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Frog swapping

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by slappahdabass, Jun 11, 2018.

  1. slappahdabass


    Feb 16, 2013
    Denton, TX
    Has anyone out there swapped out a French frog for a German one on the same bow? I currently bounce back and forth between French and German, but primarily play French on a very nice French bow that I love. I'm looking at switching to German full time and would love to find a stick equal to my French bow when I thought why not just swap the frog and screw?
    Those who have done it how did it affect playability?
  2. wathaet


    May 27, 2007
    Swapping the frog is not really a good idea. The balance and length is very different between french and german.
    The hybrids are balanced somewhere inbetween.
  3. Isn't Gary Karr's main bow a french bow that he put a german frog on? I'm not saying a person should do it, but if it works for Mr. Karr then it seems possible, at least.
  4. wathaet


    May 27, 2007
    Possible, yes - balanced, no.

    French bows are shorter and have heavier tips
  5. No offence, but I'll leave it to you to tell Gary Karr that his bow is not properly balanced and that he has made a mistake. :)
    Neil Pye likes this.
  6. wathaet


    May 27, 2007
  7. Michael Eisenman

    Michael Eisenman Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Eugene, Oregon
    Try it. If you don’t like it, you can go back.
    Neil Pye likes this.
  8. BobKay

    BobKay Supporting Member

    Nov 5, 2012
    Estero, Florida; USA
    Frog swapping? Where’s Don Kasper when we need him?
  9. Jon Stefaniak

    Jon Stefaniak Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2000
    Tokyo, Japan
    Not uncommon here in Japan, I know a lot of players with German frogs on french sticks. Some sound and play great as Germans. Depends on what frog and button you put on it and how the french stick is proportioned.
  10. Mgaisbacher

    Mgaisbacher Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    Nashville, TN
    From the standpoint of how bows are made this probably isn't the best idea. If you have a decent bow (not factory made) frogs are fit to the stick that they are made for, they aren't really interchangeable pieces. If you have someone make you the other style of frog then that could be a good way to go about it, but you would be looking at around $800+ for that from any decent bow maker, then you may not like it and thats not something they could just sell to someone else, so it's quite a commitment.

    Now if you have a cheap bow that the frog was factory made and wasn't fit to the stick I guess it wouldn't hurt anything. As others have stated the feel will probably be much different. Maybe a hybrid bow would be a better idea, or having someone make you a hybrid frog for the bow you like.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
    wathaet likes this.
  11. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    Frog Swapping?
    No Thanks... I'm a "One Frog" Kind of Guy - (Bow with the One You Brung?)
  12. bengreen


    Jan 26, 2016
    San Diego
    Most luthiers have a drawer of canibalized bow parts. There might a German frog in there that, while not fitting well enough to consider for permanent use, fits well enough to hold hair safely and let you get a sense how your stick works in that configuration. Then the cost of the experiment, assuming the luthier is willing to loan the frog, is a rehair (or two if putting your French frog back warrants one as well).

    Even as I'm saying this, I'm not convincing myself. It's more complicated than just the frog.

    If you're really loving your French bow, then it's probably worth preserving just as it is. Best to sell it so someone else can love it in turn. Think of yourself not just as its owner but as it's guardian. And a guardian's responsibility is to keep his charge healthy until it's time to pass it on to the next person in line.

    In the mean time, there's all those German bows out there just waiting for you to try them.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018

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