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Prochownik bows

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by LouisF, Jan 13, 2005.


  1. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Does anyone know what's happened to Mike Prochownik's website. It seems to have evaporated? Has anyone ever used one of his "Alsatian" bows (switchable between French and German grips). Thanks.

    Louis
     
  2. cgratham

    cgratham Guest

    Sep 22, 2004
    Hi Louis,
    Don't know about the web site, but I can give you his email address if you need it. I play one of his German bows and like it a lot. It is very light. My teacher and some of his students play Prochownik French bows. I haven't heard of anyone playing the 'Alsatian' bows.
    Chris
     
  3. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks. I found his email from another player. The Alsatian bow seems to be an experiemnt he did for Ted Muniak at Laughing Bear Basses in Colorado. Most people I've talked to seem very pleased with his bows and I've emailed him about a German bow. Thanks

    Louis
     
  4. EFischer1

    EFischer1 Guest

    Mar 17, 2002
    New York, New York
    I'm playing one of his french bows right now. It is very playable and extremely light. It is, however, extremely quiet - partially due to the light weight. It is great for playing things like Bach but makes all-around playing very difficult.
     
  5. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I feel the same way. I bought one of his German bows from Hammond Ashley - and it's great for practicing etc -- real easy on the hand - and very good for solo, chamber work etc. I have kept another bow for for "muscular" orchestra work.
     
  6. EFischer1

    EFischer1 Guest

    Mar 17, 2002
    New York, New York
    amen.
     
  7. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I've heard those bows are a real dog. :) Sorry, I couldn't help myself.
     
  8. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    woof! Fetch the stick....i know, that was a bad one...
     
  9. anonymous12251111

    anonymous12251111 Banned

    Apr 6, 2007
    I'm about to "downgrade" to one of his bows. My current bow is a beautiful 141g snakewood french bow and and a C.A. Bazin, the prochownik's sound bigger and better. It's funny that you say his bows are quiet...I suppose that depends on which model you have.
     
  10. mjt0229

    mjt0229

    Aug 8, 2007
    Bellingham, WA
    I have one as well - super light, maybe 130g - but when I really need to cut through, sometimes I feel like I could use a little more weight. I'm thinking of having it rehaired with some grabbier hair to help, but at some point I may just add another bow to the quiver.
     
  11. anonymous12251111

    anonymous12251111 Banned

    Apr 6, 2007
    Many people advocate lighter bows, including seasoned professionals. If you have a very relaxed arm and apply your weight naturally without any pressure you can get any bow (even a light one) to sit very into the string to produce a very loud sound. You may also want to experiment with different strings - honestly, certain brands of strings alone can boost your basses tone and sound.

    My current bow is 141g and Snakewood
    The Prochownik is 132g and is louder only because I can apply more natural weight into the string because it's very comfortable and relaxed in my hand.

    If you're comfortable with your bow you can then concentrate on getting the most sound out of it. Try drawing sound out of your bass horizontally versus playing with vertical pressure.

    Best of luck.
     
  12. mjt0229

    mjt0229

    Aug 8, 2007
    Bellingham, WA
    This is a question for a different forum (therefore I will probably not actually ask it) but I've been debating whether I may have the wrong strings on my bass. They feel tight and don't respond as quickly to the bow as I'd like. I've been debating buying a set of Evah Pirazzis but it seem like it's difficult to try tons of strings without spending a lot of money in the process.

    In the meantime, I've been adjusting my bowhold recently and realizing exactly what my teachers had been telling me to do this whole time (and how badly I'd mangled it). One of these weekends I'll have time to go back and get another lesson in, but I have to play a concert out of town this weekend.
     
  13. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Since posting above in '05, I've sold that Prochownik bow (which weighed @ 126 gr) and ordered another from him at 134 gr - while it is still light and "whippy" compared to many other bows, the sound it draws is much stronger/louder than the first bow. Then again - three years back at daily practice might have had something to do with it, too! :)

    Louis

    PS: Dennis Trembly (principal bass of the LA Phil) says that German bow hold (anyway, I don't know about French) is a constantly evolving process. I've been looking at the Streicher books lately, and while I'm not sure it's for me, it does help inform how I hold the bow etc
     
  14. mjt0229

    mjt0229

    Aug 8, 2007
    Bellingham, WA
    When I bought one, I wanted to order it directly from him and have it made, but he referred me to George Vance, who sent a bundle of them for me to try (along with bows by Duhaut and a Grunberger carbow).

    I didn't care for the Duhaut bows at all, but I did enjoy the carbow very much.
     
  15. anonymous12251111

    anonymous12251111 Banned

    Apr 6, 2007
    You're a german bow player correct? A guy in my studio at the University just bought a 113g Prochownik German bow. Yes 113g and it can pound!!! Just shows you that Prochownik knows how to balance his bows accordingly to produce a very large sound.
     
  16. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    German - that's me. I think Prochownik's is one of the smartest bow makers around. If you check his website you can see that he's also using "sustainable" materials:

    "As a result of an*increased* problem*with customs regarding the*control of imports and exports of wildlife products (such as pearl slides and exotic leather*),*I have chosen to eliminate wildlife products from my bows and substitute them with products such a pig leather, abalone imitation, and cow bone."

    Louis*
     
  17. anonymous12251111

    anonymous12251111 Banned

    Apr 6, 2007
    I wonder why other makers don't use these cheaper materials, it would make there bows significantly cheaper in price since you aren't paying for all these unnecessary frills. I don't need a beautiful looking bow with 3 dead animals on it, just something that's clean and works. The Prochownik is the best bow I've played for something under 5 thousand dollars, and I have played many bows at the top of that price range that just don't compare in sound and feel.
     
  18. I played a Prochownik last week. It made my instrument sound like a completely different animal. It was nice.
     
  19. Dave Whitla

    Dave Whitla

    Apr 25, 2006
    Ireland
    I bought one of his Sartori models a few months ago. It wasn't wrapped with silver, so I was going to have a local guy wrap it for me and put a normal, fatter, leather bit on it. He said the silver wrapping often mutes the bow and it's actually better for the sound to have the simple wrapping like Prochownik had put on.

    I might be buying a Bazin model soon. This bow thing could get worse than strings... :crying:
     
  20. mjt0229

    mjt0229

    Aug 8, 2007
    Bellingham, WA
    What are the differences between the sartory and bazin models? I'm afraid I've never had the chance to handle a bow by either maker. When I asked George Vance about the different models, he said he just gets bows from Prochownik, the tube he sent were not visually distinguishable designs.

    I've been working recently on trying to let my bow do more of the work and I feel like it's helped a lot on the volume - I'm doing less work and I'm getting more and better sound out. I think Prochownik is really on to something.