Pricing on used CF bows?

February 9, 2017 at 05:43 AM · Pricing on used CF bows?

Replies (35)

February 9, 2017 at 05:55 AM · Model? Condition?

They don't appreciate, if that's what you're asking. I wouldn't pay anywhere close to retail--I'd probably offer 50%, maybe 75% tops for a clean gently used bow that had been recently rehaired by somebody really good. But I'm not in the market for such a thing so what do I know.

February 9, 2017 at 03:19 PM · I've sold two of my CF bows in the past, both of them minimally used (so minimally that neither of them had ever had a rehair). I generally use my CF bow strictly as a backup bow, and for pit playing.

One, an Arcus, I sold for what I paid for it, within two years of the purchase date.

The other I sold for significantly more than I paid for it, more than a decade later. It was a Coda Colours, which apparently kids really love, but it's not made any longer.

February 9, 2017 at 03:21 PM · Wow, Lydia, I'm impressed. Under no circumstances would I pay full price for a second-hand CF bow when I could get a new one with fresh hair.

February 9, 2017 at 03:33 PM · For an Incredibow, the used ones will usually sell for at least $45-80 compared to the cost of a brand new one starting at $125. However, the earlier ones (pre-2004) sold for less than $80-90 so it would depend on the model and how old it was. They come up for sale once or twice a year on eBay which is what this calculation is based on. As Mary Ellen said, knowing the model and condition would help determine used pricing for other bow manufacturers.

February 9, 2017 at 06:28 PM · The Arcus I sold to another player, but the Coda I actually sold back to a shop, which means that they'd mark it up beyond what they gave me for it. I imagine that was because the Colours isn't made any longer, though. (And the shop also gave me a phenomenal deal on the brand-new JonPaul Avanti that replaced my Coda.)

February 10, 2017 at 03:31 AM · Lydia, since you are a fellow Canadian, may I ask where you go bow shopping?

February 10, 2017 at 03:35 AM · I'm in the USA, actually. Sorry. :-)

February 10, 2017 at 06:08 AM · She just acts polite.

February 10, 2017 at 06:17 AM · I had very bad experiences with CF bows. I bought one for $300 and sold it for the same price a couple of months later. I would suggest that you go for Pernambuco bows. Wood bows can make your violin sound much better than CF bows.

Unless you live in a place with unprecedented and extreme variations in humidity and temperature or you make a living as a street musician, I can't imagine why you will need a CF bow.

February 10, 2017 at 06:54 AM · I see, I guess I mixed up the references.

February 11, 2017 at 12:40 AM · Stephen Symchych, that's funny!

A $300 CF bow is mid-range at best. There are some excellent high-end CF bows. I use my JonPaul Avanti for maybe 90% of my playing and teaching. Is it as good as my French bow? No...but it is good enough for most things, it is nearly indestructible, and it is worth a fraction of my Voirin. I use the Voirin for Mozart, for chamber music and solo performances, and I want to keep it in the best condition possible so I can get maximum $$ for it when I retire.

CF bows are also very helpful when playing pieces with col legno.

February 11, 2017 at 02:31 AM · For col legno just bring a yardstick along. LOL

February 11, 2017 at 07:42 AM · I've never been able to get even close to a good sound with carbon fibre, of course I don't play violin, but I don't think that's the reason!!

February 11, 2017 at 08:32 AM · Same recommendation...I have a well-balanced JonPaul Avanti which works great for teaching when I have my chamber music courses at school, and in private lessons.

I didn't realize how paranoid I would be about taking out an Ouchard or Morizot in the classroom, but I've had enough close calls with moving chairs, music stands, and clumsy humans to leave them in the case and pull out the CF bow instead!

February 11, 2017 at 02:22 PM · " I use my JonPaul Avanti for maybe 90% of my playing and teaching. Is it as good as my French bow? No...but it is good enough for most things, it is nearly indestructible, and it is worth a fraction of my Voirin."

