows.. those are 'better' than the CF bow (mainly due to this resonating effect altering the tone and not because of balance.. etc.)

Of course these are just my suggestions, Fiddlerman might have different ones and he knows them better than I do haha.. 

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MrYikes
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January 27, 2018 - 8:46 am
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Sorry, I have already said this same thing in this thread.  I forget things sometimes.

 

The best benefit of FM CF bow is that it is the base to which all other bows are compared. Once you play with one, you will know what a good bow is supposed to do. I also suggest getting a $4 bow (ebay). That way you will know what a bad bow will do. After that you will not need to think about bows any longer.

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Mimi Aysha
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January 27, 2018 - 9:53 am
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Well thank you Mr Yikes, awesome info... I did not know any of that, makes perfect sense, I appreciate you, makes my decision easier - It was tempting to move up to get a better quality which is the norm in most other things, but I for sure appreciate a good deal too!

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Charles
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January 27, 2018 - 10:33 am
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Hi, Mimi,

I'll put in a vote for the Fiddlerman CF bow, too. (I'm the guy Ferenc was referring to who has three - only two are in use, though - the third is still in its container for use as a spare or a gift. Hey, it was on sale. 🙂 )

There are better bows, and there are better CF bows. But you're going to to have to spend significantly more money to get one.  I believe (my own thoughts - Pierre's never said anything on the subject) that the FM CF bows are what are called a "Loss Leader". You sell the thing for just a few cents profit so that people will get exposed to your site and your product line. 

I'd say it has worked. Fiddlershop has been growing strongly for the last few years and that bow is the #1 bow on Amazon. And it got that way mostly from good reviews, word of mouth, and an excellent price.

One bit of advice - call or write Fiddlershop and talk with them about the options, in particular getting more than one bow at once so you can try them out and decide. (They do that with violins, not sure if they'll do it with bows, because of the rosin.) If they do do it, it will cost a little extra, because you'll have to pay to ship the ones you don't want to keep back, but there's nothing like actually trying a few things to decided which one you like better. Pictures and talking can only do so much.

I tend to favor CF bows until you get to the point where a pernambuco bow (which properly, means one made from the heartwood of a pernambuco/brazilwood tree) is the only thing good enough. (As far as I know, the best CF bows still can't match the best pernambuco ones.)

At lower levels, though, you generally can get a CF bow that's as good as any wooden bow for comparable money. The CF bows are much more durable, don't warp because of age or weather, and don't lose their camber over time. There's also a shortage of pernambuco trees, so decreasing the demand on them is a good thing.

There are differences in the sound and feel of wood and CF, though. Some of what makes you prefer one bow over another is personal taste, so if you really prefer wood (after trying both), go with that.

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
January 27, 2018 - 10:59 am
Member Since: March 22, 2014
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Agreed on everything @Ferenc Simon   @MrYikes    @charles  all wrote - yes - @Mimi Aysha it's great advice.

I have, rather like Charles, 3 FM CF bows, two in use, one spare.  You will NOT go wrong with that bow.   Honestly.

I also treated myself to the 2-star FM PB bow a few months ago.   Seriously, at my level, it's not making me "play any better" (and I didn't expect it to - I purchased it to  effectively upgrade my kit to what would be effectively "the best I'll EVER be likely to need in my violin/fiddle journey" given my age - hahaha ).

The PB bow IS different in many subtle ways, both in handling, playability and overall feel - and - to me - at times - a subtle but discernible change (for the better) in overall sound - well - that is when I hit the sweet-spot on the bowing lanes depending where the string is stopped, the bow speed, the pressure, the.... well you name it ....  🙂   

 

EDIT : I haven't been particularly active on the forum recently - so - a somewhat belated WELCOME to the family @Mimi Aysha !   - Enjoy the journeythumbs-up

Oh - edit to the edit - Sorry - I thought you were new to the forum just from your post-cont - my apologies - I see you have been a member since 2012 - LONG before me !  LOLOL

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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Mimi Aysha
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January 27, 2018 - 1:32 pm
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thanks Billy G - yes I joined when I first got my violin, had 3 lessons, unfortunately did not get to play it for a few years, combined with traveling for work and family, I had some issues which affected my joints, I couldn't hold the violin without being worried about dropping it. Now with a great doc, the right combo of meds, (and the last of 5 kids graduating this year) I am back in form....just picked it back up. I would say I never jumped to a level of beyond beginner, with about 6 months under my belt, most of it learning to read music, so was very ticked at first (wasted time) but no point looking back.

Taking time for ones self is important so I thought better late than never!....feeling blessed and excited, working through the 1st Suzuki book and trying to play along with some easier songs - always end up in fits of giggles!

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Mimi Aysha
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January 31, 2018 - 12:26 am
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Thank you for all the advice - Ooooh you guys are so sweet - read everything, from everyone - called the shop, Pierre answered and was sweet enough to run through the ones in my price range, ordered my bow and soooo excited...

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 31, 2018 - 2:35 pm
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Of course. It's my absolute pleasure Mimi. Thanks for your order!

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

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Ripton
Vermont, Massachusetts or somewhere in between
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February 1, 2018 - 12:23 pm
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Pierre answers the phone?  I'm so jealous.  But never disappointed. Michael and Alex are also great to work with.  

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 1, 2018 - 1:59 pm
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@Ripton - LOL. Call me anytime!!!

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

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