What the heck did the archetier do to my bow?
For several years, I've been going to a well respected bow maker for rehairs every six months or so. Two rehairs ago, he asked me if I was interested in upgrading my bow. (I'm not- it's an amazing bow). After the rehair, the bow felt slightly off, but I wrote it of as just me.
A couple of weeks ago, he was to do a rehair and replace the leather grip. The bow is now unplayable. Instead of cutting the leather, he used the tube grip, which is hard plastic, too rough, and too thick. There's also a weak spot in the middle of the bow that was never there before.
Obviously, I'll never take it back to him, which is problematic, because the next closest luthier is 5 hours away. I'm wondering, though, if he could have done something permanent to ruin the bow in order to get me to buy a new one. I'm also not even sure if I ought to leave a negative online review, because I don't know if this was done on purpose. With the exception of the past two times, I've been satisfied with his work.
What do I look for on my bow and what should I do about it?
Did he ask you about putting on a different type of grip? Grip weight changes the bow, not just the feel under the finger. I would not have accepted that work, and I think it's an unacceptable way to change a customer's bow without advance permission.
Is it possible he recambered the bow?
Lydia- No. He. Did. Not. I'm now worried that if I take it back and demand that he fix it, he could do something worse. I'm okay with cutting ties and driving 5 hours to Atlanta and 5 hours back. Maybe the grip is throwing off the weight. Or maybe the length of the hair. It seems a bit shorter, but again, it's all just off enough that I can't tell exactly what's different. But it definitely is different.
You can ship a bow in a well capped length of PVC tubing.
Not certain what you mean by “
Roger- the bow grip is actually a strip of leather that is wound around the stick and glued. I tried it once on a toss away bow, and I can testify that it's a royal pain to do. There is a type of grip that's just a tube that can be slid onto the stick and glued in place in 5 seconds. That's what he did.
Yikes.. I would not be happy with a cheap plastic job, not very professional IMO. Maybe he hired some low waged staff to do the work instead of him. I’d asked him point blank “
Can it be not your bow? Can he give another one by mistake? (Shorter, different grip, sounds, fillings... )
If you are not satisfied with the job you should definitely voice your concerns. But do it in a calm and composed manner. Give them the benefit of doubt.
How does it play differently? As of bow balance, the sound it draws , or the bow response?
It's worth asking them in detail what they did to your bow.
Thanks for the feedback all! I really think Lydia's suggestion about the grip could be the culprit. I can't really use my thumb in the same way with this grip, and I think it's throwing off the transition in the middle from the lower to upper half.
Maybe talk to him to make up your mind whether what he did was deliberate or not(so you can give a fair evaluation as a review). It doesnt sound like youve approached him about your suspicions. I think you deserve and he owes you an explanation. Perhaps he had something else in mind not sabotaging your bow. And if he wanted to purposefully sabotage your bow, thats not just unprofessional, its malicious. Would he not suspect that you were into his motives (ie to push you to buy from him)?
Buy a book and do your own rehairs and bow repairs. It doesn't take a genius to do it.
Instead of driving 5 hours each way to/from Atlanta, I agree with Paul, bows are easy to ship securely. Search here for netrehair.com - Jerry's one of the best in the business, and possibly in your same region. Request a phone consultation when you set up the appointment. We're fortunate to have them as our local shop.
Julie O'Conner anyone who would sabotage a violin or a bow is a very sick person. That goes for any work of art.
"Buy a book and do your own rehairs and bow repairs. It doesn't take a genius to do it."
Charles, thanks! I'll probably go with Stephanie Voss, but I'm really intrigued by Alfaro.
I wouldn't question whether or not your own head hair looks great. It may or may not, but no pictures have been furnished so far, enabling anyone to make an independent determination. It might also be fair to ask how well it does at playing spiccato. ;-)
Buy a book and do your own ureteroscopic laser lithotripsy.
David, I'm sure she looks neat and great with her hair :). After all, IMO surviving professionals (teaching kids, freelance, orchestral, etc) almost always present themselves well in this profession.