Violin bows below 3000 euro

May 19, 2006 at 01:40 AM · Hi,

At this moment I'm looking for a better violin bow but I can't afford to pay more than 3000 euros.

Does anyone know good bow makers, or places in Europe where I can buy good bows for this price?


Replies (35)

May 19, 2006 at 02:16 AM · I have a bow by Gilles Nehr. He is a brilliant bowmaker who does bows enspired by Tourte, Persois, and Pajeot (to my knowledge). The craftsmanship is first rate and the quality of materials is the best.

May 19, 2006 at 02:39 AM · Those are gorgeous looking bows. His innovative model is quite beautiful in a very different way.

May 19, 2006 at 05:51 AM · My bow is #12 if you look at the pictures of his work.

Everyone raves about it, and someone expressed interest in buying it but I refused.

May 19, 2006 at 07:21 AM · I play a bow by Edwin Clement in Paris. It's a fantastic bow. He is a little more expensive and has an 18 month waiting list though.

May 19, 2006 at 11:35 AM · Saïdjah,

Sometime ago I bought a new bow (Arcus Sinfonia). This is a carbon-fibre bow, very light.

And said to be good for the price, better than wood (this I don't know for sure, I know it is better than my previous one, but this was not so difficult; it improved my playing a lot, but also that was not so difficult).

It does some nice tricks on springing bows and resonance is quite good.

Price range is 1500 Euro.

There is the Arcus Cadenza which is around 4000 Euro. Anyway look on the internet. Probably your looking for a "real" bow.(some people don't like the idea of carbon-fibre bows, or don't like the bows)

If interested, you can try out my bow (although the lightness is not so obvious to play with, it takes some time to get used to it).

We already met a few times, your father knows how to contact me.

The nearest place from where you live where the Arcus bows are sold is Köln.

May 19, 2006 at 03:02 PM · I don't know if Arcos Brazil distributes in Europe, but they've got some really excellent economical stuff.

When I'm looking for a bow I like from that company, I'll sift through a whole box before coming up with one that I like. That's not because there's only one good bow out of many, that's because there ALL good bows and I'm just trying to find the one that best suits my playing style.

May 21, 2006 at 02:53 PM · If you are looking for under 3000 (Euros), check out Pierre Guillaume.

He is in your neighborhood.

May 21, 2006 at 06:10 PM · Hello,

I visited Pierre Guillaume last week and took two of his bows home to try out for a while but I didn't like them more than the bow I currently play with (a Coda Conservatory fibre-bow which was much, much cheaper) actually. Friends of mine bought Guillaume bows that were excellent though, I think I just had bad luck...

Wim, I didn't know you were on this site as well! I don't reject carbon fibre bows since the bow I currently play with is also one of those "not real" bows. The only thing I hate about this bows is that my fourth finger sometimes slips off the stick when my hands are sweaty. But maybe I ask my father how to contact you.

Thanks anyway for your comments!

May 21, 2006 at 07:18 PM · Question from a beginner - what makes a bow good or bad quality, or better fit to your style? If you replaced mine with a different one i think i'd probably not even notice.

May 21, 2006 at 07:45 PM · The responsiveness and grace of the bow are what causes certain classic French bows to be worth so much money.

If I put a Voirin violin bow in your hand, Eric, you'd likely be amazed at how graceful it feels compared to less expensive bows. Once you started playing with it, you'd find yourself adjusting to the bow and not the other way around. That's why a Voirin is more than $10,000 at the time of this writing. And when you go even higher into the Tourte and Peccatte and Maire range, the level of improvement is even more pronounced than it is from Voirin to student level bow! However it takes special training to be able to appreciate the differences at that level. There are things that one can do with great French bows that lesser bows simply cannot do, particularly in terms of subtle technique and coloring.

That's not to say that lesser bows can't do what more expensive ones can do. You just have to look really hard and be familiar with the "good stuff" to know what compromises need to be made. Everybody compromises on a certain level, even those with Tourtes and Peccattes.

Old classic French bows are not for everybody, and there are quite a few terrific professionals that would NOT be better served by having something like a Voirin. Also the individual bow may not suit one's needs no matter how much the bow costs or how much other people like it. But the chances of a bow being able to do more than a less expensive one rises exponentially with the increasing price of the bow.

Saidjah, try looking at German and English makers.

I love the bows of Lyon and Healy (particularly the slightly decorated ones), Otto Hoyer, Albert Nurnberger, and Pfretschner. Most of the bows made by those names are true professional instruments that lack only the higher levels of subtlety in comparison to the Voirins and Tourtes and Peccattes.

October 31, 2006 at 06:47 PM · Could you tell me a little more about Otto Hoyer bows? I just brought a Hoyer bow for my daughter to try. It feels good in the hand, and her teacher will also try it out.


November 1, 2006 at 04:35 AM · Otto Hoyer bows are fine old German bows.

You may also try some French new bows in the same price range that could be even better in playability etc.

November 1, 2006 at 05:17 AM · I'd agree with Gennady, in that price range I think you could do much better.

November 1, 2006 at 09:51 PM · We are looking for a lighter bow, less than 60g. In our luthier's opinion, older bows are lighter in gerneral and stiff for the weight.

With a new bow, does one have to break in as you do with a violin? Thank you.


November 1, 2006 at 08:18 PM · You could even try a modern german bow. Tino Lücke is an excellent maker (very french inspired)and he still charges less than 3000 Eu even though he won some nice awards.

