I’m an avid old time fiddler and recently decided to upgrade my bow. I play a higher end nickel bow and thought a silver might help me as I continue to work on my bowing. I recently ran across a used silver Roth bow. Reportedly from the 1970s. Price is $1500. More than I planned to spend, but…. Wondering if anyone has thoughts or experience that could help me make a wise choice? Thanks!
Do you like it? How does it play? BTW, I don't either nickel or silver are what makes the sound. The mounting is only an indication of the quality of the rest of the bow, and I don't think too reliable actually.
Unless you are really interested in off-the-string work as well as classical tone production, I seriously doubt you'll find much benefit from an expensive bow. I work with a number of pro fiddlers including full-time pros, and most of them seem to be plenty happy with a good veneered CF bow or a $600 - $800 Brazilian Pernambuco bow. If you want a better bow just for grins, feel free, but I wouldn't expect a whole lot of benefit unless you are into techniques that demand a better bow.
OTOH, If it really feels and sounds good to you, and you can definitely perceive the benefits.... it's your money.
Admittedly, the bow buying process is pretty subjective, and gains can be real or imagined. But I'm wondering two things: 1. are the Roth bows (from the 70s) are worth $1500 in today's market. 2. do Roth bows have a reputation for being whatever a good bow is--sensitive, powerful, balanced, etc.
I know I'm fishing here, but I really don't know much about bows, especially old german ones.
Any decent quality German bow that’s silver-mounted will be at least $1000. If the Roth is in good condition, $1500 is reasonable. If it’s something nicer like a Pfretzschner or a Nürnberger, the price can easily go up to $6000-$8000 for silver, $10000 or more for gold.
Roth bows are just commercial German bows with the Roth factory stamp. They’re not bad, but not as quite desirable as the violins. Anything post-WW2 is worth less than anything pre-war.
Rich, thanks for giving me the lay of the land--great info. I believe the Roth is in good condition. Still, it seems like a good idea to me now to stick with my original, lower price range. Something good will show up, historic or not. Many thanks!