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Looking for a decent fiddle bow

Arnie 19 Sep 11 - 10:32 AM
dick greenhaus 19 Sep 11 - 10:48 AM
Arnie 19 Sep 11 - 11:00 AM
GUEST,beardedbruce 19 Sep 11 - 11:08 AM
GUEST,beardedbruce 19 Sep 11 - 11:18 AM
s&r 20 Sep 11 - 04:19 AM
Seayaker 20 Sep 11 - 05:04 AM
s&r 20 Sep 11 - 05:37 AM
Will Fly 21 Sep 11 - 06:18 AM
GUEST,Bluesman 21 Sep 11 - 06:26 AM
Deckman 21 Sep 11 - 08:24 AM
Seayaker 21 Sep 11 - 09:20 AM
Louie Roy 21 Sep 11 - 10:58 PM
Arnie 22 Sep 11 - 05:41 AM
Mark Clark 22 Sep 11 - 10:33 AM
s&r 23 Sep 11 - 03:00 PM
GUEST,beardedbruce 27 Sep 11 - 07:24 AM
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Subject: Looking for a decent fiddle bow
From: Arnie
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 10:32 AM

I've recently invested in a fiddle, which is something I used to play years ago but have decided to resurrect. The one I bought at Hobgoblin has quite a good tone and came with the usual fiddle bits. However, the bow is useless - it sheds hair at such a rate that it will soon need a comb-over! There seems to be a huge choice of bows online but can any fiddler recommend a bow that has stood the test of time? I'm prepared to pay a fair price for a decent bow but don't won't to pay some outrageous price. Grateful for any useful suggestions - off to fit my new set of fine tuners now.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a decent fiddle bow
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 10:48 AM

you might try one of the graphite ones...


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Subject: RE: Looking for a decent fiddle bow
From: Arnie
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 11:00 AM

Dick - I've had a look at graphite but have no experience of using one. Are they better than wood do you know?


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Subject: RE: Looking for a decent fiddle bow
From: GUEST,beardedbruce
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 11:08 AM

Depending on the price range you are in:

SHAR has some good ones- I get the "inspectors rejects" and have had good luck- wood and fiberglass/carbon composite at several levels. (Presto seems the most consistant - a carbon fiber but not braided)

There are some nice braided carbon fiber bows on E-Bay, starting at about $60 and going up- I have had very good luck with the cheap *($60-$100- I get viola bows for Octave violin, and cello for chincello)) ones from a vendor in TX. They are not name-brand , but have performed well.

ANY bow will start to shed at about 1 year or so- with the ones I have been getting, the turnover has been fast enough that I have had no problems with shedding. But horsehair will dry out and get brittle- 50% humidity and temps between 50 and 80F seem to help.

If you want a good pernambuco, or a Coda, they can be found in the $400 and up range- but a friend who teaches violin said the braided carbon fiber noname compares well with her Coda, at 1/7th the price. Still, I get the noname in pairs and try them both to pick out the one I like- them end up keeping the second as a spare when it turns out almost as good.

IF the bow you have is pernambuco, you might just need to get it rehaired ($40 around here) as it sounds like your is old/dried out.

old ebay post- check for present listings by this vendor


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Subject: RE: Looking for a decent fiddle bow
From: GUEST,beardedbruce
Date: 19 Sep 11 - 11:18 AM

crossposted ( typing slowly today)

Bows-

plastic- don't bother

fiberglass- some can be decent, but never great.

cherry/other woods- seem to lose their tension over time, but flexible

brazilwood- reasonable, but have no value/not worth rehairing

pernambuco- best wood- pricey, endangered, traditionally the best

carbon fiber- does not warp or lose tension, but seems to not produce the sound that performers are looking for

Braided carbon fiber- seems to compare well with pernambuco, can be stiff but individual bows can differ, even the same model. Very strong, does not warp or change tension with time ( as far as I have been able to find out.)


ALL comments are my own opinions- yours may differ.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a decent fiddle bow
From: s&r
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 04:19 AM

I've had various bows. My take on them is : cheap wood - useless. Fibreglass - useless expensive wood (brazil or preferably pernambuco - good but pricey Carbon fibre - great for a workhorse Incredibow - I like it and it never needs rehairing. Best to try one if you can.

Stu


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Subject: RE: Looking for a decent fiddle bow
From: Seayaker
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 05:04 AM

Alot of folk fiddlers are using the Baroque style of bow now. These are a bit smaller and lighter than the Tourte bows and are made of Snakewood. I bought mine from a Chinese company called Yitamusic who trade through an Ebay shop. The price depends on the quality of the stick.