I see an Avanti on Amazon for $716. I think I'd offer $600 for the ex-Mary Ellen, maybe more? Mary Ellen, hypothetically, how much would it cost for you to part with it? Just a mental experiment, I don't need another CF bow. I'd guess probably > $700, because that'd be your cost to replace it.

I have a Codabow GX which I don't use much these days. Amazon lists it for $800. I think I'd want > $500 for it.

February 11, 2017 at 03:03 PM · I wouldn't give you $50 for it!!

February 11, 2017 at 04:16 PM · "I see an Avanti on Amazon for $716. I think I'd offer $600 for the ex-Mary Ellen, maybe more? Mary Ellen, hypothetically, how much would it cost for you to part with it? Just a mental experiment, I don't need another CF bow. I'd guess probably > $700, because that'd be your cost to replace it."

$600 would be a lot of money for a heavily used CF bow that could be attained new for not much more than that. Moot point anyway as it isn't for sale.

Lyndon, I make a beautiful sound with my CF bow and I know other professionals who also have CF bows which they use on occasion as they deem appropriate--often those occasions involve col legno. Nobody is claiming that even a high-end CF bow is equivalent to a really good pernambuco bow but it can definitely be better than a low-end (< $1000) pernambuco bow. I think you do yourself a disservice by a blanket writing off of a very affordable alternative for the impoverished student wanting to upgrade, or for the more advanced player who could use a second bow.

February 11, 2017 at 09:02 PM · "$600 would be a lot of money for a heavily used CF bow that could be attained new for not much more than that."

Sorry, I was going by the "indestructible" part and forgot about the col legno and other damage factors. I was also assuming that there is still enough variability in CF bows that you would have selected one which was better (for you) than others you saw of the same model. If those aren't the case, then yes, the price should be based on new price - condition factor - cost of rehair or something like that.

February 11, 2017 at 09:44 PM · Well my experience was a $500 Seifert Pernambuco bow (with a Vitali stamp) blowing away and $800 Coda, the coda sounded tinny and synthetic, not natural, I haven't actually hear an Avanti, but I suspect it wouldn't impress me either, I'm sure the playability is fine, maybe better than that $500 bow, but the sound, no way, no where near as good.

February 11, 2017 at 10:14 PM · The discontinued Rolland Spiccato bow may be an exception. I note one on-line price of $3,000 for this originally $1,600 bow - but also a $550 offering on ebay for a viola bow thus branded.

The Spiccato bow has a hollow CF shaft surrounding a Kevlar thread with adjustable tension to vary the bow's camber. They were made with at least two different stiffnesses.

I have had one for almost 20 years, although it was never magical for me, but a colleague plays his Enrico Rocca with a Spiccato all the time in preference to his two Coda Classics and his Lamy. I know from his experience as well as my own that one's opinion of a specific CF bow depends on the instrument being played as well as the player's technique.

Two other brands that might have retained or even inflated original "value" because of continued redesign and price upgrades for new models are BERG and ARCUS. But I have no data on resales.

February 11, 2017 at 11:48 PM · I have a Rolland Spiccato, original production with adjustable camber. Fantastic bow -- I wouldn't part with it for any amount, particularly since it is out of production.

How does it sound? Better than most wood bows I've played, though there are exceptions. And I own some great and rare wood bows, both contemporary and old. It handles like a magic wand.

Lyndon -- I also have a Jon Paul Avanti. It sounds quite nice -- much better than the Coda lineup. If you listen with an unbiased ear, I think you'd be surprised.

February 12, 2017 at 12:07 AM · I am with Lyndon about Coda bow on this one. I tried all of their Diamond *X ranging up to $1200Cdn, and my former primary $300Cdn wood bow was much better sounding. The Codabow did out match its playability, then $550Cdn Alfred Knoll outmatched Codabows, and my $2700US (apparently) JonPaul Vetta has yet been the best bow I've used.

The chief complaint that I can make about sound quality of Coda Diamond models is that the notes just sound really "dry". I am not sure how to term it. The sound feels superficial and very "light" in texture in comparison to wood bows.

