bow for Shen bass

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by Dave Irwin, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. While we're at it, mind throwing in strings and bow hair type too? :)

    I'm curious to know what kind of bows Sam Shen bass users are using.
    Particularly 7/8ths players.

    Yeah, I know every instrument is different but just the same, a list of bows that work well with other Shen's might help me find the right bow a little quicker....

  2. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I now have three bows (all French) that I use with my Shen. (SB180) A good bow is a good bow, but in order of good to best:

    1. A brazilwood labeled "Tourte" from Scherl and Roth. Model # S5623. White hair. Octagonal. These are about $300 new.

    This is the heaviest bow I have. It is the brightest as well. Overall tone is generally less refined than the other two.

    2. An unmarked pernambuco. definitely handmade and likely to be at least 40 years old so says my teacher. White hair. Octagonal.

    This bow is in the middle as far as weight. It feels the best of the three. It is also the quickest. I like that I can play the bow at higher hair tension and still get a decent long bow tone. It is a little bright.

    3. Pernambuco White hair. Octagonal. Marked "Oskar E. Meinel."

    I just bought this bow. It's the one being discussed in the "bent bow" thread. This bow is the lightest of my bows. It isn't as fast as the other pernambuco bow but is very dark sounding. It has a very smooth long bow tone. I've had it a few days, and the more I play it, the more I love this bow. I plan on having it rehaired and completely restored as soon as I can get all the info and $$$ that I need to make it happen.

    My bass is bright, so I think that is why I love the darker bows. My teacher's bow is VERY dark sounding and it is amazing on my bass.

    With your bass being a 7/8 and fully carved, you might not have the same experience. (depending on how much it is played in) because, as my bass opens up more, my brazilwood bow is sounding better and better. (but still bright)

    There's really no other way to buy a bow other than simply trying them until you find the one that feels right. I think this is true even more so than with your bass. I bought my bass sight unseen (with a return option of course) but I could never buy a bow like that. There's no way to say a particular mark is one way or another as every bow is unique.

    In fact when I bought my first bow, the Tourte, my teacher had a stack of 8-10 of them and we played every one of them. Of course some were more similar to each other than others, but each sounded and felt different than the others.

    I am not sure if a bow is inherently one way or another, or if particular characteristics of a certain bow tend to match up with a certain type of player.