Beginner experience with different bows. Too new to splurge on violin bow?
Birthday is coming up in a few weeks and I'm tempted to get myself a good violin bow up to $700-800 max. I'm still quite a beginner though and part of me thinks I don't deserve it just yet. 6 months and still on 14/17 (Minuet 2) in Suzuki v1. I'm generally a very curious person so I'm itching to try out bows for the fun of experimenting and differentiating like my experience with buying my first violin and trying out different strings... but knowing myself, I'd end up getting a new one =/ Perhaps I can keep saving and double my budget in a year.
My current bow is Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber Violin Bow (link at end of post). Way better than my first rental bow. During a lesson about three months ago, when I started putting more pressure on my bowing, I noticed myself making stuttering? sound as I near towards the middle of the bow. It also mostly happens when I'm on 3rd and 4th finger. Instead of a clean yiiiiiiiiiiiiiing sound, it goes yiiiiiiyiyiyiyiiiiiiiing. I notice the middle of my bow oscillate. I loosened and tightened the tension of my bow, but it still happens frequently.
Asked my teacher and borrowed his CF bow. Voila! It wasn't happening as much! Since then I have tried other's bows too with similar improved results (all three of them wood). Even my friend's cheaper wooden bow didn't oscillate as much! Of course most of it is attributed to proper skills. Perhaps it'll go away as I get better, but still..it leads to my desire to find a new bow.
I'm limiting myself to CF due to traveling between completely different weathers and I'm hoping to get one that will last my lifetime. I'm eyeing on trying out JonPaul Avanti (or the Carrera if I want to be really ambitious hahaha), though I still feel too new to deserve it :(
My current violin is Revelle 600 with regular Vision GDA and Pirastro Gold E strings if that matters.
Here's the link to the bow I currently have.
Have you let your teacher try your current bow? If not, please do, so you'll know if it's your fault or not. If you really need a new bow, I personally don't think you'll need a really expensive bow. One that'll serve you well for many years to come is enough. I use a cheap student bow and am very satisfied with it, and I've been playing for several years.
I don't think you're currently at a stage where you are likely to be able to choose a bow for a lifetime. The $750 or so that a JonPaul Avanti costs, or another similar CF bow in its class, should serve you just fine; you'll never need another upgrade.
The problem with the bow is probably most likely your arm and wrist not being relaxed enough. From what I remember when trying out my friends basic Fiddlerman bow is that while it weighs about the same as my other nice composite bows, it feels much lighter.
The problem I see is just: a bow must match player and violin. Your technice is not developed yet so nobody will be able to tell if this bow will be the right one in the future.
I think I will go ahead and try out different bows, but not necessarily max out on my budget. If I can't notice improvement in playing and/or sound improvement, then I'll settle for the cheapest one.
If you want growth in value you need at least one of the very good old German bows (10k+), better an middle valued old french one (20k+). This is a whole different level and beyond what an amateur usually puts into a bow. I think this is just not important to this discussion. The essence is, you will more likely loose value than gain.
Basically irrelevant to this discussion, but good antique French bows don't start in the $20k+ range; you can get makers like the Morizot brothers at around the $7k price point, and sub-$20k will include makers like Thomassin and Voirin. High-quality contemporary work, which may appreciate over a lifetime, is typically going to be $4k+.
I was talking about bows you can be sure to increase in values, not french in general.
Thanks Lydia. Anything in particular that the Avanti does better/worse compared to your main one? Just curious.
No one in a shop really cares about how you play, and they may not be paying any attention at all. Shops are better because you can try a lot of inventory all at once, and then take things home once you've winnowed the pile down.
I had an experience where I put on new strings from china and wiped them with a tissue. The tissue turned black with oil from the strings. If I had used the bow, the hair would have oil on it. I'm wondering if that could have happened to your bow, John.
That's horrifying. New strings should always be clean.
