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Sep 26, 2022 - 6:57:07 AM
140 posts since 9/3/2022

Looks like my bow that came with my $45 machine is a Viola Bow.
I learn something new everyday. Anyways, I don't wanna buy a real cheap one nor am I presenting this instrument on a prestigious stage as well. Any input or direction would be most RAD!

Sep 26, 2022 - 7:33:33 AM
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907 posts since 3/1/2020

It depends on your budget (not real cheap could mean a few hundred or a few thousand!), but I would advise talking to your teacher or visiting a shop. Even in the lower end, there’s a wide variety in the way they work and sound. You’re a lot more likely to get something you’ll be happy with if you can try it out with other bows before buying.

As a beginner, it’s hard to know what to buy, because you’re still learning to just draw any kind of tone. This is where a teacher or shop’s advice is so helpful—they know the bows well enough to make good recommendations for your uses.

Sep 26, 2022 - 8:13:53 AM
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DougD

USA

10869 posts since 12/2/2007

Rich, could you look at the photos in this thread and see if you think that's a viola bow? That's what started this. fiddlehangout.com/topic/57068

Sep 26, 2022 - 9:14:58 AM
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Players Union Member

Earworm

USA

398 posts since 1/30/2018
Online Now

Some bows may be "good bows" but won't pair the best with your particular fiddle or your preferences. Like Rich suggested, Try bows out in person if at all possible. You will get better service and be happier with whatever you choose if you can try it in person. Ask if you are allowed to check out a couple of bows for a home-trial, so that you can hear it in more familiar surroundings. Some stores have a policy for this and it is very worthwhile.

For online shopping, be certain that the store has a good return policy (and a good reputation), and see what their options are for in-home trials too. However it is by far the best option to shop in person at a shop. This is an opportunity for you to upgrade your sound considerably - You may be surprised. Have fun with your search!

Edited by - Earworm on 09/26/2022 09:18:55

Sep 26, 2022 - 11:22:13 AM

Erock77

USA

140 posts since 9/3/2022

Anyone heard, own or have used an Incredibow?

Sep 26, 2022 - 11:54:14 AM
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2477 posts since 10/1/2008

Shar Music ... Coda Bow... carbon fiber fairly well balanced. It will last you well and they are worth a re-hair as needed. R/

Sep 26, 2022 - 2:56:44 PM
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323 posts since 6/21/2007

If you want to keep it under $100, I highly recommend the Fiddlershop carbon fiber bow. I’m quite pleased with mine.

Sep 26, 2022 - 5:36:20 PM
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907 posts since 3/1/2020

quote:
Originally posted by DougD

Rich, could you look at the photos in this thread and see if you think that's a viola bow? That's what started this. fiddlehangout.com/topic/57068


It's hard to say exactly. The stick looks like it might be thick enough to be a viola bow, but I'd need to know the weight too. It is true that viola frogs are more often rounded at one corner, but there are violin bows with rounded frogs and viola bows with squared frogs.

If it's closer to 60 grams it should be a violin bow. If it's closer to 70 it's more likely to be a viola bow. 

Sep 27, 2022 - 5:05:39 AM

Erock77

USA

140 posts since 9/3/2022

quote:
Originally posted by The Violin Beautiful
quote:
Originally posted by DougD

Rich, could you look at the photos in this thread and see if you think that's a viola bow? That's what started this. fiddlehangout.com/topic/57068


It's hard to say exactly. The stick looks like it might be thick enough to be a viola bow, but I'd need to know the weight too. It is true that viola frogs are more often rounded at one corner, but there are violin bows with rounded frogs and viola bows with squared frogs.

If it's closer to 60 grams it should be a violin bow. If it's closer to 70 it's more likely to be a viola bow. 


Ok, I got to the root of my situation. That's the violin bow that came with mine, the frog was just switched out because the original one was super glued.

I'm def leaning toward getting a carbon fiber bow. Thanks for the insite, folks. I've learned so much and I'm grateful. 

