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Upgrade bow recommendation

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by fovea1959, Mar 21, 2009.


  1. fovea1959

    fovea1959

    Feb 10, 2009
    Midwest
    want to upgrade from my French fiberglass Glasser, tried my teacher's German for a couple of weeks, *like* it (don't know if it's because it's German, or because it's a decent bow). going to hunt for used before going new.

    my budget pegs at about $150.

    I've been going through threads on this forum, I'm coming away with the impression that people seem to like the Upton Workshop bow and Bob Gollihur's bows (though there have been instances of problems with both).

    anyone have any positive experiences with other inexpensive bows?
     
  2. jtlownds

    jtlownds

    Oct 3, 2004
    LaBelle, FL
    Just about ANY bow you find is going to be an upgrade (improvement) over that Glasser.
     
  3. Haven't tried one, but String Emporium sells a Brazilwood model for $130. Word is he sells good stuff.
     
  4. MDEbass

    MDEbass

    Dec 15, 2008
    Houston
    yeah for 150 youd go with a brazilwood bow....if you can wait a little longer and save up more, string emporium offers carbon fiber bows for not too much more than your budget. I havent tried those carbon fiber bows, but heard really good things about them
     
  5. EggyToast

    EggyToast

    Jan 21, 2006
    Baltimore
    Upton's starter bow is $129; I've used it for a couple years as a beginner and it's been just fine. I also moved up from a fiberglass bow (Gollihur's), and while his fiberglass bow was good (especially for the price), I liked the wood bow more as well.

    I got mine when they were still $99, but I still think the $129 price is a steal. It'll serve you well until you feel, based on your own improving abilities, that you need a newer bow (aka it won't hold you back as a beginner).
     
  6. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Former Mannes College Theory Faculty Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Ridgewood, NJ
    I'll give you my experiences:

    I started with a fiberglass Glasser, upgraded to a composite bow that cost about $150, then to a wooden bow that cost about $250, and I just - today - ordered a Finale CF bow from String Emporium that, with shipping, a case, etc., cost me $360.

    First and foremost, if you're going to start spending what is significant $$$ for you on a bow, you might want to wait until you decide if you prefer German or French. When I started, I bought a Glasser fiberglass in each to help me make that decision. When I bought my wooden bow, I hadn't decided yet, so I got one in French as well - if you decide to stick with French and want to buy my wooden bow, send me an email as I have no use for it now.

    If I had it to do all over again, I don't think I would have bothered with the $150 composite bow and would have gone straight to the $250 wooden one. (I've since sold the composite bow.)

    My own theory is that a chain is as strong as the weakest link - if your bass and your playing warrant a better bow, then try to find some locally to try, either new at a store or belonging to a colleague, and see what differences you can actually hear. I play a bass that cost me $1800, and I feel like a $300 bow is what I need at this point to match my much-improved, but still has a ways to go, playing. I say all that in case you've only been playing for a few weeks (sounds like that might be the case, couldn't tell for sure) and maybe you should just play that Glasser for a few more weeks or months until you have a better idea of what you want.

    Just my personal rant on the subject of relatively inexpensive bows.

    -S-
     
  7. Birdbass

    Birdbass

    Jul 31, 2005
    Portland, ME
    Yes and no. I agree that as technique improves you will naturally want to upgrade your equipment, but at the same time, a lot of the tone you get out of the bass has to do with how you play it. An $1800 bass in the hands of Edgar Meyer will probably sound a lot like Edgar Meyer...and if I played his bass, I definitely would not sound like him!! I mention this not because I think you should suffer with the bow you have now, definitely you want/deserve an upgrade, but my hunch is that if you are already noticing a difference in your playing and tone with your current bow, it probably won't take you very long before you notice a difference and tone with your $130 upgrade, and will find yourself on the hunt again. Consider it an investment. Spending $150 on a bow now to spend $350 on another one in a couple years ( I see it all the time) will actually will cost you $500...but if you save your pennies, you can have a much better bow in shorter time, for less money. It's just something to think about, feel free to tell me I'm full of rubbish! But whatever you decide, good luck!
     
  8. joenoone

    joenoone

    Mar 21, 2009
    Clermont, FL
    I was looking for something better in a bow and ran across a guy who sells on ebay as "youbow.com" and has a web storefront as well (more selection on his site).

    He has a good assortment and great prices, even two types of carbon fibre bows for under $100. I ordered a braided carbon fibre french bow that sounded promising - should arrive any day now.

    Anyone else have any experience with this guy?
     
  9. mje

    mje

    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I think the emphasis on his bows being "braided" is a red herring. All CF bows are made that way, as far as I can tell, it's just that some are painted so you can't see the fabic.

    I have an inexpensive CF bow that may have come from the same factory (a Presto from Sher) but while it's a huge improvement on my solid glass Glasser bow, my Bob G bow just trashes it.
     
  10. fovea1959

    fovea1959

    Feb 10, 2009
    Midwest
    well, I dropped the $150 for a Bob G German bow. it's *nice*. Don't know if it's the dark hair, or the different rosin (switched from Pop's to Kolstein), but note starts are more consistent than I get with the loaner from my teacher. my violinist son has already commented on the better tone, it's much easier to get some tone out of my M-1, without it getting "crunchy"...

    I understand and agree with the "saving for a *good* bow", but I needed a decent one for right now, and the money just wasn't there for a nicer bow (kid in college, another one starting soon)... This is just a hobby for me, I don't even have a place to play in public, other than church, and I don't know that my arco playing will ever progress to any playing more demanding than that...
     
  11. joenoone

    joenoone

    Mar 21, 2009
    Clermont, FL
    Yea, I thought about that before ordering (they have a non-braided one as well for bit less), but I figured what the heck, it wasn't much more than the non-braided and it looks cool :) . True - quality is more important than looks, but since it's my first bow and I'm not a professional (I play in church bands) I figured I'd give it a try.
     

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