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Informal low-end bow review

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by mje, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    My 12 year old nephew, who's been studying seriously for two years now, came over to give me a few arco lessons (really!) and pick up some rock and jazz lessons from me. While he was over, I asked him to do a sort of impromptu bow review of the four bows (all German) we had between us:

    A solid fiberglass Glasser;
    A composite glass/carbon Glasser;
    A Bob G bow
    A $45 eBay bow, probably Chinese

    He liked both the Glasser composite and the BobG bows a lot; hard to say which he preferred; he's been using the composite Glasser for about a half a year, and likes it (as does his teacher), but I think the look and feel of the BobG bow really appealed to him; he's looking forward to his first good wood bow.

    The $45 eBay bow he didn't care for at all- in fact, he liked it less than the solid glass Glasser. He took a couple striokes, made a face, and handed it back to me. My own experience is that it's a very thin sounding bow. Something to think about when looking at those "bargains".
  2. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    I'm sure this is a true and qualified review. However, when I first started playing doublebass, I wasn't sure who I would study with long term and wasn't sure if I should play French or German and couldn't believe how much basses cost (I think I paid $1,800 for my first one), so I bought a $45 ebay bow and kept it for about 3 years.

    I used it for scales and long tones and tuning and always apologized for it when I handed it to someone who should have an opinion and they all (including my very arco qualified teacher) said "actually, it's not that bad". I eventually became sure that I was a German bow player, knew who my long term teacher was, got more serious about arco and spent a few hundred dollars on a decent bow and I can definitely appreciate the difference.

    I sold the $45 eBay bow to a vibest friend for $25 after 3 years use and never regretted the purchase. I wouldn't discourage someone in a similar situation from doing the same thing.
  3. moschizzle


    Mar 21, 2006
    There's 40 dollar ebay bows out right now that guys in the Pittsburgh Symphony are playing on. I wouldn't count them out just because of the low price...
  4. :eek: You gotta be kidding me! Who in the PSO is playing a $40.00 bow?
  5. D McCartney

    D McCartney crosswind downwind bass

    Aug 1, 2005
    Tacoma WA
    I'm using one of the $99 Upton Brazilwood bows. I haven't used any other bows, so I can't compare it, but I haven't had any problems with it. Seems to be well made.
  6. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I suppose there are good $45 bows; this isn't one of them. Looks nice, but it not very alive feeling. Under the dark lacquer is a very light colored wood- certainly not one of your standard bow woods.
  7. moschizzle


    Mar 21, 2006
    I don't know who in the symphony is playing them. My buddy studies with Jeffrey Turner though, and he was telling me that guys in the symphony were really digging these 45 dollar bows on ebay (Although I bet Mr. Turner himself was not playing on one). They're chinese factory bows, but apparently they're well made and draw a decent sound. Also my teacher brought one in and played it for me in a lesson and i thought it sounded great, although i couldn't tell you how it felt, because I play on german bows.

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