Coda Bow vs. Jon Paul?

March 8, 2012 at 03:10 PM · Hey guys,

So I am in the market for a new bow. I am currently using an ~$1000 german pernambuco bow.

I have the Coda Diamond GX, and various Jon Paul's on loan.

My first impression was that the coda gx was pretty good, but after playing with a Jon Paul Carrera, I fell in love with the Carrera. The discontinued Jon Paul Spiccato was also pretty good.

I know many of you won't touch anything besides a wooden bow (I was like this too. lol.), but I gave carbon fiber bows a chance, and I like them quite a bit. It's a bit different than the wooden bows, not better or worse, but just different.

Any opinions on the whole carbon fiber vs. wooden bow argument?

Any particular carbon fiber bows or wooden bows that you guys prefer?

Thanks guys!

-Kevin

Replies (28)

March 8, 2012 at 04:19 PM · I have a "Cadenza Master" (now known as their "Model 305" or "Three Star") violin bow. The price of this bow will be around $450-500 retail. I like it a lot. It can do all of the things that you want your bow to do. A fine professional violinist that I admire says I would have to spend over $2000 on a pernambuco bow that will outperform the Cadenza. He uses one when he is teaching. Cadenza is an Eastman brand but it is available through a few other dealers as well. I don't know anything about CodaBow but I would worry that anything promoted heavily by a top retailer with flashy ads and lots of real estate devoted to it in their printed catalogs is going to be more expensive than it needs to be.

March 9, 2012 at 12:56 AM · I agree. There is just something about the wooden bows that I cannot live without out, but then there are benefits from using the CF bows.

Some of the cf bows that I have tried were excellent in playability, but they lacked in sound--they did not sound as good as other bows.

But I am very pleased with the Jon Paul Carrera, and I will probably purchase it soon. It feels great, tone is clean and powerful, and sounds much better than many of the other CF bows I have tried.

I am still open to any other opinions/ideas about both wooden and cf bows.

Thanks again,

Kevin

March 9, 2012 at 03:32 PM · I use an Arcus M4, and I think it produces a better tone than any wooden bow I have used, to date, even those in the £1500 range.

March 9, 2012 at 04:42 PM · I think it's a bit hasty to conclude that those of us buying CF bows aren't doing our homework and listening before we buy. It's true that playability was my chief concern, though, because when I bought my CF bow I knew that in a year's time I would be shopping for a violin. What I wanted was a decent bow that I felt would help me in that search, and it performed very well on a great variety of violins. Now I'm going to enjoy my new violin for a while and grow into it, and then perhaps I will consider upgrading to a better pernambuco bow.

March 10, 2012 at 07:20 AM · Bought a Coda Diamond GX violin bow and haven't looked back. Great bow.

March 10, 2012 at 05:00 PM · I have owned both.....a Codabow GX and a JonPaul Avanti and have played all the bows in both companies line up. My general impressions were that the Codabows were stiffer and the JonPaul bows were a little more pliable. The Codabows were a little heavier at the tip as well. The JonPaul bows just seemed to feel a little more agile. I have been very happy with my JonPaul Avanti for my carbon bow. My primary bow is a John Norwood Lee gold mounted pernambuco stick. I still like pernambuco the best but the JonPaul is a very nice bow and I do use it a lot. Especially in situations where I am worried about damaging my JNL bow.

DB

March 12, 2012 at 08:15 AM · Thanks for all the responses!

I ended up purchasing the discontinued Rolland Spiccato bow. I had a hard time deciding between the Spiccato and the Jon Paul carrera, but in the end, I just felt that the Spiccato was a bit easier to control and play with.

Thanks,

Kevin

March 12, 2012 at 07:19 PM · Have any of you noticed a very distinct "rubbing sound" when playing in the higher positions (E string 4th-5th position and up)?

It's a very noticeable rubbing/gliding sound that I just noticed. I never had it before on my wooden bows.

Thanks,

Kevin

March 12, 2012 at 08:08 PM · I have not noticed that problem JP Avanti bow. I use it with both of my violins and the JP bow seems to be fine high up on the E string.

David Blackmon

March 14, 2012 at 06:05 AM · Thanks for the replies. I had a friend play it, and it's not noticeable when I listen to him play. Maybe it's just a personal thing.

Thanks,

Kevin

March 18, 2012 at 07:36 AM · I am using Arcus M3. it weighs 58 grams (all M series of this brand weigh 58 grams). The thing is, with this brand you need to get used first. I meant, when I just used it for the first time I had to get used for about a week because this bow doesn't need much pressure and it's lighter than another CF bows (light CF bows, in general, weigh 60 grams). Arcus P series weigh 55 grams and the S ones weigh 52 grams. The next thing is, you can not decide if this brand is the bow you're looking for only by trying out at shop. I had never been impressed with any other CF bows before until I had Arcus in my hand, it's designed to be comfortable in my hand, even I'm not impressed with Coda. When I held this Arcus bow in my hand I just knew I wanted it and I dared taking a risk that I had to get used to this for about a week, as my ex teacher already told me about. Arcus M series are round only bows with octagonal form inside. Arcus M4, like what Jim Dorans is using, is more comfortable in hand due to the design. Even I called Arcus a magic bow because my wrong bow arm got fixed only because I'm using this bow! It is light weighted CF bow but it produces better tone than any other wooden bows and CF bows I've used.

I have no good words about another CF bows, besides pernambuco bow I'd recommend Arcus. If you're professional and want to try out CF bows I'd recommend the P and S series if you really want a lighter bow.

March 18, 2012 at 06:54 PM · I'm coming in late, since the decision has already been made.

