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Black Hair

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by farmerdude, Jan 13, 2002.

  1. I got my bow back yesterday with salt & pepper (or is it salt & peppa:D). Today I sent it back in to the shop for white hair. I absolutely did not like the tone of the S&P. It also seemed that I could not get my normal volume with this hair. The hair felt like the tail of my Gelbvieh bull back home. (rough & tacky) Anyone else have comments?
  2. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Keep in mind that there are differences in quality even within a particular type of hair. It's not enough to say that it's 'Siberian' or 'Mongolian, as if that's all there is to it.'

    Ordinarily, black hair has more bite, so when you say this gave less volume than all white, I think the problem is the quality.

    If you e-mail me, I can give you the name of a great bow maker whose re-hairs are guaranteed top quality, and low priced, 2 day turn-around.
  3. Thanks Don. I have no idea of the quality. It came from Lemur.
    I was perfectly happy with white hair, just had to try something different and wondered if black hair was a no-no. I'll keep in mind the reference you mention in the case I am not happy with future local re-hairs.
  4. Angus

    Angus Supporting Member

    Apr 16, 2000
    Palo Alto, CA
    I prefer the black over both white and salt and pepper.

    I tried white for a while, and it wasn't bad, but it didn't catch nearly enough, and the tone seemed a bit thinner than the black hair on my teachers bow (which, granted, is a far fancier bow).

    The salt and pepper, which hammond ashley talked me into, is the worst of the three IMO. It's very possibly a quality problem, because the hair isn't taking the rosin very well, which other bows are/were, and it hardly catches the string at all...odd, since it's got some black hair. It sounds like absolutely nothing. It might not be a fair comparison, but I don't like it very much.

    Black all the way.
  5. alavakian

    alavakian Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2002
    SF Bay area
    I've been using black bow hair over 50 years. White hair was to greasy and scratchy sounding. Slam Stewart got me onto black bow hair.
  6. After having always used white (simply because it was on every bow I ever had and I stuck with it) I recently switched to a dark salt & pepper (s&p that's mostly black with a small amount of white and maybe some brown mixed in). It was on a bow I got last year. That bow plays wonderfully with it so I decided to try it on my other bow. So far, three days with it, I love it; and that's despite hating new hair. It seems like it takes a lot less to get the string going and the sound seems to be more focused. It's especially noticeable when trying to play softly, and on string crossings (the beginning of mvmnt. 3 of Beeth. 5 sounds much cleaner), and playing fast (detache and spicatto).
  7. ade


    Aug 3, 2000
    my last rehairing gave me white and the sound was not right . At a later date I played with an old deaf pianist in his living room (it was tough) and noticed a bow hanging on his wall labeled 'Scot Lafaro's bow. It had black hair and I tried it. It was beautiful. So now I'm wondering if it's the black hair or maybe I have a crappy bow.
    Don's comments about hair quality is the answer I guess.
  8. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I went to the Ralston site to check on the black hair on Scotty's bow as I knew there was a picture of Scotty holding his bow there. It looks like white hair to me, but this isn't proof of anything.

  9. ade


    Aug 3, 2000
    Well, that was an interesting site. Thanks for that Ray Parker, that's the way I remember them (the picture with Paul Motian) when I saw them in 1960.
    I don't see the hole in the top left hand side of Scot's bass that I remember so I guess he had different basses and bows at different times. You couldn't hear him too well and the hole may have helped or hindered the volume - especially with the huge sticks that Motian was using. I didn't think that would be the last time I would see him.
  10. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Very cool! I wish, in a way, that I could have been around and aware at that time to hear him.
  11. Joe Taylor

    Joe Taylor

    Dec 20, 2001
    Tracy CA
    no matter what color the bow hair is it takes a little while for it to get used to being played. I think several days of playing and rosining. Perhaps you pulled your hair out too soon.

  12. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Several people have said that, but I have to say that has just never been my experience. I get my rehairs done by Sue Lipkins, an expert bow maker.

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