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Curve in bow - cause fro concern?

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by Ron Plichta, Aug 16, 2012.


  1. Ron Plichta

    Ron Plichta

    May 19, 2007
    Fairfax, VA
    I found a curve in the bow that came with my bass. It's an Ary pernambuco and while it sounds great, I don't know if the curve (or warp, if that's a better term) will cause any problems in the future.

    001-2.

    002-1.

    003-2.

    I'm still a beginner and would hope this would get me along for a while if there is an issue. If it isn't an issue, then I'll simply keep on using it until get enough to justify an upgrade.
     
  2. MikeCanada

    MikeCanada

    Aug 30, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    Although it is a little difficult to tell from the photos, it doesn't look too bad. If you are studying with someone, it might be an idea to get their opinion, and you can likely take it in to a local shop and see what it would cost to get it straightened out. Most places will give you an estimate for free, and a good shop with an honest bow maker will tell you if it is anything to worry about too much.
     
  3. Michael Eisenman

    Michael Eisenman Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Eugene, Oregon
    Doesn't look too bad to me, especially with the hair under tension. How does it look when you loosen it?

    If it's straight when you remove the tension, then the hair is pulling unevenly; a proper rehair should take care of it.
     
  4. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    When you say, "came with the bass" - was this a new purchase. While I agree the warp isn;t that bad, if it's a brand new bow, I would ask them to exchange it. If you bought it used, you're probably fine.

    Louis
     
  5. Ron Plichta

    Ron Plichta

    May 19, 2007
    Fairfax, VA
    I bought both used.
     
  6. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    You should be fine.
    Louis
     
  7. Bow makers make sure to cut the stick such that if/when it warps, that it warps just like yours is in your picture. When you lay your arm weight into bow against the strings, that warp may go away.

    If your warp were in the opposite direction, then you'd have a problem.

    Also, be careful not to over tighten your bow. I see this all the time with inexperienced players. They think they need more hair tension, when what they really need is more rosin.

    - Mark
     
  8. Ron Plichta

    Ron Plichta

    May 19, 2007
    Fairfax, VA
    Thanks for all the input. i'll be a bit more cautious regarding hair tension in the future. I showed it to my instructor and she said it's not bad and a bow maker could recamber it. I'll consider that option the next time I get it rehaired.
     
  9. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    I disagree with some of the responses. With a "clockwise" (?) warp like this you will be hitting the stick against the string, breaking more hair, which will cause even more warp (not to mention eventual damage to the stick!). A slight warp in the other direction is actually not undesirable, since on the bass most people tend to angle the hair band slightly "up" (I don't mean unperpendicular to the string - that's another thing), and a CC warp will give you more clearance between hair and stick. What does the bow look like with no hair tension? If it is straight you just need a rehair. If it is still warped then any bowmaker can straighten it for you. You probably need a rehair in any case, as uneven hair might have caused the warp in the first place. This is why it's good to get a rehair from someone with experience with bassists. My understanding is that on a violin bow, the warp that you have would not present a problem since the band tends to be angled away from you. Some bow servicing people don't seem to know this. On a bass bow, IMO, you want the hair to be slightly tighter and fuller on the left side (from the perspective of the top photo) because that is the side where the the most rubber hits the road, and where hair will tend to break.
     
  10. You're right about our bow hold, and technique, that we play more on the finger board (left) side of the bow. Think about it -- when you lay in your arm weight, the "clockwise" warp will be lessened, similar to the way camber works in our bows. The opposite would be true with the CC warp.

    Regarding bow hair being tighter and fuller on the left side ... I have asked bow rehairs for overstuffed and tighter on the left in the past, and it has never been good. The best rehairs I get now (from Robertson's in NM), are a single even ribbon of the best white, or roan, hair that Brian has in stock.

    Also, check for the fit of the base slide of the frog against the stick. Some frogs have so much slop that you can twist the fit against the stick as your tighten the hair. This will make your bow warp one way or the other.
     
  11. robobass

    robobass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Cologne, Germany
    Private Inventor - Bass Capos
    You're right about our bow hold, and technique, that we play more on the finger board (left) side of the bow. Think about it -- when you lay in your arm weight, the "clockwise" warp will be lessened, similar to the way camber works in our bows. The opposite would be true with the CC warp.

    Are you sure? My instinct is that the opposite would be true. Especially when you're out away from the frog.

    Regarding bow hair being tighter and fuller on the left side ... I have asked bow rehairs for overstuffed and tighter on the left in the past, and it has never been good. The best rehairs I get now (from Robertson's in NM), are a single even ribbon of the best white, or roan, hair that Brian has in stock.

    Makes sense. A good full even band all the way across is probably the best bet. Often I've left a bow shop feeling like I didn't get this. I guess it's important when going to a non bass-specialist to be clear that the fingerboard side of the hair is important.
     
  12. MikeCanada

    MikeCanada

    Aug 30, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    Rehairing with more hair on one side, tighter tension on one side, or anything that is not an even band of hair from one side to the other is dangerous. I know an American bow maker that gets these requests all the time when a bow comes into his/her shop, and s/he does an amazing rehair. When s/he gets to spreading the hair, and making sure it is even, (which is the safest for your bow, and prevents warped sticks like the one above) s/he pulls one (1) hair "over to the playing side" just so s/he can look those customers in the eye, and say that they got what they asked for.

    I know this sounds like a repair person is not doing what they were asked to do, and I know that the "customer is always right" but a lot of damage can be done when repairs are not done properly, even if that is what the player requested. A good rehair, by a good bow maker/repair person will feel and sound great.

    Some people don't feel comfortable with bass bows, some people don't understand baroque bows very well either, but unfortunately they often take them into their shops, because rehairs and repairs are what pays the overhead in most shops. Find yourself someone who does good work, and stick with them as long as you can.
     

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