The Incredibow is popular round by us as they are sold by Nigel Harmer at Dance of Delight. These are carbon fibre with synthetic hair and are in constant tension. I haven't used one myself so can't give an opinion. (I'll try and borrow one at the Baker's Arms session tonight to see what I think)


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Subject: RE: Looking for a decent fiddle bow
From: s&r
Date: 20 Sep 11 - 05:37 AM

The incredibow is the bow I use when we gig in the outdoorrs - it's all synthetic so neither the stick nor hair changes with temperature or humidity.

dance of delight


Stu Just a happy user.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a decent fiddle bow
From: Will Fly
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 06:18 AM

I've just spent the morning trying out my new Incredibow. Took me a few minutes to get it rosined up to my equirement, and to get used to the lightness. I'm just starting to enjoy it. I tend to be rather a heavy bower, so the lightness of this bow counteracts that - which is good. I'm finding it very responsive so far - perhaps not quite getting so much of the "woodiness" of the violin just yet - but it's early days.

I should add that the responsiveness and thoroughness of Alison and Mark at "Dance of Delight" in Cheltenham was second to none. Ordered yesterday - arrived today, and with complete and personal instructions by email on unpacking and initial use. Excellent service.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a decent fiddle bow
From: GUEST,Bluesman
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 06:26 AM

Have a look at this one on ebay, Item number: 280740882431


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Subject: RE: Looking for a decent fiddle bow
From: Deckman
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 08:24 AM

I'll jump in here with a comment that probably won't add much to the conversation ... but it is the truth.

My childhood friend was a musical prodigy. At the age of three his parents, both musicians, put a violin in his hands. He connected well. At the age of 8, he soloed with the Seattle Symphoney.

Years later, when he obtained his master's degree from Oberlin, his parent's graduation gift was a violin bow. It cost $38,000. bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Looking for a decent fiddle bow
From: Seayaker
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 09:20 AM

But I bet he wasn't playing a cheap fiddle. It's reckoned that you should buy a bow at least a quarter of the value of the violin and orchestral players pay big bucks for their instruments.

I tried an Incredibow and was impressed by the lightness and reponse. They say that you don't get a lot of the string/hair noise from the synthetic hair.

I could placing an order soon.


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Subject: RE: Looking for a decent fiddle bow
From: Louie Roy
Date: 21 Sep 11 - 10:58 PM

I've got a good snakewood that is in excellent shape


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Subject: RE: Looking for a decent fiddle bow
From: Arnie
Date: 22 Sep 11 - 05:41 AM

Stu - many thanks for the link and with Will's testimony it looks like I'll be placing an order with Dance of Delight for the Incredibow later this morning - maybe you should be on commission? Grateful to all who contributed - I knew that I'd get some sound advice from the mudcat fiddling community!


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Subject: RE: Looking for a decent fiddle bow
From: Mark Clark
Date: 22 Sep 11 - 10:33 AM

Just a heads up... Here's an admittedly two-year-old discussion that provides some insight into the company and it's business practices. The company's Web site indicates the current wait is at least four weeks.

If the hair on your bow is breaking at a high rate, it may just be old hair. Bow hair (actual horse hair) has to be replaced from time to time. A good working fiddle player will probably have a bow rehaired two or three times a year. Most working players keep several good bows so they can stand to have on or two in for rehair. New hair won't break on you unless you haven't developed enough technique to use it properly. There's nothing about a bow that makes one lose hair faster than another.

I like what beardedbruce had to say. Good advice, that. And if you're determined to acquire a new bow you must choose one by playing through a bunch of them on your fiddle and select the one that produces the best tone in your hand on your fiddle. A bow can cost a great deal of money and still not be the best for your hand and fiddle. Make sure your have good strings on your fiddle. D'Addario Helicore or Thomastik-Infeld are generally preferred.

Good luck.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Looking for a decent fiddle bow
From: s&r
Date: 23 Sep 11 - 03:00 PM

I can't remember the full story but the family suffered two deaths in a short time, and for a period of time it was impossible to get the incredibow.

The daughter (Heidi?) took over the business and moved to a different location. I bought mine from the States about two years ago with prompt delivery and good packaging.

Arnie - I love it for its robustness and its lightness. Hope you get as much pleasure

Stu


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Subject: RE: Looking for a decent fiddle bow
From: GUEST,beardedbruce
Date: 27 Sep 11 - 07:24 AM

"And if you're determined to acquire a new bow you must choose one by playing through a bunch of them on your fiddle and select the one that produces the best tone in your hand on your fiddle. "


in all seriousness: Hear, hear!


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