How Much to Spend on Spare Bows
Hi everyone! I recently upgraded my instrument along with it's bow. I purchased a $650 bow which I loved for the price. I currently have a "spare" but it is quite nasty in the fact that it's not pernambuco or carbon fiber and was incorrectly crafted and now is twisted due to the wood settling.
I was wondering how much to spend on a spare bow and whether to get another pernambuco bow or a carbon fiber. Any recommendations?
Another thought that crossed my mind was; due to my bow costing 1/10 of the price of my instrument, I use it as a spare, although I do love it. And, instead of buying a spare, buying a higher quality bow. In that case, how much should I spend on a bow of higher quality? I know everyone says spend 1/3 of the price of the violin on the bow, but is a $2000 bow really necessary. Like, I don't need some gold mounted, early 20th century bow.
I don't think you need to spend tonnes on a bow. I would try a variety of affordable bows and pick your fave.
A high-end CF bow will run you about $800 and will almost certainly be more than adequate--it will probably be better than your $650 pernambuco bow. You can get an "OK" CF bow for $400-$500.
Don't buy a spare. In the future you will buy a better bow and your current one will become the spare. Until you upgrade that better bow for an even better one and so on.. before you know it you will have a collection.
If you are looking to have some fun go to a fine fiddle shop and try bows and get one that you like. An alternative is to look for a bow that has different characteristics than your present good bow. Perhaps a stiffer bow or a more flexible bow - be sure the balance suits your technique - or that you can adapt to it. That's what I think.
A gold-mounted early-20th-century bow by a name maker might be more likely to cost you $20k, not $2k. ;-)
I think having a spare bow is a good idea for emergencies. I think the purpose of a spare bow is meant for use only when something has happened to your main bow (e.g rehair, malfunction, damage). Please correct me about bow rehairs because I know nothing about them. I'm assuming that a bow rehair takes a few days, but I'm probably wrong. Could your current bow act as your emergency spare? If not, you don't really need to spent a ton of money on an emergency spare bow. It doesn't have to be a top-notch bow, but it should at least serve you well and make your violin sound good.
In London a quick turnaround (24Hrs or less), costs more than waiting for a few days. Still a lot cheaper than buying a spare bow though!
At Ifshin Violins for an extra $5 (or so) I have been able to drop off a bow, go to lunch, come back to pick up my bow and drive home. A really nice service - provided I have made an appointment to do it. Haven't done it for a couple of years - might cost more now.
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