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I am new to the forums and relatively new to playing the violin (~5 months)...I have wanted to learn for a long time but only recently (as an adult) had the opportunity. I started by renting (Eastman VL80) and decided I'd rather buy than continue renting. I didn't buy the Eastman because a) it was rather pricey b) even if I could afford it...there were things I wasn't happy with
So...I decided to buy a Mendini MV300 (yes...I realize it's a downgrade but it suits my needs/budget for now while I save up for a Fiddlerman Concert Outfit) and I have already replaced the "factory" strings with something better (D'Addario Pro Arté). My question is...should I upgrade the bridge and the bow? Realistically, will that improve the sound for a beginner? If so, which should I start with first?
I started to suggest getting a FM carbon fiber bow, but I saw it's part of the Concert outfit. While from everything I've heard, it's beaten by a really good pernambuco bow, the low end of those are several hundred dollars and the high end is in the tens of thousands of dollars.
I could very readily believe that the bow that came with the Mendini is not very good. If you want to upgrade to a decent one now, call Fiddlershop and see if they'd be interested in selling you just a bow now, and then the outfit minus a bow for (for roughtly the cost of a bow less), later. They'd have to cover shipping twice, so it might cost you slightly more, but nowhere near as much as a whole second bow. (I don't work for them, so that's an idea, not a promise.) Call them and talk to them about it - can't hurt.
Or even get a whole second bow. I did, because I wanted a second one for convenience (long story that's meaningless here), and I really like those bows.
If it's in your budget, having two bows is nice. I have 2 FM carbon fiber bows, one I leave hanging out on the wall with one of my fiddles for easy use, the other I keep in my case so I won't ever get to a lesson without one, lol.
World's Okayest Fiddler
I feel the biggest benefit of the FM CF bow is that having the bow takes away all uncertainty concerning bow quality. It is the best (period). Having FM's years of experience and knowledge confirm that this bow is the best puts your mind at ease. And that is a big deal. We beginners have many uncertainties, so waking up tomorrow with one less is a great thing.