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Upton Bow issue

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by NicholasF, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. NicholasF

    NicholasF Guest

    Jan 17, 2012
    Well, my bow looks like this now... dont understand how it happened or how to fix it. The stick juts out to the left, and twists the hair near the top. Makes tracking impossible and difficult. Is there any way to fix it? I take super good care of my bow and im worried, especially with jurries coming up... can someone from upton chime in? It was slight when I first got it and was told not to worry about it, now its bad.:thumbdown:

    Heres a Google drive link: https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B8g6_8fFg5F6TDB2Vi13RDIwQmM/edit
  2. Heat bend.
  3. I'd contact Upton directly if I were you, or take it to an archetier to have it straightened. Must be bow repair in NYC, yeah?

    I can't see your google link, BTW.
  4. NicholasF

    NicholasF Guest

    Jan 17, 2012
    Im up at the Crane school of music, so no NYC right now. Id have to look up in Ottawa :rolleyes:
  5. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    First call should be to Upton.
  6. NicholasF

    NicholasF Guest

    Jan 17, 2012
    For anyone who needs an invite email me...
  7. NicholasF

    NicholasF Guest

    Jan 17, 2012
    I will try to call upton soon...everyone who emailed me the pictures are available
  8. MikeCanada


    Aug 30, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    It definitely looks like a camber issue, and there are a few things that could cause it, but the repair is pretty much the same. The most likely cause is a bad rehair. If the tension on the hair isn't even from side to side, the bow will bend as a result. If you have left it on/near a heat source (think setting it on a radiator in the practice room or if it was in the car in crazy hot weather for a while) then it can warp as well, but this time of year you shouldn't really be experiencing either of those things.

    Get in touch with Upton, or whoever did your last rehair. If it is a bad rehair that caused the problem, then they should be making it right. Your bow will need to be recambered to straighten it out, with a better rehair to prevent it from happening again. I would suggest sooner than later. If the rehair is to blame, it could continue to get worse until it reaches a bend where the hair is at even tension.

    Regardless, the shop that saw it last needs to be made aware of it. If it was Upton and it is a new bow, chances are the hair is what was on it from whomever they get their bows from, and it wasn't even their rehair. If that's the case, they will want to know so they can make that supplier aware of the issue, and make sure it doesn't happen again. They are great guys and do great work, and would definitely appreciate the opportunity to make it right.

    Give them a call, and if you, your teacher, or one of the other bassists at school has a bow you could use when yours is in the shop, I would suggest sending it to Upton. They will likely be able to give you an estimate of turn around time based on the photos.

    Best of luck, and let us know when you do get it fixed. Solving the problem is definitely the most important step, but a quick "They did great work" doesn't hurt when repairs are done. We like to hear success stories as much as horror stories.
  9. NicholasF

    NicholasF Guest

    Jan 17, 2012
    I have pictures of it prior to a rehair where it was doing the same bending, and continued to bend after the rehair.(I climate control my house, and the bow is a sacred entity in my home...)

    Thank you for the feedback, I'll try to get in touch with them. My teacher is lending me his personal bow (a carbondix stick with an old ebony frog rehaired with white unbleached hair).

    I wanted to adress the sound quality of the bow too, does the camber depreciate the sound? The quality has gone way way down since I first got it, but, the length of the actual bow feels way too short, and the overall quality feels a little lacking.
    Does Upton make a longer stick?

    For anyone who couldnt see the photos here are new links(for each individual picture):

  10. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Contact Upton directly.

    If they can't straighten the stick out, a bowmaker can.
  11. MikeCanada


    Aug 30, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    The camber shouldn't change the sound of the bow. However it does change the playability of the bow, which means that you are likely altering your technique in some way to compensate, which means that the sound you are getting is different than when the bow was straight. So, camber in and of itself does not change the sound of the bow, but if your bow does not have enough/has too much camber or is warped, then you will have to play it differently, resulting in a different sound.

    A bad rehair, especially one using too much hair can reduce the amount of sound your get out of a bow. Some hair does sound a little different than others, black vs. white vs. salt and pepper etc. but just like changing strings on your bass, different hair might change things a bit but doesn't make it a different bow. It can tweak it a bit, but it's still the same bow.

    When you are talking about sound depreciating, and the "overall quality" lacking, it sounds a lot like buyer's remorse. The most sought after bows by French masters are close to 100 years old, and they are still going strong. Unless it has been damaged and/or poorly repaired, It should not sound or play significantly different than the day you bought it. There is nothing saying that even an Upton bow won't be around for 100+ years.

    As for length, it is going to feel shorter because it is warped. When it is straightened out, unless you purchased a bow intended for a smaller fractional size instrument, it isn't going to be way too short. Bows do occasionally vary in length, but by a few millimetres, to a centimetre at most. Upton, just like any other shop isn't going to sell an abnormally short bow, unless they have a customer specifically requesting something like that.

    I echo again, contact Upton directly and get it fixed. After that, if it isn't the best bow for you, that doesn't make it a bad bow, it just means it isn't a good fit.
  12. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    My only other comment is that a sideways curve is a generally unhelpful thing, as is a twist to the stick.

    I've even heard one bowmaker talk about "player's curve" ( a sideways bend that can develop, for a variety of reasons) as if it was an acceptable, optional thing.

    Perhaps it is, for some people. But, any bend or twist, as Mike says, affects how the bow plays. Changing the hair tension on a "sideways bent" stick changes it in ways that make it nearly impossible to adjust the bow's playing stiffness with tension.

    A sideways bend makes it impossible to fine tune the response you want with increased/decreased hair tension; the more you tighten the bow, the more it bends sideways, rather than getting stiffer/"springier" as the main camber straightens.

    I've been thinking about bows a lot, recently. The thing about a longer stick is that the longer it is, generally, the harder it become to negotiate string crossings. Until very recently I wished for a longer bow. Now I wish for a shorter one, after comparing string-crossing ability with bow length.

    Of course, there are notable exceptions to everything, but often, longer equals greater string crossing challenge, trying to swing the thing around the curve.

    I'm no expert; just trying to share the scraps of experience I've gleaned...

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