Does the bow quiver affect the sound?

Discussion in 'Accessories [DB]' started by SteSte, Apr 12, 2018.

  1. SteSte


    Mar 28, 2017
    Rome, Italy
    i made some test with and without quiver in front of a wall and it seems that my quiver affect the natural sound of the bass (a little). If i play a loud pizzicato e for example , while i move with my right hand the quiver i feel some differences.
    Does anybody had the same perception?

    Stefano - Rome, Italy
  2. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    Hi Stefano,

    In acoustic instruments, everything affects sound. But how much it affects sound is difficult to determine. The reason is that the human ear is very subjective. Even if we can judge sound differences more objectively, I've read it estimated that the average human ear does not clearly pick up less than a 10% difference in sound and in my own experience, I think that's pretty accurate.

    Like you, I have recently acquired a nice black leather quiver and have attached it to my tailpiece, and like you I've thought it may make some small difference in sound. But, if there is a difference, on my bass I think I prefer the difference... Whatever the case, I've decided the quiver is worth having on my bass no matter the small sound difference, specifically for the convenience of being able to use the bow any time I wish.

    FWIW, the quiver I have uses black leather thongs to tie the quiver to the tailpiece. Over a period of weeks I have noticed that they were stretching. So, to keep the quiver on properly I've gone the extra step to use black zip-ties to more permanently attach the quiver to the tailpiece. The black leather thongs are still there, but they are now primarily for looks. If you look at my profile picture, you'll see the thongs still there, while the zip-ties are practically invisible.

    Also perhaps of interest, on my bass, the quiver only touches the tailpiece; it does not touch the instrument body.

    Best of luck with your bass, as you make it yours.
    Randy Ward and SteSte like this.
  3. SteSte


    Mar 28, 2017
    Rome, Italy
    Thank you for your feedback!
    I'm in the same situation (except the quiver colour, mine is brown...) i would consider your idea of adding the zip ties to have the quiver only connected to the tailpiece.
    Ciao have a nice day
    kools.rm likes this.
  4. Adding weight to the tailpiece, or replacing your current rosewood tailpiece with one of a different weight, will affect the sound. There is no hard and fast rule, but generally speaking a lighter (boxwood/carbon fiber?) tailpiece is better for pizz response while heavier (ebony?) tailpiece dampens partials in a way that benefits arco response.
    Jeremy Darrow, HateyMcAmp and SteSte like this.
  5. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    I don't like bow quivers but I think the sound difference will be very marginal.
    HateyMcAmp and SteSte like this.
  6. SteSte


    Mar 28, 2017
    Rome, Italy
    Its very marginal yes but there is something different.
    In my modest experience everything except string , keyboard and setup is quiet marginal on double bass the other point of view this means that to have a full potential you need to be careful on lot of marginal things.
    Thanks ciao
  7. bassmanbrent

    bassmanbrent Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    Just my opinion here... I have no scientific data to back up my findings :) I'll bet that the change in tone caused by your quiver will not be noticeable on the bandstand. In the recording studio, however, you might want to remove it, in case you can notice an improvement in tone and so the quiver doesn't buzz or rattle against any part of your bass.
    SteSte likes this.
  8. SteSte


    Mar 28, 2017
    Rome, Italy
    Yes @bassmanbrent you will go to win the bet for sure, the sound difference is noticeable only if you pay attention and you are aloneand in a silent room and without amp...its not a problem, its just to know if someone had encountered that situation like me or if i'm alone in this planet with my bass.
    A warm ciao from a springtiming Rome.
  9. Bassist555

    Bassist555 Guest

    Apr 9, 2018
    I have thought of an idea where the quiver was attached to the chair(if the bassists sits) or music stand so it would not mute the tailpiece but I have yet to see one.
    Kickdrum likes this.
  10. Lee Moses

    Lee Moses

    Apr 2, 2013
    I've known of some to do that. But whatever muffling effect comes from the quiver attached to my tailpiece is offset by the ability to grab my bow and get it on the strings quickly.
  11. lurk

    lurk Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2009
    When I attach my clip on tuner to my quiver, it works well, so the quiver is definitely picking up vibration and thus must be affecting the sound. I honestly can't hear the difference or feel a change in response.
  12. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Does the thickness or weight of a quiver matter? I have a taller, thin (ish), lighter weight one, and a shorter, thicker, heavier one.
  13. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    On my basses, a quiver plus bow changed the sound and feel. I stopped using it as the sound was more open without it.
    SteSte likes this.
  14. I have found the change in sound enough to rarely use it. I use it when space is an issue. The last time I used was for a concert with visuals in virtual reality the audience and musicians had VR headsets. I could often find the quiver blind but I could peak and get it in and out quick.
    I normally bring a drummer's stick bag full of brushes, mallets and other preparations and put them on chair, table or music stand set flat with my bows, when I do that there is no reason for the quiver.
    SteSte likes this.
  15. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    I've used the same Weatherly quiver on five different basses over 30+ years, and haven't been able to discern enough of a difference in sound to justify removing it. Besides, after this long, if I stop using it, I'll end up with a busted tip from trying to drop the bow into a quiver that isn't there.
  16. SteSte


    Mar 28, 2017
    Rome, Italy
    Thank you.
    I suppose that more mass + softness = more absorbing sound
    But very interesting, i'm discovering that im not ....alone in the acoustic organic music experencing sounds... haha
    ciao thanks
  17. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I think from that I will suppose smaller, harder, thicker,might have less effect on the sound than longer, softer, lighter. I should sell one of these quivers anyway. I don't need two, and I only use it when I have to.
  18. Les Fret

    Les Fret

    Sep 9, 2009
    Isn't there a very light weigh bow quicker on the market? not the usual leather ones but a very light fabric or something.
  19. dhergert

    dhergert Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 17, 2018
    Blue Zone, California
    Haven't seen one yet, but I originally made one using a narrow black polyester camping bag. Strung it up to the tailpiece.

    It worked well to hold the bow, but didn't hold its shape open at the mouth so it was difficult to get the bow in quickly. Also, the bow tip would touch the body of the bass through the very light and flexible polyester material, so had to put a cushion in it to prevent rattle.

    My observation is that the "usual leather" quivers have advantages in both of those areas. After that experience, I've really enjoyed the relatively trouble free use of the heavier leather quiver.

    I guess I'm lucky, my Alcoa is pretty loud acoustically and it has peizo pickups that work very nicely. If there is a sonic difference with the quiver, if anything it tones down the natural metallic tone a bit. And it's very convenient for the bow. I'm a pretty happy camper.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
    SteSte likes this.
  20. Jeremy Darrow

    Jeremy Darrow

    Apr 6, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Fishman Transducers, Aguilar Amplifiers, Ear Trumpet Labs
    I think the extent of a quivers impact depends somewhat on the bass, the weight of your tailpiece, the quiver in question, etc., but it certainly makes a difference. I take my quiver off when recording not only to get the most out of the bass, but because any movement by the quiver is going to make some noise, which will wind up in the track.
    Lee Moses and SteSte like this.