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SOLD Chet Olsen French Bow

Discussion in 'For Sale: Bows' started by bshaw, Dec 8, 2018.


  1. bshaw

    bshaw Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2005
    Houston
    Price:
    $1000.00
    Location:
    Texas
    Style:
    French
    Selling a French bow made by Chet Olsen. This bow is a powerhouse; it is heavy (~150g), stable, smooth, even, and on my instruments, very loud! It’s slow but it is actually well balanced (subjective!). It is a bow for large orchestral works, but I could see it doing well in auditions where sound can count, or where hammering out Beethoven 5 Trio is a must. It’s fun to play solo repertoire on it because it just does its own thing and this big sound keeps coming out. It is NOT a finely made pedigree bow, but I enjoyed it ALOT. Not for the faint of heart, or those trying to work on their ppp excerpts.
    One week PayPal prepaid trail is okay, sent to you Fedex signature required. You pay FedEx return shipping if you don’t want to buy it, and I’ll return your funds if bow is same as when it went out to you. This is a CONUS only deal, no trades, PM if you have any questions. Thank you!
     
    groooooove and Super Iridium like this.
  2. bshaw

    bshaw Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2005
    Houston
    Pictures
     

    Attached Files:

  3. bshaw

    bshaw Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2005
    Houston
    Should have mentioned stick is octagonal and pernambuco, thanks for people asking;
     
  4. Fleo

    Fleo

    Jul 1, 2006
    Leeuwarden
    What’s its balancepoint?
     
  5. bshaw

    bshaw Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2005
    Houston
    Overall length ~ 28”
    Balance point ~ 9.5” from button (will vary with removal of latex grip)

    Please bear in mind this is for sale within the continental US only (CONUS). Thanks
     
  6. I was his apprentice for 2 years in Upper Darby. He was a very cool guy. He only made a little over a dozen bows but I can tell you first hand he put a lot of time into each one. His true expertise was repair. We worked on priceless instruments from members of Phila. Orchestra and Curtis. The heavy bass bows were preferred by guys like me who wanted some more meat on there. It grows on you when you play with it and build the muscle strength. It helps you get a bigger growl when you need it. They sold for about $2500.00 in the 1990's. Let me know if I can answer any other questions.
     
  7. Fleo

    Fleo

    Jul 1, 2006
    Leeuwarden
    Jfrank6884, what can you tell about the comfort when playing spiccato and string crossing (octaves)? I’ ve been adding bow weight at the frog for improved balance, but found it harder to control, less jump happy .
     
  8. It can be more jumpy if you don't have the control. Like anything else you have to get used to it. In my opinion it gives me the saw power of German with a french grip. You will have to be willing to build the strength. Almost like having a small weight on your ankle when you walk-eventually you get used to it like it's not there. Keep in mind, the weight on the a bow like the Chet's will be pretty even. He achieved it by a larger tip, fatter stick that he camouflaged with the octagon shape and fatter end of the stick around the frog.

    If your asking about it for this specific bow I can only tell you I absolutely loved using his bow. Many are more concerned with lineage than the quality. Chet made a bad-ass bow for sure. The reason he didn't make more was his repair schedule; we were always backed up with work. The shop was a row-home in Upper Darby. The main shop was actually the basement. Every floor of the house was filled with instruments waiting for repair. Repairs took a long time when they were being done correct. It was a sight to see for sure, loaded with priceless professional instruments just leaning against walls. They were beautiful instruments, some of them hundreds of years-old. I remember working on Roger Scott's bass. Some of the best instruments you would never know have a several , to a dozen or hundred patches inside from cracks. When repaired properly, the instrument losses no sound quality and sometimes can be improved. It's crazy.

    You could never go wrong with a bow from Chet. If you are just looking for a heavier bow you could probably get a custom one made. In that process you get a chance to try it and the bow maker with produce it heavy and tweak down the weight and balance it during the process. Not a bad way to go if you ask me,
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
  9. bshaw

    bshaw Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2005
    Houston
    Thanks for the info! I met Chet as a student in Philadelphia a million years ago, and used one of his bows while in school. I just used this one again for concerts this week, and, my apologies for anyone considering a trial on it, I think I’m going to have to keep it. I can already feel myself regretting the sale at some future point. I’m not going to “delete” the thread because of the great background info here, but will mark it “SOLD” because I’m going to keep the bow and rotate it in and out of the arsenal. Thank you!
     
  10. I think you made a wise choise. Please let me know if you change your mind. I would consider buying it just for sentimental reasons. He was a good friend.

    Best,
    Justin
     

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