Sep 27, 2022 - 5:25:59 AM
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RobBob

USA

2876 posts since 6/26/2007

Southwest Strings has Acro Nouveau bows here. Fast service, good prices.

Sep 27, 2022 - 5:39:40 AM

Erock77

USA

140 posts since 9/3/2022

quote:
Originally posted by RobBob

Southwest Strings has Acro Nouveau bows here. Fast service, good prices.


Wow, that's a great store! Thanks for that.

Sep 27, 2022 - 7:23:13 AM
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WyoBob

USA

429 posts since 5/16/2019

You might consider a this bow:  https://www.amazon.com/Violin-Stunning-Carbon-Fiber-Violins/dp/B01J19ABGI/ref=sr_1_3?crid=3CLSBT15WM40O&keywords=kmise%2Bviolin%2Bbow&qid=1664287071&qu=eyJxc2MiOiIwLjAwIiwicXNhIjoiMC4wMCIsInFzcCI6IjAuMDAifQ%3D%3D&sprefix=Kmise%2Bbow%2Caps%2C249&sr=8-3&th=1

I owned a Fiddlerman bow and it worked pretty well but, after less than a year, it started to rapidly break hair.  I ordered another one and the stick was crooked so I sent it back.

I don't have experience with a lot of bows, but I've owned a Coda NX,  a JonPaul Fusion and two Kmise bows and trialed 5 or 6 other bows.  A friend, who is a great fiddler, played my NX and one of my Kmise bows and preferred the Kmise which mirrored my opinion.    I decided to try a JP Fusion and bought one from the "Fiddlershop" (they guarantee the stick for life)  for around $200 and much preferred this bow to the NX which I then sold to a friend.  I play either of the Kmise bows quite a bit.  The Fusion pulls better tone but not 6 times better than the Fusion.     For $35.00 for the KMIse, you can't go wrong but, if you don't like it, you can return it (or just keep it for a spare for when you buy a better bow).

   

Oct 1, 2022 - 9:32:12 AM
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DrLee

USA

6 posts since 2/14/2018

quote:
Originally posted by stumpkicker

If you want to keep it under $100, I highly recommend the Fiddlershop carbon fiber bow. I’m quite pleased with mine.


Hey stumpkicker, how do you think the Fiddlershop comoares wih a codabow? I dont expect it to be at that level of quality, but for a friendly jam or travel ?

Oct 3, 2022 - 11:53:45 AM

Erock77

USA

140 posts since 9/3/2022

Still haven't ordered one and I need to very soon! One more question if I may?

Just because something says "Student" does that mean it's lesser quality?
I own a Martin D-28 so I wouldn't suggest that to a student, however if that person planned on getting fluent and was serious,
buying decent "pro" bow would make sense?

Some of these questions are easy to answer, just getting insight and options.

Oct 3, 2022 - 12:31:02 PM
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DougD

USA

10869 posts since 12/2/2007

I'm curious why you think you need to order one "very soon." Have you worn yours out somehow, or do you need a spare? BTW, is yours marked in any way? Did your luthier say anything about it? I'm curious because I have several bows (when I got my first paid solo fiddling gig I decided I needed a spare) but I still have my first one, and although its not my favorite it still works.

Oct 3, 2022 - 6:55:26 PM
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2816 posts since 10/22/2007

About the "student" thing:
When I walk into a fancy, big city, violin shop, where nobody knows me, I declare I am a student.
When I walk into another fancy, big city, violin shop where they know me, and know I've spent 30 to 40 thousand hours, playing, I continue to declare myself as a student.
The fellow that owns the shop, a second generation concert violinist, could be soloist, calls himself a student. Well, at least when we're together. We have a fun tasting fiddles. We could go for hours. It all started with me walking in as a student.

