Carbon fibre violin bows.

March 7, 2017 at 01:45 AM · ! am looking to buy a new violin bow, and ask any of our members who have knowledge of using carbon-fibre violin bows for their opinions of these bows contra traditional pernambuco bows. There is certainly a difference in price but is there also a difference in quality? Grateful for any advice.


Replies (13)

March 7, 2017 at 03:00 AM · I am very happy with my Coda Diamond SX and thinking of moving up to a Diamond GX. I like it better than my old Reindahl pernambuco bow.

March 7, 2017 at 03:06 AM · There have been dozens of threads on here about CF bows. Maybe you could search those a little. JonPaul Avanti bows consistently are mentioned as being good. It's also consistently advised that you try several of a given brand/model because they are apparently more variable than one might have thought. I play a Cadenza "Master" (3 star) bow and I like it just fine but I would like to test it sometime against the Avanti.

March 7, 2017 at 08:42 AM · I directly compared the three Coda Diamond bows. I chose the Coda GX because it clearly sounded better to my ears than the cheaper SX or NX. So the price and the quality are in relation to each other here.

March 7, 2017 at 09:38 AM · Interestingly, I did the same, and preferred the NX - I wonder if it was due to the variation in individual bows noted above, or whether it was an issue of personal preference (or match to the instrument).

March 7, 2017 at 12:19 PM · I own an Arcus Sonata and an Arcus Cadenza. They are both good bows, very stiff and light. They are both more on the brilliant side soundwise, the Sonata beeing a bit like a train, never jumping if not forced, the Cadenza is very aktiv in response.

I also own a good wooden bow made by the German master Merz. Currently I prefer the pernambuco bow, but they all got their pros and cons. I have to adjust the bowing technic a bit if I change bows, the CF bows cannot stand pressure at all, they are so stiff they directly make scratching noises when beeing pushed into the string.

I bought the CF bows directly from the manufactor and therefore had a huge amount of testing samples. They differ the each other the same way wooden bows do.

They are different, but I cannot say they are better or worse. Simply try them! I prefer CF in orchestra, no problem with a colegno, no fear of breaking it in a rush and the weight is so low I dont feel exhausted after symphonies. If I play chamber music or solistic I most times use the wooden bow, because I can push it deeper into the strings (e.c at sul g). If a piece is very technical on the right hand, I prefer the Cadenza though, mainly because of the light weight.

March 7, 2017 at 01:11 PM · Take a look at the Jon Paul CF bows.

The Avanti is a great bow at any cost.

March 7, 2017 at 04:14 PM · I have a carbon fiber bow (Coda). I am not that experienced so it may be just me but the carbon fiber is very smooth and my pinky will often slide off at times so my teacher put a pencil grip on the end of it. He can play with my bow just fine so it is probably me. :-)

March 7, 2017 at 04:40 PM · I have an Arcus M5 - would certainly recommend the Arcus line :)

March 7, 2017 at 06:58 PM · I've compared many Coda vs JonPaul, and I found the JonPaul bows to be superior. The Avanti is more than a CodaGX, though, but I think it's worth the extra few hundred dollars. I have a Carerra and it's really great.

March 7, 2017 at 07:11 PM · As a side note, I've finally thrown in the towel and gotten my JP Avanti rehaired despite the fact that I haven't used it that much (it's just a backup bow). The hair it came with is nicely grabby but really brittle -- I was breaking hairs constantly.

But otherwise, it's been great for an inexpensive bow. I tried a lot of other CF bows before buying it, and I've owned two other CF bows in the past and tried many earlier models also.

As with all bows, the sticks and their playing and tonal characteristics are unique even within a model, requiring try-out. Look broadly.

March 7, 2017 at 08:16 PM · You might want to take a look at the interesting discussion which took place on this forum a couple of weeks ago, which is pertinent to your original question. The title was "Pernambuco bow" :

March 7, 2017 at 08:36 PM · A few people have mentioned the extra stiffness of a CF bow. Is this a general property? The CF bow my viola came with is too stiff; I've tried using the Dorfler pernambuco bow I got for my violin, and I love its suppleness. I'd use it on my viola all the time, but it's too light to bring out the viola's tone. When shopping for my violin bow, I tried some CF bows, but my response was "Meh." Wood is good; looks like it's time to shop for a pernambuco viola bow.

March 7, 2017 at 10:09 PM · I had the chance to try 18 different Arcus bows (M5, M6, P5, P6, A5, A6, A7) and I really liked the idea behind them - very light, reactive, quite easy to play from a technically point of view, and hours after hours of practicing without any overstrain. Really cool, liked them all, especially the A series. Pity was, my violin is on the bright side with big amount of silvery overtones, what I really do apreciate (soundwise it's definitely my big love) - but with the Arcus CF bows it was just too much of it. On two darker violins a friend owns they were just gorgeous, especially the A7 was pure joy to use. (In fact one of these violins usually sounds a little muffled, and the Arcus opened it up quite a bit. Wonder what it would have sounded like with an Arcus S...)

I do not have any experience with Coda or Jon Paul (where I live they are not easily available), but my son uses a €120,- AS Carbon which has more weight and a more elastic stick, and this sounds much softer than the Arcus. Athough it's cheap and has an unpleasing winding, it is really great for that price (it is even okay for sautille) and would also make a nice backup. I also tried a Viennabow for €300,- that was pleasing, but didn't match with my violin very well either.

From my small experience I'd say that CF bows in general (at least the stiffer ones) are considerable if your instrument is not very bright. Then you might get more for your money in the <3k-League than with wooden bows.

If you also regard it as an investment, then a good wooden bow is more likely to hold its value as long as you handle it with care and treat it well. And nobodys really knows how the CF bows will behave in several decades.

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