John C., I by no means am an accomplished violinist but as a student myself, I have experienced a similar situation and thought myself ready to move up in bow quality, but due to my nature and occupation, I first felt compelled to isolate the problem. Fortunately for me I have a very tolerant teacher who in her experience believes that violins and bows are frequently blamed for poor or incorrect technique
I know I'm adding interest to this item. I know I won't be bidding on it. I used this as an example of a possibility.
Nobody sells a Pecatte without certificate!
Looks like it had previously sold before.
Thanks John. Buyer could have folded on the deal. Could be a relist.
This is a fake stamp. The wood seems ok. Thats all i can tell you.
A colegno is one of the reasons I own a CF bow, too. You dont want to destroy your precious french bow for an unimportant orchrstra part.
If this were actually a Peccatte, it would be more than worthwhile for the seller to get it certified as such -- to send it to an expert like Paul Childs, or Raffin, for instance. Or if they just wanted it out of their hands, to just hand it to Tarisio or another auction house and let them deal with it. There's no way that they would be eBaying it.
Marc, French bows under $20k from the makers that I mentioned absolutely have appreciated and continue to do so. My Thomassin is worth well over 2x (closer to 3x) what I bought it for. Voirin's work is selling for about double what it was when I was looking for bows back then. Etc. (Applies also to Morizot, Vigneron, etc.)
Also the headshape is completly wrong and the frog not original. Dont think you can buy a $80 000 bow on ebay for a few dollars, its lost money.
I'm not very knowledgeable about violin bows, but I was thinking exactly what Lydia said. If it's real, it's easily worth the hassle of getting it checked and certified or be sold at an auction that isnt eBay.
If you choose the right ones, sure. If the market stays the same it is a very good, but non liquid investment. One of my bows increased significantly too, the contemporary ones not, my CF dropped in value.
Back to the original topic. The violin shop here responded and I'll likely be dropping by in a few weeks. Perhaps I'll take a day off on my bday. They would allow me to do home trial for a week. Will stay within my max budget of $800. In the meanwhile, I'll be making a list of things to test. What's everyone's process when testing a bow?
See what feels comfortable to you, but I would shop with your teacher or another accomplished player if you can. Certainly your teacher should try any bows you are seriously considering.
You'll get a better sound with a pernambuco bow than a CF, whether you like the playability as much is another question.
@Lydon, I agree. The best sound has been from my wood bows as compared to CF. Yet I was prepared to try an "indredibow" just for giggles.
Its quite possibly a german copy worth about $500 if its real pernambuco, does it have a return policy?? you can get it appraised, if its fake it can be returned as not as described if the seller didn't just say stamped pecatte but said by pecatte.
@Lyndon, you're the kind of guy that tinkers. Did those stamps look new to you? It would be difficult to make a burned stamp look old but possible I suppose.
The frog does not really fit the stick, but the quality suggestscit should, so I think it is a replacement frog.
Germans made plenty of bows stamped Pecatte, they might even stamp it france next to the frog, Stamps are no more reliable than labels, really, is it silver mount, is it pernmabuco, then it might be worth $500 at least, these are questions to ask even though some French bows were nickel mount and they did use woods other than pernambuco, but they're not worth as much
Thanks @ Marc and @Lydon. Good to know for future reference.
Is it Peccatte or Pecatte? ebay listing has two C's
Don't go by my spelling LOL
I dont know, my S8 is close to my wooden bows. There is a tendency of course, the CF beeing more brilliant, which helps in projection but may lack in sound depth. There are also good CF bows soundwise. It is much easier to find a good sounding wooden one though, thats right.
Misspelled words can work in your favor on Ebay, although they've grown wise to it and in some cases the misspelled word is also in the search.Not in every case though. I know a few who have done really well in intentionally searching misspelled words that are close to things they want to buy.
I think the hair is more humidity repsondednd than pernambuko. Never had problem with the wood (of course also not with CF).
I recognize the bow, I mean the others that look just like it(making the rounds on ebay), each with a different Famous French makers stamp, in the same position, the same not like pernambuco looking Chinese??? wood, the same leather for the grip, the brand new frogs with artificially aged stick, obvious fake probably cost the seller upward of 100-200$ You did well not to buy it, trust me