An interesting Carbon Fiber question

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by anthem274, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. anthem274


    Jul 19, 2003
    Arlington, TX
    I was doing some thinking while dozing off in English class today and I came to an interesting thought.

    Nearly every review of carbon fiber bows, good or bad, says that the bow has the response, balance, and overall playability of wood bows several times its price. But almost all of them say that the tone and character of the bows sound is not up to a pernambuco stick.

    I was wondering, since CF endpins have been said to increase the volume and improve the tone of the bass, could the endpin's tonal quality compensate for the bow's tonal quality?

    CF bow with CF endpin = Pernambuco bow with steel endpin?
  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    If I understand the concepts correctly, a CF endpin potentially creates a better coupling to the floor, which acts as a huge resonator and aids in the body sensing the lower frequencies, creating a deeper, fuller tone. Just as an EBG cabinet sounds better if it rests firmly on the floor rather than on casters or an amp stand.

    The tone issues associated with a bow are really more related to the higher frequency harmonics. It is about certain properties of pernambuco vs. other woods or CF and the ability of the stick to dampen certain overtones making the overall sound less shrill and harsh.

    IME, the improvement in tone from a quality bow is >10x (since you like formulas :) ) that of any improvement made by an endpin. An improvement by an endpin can be anywhere from modest to unnoticeable depending on the bass, whereas a quality bow vs. a poor one will sound better on any bass.
  3. Wow, someone was brave enough to take a stab at this one. I was simply going to suggest that anthem274 evaluate these half-dozing theories when he is awake in physics class. Everything pointed out here, plus many other factors come into play. For instance a sprung plank floor vs. concrete vs. plywood stage. The endpin's possible influence will not be noticed in every situation, but the bow is like the string and bridge in being one of the first things to affect the tone. What the end-pin does comes way after that when the whole bass body is resonating into the floor. That being the case sequentially, there is no way for the endpin to put back what the bow lost.

    No offense intended beyond a little ribbing, but please study what is known scientifically about sound and acoustics before inventing a new hypothesis. Here's a great resource for those who are curious enough to stay awake: