I've been a big fan of Boris Fritsch for a long time, so when I came to Paris last fall for a year of studies one of my first tasks was to meet the man. I bought a used bow of his a few years ago, which I believe was made in 2002. After spending a few hours chatting, I left his shop in absolute awe. I've never met anybody more passionate and obsessed with their profession. I put in a commission the next week. We met again in March to discuss my new bow. Boris does not use any templates, nor does he have a basic pattern. He makes totally custom bows for specific players based on a number of criteria. I gave him some recordings of my Toenniges bass which the bow was to be matched to, played his bass to show my technique, and spent several hours discussing repertoire (this bow is meant for use in orchestra), strokes, things that challenge me, things that don't challenge me, and my basic concept of sound. More than anything, I think he was trying to get a clear idea of my personality. After all this, he was able to verbally describe the physical and tonal characteristics of my ideal bow: This bow would have a somewhat lighter tip, the balance point and optimum bouncing point would be a bit closer to the frog, the stick would sit into the string more firmly than is usual for him, and the stick would minimize high-end frequencies while enhancing low and medium frequencies. More than a month later, and after four or five more visits to the shop for a chat and coffee, I have the bow. Pictures of the final product, and several stages of the carving, are available here. The stick he described to me in March is exactly what he made. This is the nicest bow I've ever played. It has everything I've ever wanted in a bow: incredibly articulate from frog to tip, does every stroke on command, great tone, HUGE range dynamically and in color. I've never felt so in control of every element of my sound. It's not a "perfect" bow, but it is nearly perfectly suited to me. I won't be able to try it with my Toenniges until June, but I have no doubt it'll be a good fit. There are a few characteristics of interest you can see in the pictures. Boris is obsessed with Tourte bows, an influence you can see in the head. On this bow, he decided to replace the ivory with silver, which is evidently what all Tourte bows originally had. The frog shape is somewhat modeled after the only Tourte bass bow ever made. He does not use a metal underliner between the stick and frog, which he thinks would act as a mute. This bow has a very wide band of hair (2.05 cm at the frog), which seems to give more control and stronger articulation.