To be fair, the $300 wood bow was selected after trying 5~10 bows and $550 Knoll was selected after trying 20+ bows. Vetta was just blind luck. I bought it on ebay.

Also I must say that I like JonPaul services better also. Codabow repeatedly ignored my e-mails inquiring about warranty, and about trials because I was on the shop for one. JonPaul replied back to me within the day when I asked them identify the bow I bought on ebay.

February 12, 2017 at 12:51 AM · I cannot stand Coda bows. They do make a tinny sound; I agree.

I once had a chance to buy a Rolland Spiccato while they were still in production and how I wish I had taken advantage of that opportunity. That was a *great* bow by any standard, but I just didn't have the money at the time.

February 12, 2017 at 07:21 AM · I had a Rolland Spiccato viola bow that handled very nicely, but it didn't suit my own instrument. One of my former students bought a lovely new viola but didn't plan for additional budget for a good bow to go with it, so it went to him. It pairs with his new viola very well!

As I understand it, Jon and Paul ran the actual operation, or own the production line, that produced the Spiccato line of bows for Benoit Rolland. After the business relationship ended and the Spiccato bows ceased production, rather than junking the whole outfit they went on to produce their own lineup of CF bows, the Avanti model of which I personally find to resemble in some attributes (minus the kevlar inner cord to adjust the camber) many of the Rolland Spiccato bows that my colleagues have let me try. I've tried the other models, including the more expensive Muse, Carrera, and Vetta (all of which have positive characteristics) , but I still prefer the Avanti. It sounds and responds far better than any of the Coda models that I've tried, including the GX and SX models.

February 12, 2017 at 03:27 PM · As the OP was asking about pricing of used CF bows, I presume that he's looking for bargains, not the best regardless of price. If I may presume further, the market for budget bows, not entirely, but largely, is dominated by relative beginners and inexpensive violins, for whom great sound quality is going to be hard to achieve with any bow, and handling could be the more important factor.

February 12, 2017 at 03:34 PM · That is really interesting. I liked the Spiccatos that I got to try many years ago, although they didn't sound good on my violin, and they were far more expensive than I wanted to spend on a CF bow.

My Avanti is exactly what I want in a backup bow -- it handles well, sounds decent though not great on my violin, and has a certain neutrality in the hand that makes it easy to switch from another bow to it for occasional playing.

February 12, 2017 at 08:17 PM · Lydia, do you ever have a tinge of regret for selling your Arcus bow? I love mine, all three of them. They're all different grades and models, and I could get by with just one, but I just think they're all worth keeping. I have five other bows, one a Coda Classic, and four wood bows, all decent but none of them high end makes, and I do pull them out now and then, but I always love going back to an Arcus. I also think that Arcus bows are the best "baroque" bows ever created as they have lightness, tonal clarity and quick response that baroque music needs. I briefly owned a baroque bow, and sold that because I couldn't see any point in it when I had Arcus's. Well, any regrets? ( I don't want to make you feel bad.)

February 12, 2017 at 09:16 PM · No regrets, not even a little. My regular bow at the time was a Claude Thomassin -- a lightweight bow with elegant handling. The Arcus was even lighter -- too light, I think -- and it had a certain sharp edge to its sound on my violin at the time. I sold it to a player who really loved it, though.

February 14, 2017 at 04:07 PM · Lots of Coda bow hate here. Have tried several Coda bows. Like any bow they aren't all equal. Have tried some very lovely GX's. There is a tendency for it to be 'cool' to put Coda bows down.

I caution the TS on some of the John Paul love here, as i'm pretty sure some of the posters are sponsored by JP Avanti.

February 14, 2017 at 04:39 PM · I would very much doubt that JonPaul sponsors players, but I could be wrong.

I do find it interesting that the JonPaul love seems to be almost exclusively restricted to the Avanti. The other models get the occasional mention on the forum (and I've liked the other models I've tried), but the Avanti seems to hit a sweet spot of playability at an economical price.

I used to own a Coda and I've tried a number of the current models, including some GXs when I was shopping for a spare bow (and ultimately bought the Avanti), but the GXs didn't feel as good, and I didn't like the tone.