We bought a discontinued Spiccatto violin bow a few years ago; the price was right, and the bow man at the shop didn't care for the two he had left in stock. It's an interesting bow, with the adjustable camber and all, and seemed to be worth the purchase for that reason alone, though it does pull a nice tone.

We got a Jon Paul Arpege viola bow for a ridiculous low price from ebay; not as stiff as I'd prefer, but again it makes good music. Always nice to have a backup bow, as well.

When my granddaughter was just graduating to s decent violin, but was playing in student orchestras, it seemed to me to be a good idea to start her with a decent CF bow, as so much can go wrong in a pit full of kids. We auditioned a dozen of the type, and picked the one that played the best according to her lights. It was a pricey Otto Musica. I don't now if they still make bows, but this one was hands down better than anything else in the shop.

There's a place for CF, and it's tough to recommend a specific brand. For all the advertising that they are all alike, I have to conclude that this is not the case. Each one is different, sometimes by a slight amount, somewtimes dramatically. The player and the violin are also important variabes in the equation.

Try a bunch, and get the one that you'd regret having passed up. Or you'll be sorry later. (This applies to much of life, not just bows, of course. Don't ask me how I know.)

March 19, 2012 at 01:40 AM · @Bob Annis: actually you're right there about recommendation. One must try out him/herself. I've had Bridge CF (made by Bridge UK that makes bridge electric violin. Not a bridge, it's a brand), the bow was very heavy in my hand, then my ex teacher said it depends on what someone needs, I'm skinny, have thin arms and fingers so after a few days of using this bow I got pain in my hand. Personally I can't decide which bow I want only by trying it out at shop, but I was so convinced about Arcus so I dared to take a risk of purchasing it and getting used to it.

April 4, 2012 at 04:05 PM · I just purchased a beautiful, custom, light-weight (57 gm), relatively inexpensive bow from Bernstein Violins:

Reed Bernstein

Bernstein Violins

303-499-6165

To say I am thrilled with its responsiveness and the tone achieved is understatement.

April 6, 2012 at 03:42 PM · I and my violin teacher colleague at Baylor recently tried out all the coda bow models, for loaner bows to students. It turned out we both thought the cheapest, DiamondNX was the best both for playing characteristics and sound. (They go for around $375)

August 11, 2015 at 09:57 AM · How consistent are the CodaBows? In other words, do two bows of the same model perform nearly exactly?

August 11, 2015 at 12:41 PM · I have recently started using a JT Carbon Fiber bow, which i purchased with the Yamaha electric violin, and it feels good and light.

I have tried it on the acoustic violin and it sounded fine for me. I think the issue is not in the type of material, whether wood or carbon fiber, but rather the quality of the hair and perhaps the hand holding the bow altogether.

Then again, i'm not an experienced violinist so i might be wrong but i'm trying to look at this subject from a logical angle.

August 11, 2015 at 01:05 PM · CodaBows (like JonPaul or other decent CF bows) are consistent in a kind of general way. There's a kind of general feel and response for the model. But each stick is unique, and it sounds and plays somewhat differently.

April 14, 2016 at 05:14 AM · Hm... Anyone know an official dealer for JonPaul in Canada?

April 14, 2016 at 04:03 PM · There's a Dealers listing on their website. Just type your city name into it.

April 14, 2016 at 08:42 PM · None close to Ottawa(Toronto and Montreal) seems to have a website with pricing on them unfortunately.

April 15, 2016 at 02:08 AM · Worth just calling and asking. They run roughly $700.

March 11, 2017 at 10:51 PM · I know this is an old thread....I have an Arcus S6 and really don't like it. I also have a Jon Paul Avanti that I like very much.There is no question that the Arcus bow is a better bow than the Avanti but I would like to replace it with a Jon Paul Vetta so I am selling the 47 gram, Arcus S6. It's a nicely made bow but I play 5 and 6 string instruments and it is too light of a bow for the heavier strings.I think the extra weight of the Jon Paul will suite me better.

March 12, 2017 at 12:10 AM · I ended up getting a Vetta almost on a blind luck. I do have to agree that it's a bit heavier overall.

March 12, 2017 at 12:13 AM · What does it weigh, exactly? Do you have an accurate scale handy?

March 12, 2017 at 12:20 AM · 63.8 grams. My Knoll is 60.7grams and previous Primary bow was 57~grams(changed from rehair, and has been sold earlier in the week). It's not "Heavy", but heavier than what I am most used to.

Also, I'm not too crazy about the lizard skin thumbgrip. I thought I would like it, but I really like this specific type of leather that I cannot describe(when I was getting that on my Knoll bow, my luthier shoewd me a sheet of leather and had me pick out the proper texture).

Also, alike all Carbon Fiber bow I've used, it pronounces wolf.

March 13, 2017 at 02:13 AM · I regularly play chamber music with a good amateur Cobbet Society (former) group and will not touch my cf bows to my 1926 EH Roth or 1892 Benzinger with them. That said, in the local amateur orchestras, pit, etc, I need the power I can get with my braided cf Glassers. I played some of the more expensive cf bows, but for me, I got the projection and responsiveness I needed from the GBCF at a very discounted price.

As a doubler (violin, viola, bass) I'm used to quickly adjusting my right side to the different feel these bows have. With the difference between pernambuco and bcf, it is almost like playing a different instrument.

March 13, 2017 at 09:32 PM · Quick somewhat unrelated question.

Did Glasser produce higher-end bows at some point?

Nowdays, I see a lot of lower-end Fiberglass bows with their brand name on it. I'm yet to come across one (non-beginner)Glasser bow. I should also mention that I haven't come across too many bows in my life in total.

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