Edited by - farmerjones on 10/03/2022 18:56:28

Oct 3, 2022 - 7:11:28 PM
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2816 posts since 10/22/2007

As far as bows go, know that Pernambucco and Brazil wood are from the same tree. Oh, you get a lecture about how it's a different part of the same tree, but sometimes the two get lost when the sales department has to type up the description.
I've also heard that all bows round or octagonal start out round. I've also heard the opposite. I'm not saying bow makers are dishonest. Like I said, sometimes the sales staff gets involved where they shouldn't.

I like a good stiff bow. Most in my experience tend to be hexagonal. Nobody likes my bow but me. Much too stiff. Many compare it to driving a camaro on an icy road. All I can recommend is try many bows, but bring your daily player with you.
Saves money.

Oct 4, 2022 - 4:27:53 AM

Erock77

USA

140 posts since 9/3/2022

quote:
Originally posted by farmerjones

As far as bows go, know that Pernambucco and Brazil wood are from the same tree. Oh, you get a lecture about how it's a different part of the same tree, but sometimes the two get lost when the sales department has to type up the description.
I've also heard that all bows round or octagonal start out round. I've also heard the opposite. I'm not saying bow makers are dishonest. Like I said, sometimes the sales staff gets involved where they shouldn't.

I like a good stiff bow. Most in my experience tend to be hexagonal. Nobody likes my bow but me. Much too stiff. Many compare it to driving a camaro on an icy road. All I can recommend is try many bows, but bring your daily player with you.
Saves money.


Great advice! Hell, I'm ready for a new fiddle already!! I get it though, play as many as possible. Makes sense! When I bought my second Martin Guitar, I had like 13 to pick from and I played every single one until I found it. 

Kinda like guitar picks. I own several blue chip picks and people always Sigh when they hear the cost. But they are the best! Same as a good bow!

Oct 4, 2022 - 7:19:31 AM
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907 posts since 3/1/2020

quote:
Originally posted by farmerjones

As far as bows go, know that Pernambucco and Brazil wood are from the same tree. Oh, you get a lecture about how it's a different part of the same tree, but sometimes the two get lost when the sales department has to type up the description.
I've also heard that all bows round or octagonal start out round. I've also heard the opposite. I'm not saying bow makers are dishonest. Like I said, sometimes the sales staff gets involved where they shouldn't.

I like a good stiff bow. Most in my experience tend to be hexagonal. Nobody likes my bow but me. Much too stiff. Many compare it to driving a camaro on an icy road. All I can recommend is try many bows, but bring your daily player with you.
Saves money.


Pernambuco and Brazil wood are wood from the same tree, but there are differences. Pernambuco is the heartwood of the tree and is therefore more dense and finely grained, which makes it better for carving into fine detail. Brazilwood is the sapwood and it's not nearly as dense and is often quite soft. This is why Brazilwood bows are among the cheapest wood bows.

Pernambuco is dense enough that much of it will sink when placed in water, and this is why the wood was used as ballast on ships before Tourte realized its usefulness to the bow trade and forever changed the bow industry. It also has a deeper color, something that has been used to produce a fine dye. 
 

About the round vs. octagonal question: bows made in the traditional style are started with squared stick blanks, which  are then planed into octagons. From there, the maker will decide whether to maintain the octagonal shape or to continue planing facets until the bow eventually can be rounded. If you look at the handles of various bows, you'll see that all are octagonal regardless of the shape of the stick beyond the winding. Makers choose the shape of the stick based on several things. An octagonal bow gives the maker no room to hide imperfections--any inconsistencies in the facets are there for the world to see, so makers who enter competitions tend to make octagonal bows so you (and the judges)  can see just how skilled their hands are. Almost nothing is rounded or smoothed over in a competition bow. Some players prefer the look of a rounded stick, so makers will make round sticks for aesthetics. Sometimes a rounded stick is the result of an octagonal stick that had an error in the shaping of facets, but there's no way to tell. Sound wise, there's no difference. If you find yourself at a shop where the sales staff can't differentiate pernambuco bows from Brazilwood, leave as quickly as you can!

