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Clef Carbon Fiber Bass Bow?

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by TenorClef, Nov 19, 2004.

  1. Hi i'm looking at upgrading my basic french student bow to something a little more substancial, i'd like to know if any one has any experience with the Clef Carbon Fiber Bass Bow as advertised on Uptons Bass Web site here-


    Thanks for you help and experience in advance!
  2. It's been discussed a bunch of times here before, but I'll say it again: I don't like carbon bass bows much, and while I'll admit they are a pretty good value, I think you're better off with a wood stick. Especially if you're still learning to play and it's going to be your only bow.
  3. While I do not know the bow you mentioned, I do have to disagree with toman. I have a Carbow french bow which I absolutely love. I do have a lot of experience with different wooden bows of different makes and qualities during my conservatory study, and my Carbow is absolutely not inferior to wooden ones in the same price category (about € 700,00). And yes, it is my only bow.

  4. Thanks for the input guys.

    Toman, whilst i know where you are coming from, i've already read the threads on carbon versus wood, i'm not really interested in starting another thread on that issue, that would be pointless.

    My question really is has any body any experience with the 'Clef Carbon Fibre bow'? What are its strengths, feel, balance weight ect....

    The problem with asking specfic questions on forums i've noticed is that they become generalised so that they move further and further away from the original topic. This happened with a question i raised regarding a particular gut string in the 'Strings' section to the point that the moderator even changed the topic heading to suit the way the thread went :meh: I don't think that was right, but moderators are a law unto themselves :rollno:
  5. Well i decided i would get the Clef 'Carbon Fibre Bow' but unfortunately Upton Basses are out of stock at the moment so they are going to try and order one for me in January. I'll write a follow up when i get hold of one as i've noticed that this question has been brought up in the forum previously but with no follow up.
  6. Have you seen the thread on incredibow? They've just started making bass bows. Apparently very unorthodox. The builder wants to get some bass bows out for feedback and is selling them for under $100. I doubt it's in the league you seek, but it may be fun to explore. I've got one on order now.
  7. Incredibow? Give me a break... I seriously doubt someone with so little self respect as to sell something named that is actually making a decent product. Even if it is a deal for $100, I gaurantee it's crap. Carbon bows are seriously questionable as it is, and the best ones still cost as much as a fairly good wood stick.

  8. Whilst i think the criticism against 'Incredibows' may be acceptable(no pro has actually tried one yet!) you are just off your head to criticise Carbon Bows.
  9. 2/3 through my single malt. Its a blessing to live next door to Scotland.
  10. Well, some might think I'm "off my head". All I can say is, I've played a lot of very fine wood bows. I have also played a fair number of carbon bows. The best carbon bow I have played is pretty comparable to the best brazilwood bow I've played, and a lot more expensive, still without any 'personalitie' or 'soul' like a wood stick has. From what I have seen, carbon is simply not comparable to wood, at this point. I am open minded that it may become equal or superior to wood in the future, but it simply hasn't reached that point for the true musician. A fine wood bow has a character to it that a synthetic material can not achieve, IMO. Sorry if that offends, but I must call it as I see it.
  11. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I'm not sure exactly where they land on the quality scale. The Coda bow that I played was very nice. But, assuming this is the case, I wish that the makers of carbon bows would realize where their market really is.

    If the carbon bows are indeed on par with better quality brazilwood sticks, makers should figure out out way to get them in the same price point. The carbon stick would win going away as a better quality student bow if for no other reason than durability.

    I paid about $300 for a very good Brazilwood stick (it plays and sounds as good as any pernambucco bow I have tried @<$800-1K). If someone out there was selling a carbon bow in that same $300-350 range that was comparable to my stick, I'd buy one for sure. But I am not going to pay $800-900 for a carbon bow when I bow I will eventually find another decent wood stick for $300-400.
  12. I'm on my own CF search right now and so far I've only gotten to play a glasser CF that has a ton of electrical tape on it the owner put on to add weight.
    It stays in the string, pulls easy, and has a big sound.
    But it also sounds stuffy. No "sweetness" at the high end.
    Questions are: Is the weight added by the tape making stay in the string better? and Is the tape inhibiting resonance and causing the stuffiness?
    In other words, is the thing I like about the bow, the thing I don't?

    I'm waiting to try a Glasser X5000 and 2 chinese copies of uh.. name brand bows (Coda, Carbow???)

    Should have more feedback end of next week.
  13. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I briefly played a Glasser carbon fiber bow today while picking up my bass, and I thought it was rather nice- of course I'm not that experienced with a bow, so take that for what it's worth.

    When I got home, I found waiting for me an inexpensive carbon fiber bow I ordered from Shar music. I'd noticed a lot of places offering what appeared to be basically the same bow, and ordered Shar's- which they call a "Presto". The name is simply painted on the side. I ordered from Shar as they're only 45 miles from me, so I figured I'd have it in a day or so. Nope. I ordered it on a Monday, and they didn't ship until Thursday.

    Comparing the bow to my BobG German bow (the prices were the same), the Shar is significantly heavier, though not having access to an appropriate scale, I can't say for sure how much. The fittings aren't quite as nice as the BobG bow, either. And the Shar doesn't seem as responsive. I can pull a much fuller sound with teh BobG bow.

    Comparing the Shar to my Glasser, the Shar defintely felt far more tip heavy- and the sounds were pretty similar, too. The Shar felkt a little livlier, but not enough to justify a price 2x or 3x as high.

    The BobG bow is still the winner in the $150 category. And the cheap Chinese carbon bows- so far- don't measure up.

    (One relatively cheap synthetic I do like is the Glasser "composite", but I gave mine to my nephew, who is very fond of it. His teacher likes it, too.)
  14. JoeyNaeger

    JoeyNaeger Guest Commercial User

    Jun 24, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Bass Specialist, Lisle Violin Shop
    Not all carbon fiber bows are created equal. Just like wooden bows, there is a vast range of quality available. I think if you were to try out a carbow or other upper level carbon fiber bow you would be very surprised. Of course, the finest carbon fiber bows can't equal the finest wooden bow, but I would hardly consider my carbow to be a bad bow.
  15. anthem274


    Jul 19, 2003
    Arlington, TX
    I have found, by trying all kinds of wood and CF bows, a few general differences between the two.

    1. The sound is much warmer and "classic" with a pernambuco bow.

    2. High end pernambuco bows are generally set up much better than most carbon fiber bows.

    3. Pernambuco is, of course, more expensive, but the worth (esp. with the wood nearing extinction) and sound of the bow mature quite nicely unlike CF.

    If this is just an upgrade, I would recommend the Carbon Fiber bow. You will get more for your money. If this is a bow you plan to stick with for more than 4 years, look for a nice pernambuco.
  16. birdlandmusic


    Jan 10, 2011
    In response to this post, I own a carbon fiber bow and enjoy using it more than any of my wood bows. It is more rugged and stands up better when I drop it, etc, etc....the tone is great.

    Bill Trotman