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Modern Bow Makers

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by Mingus Fingus, Nov 1, 2005.


  1. I've recently tried out a number of german bass bows and was interested in anyones experience with some of the makers I'm looking at. Recently tried a number of Reid Hudson's, both snakewood and pernambuco. I've only received good feedback on his bows from talkbass members...anyone else have impressions?

    Also looking for info on the following makers if you have played or heard anything about their work: Robert Dow, Rodney Mohr, Bernd & Michael Dolling, Matthias & Gunter Hoyer, Horst Schicker. Any others people like?

    I know how everyone feels about Sue Lipkins bows...I got to play one this past weekend, and after realizing it was exactly what I was looking for I was told it isn't really for sale. It certainly lived up to the hype, however. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Robert Dow's work is outstanding. Definitely one of the (living) best bass bow makers out there.

    And, by the way, I don't sell his bows... this isn't a commercial... I really like his stuff!
     
  3. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Hi Mingus Fingus,

    I'm trying out some German bows right now...a snakewood Schicker among them. Though it's heavier, it really makes my bass shake with a really strong projecting fundamental. It makes my E string sound very powerful and my spiccato never sounded heavier.

    I'm really surprised at the difference snakewood brings to the bass. The wood seems so much stiffer and more brittle than pernambuco which is interesting also.

    I kind of worry about the snakewood in terms of playing at whisper volumes being as heavy as it is (i.e., it may not be the most versatile bow) but otherwise I now consider it to be very impressive when it comes to projecting the depth of a bass's sound!
     
  4. brianh

    brianh

    Aug 19, 2005
    NYC
    Endorsing: Epifani Amplification
    I own a Schicker german bow and I think it's great. In opinion, its a lot better than many more expensive bows.
     
  5. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Is your bow snakewood too, brianh?

    For the lower positions it seems such a heavenly bow...makes it clear that a BASS is being played and not a poor man's cello. But for thumb position and on up it's already so easy to allow the fundamental to speak with just about any bow, and so with the snakewood I sense from my ear that I lose some of that harmonic richness that I'm accustomed to...a sort of "cutting edge brightness" that I miss and don't feel entirely comfortable in losing.

    Is that your experience too brianh or do listeners notice this

    I'm gonna demo that and some other great bows for a fellow musician whose opinions I trust early next week
     
  6. brianh

    brianh

    Aug 19, 2005
    NYC
    Endorsing: Epifani Amplification
    JohnnL-

    At the moment I am probably not the best person to ask about the Schicker. Actually, Johono5 is borowing my bow as I have just switched to French bow.

    But...I am fairly sure the stick is pernambuco...but I honnestly never paid attention to the wood. I always for the low register to be wonderfull and the Stick was balanced very well. The high register was possibily a bit pinched, but again I am not an accomplished arco player. I found ways to make it work though. Its not like it couldn't have great tone in a high register, it was just a little harder to. Also, the bow always felt very comfortable.

    I would really recomend you try several Schickers out by asking Lemur to send you 3 or 4 at a time. When I did this, I noticed that a considerable difference between bows of the same price.
     
  7. Hey Guys,

    Thanks for the insight. I think the Cincinnati Bass Cellar has a Schicker snakewood that I'm going to try out next week, and once Lemur gets their new bow shipment in they are going to send me some stuff. Looking at some Dollings and Hoyers as well.
     
  8. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Yeah I'm trying some from Andy's stock right now too a Schicker amongst them. Very nice guy!
     
  9. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    I'm also trying out a Pfretzschner as well. It's a little more tempermental than the snakewood Schicker (not quite so forgiving), but oh my God it just freakin' rocks. Great tone, light and comfortable...even my intonation is better in being able to hear and feel the notes with greater sensitivity.

    Despite the intensely forgiving nature of the Schicker with my E string and my spiccato (I feel like the Star Wars bad guy leader with it in the last movie when he screams out "Power! Unlimited Power!" LOL), it just does not give me the clarity of pitch and feel that the Pfretzschner gives me but I am still waiting on that trusted 2nd opinion and may get swayed.

    I'm trying a Prochownick too and it's a nice bow but the frog is simply too small for my hands and I find it completely uncomfortable. Plus it's just too light for my taste.

    Oh yes also a Kolstein bow which is quite wonderful with a larger frog that lets me spread my hand out and does a great job...but the tone is unusual to me. I would have to aquire the taste for it.

    Oops Mingus please forgive me for hijacking your thread from the focus on only modern bow makers
     
  10. hey johnnyL,

    I think whichever bows you send back are getting sent to me next. Andy said he would wait to get some Pfretzschners back to the shop along with the Schicker snakewood. Let me know what you decide on, if you choose any of those bows. Based on your last post, it sounds like you are enjoying both of them.
     
  11. Eric Rene Roy

    Eric Rene Roy Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    Mystic, CT
    President: Upton Bass String Instrument Co.
    Rodney Mohr is top notch. The number of Gold medals he has won is impressive!
     
  12. hey eroy,

    any idea who might have one in that i could try? ive been looking, but so far have been unsuccessful in locating one. thanks!

    adam.
     
  13. Eric Rene Roy

    Eric Rene Roy Supporting Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    Mystic, CT
    President: Upton Bass String Instrument Co.
    I would contact Rodney. http://www.bright.net/~mohrbows/index2.html

    If he does not have any ready, you could talk about having one made...or he might be able to tell you a dealer who took recent delivery (if he is doing that).

    Rodney loves Cashew's and Bonzai trees...so bring up either to get the conversation going!
     
  14. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Yes and after demo'ing them for my friend, the Kolstein became a surprise favorite!

    However, I'm going to keep the Pfretzschner will be sending the other bows back to Andy in a couple of days.

    Good luck! :bassist:
     
  15. cool...i look forward to trying them out. did you have multiple Pfretzschner's or just the one? do you mind me asking which ones you had price-wise as well? thanks.

    adam.
     
  16. guadanini

    guadanini

    Nov 29, 2005
    Any person tryed H.Wunderlich bows????
     
  17. bassbaterie

    bassbaterie

    Dec 14, 2003
    Houston Texas
    Director, Quantum Bass Center
    Got one out on trial. It's love. Costs more than my bass did, but makes the bass sound twice better. Imagine: dynamics!
     
  18. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Hi bassbaterie cool is it a snakewood or pernabuco?
     
  19. bassbaterie

    bassbaterie

    Dec 14, 2003
    Houston Texas
    Director, Quantum Bass Center
    Hey Johnny! It's totally a pernambuco, so light, just 127g even with heavy silver end on the screw button for balance, but plays great. Holler at me when you come up to A-town OK? if you all want to get together. Sending you PM w/link to pics from the 'Odyssey'!

    Cheers,

    Elisabeth
     
  20. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    Victoria, TX
    Got 'em thanks and yeah I PM'd you!

    The Schicker I tried a while back was snakewood and it was like lighting a cannon off across the strings...really deep and powerful...so when you said "dynamics" I was wondering if you were being sarcastic :p

    O.K. I admit it I really just couldn't help myself playing loud with it all the time LOL

    Sounds like a killer bow!