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Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by Spaldo, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. Hey gang...

    I'm looking at getting a new French bow and I'm looking for recommendations.

    I currently use a Glasser (re-haired 5 times) and a Ragetti (which I busted :crying:)....I've been looking at some expensive carbon-fibre ones which sound great but I'm not sure I want to spend upwards of $500.

    Does anyone have any words of wisdom they can impart as to what they like?

  2. Even the cheap carbon bows beat cheap wood and any fiberglass.

    The expensive carbon bows are good value for money, in that they're a bit (or maybe a lot) cheaper than an equivalent standard of pernambuco bow.

    Also, carbon bows are the only bit of upright bass gear where you can buy one sight-unseen and know what you're getting; there is a tiny bit of variation from one to another, but essentially one Metropolitan (say) is very like another.

    Yes, the very best bows are still pernambuco, but carbon is more than good enough for even professional orchestra play. And pernambuco is an endangered species.
  3. Andrew Hamilton

    Andrew Hamilton Guest

    Apr 18, 2010
    I've played with a few carbon fiber bows in the range of 500-1,000. I'm not sure what price range these bows are supposed to match in terms of a pernambuco stick, but I feel as if the carbon fiber bows were outplayed by most bows in the neighborhood of 2,000 USD. Granted....1,000 dollars and 2,000 dollars aren't the same thing, but I've heard some people rave and say that a Metropolitan will outplay 4,000 dollar sticks. That's never been the case in my personal experience, but to each his own.

    That said, they're probably the best option for >750. On a bow trial I played some wood bows priced at roughly 750 and they were real stinkers.

    I think that these carbon fiber bows really have a great place as a fixture in the market, because like Andrew said, pernambuco is endangered. In addition to that, the balance of every CF bow I've played has been spot on. My only complaint is that I feel as if they don't sport the same timber as a wood stick.

    That said, I really liked the Metropolitan and some of the carbon fiber bows that Robertsons carries. I don't know if either of those bows can be had for less than 1,000, but it might be worth it to save until you can drop the money on a really great bow.

    Music is completely subjective...I don't mean to offend anyone with anything I wrote. Just my opinion.
  4. MaxJohnson


    Jan 29, 2009
    Brooklyn, NY
    String Emporium carries the Finale Carbon Fiber Bow which is sold at $340. It is a truly wonderful Carbon Fiber Bow, and if you want to read up on it, there are quite a bit of posts about it on this forum. I have not heard anyone who dislikes it.
  5. Mesa


    Mar 20, 2008
    Holly Springs NC
    Andrew, did you mean to say that the balance of every pernambuco bow or every CF bow?

  6. Andrew Hamilton

    Andrew Hamilton Guest

    Apr 18, 2010
    I mean CF. Sorry! Editing my post for comprehensions sake now.
  7. KingB


    Oct 12, 2010
    Okay. I owned the Finale. It is an excellent bow, and the price (under $400) is great. I have played bass for 40 years now, and I have played basses and bows from cheap to sky is the limit.

    I really enjoyed the CF bow, but I ended up going back to a pernambuco bow. I ended up buying a plain Jane Dorfler 14aF. At a little over $500 this bow has worked very well for me. It is articulate, has a good dynamic range, and is quite controllable. Nice bow at the price range.
  8. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    If that were true, that's what they would sell for.
  9. maybe it depends also a bit on who is playing with the Metropolitan. but to my ear, the carbon fiber bows i've played (among them my Metropolitan) produce a clear and focused sound but lack the warmth and resonance of pernambuco, or even of brazilwood for that matter.
  10. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA

    I am currently borrowing a friend's Finale, as well as using a decent pernambuco stick (as a "loaner" from Jerry Pasewicz's shop), while my Morizot is being repaired.

    I find that carbon fiber and wood is sort of an apples and oranges thing. The Finale is a truly phenomenal bow, for very short money. Bounce, balance, big sound, quick, and loud. The drawback is the sound itself. No breathiness, no subtlety, sort of "plastickey," a bit dead, no "resonance."

    To the OP, if I had to buy one bow for less than $500, I would seriously consider the Finale. That said, I wouldn't buy any bow without trying many, many bows first. While I wouldn't worry much about buying a "brand" carbon fiber bow, I find that wood bows are like basses; they vary a lot from stick to stick.

    My current, inexpensive, pernambuco "loaner" is a bit harder to pull a sound from than the Finale, doesn't bounce as readily, and is not balanced quite as well. I still tend to gravitate to it, for the "vocal" "human" quality of the sound it produces. It has resonance that the Finale lacks.

    $4000+ bows are worth what they are worth because of not just how they play, but also how they sound, as far as I can tell.
  11. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Feb 25, 2021

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