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student-grade french bow

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by cryfok, Sep 23, 2008.

  1. cryfok


    May 28, 2008
    brooklyn, ny
    hi all. i am in the market to purchase a student-grade french bow. my budget is $1,000, and it's important there's good resale value. i'm still in the very beginning of my search, but my curiosity has been piqued by an o. durrschmidt (listed at lemur music as AB600F; $999) and a w. seifert (also listed at lemur music, model no. AB266F; $1299).

    i had a great conversation with one of the sales reps at lemur, and he assures me there is a high resale value on these items. cursory searches on google, however, only really list the durrschmidt for sale at lemur. without in any way meaning to besmirch the reputation of a fine seller, the fact that i can't really find this bow online elsewhere makes me feel a bit cautious about the salesman's comments. is this truly a reputable bowmaker? does anyone here on this site own/use one? is $1K way overboard?

    also, i would consider $1,000 to be a fairly high budget for a student bow, and so i want to make sure i'm not (a) going way over what's traditionally considered standard for what is essentially my first serious bow and (b) that there's not something incredible out there at a lesser value. (i've seen several posts about m. raposo's bows in the $750 range, but these posts seem to be from some time ago.) i have not actually been out "shopping" yet, so i plan to go to d. gage's shop, etc., but i'd like to do this only after i've gotten a better handle on the market.

    finally, judging from many seemingly trustworthy posts on talkbass, as well as a great demonstration on j. heath's blog (not to mention the recommendation of my teacher), it would appear that carbon fiber is a worthwhile consideration. i'm having a tough time getting my head around the synthetic aspect of these bows. it's not a resale value thing (though i suspect wood will have a greater long-term value). perhaps i'm revealing too much about myself with this next statement, but, for me, the initial attraction of the double bass to me is that it's inherently an organic object; i like the idea that i'm playing something that is "of nature". i feel that it's important to preserve that quality. however, if i'm out of my gourd and i can really get (as per heath's blog) some incredible bow for $350 and i'm just having an issue over color or what-have-you, then, by all means, tell me i'm nuts and tell me to get over it already.

    thanks in advance for your advice, and for dealing with what my bosses and girlfriend kindly refer to as my lack of concision.

  2. dchan


    Nov 19, 2005
    Bethlehem, PA
    Good questions all around.

    When I was looking for an upgrade to my inadequate Upton bow (inadequate for me, because I was fairly advanced), I actually didn't follow normal advice to shop around at all sorts of shops to try out as many bows as possible. But all of the bows I did try were all very good, and I fell in love with my current bow because of its extraordinarily deep sound. At about $500, it has it's limitations here and there, but it was still a great value. I trusted the seller because of his reputation, and it paid off in the end.

    But if I had to do it again, I would have probably followed the path followed by the OP on this thread, albeit at a lower price point:


    One of the limitations came to light when I played the Romance in Prokofiev's "Lt. Kije Suite": while the sounded so warm and powerful up close, it sounded pretty diffuse out in the audience according to the recording made. I can hear myself, but not very clearly. So the bow was definitely more of a sectional bow than a solo bow.

    So my advice for you is to try out as many bows as possible, and get another person to hear you from a distance to get an idea of how the bow sounds from afar. Judge the sound, the playability, and the feel of the bow, not the name stamped on the bow. At your price, I don't think that anybody in the market for these bows would be so superficial and look at name only and would judge the actual merits of the bow. Even at your maximum price level, virtually none of the bows available would be able to ride the reputation of only it's name.
  3. RD


    Jun 17, 2003
    Seattle, WA
  4. thedbassist


    Sep 10, 2006
    In my experience, going with a carbow is a very good option for many students. But since I am biased, I would say contact lemur and ask if they can send you about 5 bows to try out so you can decide what bow is the best fit for you.
  5. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Carbon is the essence of organic. :D

    On a more serious note, try out as many bows as you can and definitely try out some of the carbon fiber ones.

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