Not all bows are made completely in the traditional style, however. J.B. Vuillaume invented the first machine for producing a round stick on a lathe. The stick would still be roughed out in the traditional way, but instead of being planed into an octagon and then into more facets, the stick would be turned to round it to a rough shape before being refined by hand. The W.E. Hill & Sons workshop made further use of this idea for their bows stamped HILL to speed up production time, but this was kept a closely guarded secret for decades; it wasn't until the book on the Hill bow makers came out in the 1970s that the use of machinery was acknowledged. 

Oct 4, 2022 - 11:37:08 AM
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323 posts since 6/21/2007

quote:
Originally posted by DrLee
quote:
Originally posted by stumpkicker

If you want to keep it under $100, I highly recommend the Fiddlershop carbon fiber bow. I’m quite pleased with mine.


Hey stumpkicker, how do you think the Fiddlershop comoares wih a codabow? I dont expect it to be at that level of quality, but for a friendly jam or travel ?


Well, I never used a coda bow. A few months after I bought the Fiddlershop bow, I brought it, a La Salle bow, and two no name bows to a festival. Then I did a blind hearing test in front of four Bluegrass musicians; none of them fiddlers. All of them good enough to have been paid to play at regional festivals. As close as possible I played the same version of soldiers joy just announcing the bows by number. They all agreed that the fiddler shop bow was the best. It has been my regular bow ever since.

Oct 4, 2022 - 12:05:11 PM

Erock77

USA

140 posts since 9/3/2022

quote:
Originally posted by DougD

I'm curious why you think you need to order one "very soon." Have you worn yours out somehow, or do you need a spare? BTW, is yours marked in any way? Did your luthier say anything about it? I'm curious because I have several bows (when I got my first paid solo fiddling gig I decided I needed a spare) but I still have my first one, and although its not my favorite it still works.


Thanks, Doug. 

Well, the bow I took him had a frog that was bum so he had to use a viola frog when he re-haired it so he could get me on my way to learning. He also beefed up the amount of hair so it's a Violin bow, with a Viola Frog and extra hair. 

Oct 4, 2022 - 12:07:55 PM
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DrLee

USA

6 posts since 2/14/2018

quote:
Originally posted by stumpkicker
quote:
Originally posted by DrLee
quote:
Originally posted by stumpkicker

If you want to keep it under $100, I highly recommend the Fiddlershop carbon fiber bow. I’m quite pleased with mine.


Hey stumpkicker, how do you think the Fiddlershop comoares wih a codabow? I dont expect it to be at that level of quality, but for a friendly jam or travel ?


Well, I never used a coda bow. A few months after I bought the Fiddlershop bow, I brought it, a La Salle bow, and two no name bows to a festival. Then I did a blind hearing test in front of four Bluegrass musicians; none of them fiddlers. All of them good enough to have been paid to play at regional festivals. As close as possible I played the same version of soldiers joy just announcing the bows by number. They all agreed that the fiddler shop bow was the best. It has been my regular bow ever since.


Thanks! I might try it

best

Nov 7, 2022 - 8:41 AM
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Erock77

USA

140 posts since 9/3/2022

Hey ya'll. Just anted to post an update incase you all were losing sleep over my bow situation.
I purchased a Fidlerman Carbon Fiber Bow and let me tell you...my kids said "Daddy, you sound a lot better today..." lol
They all have a great ear and I had to agree...I sound a lot better.

This bow was a great $70 deal online. The thing feels nice, looks nice and plays way better than my viola bow and the loaner my teacher had me using. I can't say enough good things about this bow. I imagine as you go up to the couple hundred dollar bows, you can still tell the difference. It's made playing more desirable and easier. The flow is there.

Now it's time to replace my case!

Nov 7, 2022 - 12:19:38 PM
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2127 posts since 12/11/2008

Erock77. Excellent! Enjoy the heck out of it.

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