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Purchasing New Bow...Opinions?

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by MathMusic, Mar 31, 2009.


  1. MathMusic

    MathMusic

    Mar 31, 2009
    Alright, so Im making my first purchase of a bow. Ive used the crappy one you get standard with rental basses (Im purchasing my bass sometime next year) and am toying around with 2 bows and trying to figure out which is "better".

    Im trying to decide between a CF Bow and a Wood bow. The CF Bow is $395 and the Wood Bow is $385 so price difference is not a factor. For this price range, which (in your opinion and please dont bash someone for their post) is "better"?
    :help:
     
  2. JoeyNaeger

    JoeyNaeger Guest Commercial User

    Jun 24, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Bass Specialist, Lisle Violin Shop
    In my opinion, you would be much better by first playing both bows for someone else(can be anyone, not necessarily a musician) and then having another bass player play them for you. This will make the tonal differences between the two much more obvious. Which bow is better is a personal choice that should be determined based on sound and feel. Unfortunately, we won't be able to help much at all in selecting, especially without knowing what brand each bow is.
     
  3. EggyToast

    EggyToast

    Jan 21, 2006
    Baltimore
    Getting a carbon fiber bow is often recommended simply because they're more of a "sure thing." The manufacturing process pretty much guarantees that there's a minimal amount of variation between bows.

    That being said, that also means that you're unlikely to get a "surprise" with a CF bow. For instance, I just recently got a new bow up at David Gage's in NYC, and tried a bunch of bows in the 3-500 range, and I was looking for, I assumed, a lightweight, springy bow. As a test, though, I tried out their $900 carbon fiber bow. While light, and well balanced, it had a heft around the frog that I wasn't expecting. A very fine bow, but after playing it and not really liking it, I realized that there was no point in trying *any* coda-bow, because they'd end up being pretty similar.

    The wood bow I ended up with was towards the bottom end of my price range, very light, very responsive and articulate, and I'm very happy with it. And it was only because I tried out like 7 bows that I knew this particular wood bow would work, because it's relatively unique. There's no brand, as far as I can tell, but the point is -- this bow is better than a CF bow, to me. But that's only true for myself.
     
  4. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    +1 to the above. The Finale Carbon Bow (in that price range) has gotten very good reviews. It will probably be difficult to find a wood bow that is comparable or better in terms of balance and sound in that low price range. Can you even get a pernambucco bow at that price? Get someone knowledgeable to help you with this and try to find a few more bows to compare. You'll be amazed at the difference in sound between bows on the same bass.
     
  5. MathMusic

    MathMusic

    Mar 31, 2009
    Thanks a lot guys!

    Now, Ive tried out the wood bow and the CF bow (Not sure of brand on either) and I have to say that I personally like the CF bow because I can pull out a lot more sound from my bass. However, the wood bow brings into play the fact that I can FEEL whats going on with the bass. Im still not sold either way but Ive still got another week before I have to choose.

    Any comments as far as advantages and disadvantages for each bow? Compared to the other?
     
  6. JoeyNaeger

    JoeyNaeger Guest Commercial User

    Jun 24, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Bass Specialist, Lisle Violin Shop
    Make sure that you get someone to play both bows for while you stand back. This will be very enlightening. Sometimes, basses and bows give the appearance of being very loud while playing them, but then you take a few steps back and the volume is similar to everything else. I auditioned about thirty bows over the summer, and it wasn't until I had some people play my favorite ones for me that I was able to make up my mind.
     
  7. EggyToast

    EggyToast

    Jan 21, 2006
    Baltimore
    Volume counts for a lot, but so does articulation/responsiveness. That was the biggest thing both that I and my wife noticed once I had a chance to try my new bow out on my own bass -- notes sounded clearer and the bass sounded more "distinct." It's not just the hair, either, because the hair on the new bow is older than the hair on my old bow.

    We can't really make the decision for you, though, unless one of us lives in your neighborhood and would be willing to stop by and test them out as well ;D
     
  8. MathMusic

    MathMusic

    Mar 31, 2009
    Thanks a lot eveyone! Im going to have my bass teacher play them for me during my next lesson and make the decision then. I appreciate all the advice :)
     

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