I am currently buying a new bow and it is really difficult for me. I have been playing for a year and thought I could afford a new bow, as my old one needed a rehair anyway and is not worth it. So here I am, with 3 bow and I need to chose one. I have a Knoll Brazilwood concert bow (German brand, costs 200 Euros), a Carbondix (90 euros) and a Woodix (200 Euros). I heard a Carbon bow should be better in this price range, but I also like the sound of the wooden bow, even if it is not Pernambucco.
Any thoughts? Of course I would buy on the Fiddlershop if I was not so far away... (Germany)
I love the sound of my Fiddlerman bow, and love the sound of a wood bow... the CF gives a good tone, good overall voice . The wood, depending on the price range, may sound very close, but with a touch of warmth to it compared to a CF bow, again depending on the individual bow. Do you have someone else that can play your violin for you with each bow in a blind test for you? That way you could listen to each one, and judge solely on the sound.
Aside from that, how does each one feel to you? Do they feel nice, or awkward while bowing (my teacher had me try one that bounced like crazy, the actual stick just vibrated all over no matter where or how you were bowing)? Is your hand more comfortable on one than another? Do any feel too heavy? And of course, how does each one sound under your ear? How does it feel when you tighten or loosen the frog (hard to do, or cheap like it wouldn't last long, or strong and good quality)?
More experienced players will pop in with more advice, I'm sure (I'm just at a year myself)
World's Okayest Fiddler
No experience with anything other than the FM CF bow and one other - some sort of cheap-hard-plastic-composite (which is terrible) that came with my equally cheap Thomann electric violin (which is fine!). But I have two FM CF bows that I use on all three acoustics (oh and the EV) - the only reasons I mention this are that -
(1) The shipping doesn't add all that much to the cost for what is a very good (for the price range) bow.
(2) FiddlerShop are a dream to deal with - best customer service I've seen in a long time! And I'm in the UK.
I appreciate the Holstein is a more expensive purchase and you may want to "try before you buy" - I wouldn't let living in Europe put you off - fire off an email to FiddlerShop and see what they say.
I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh -
Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)
The only thing I would add is to get a $5 bow from ebay. With that bow a beginner can more easily see and feel what you don't want in a bow. The fm carbon is my go to bow and I doubt I will ever change from that. Off topic, I also encourage buying the $5 Opera synthetic strings from ebay so as to have a base of comparison.