I find that CF results in some fairly sharp tonal variations on violins, often in unpleasant directions that give a harsh or sharp edge to the tone. This varies from bow to bow within the same model, as well.

February 14, 2017 at 05:06 PM · In terms of cost, mediocre-high end Codabows match the price for JonPaul Avanti, I think people at above $1000 are more careful when they're buying a bow, and often hand-pick the best one that they can find in the price range. Since wood bows have more variation than CF bows, I'm certain there will always be better sounding wood bow to CF bow in the same price range.

I think most of the dislikes of Codabow comes from the fact that people are making(somewhat) unfair comparison.

For example, best Codabow model bow I got to play was $1200Cdn, while the only JonPaul bow I got to play was $2700US(apparently, I lucked out on an e-bay auction for ~$200 Cdn).

February 14, 2017 at 05:46 PM · If the JonPaul Avanti gets an excessive amount of praise, it's because it is the one bow they make that really is close to the Rolland Spiccato from which it is descended. It plays far better than its price would suggest, and while it does not generate the kind of power or richness that a good French bow might, the properties it has in abundance like its balance, clear sound, and clean articulation makes it a reliable and cost-effective choice for a CF bow.

Steven, I'm not sure what unfair comparison you're talking about. In the US, a CodaBow GX is ~$800, and the JonPaul Avanti can be found at ~$700. Both companies carry less expensive models, and while JonPaul does have more expensive ones, I personally haven't found them to be worth the additional cost over their Avanti model. If I were a shill for JonPaul as the conspiracy theorist above is trying to insinuate, they're probably not too thrilled with their "sponsorship" right about now! :P

February 14, 2017 at 06:01 PM · No need for name calling Gene ;)

February 14, 2017 at 07:06 PM · "Lots of Coda bow hate here. Have tried several Coda bows. Like any bow they aren't all equal. Have tried some very lovely GX's. There is a tendency for it to be 'cool' to put Coda bows down.

I caution the TS on some of the John Paul love here, as i'm pretty sure some of the posters are sponsored by JP Avanti."

I've never been "cool" in my life, not trying to start now, and if I'm actually being sponsored by JonPaul, then maybe they should start sending me checks. Or just send the checks directly to the University of Oklahoma and the University of Texas, and I will supply my sons' student numbers.

I have a Codabow Classic and don't like the way it sounds. I have never tried a Codabow that I actually did like. I do own a JonPaul Avanti and use it for the vast majority of my playing. It doesn't sound like my French bow but it is unobjectionable, and really cannot be beat for the price.


February 14, 2017 at 07:35 PM · What's "TS"? Toronto Symphony? Taylor Swift?

Ditto here. I own a Coda which dampens sound. I tried half a dozen, they sounded different but all stuffy, like a bad cold. I use it when I'm too lazy to get my JonPaul Maestro (a discontinued higher model) or no-name Chinese CF rehaired. The latter two have much better tone than the Coda, but lack the depth of my Dodd, or the upper partials of my Voirin, and feel a little mechanical compared to good pernambuco. The Maestro feels a lot like what I remember of the Spiccato, though it has a certain nervousness about it I didn't notice at first. It was kind of an impulse buy, as the store only carried it along with a model below the Avanti. I got the Maestro because it felt good in the hand. No checks here either.

Edit: Hmmmm... just tested the three and the Coda doesn't sound as bad as I remember, having not played on it since I bought the Maestro a couple of years ago. Has it changed, improved? Or maybe the Maestro doesn't sound as good as I remember... funny that. Maestro still feels better. Coda's too stiff.

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Silent Violin
Yamaha Silent Violin

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

ArmSymphony AI Violin Competition
ArmSymphony AI Violin Competition

Find a Summer Music Program
Find a Summer Music Program Business Directory Business Directory

AVIVA Young Artist Program

Antonio Strad Violin

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases


Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Metzler Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin



Johnson String Instrument and Carriage House Violins

Potter Violins

String Masters

Bein & Company

Annapolis Bows & Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine