Trying Out Bows

April 24, 2004 at 05:03 AM · I just recently purchased a new violin and found my old bow is not making a clear sound anymore as it used to on my old violin. It also too flexible (very bouncy). I have to keep the hair very tight because the wood touches the hair so easily when I apply pressure. I actually am using my second bow now (a Coda Colours) which makes a much clearer sound. But it is still not satisfactory. I'm going to try some new bows. I need some tips on how to evaluate a bow. Any makers that you like in the under $3,000 range?


Ryan Meehan

Replies (13)

April 24, 2004 at 08:02 AM · I think you can get Hill bows in that price range, they seem to sell for €1500 up as far as I know. They vary as to playability, but they can be nice. One of my bows is a Hill and it makes the sweetest sound and is the easiest-playing bow I've ever encountered. Just my $0.02... I so rarely like any bows so I can't recommend much else.

April 24, 2004 at 10:38 AM · Ryan,

My recommendations for bows that do not cave in is:

1) Any bows by Josef Sandner for $1,000 or less.

2) Any bows by a shop from Brazil called "Carlesso" which are in the $500-$1,000 price range.

The Ken Stein Shop in Evanston Illinois USA carries both


April 24, 2004 at 07:23 PM · i'd just go try out some bows, but hills are generally really nice like cora said, i found a real nice old Bausch as well.

April 24, 2004 at 10:21 PM · how much would an old bausch cost these days?

April 25, 2004 at 10:53 PM · probably from about 1000 up would be my guest, mine was 1200 and i think i got a pretty good deal. its got interesting tension to it, its a very fine all around bow as far as im concerned, although bows are very subjective

April 26, 2004 at 08:25 AM · There is a big jump in quality between the handmade bows by Ludwig Bausch Sr.( stamped" L.Bausch, Leipzieg")and the mass produced factory bows that came later( mostly stamped" Bausch").The former are in the $3000 range, retail.The latter can be found on Ebay for peanuts( $25 - $100).The "John Brasil" bows available comercially can be very nice, for a couple of hundred bucks.A student of mine got one through SW Strings, and the wood is very good quality, with a lot of pretty flowering throughout the stick. The work of Rodney Mohr in Ohio is well known to be finely crafted, fine playing, & priced well; he has won numerous awards at competitions.

April 26, 2004 at 08:40 PM · i have a handmade bausch. mine seems very light; its a round stick. are all bausch bows in general really light and round-sticked?

April 27, 2004 at 07:48 AM · The authentic L. Bausch bows are known for being light,perfectly balanced,with superb flexibility coupled with strength. The last two features are rather opposites, and not easily found in the same stick.Sometimes these vln. bows are a bit longer than usual, but not as a rule.

April 27, 2004 at 06:30 PM · luckily i have an old bausch, mine is fairly light, and very round as well, but it seems to act like it was more weight, if that makes sense. ITs easy to play heavy with it, and it bounces pretty well, although you have to really conciously control the fast spicatto or it was get way out of control

January 14, 2005 at 12:14 AM · Ted, I've read particularly good things about Carlesso elsewhere. The price range you mention (and it goes higher) starts with his silver mounted bows. I have it on very good authority that the sticks are the same on his nickel mounted bows. I have one of his and several other Brazillians coming to try out.

February 7, 2005 at 07:49 AM · I recently purchased an R. Neudorfer bow (took a chance via Ebay.) and I am thrilled with it. I think I got a very good deal at $1200.

It is fairly light at 57.8 grams, yet incredibly stiff. I love the balance, though that is very subjective.

Also, and most important: The tone it pulls from my particular violin is perfect.

However, bows are so subjective, and the interraction with your particular violin is so critical, that you really must go around and try them. -Or take a chance as I did and perhaps get as lucky.

One thing I do feel strongly about: If you are looking for the best tone, pernambaco is still the way to go. Maybe not in 5 years, but definitely in 2005.

February 8, 2005 at 12:37 AM · I have a Bausch bow...but its not stamped L. Bausch or even just Bausch....its stamped M. teacher said its a well balanced bow...and they guessed that it might be worth around 300 or not sure about it idea of idea of wood...origin or anything...its just stamped M. Bausch...i cant tell the difference between bows either..all i can say is that it feels alot better than my old student bow...can anybody tell me anything about M. Bausch?

February 8, 2005 at 12:52 AM · Greetings,

I think the simplest way to evaluate a bow is to go into a shop and ask to see as many bows as possible from quite a bit under your price range to the maximum ceiling. Don@pyt go above your max or you will get into spiritual and credit card trouble.

Then you ask that the price lable be removed from every bow.

Play whatever pieces you like, play open strings, spicatto, whatever. On the long slow bows watch pout for little kicks occuring. If it happens in the same place every time you may not want the bow.

After you have have spent about an hout selcting about three bows from that group play them a lot more.

Ask to take your final choice hime for a week. You may have to pay a deposit.

I think thta is the mechanics of it in my opinion,



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