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I’ve had my bow for 10 yrs now, playing on and off. It’s only lost a few strands of hair and still looks in great condition. I don’t know when and how do you tell the bow needs to be re haired? Also, does the wood of the bow make a difference. I’m not sure about the difference for cheap vs expensive bows?
Gosh Bunify, glad you are back to playing, I don't think bows ever wear out cause I've heard of really old ones that are an astronomical amount of money!!
Maybe you can see if it's still straight, wipe the hairs off with alcohol wipes - let it dry, rosin it up and try it. I still have my first brazil wood bow, it was used and came free with fiddle and still plays. I do notice the difference with my new one, its less harsh and a smoother sound, feels better in my hand, and seems to pull a better note (when I hit the right one!)
I called Fiddlershop who sent me 3 in my price range to try, I picked the one I wanted to keep, and sent the other 2 back - I thought that was really nice as I didn't know what I wanted, I got 1 wood, 1 carbon and I think the one I ended up keeping was a mix of both...believe me the prices can get up there!
If you are thinking of upgrading, give them a call and they will help you with anything in your price range.
Bunify, welcome back,
Good question, here is an example of what I experienced with Fiddlershop, 3 years ago I sent an very old bow to them for inspection and a re-hair upon inspection they felt it was of poor quality and not worth the price of a re-hair, Michael suggested a 2 star Holstein permabuco bow, which I bought, a fantastic bow for the money night and day better than the old one I had, at one year in I sent it back for a re-hair after inspection they cleaned the bow up said it did not need a rehair, two more years had passed and I sent it back to Fiddlershop for inspection, upon which time I also requested Perrie to compare it to some higher priced bows and see if it was worth upgrading as my Kids for Christmas had gotten me a gift certificate from Fiddlershop and I thought that would be a good way to spend the money. After inspection they said it needed a re-hair, after the re-hair Perrie tested my bow again others I was looking at and said it was not worth up grading as the difference was minimal. I will say that the re-hair made a huge difference in playability and even sound was improved. Most people would have just sold me a new more expensive bow and never batted an eye. Honesty and integrity is what you get at Fiddlershop.
Just my experience with them.
Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.
Should I get an expensive bow? Is it the wood on the bow that makes the sound different ? Or is it the hair? I’m just confused of the differences of prices.
Welcome to playing the Fiddle, different bows will make you fiddle sound different some times it a subtle difference but it's there, upgrading your bow is a very personal decision. With out a knowledge of what your bow make up and if it's hendering you from learning the fiddle only you and your teacher can decide. If the bow is not grabbing the string good or you have to rosin more often then you use to it maybe time to rehair. You can send it in and ask for an honest opinion if the bow is worth re-hairing, a Fiddlerman carbon fiber bow is a good bow and very inexpensive, I've heard good things about the Snake wood bows if your wanting a wood bow, of chourse you can go more money. And get a permabuco bow, or higher priced carbon fiber bows. All depends on how much extra cash you have available and what your wanting to achieve. Good luck on you decision.
Master the Frog and you have mastered the bow.
Rehairing, as @Fiddlerman says, costs up to $70. In the UK it costs up to £70. So your bow needs to be worth (considerably?) more than that. If less than that, just replace the bow. My teacher had to think a bit before deciding that her rehairer probably would be willing to rehair a Col Legno Standard.
The cost can vary depending on location. In the most expensive US cities, it can exceed $80. In my area, the going rate is about $60. In less expensive parts of the country, you may be able to get it done for $50. (I'm assuming high-quality hair.) Under $70 for top-quality hair from Fiddlershop sounds perfectly reasonable.
If you're in one of the more expensive places, it may be worthwhile to ship the bow to a reputable shop in a less expensive area. Some shops seem to get a fair amount of business that way.
I tend to think any bow that's worth more than the cost of a rehair is worth rehairing. It doesn't have to be "considerably" more. As long as the stick isn't shoddily constructed or being abused, wear and tear on it should be minimal and the bow should last years. I still use an 18-year-old student bow as a backup bow and the stick is still in good condition. Since it's now a backup bow, it doesn't get rehairs often, but I think it's had six or seven rehairs over the years.
...any bow that's worth more than the cost of a rehair is worth rehairing. It doesn't have to be "considerably" more. As long as the stick isn't shoddily constructed or being abused, wear and tear on it should be minimal ...
Yes, that was in the back of my mind - in theory a $71 bow is worth rehairing at $70, but only if the bow retains sufficient integrity. Someone who thought $71 wooden bows were close to matchwood might ridicule the idea. Also, my teacher's hesitation about whether her rehairer would rehair a Col Legno Standard made me pause. But maybe it's more likely that she is used to her antique Hill bow and her other students, being beginners, use much cheaper bows than a CLS.
I'm tempted to use the $50 wooden bow that came with the violin until it needs a rehair then ditch it and maybe get a Col Legno Deluxe or nicer (to go with the $2,000 violin I plan to buy next year), but it's a wrench, as the CLS is much nicer than the cheaper wooden one.