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Buy new bow in Berlin

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by Javor Menta, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. Javor Menta

    Javor Menta

    Jun 21, 2009
    Hello folks, after reading many threads I need some advice.

    Im from Argentina, and will be in Berlin next month. I need to buy a new bow since I still have the one from when I started playing double bass (chinese, most cheaper one... piece of crap I know).

    Anyway, Im using it a lot lately (the bow) and want to return to studies. I play popular music mostly (jazz, folk, etc) and want to start studying some classical again.

    My budget is 300 euros (around $400) max. I was told to look for carbon fiber bows, but really don't know anything about it.

    And most important, any stores to visit in Berlin? or maybe online stores in Berlin that I should look into?

    Many many thanks for your help!

    Best regards,
  2. Hey Javor,

    check Justmusic in Moritzplatz. They are one of the biggest music stores in Europe. I am not sure if you will find what you want but it would be my best guess. Otherwise you can always order directly from Thomann.de
  3. For that budget, I'd look for a Brazillian-made bow at home in Argentina. There are many very nice bows being made today in Brazil that sell for a fraction of what they'd be worth if made in France or Germany.
  4. MikeCanada


    Aug 30, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    I agree with Paul on this one. I am not sure what the market is like locally, but I would think that your budget would have a whole lot more buying power in Argentina than Berlin. I absolutely do not mean that as a disrespect to Argentina, more that Germany is a very expensive country.

    There are some really great bows being made in Brazil right now. The Pernambuco conservation efforts are making a lot of progress, and it has inspired a lot of interest in the tree and bow making there. While Germany is home to a lot of great shops and has a history of bow making, I am assuming your budget is not going to allow you to really take advantage of that. If you had €3000 instead of €300, then I'm sure we would be telling you to take advantage of being in Berlin.
  5. Javor Menta

    Javor Menta

    Jun 21, 2009
    Hi! thanks everyone for your replies. Didn't have the time to check the thread before.

    I'll then check the pernambuco bows you mention. Just for the sake of conversation, actually in Argentina there's the situation that is cheaper for us to buy abroad. Prices have become quite unfair, and many things I save a lot of money by buying in Berlin. For instance, Im buying new Spiros strings which will cost aprox half of what would cost in Argentina. Of course, this is not manufactured in my country.

    But for this reason I thought perhaps i could get much nicer bow for the same money in Germany. I'll see if I can get my hands on one of this bows.

    Thanks again!
  6. MikeCanada


    Aug 30, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    It was a lot of speculation on our behalf. Knoll, Doerfler, and a couple other German names I will likely spell wrong are German factories that export to North America, and you might find them over there as well. I'm assuming that there will be others we don't get here, but in that price range you're looking more for a bow that plays and sounds favourably than a name on a stick.

    Best of luck.
  7. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    B. Kort was the great Berlin bass shop, but they have since closed. http://www.frickbass.de/info has their inventory, but I don't know anything about them.

    Bassico is in Munich: http://classic.bassico.eu/82/27?l=en; they could mail you the bow to Berlin

    My hunch is if you're in Berlin for a while, you could just wander into some of these places and look:



    Also, the is a very good bass department at the University of Arts (Kunst). They may have a bullentin board for sales.

  8. Javor Menta

    Javor Menta

    Jun 21, 2009
    Hi guys, many thanks for your answers!

    Im back from my vacations, that's why the delay.

    So did some reaserch, and wrote to some of those stores already but haven't got any reply. The reality is that I won't have much time to wander and since is winter it may not be very pleasant to walk around.... that's why I asked if someone had solid info.

    I found an interesting seller on eBay from UK, and Im a little crazy I know... followed my instincts in the past and I was lucky, hope to be this time as well.

    And so, I won this auction: http://www.ebay.com/itm/old-French-bass-bow-Stamped-A-Barbe-Silver-Fitted-Pernumbuccoo-/141158512981

    Haven't payed for it yet. I suppose is a lottery, but Im willing to take the risk and yes... is more money I was expecting.
    What do you guys think? may be is worth the money?


    Thanks so much for your answers.
    Best regards.
  9. robobass


    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    Justmusic is a Big Box music retailer. That's where you go to buy electric keyboards and amps, and the most commercial grade sort of guitars, effects, and whatever else. Don't go there for a bass bow. I doubt if they even have any. With your budget, I think your only option is Chinese bows on Ebay. Also, look to USA for things like strings. Many European made products are actually much cheaper in USA due to EU retail pricing protocols. I love living here, but when I need strings I order them from Bob!
  10. Javor Menta

    Javor Menta

    Jun 21, 2009
    Who is Bob ?

    Also, I'd love any opinion on the bow from eBay I posted earlier.
  11. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    This would be the only thing I'd worry about (from his website):

    "This may or may not be original or a homage to the stamped name and has no provenance."

    Which means it might be an old Chinese bow (define old??) with a "homage" stamp.

    The seller has done the same with a "Tubbs" cello bow.

    It could be a perfectly fine Chinese bow - or you could be lucky and it really is an old bow.

    PS: Barbe basses are well documented 19th Century French basses; and Thiery Barbe (with accent) is an excellent contemporary bassist. But I've never heard of Barbe bows
  12. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
  13. Javor Menta

    Javor Menta

    Jun 21, 2009
    Yes, I saw that. I was looking previous auctions and all buyers seem happy with the purchases...

    I thought maybe is a quality bow since it has special details such as the metal tip (supposedly silver). Or that could be coming from a chinese as well?

    Many thanks :)
  14. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA

    It could be a very good bow for the money. It could even be an old European bow that has been re-worked etc; and the seller does a have a good record.

    There were these Hungarian guys a few years ago that were passing these basses off as Magginis etc etc 200, 300 year old basses and they were all fakes... but they were very good basses. They could have probably made almost as much selling them for what they were.

    Who knows.... Let us know how the bow turns out

  15. Michael Eisenman

    Michael Eisenman Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Eugene, Oregon
    Bob Gollihur: www.gollihurmusic.com

    If you do buy a bow in Germany, you will pay the VAT (19%). Remember to get a form from the seller that entitles you to a refund of the VAT when you leave the country.
  16. Javor Menta

    Javor Menta

    Jun 21, 2009
    Ok, this is what I wanted to hear. Of course I know is not an author bow, but perhaps a good reproduction. I own a couple of basses from japan ("lawsuit") which are better than some US made.

    Thanks so much for everyone's comments, im buying it :bassist:
    I'll be back the second week of february with it and try it at home with my bass and will make a review about it ;)

    Again thank you all.
  17. Javor Menta

    Javor Menta

    Jun 21, 2009
    Hello everyone!

    Ok, believe it or not, it's just now I tried the bow at home and with my bass. Along with the bow I bought a new fingerboard and had it installed, so that took a while. Also, I had the bow rehaired and it took a while until I had everything with me.

    It's a strange bow, I'll tell you the truth. BUT! all in all, Im really happy with my purchase.
    It has great balance, and although it's longer than usual and the tip is smaller than usual, it's very easy to play.
    I like the tone, it's quite sharp and crisp but warm enough.

    The bow is mounted on silver, so I was told half of what I payed it's on the knob and silver parts and the ebony frog.
    Both luthiers I showed to, they agreed that it was very good for the price and at $500 you couldn't buy anything like it.

    So I'd say, check this guys auctions: http://www.ebay.com/usr/fxstrings. Although they might not be originals, it seems to offer very good bows for the money.

    Thank you guys for all your help!