November 1, 2006 at 10:03 PM · That sounds like a strange luthier... I suppose there are modern makers who make much heavier bow but with the quality available nowadays with contemporary makers, I would strongly suggest a new maker for your price range.

November 1, 2006 at 11:04 PM · Are new bows so much better at this price range? We happen to have a good shop with many old bows. It's quite convenient to walk in and try quite a few bows.


November 2, 2006 at 01:24 AM · Hi Saidjah,

I play on a Durschmidt and Pfretzschner. They are German bows with good value for their money. You might also want to try Nurenburgers. I used to have one until someone stepped on it!


November 2, 2006 at 01:40 AM · Greetings,

the first two bow makers Daniel recommends are veyr good indeed. I have used quite a few Nurn burgers over the years and like them very much. I don`t have the details but I thiknk Michael Darnton posted on thes eparticlar bows a while back. Basically they are not all made by the top guy. A wide variety of relatives and presumably the girl next door had a hand in making many bows stamped Nurnburger. For under 3000 dollars (don@t know the euro)changce are you are not getting that good an exmaple. the very good ones are -very good indeed- but somewhat more exzpensive. I own a good one for which I paid 4500 dollars about five years ago. They are very study stick that will do all the party trick but tend to be lacking in flexinilty and you have to work rather hard for the subtle stuff. Oistrakh used good Nurnburgers.



November 2, 2006 at 01:41 AM · Look guys,

this is all very subjective.

I can only speak from an experienced players point of view, that in this price range, there are much better bows made by great contemporary makers than some old bows.

Tino Lucke is a wonderful maker, who has a very long waiting list.

But as far as price for his bows, it all depends on which model you choose. He does have six models to choose from.

If one gets a G/T from him, ofcourse that will cost an arm and a leg. I do not know about his prices for silver/ebony.

He is also a fine copyist and charges more for copies.

November 2, 2006 at 12:01 PM · Thanks for helpful comments. It is for an intermediate player catching up with bowing techniques. We don't really know how to select a bow, much less breaking in a new bow in a proper way. I have a feeling that it will be harder to know a good new bow. Also, we are lucky to have an old bow dealer in the area who let us take out quite a few bows. He doesn't have bows mentioned in the above posts.

So far, we picked out a Bazin, a Hoyer, a Hill out of about 25 bows we tried. All three feel good in the hand. The Bazin is hard to control which may be a good thing in learning bow control, the Hill is easy to control but harder to do double stops, the Hoyer in between. We are taking them to the teacher for a final selection and wondering whether to include the Hoyer or not.


November 2, 2006 at 03:11 PM · There are some good Hills... the nices Bazins I've tried didn't 3000 Euros, but that's just me.

Again, I'd strongly recommend you check out modern makers.

November 2, 2006 at 04:26 PM · to Ihnsouk Guim,

I think you maybe misunderstanding something about bows.

Unlike a new violin, there is really no "breaking in" period with new bows. They are either right for you or they are not. Just the same as old bows.

The point is, that there are some really great makers today making superb bows. And in your price category, it is worth a look and compare with the old bows in that category.

You may be quite surprised.

November 2, 2006 at 06:54 PM · We'll keep new bows in mind next time we shop for one. Around here, it's easier to buy an older bow. It may come down to a Hill or a Bazin. Thanks for the help.


November 3, 2006 at 12:58 AM · I hope you find the right one for you...

just so you know, a member here who lives in Alaska bought a Sylvain Bigot, a maker from France. I live in Montreal and got a bow from France as well. If you have a house that gets mail, it's as easy to try probably better bows than whatever you're looking at at a local little shop.

November 3, 2006 at 12:15 PM · Pieter - Thank you for your consideration. There are two reputable shops in our area. Each has about 50 old bows in the price range we are looking. One of them also has about 5 new bows. We need a bow pretty soon. Mailing bows back and forth seem time consuming when bows are available locally. But your and Gennady's posts certainly got us interested in new bows. We'll need another bow in a year or two. Next time, we'll be wiser and plan in advance. Thank you.


November 7, 2006 at 11:14 PM · Is it a good idea to go to the village of Mirecourt in France to find good bows? Apparently there are some bowmakers that sell bows of the old French masters and their pupils there...

November 8, 2006 at 12:51 AM · ......................

November 8, 2006 at 12:49 AM · If you are looking for old bows, you can see Guillaume as well or J.F. Raffin in Paris.

Most old bows are spread all around.

November 8, 2006 at 02:23 AM · It's far more likely that you'll get old french masters in reputable shops. However I know that Raffin sells a lot of old stuff, as well as Millant.

November 8, 2006 at 02:33 AM · You mean LeCanu (Ex-Millant shop).

November 8, 2006 at 10:46 PM · Hey Saidjah!

Do you plan to go to France during the Christmas holidays? I really want to get myself a better bow too. Maybe we can go together?

Do you still want me to contact Liviu about his bows? I might e-mail him soon. Think he's in Amsterdam around the 15th of December.

All the best,


P.S. Sorry for not e-mailing. I haven't had contact with our friends in Belgium since the beginning of the school year. It's a shame, isn't it?

November 9, 2006 at 02:48 AM · Also go check out Edwin Clement.

Great Maker with an International Reputation in Paris.

BTW, I think you can do a lot better with a new bow for the price than an old one (in that price category).

November 20, 2006 at 10:36 PM ·

November 23, 2006 at 04:27 PM · Sarah, i'm sorry for my late answer! Actually I didn't notice new adds to this discussion yet...

At this moment Jenny Spanoghe (my teacher) is doing some bow-shopping in several places and she's also looking around for me, but if I don't find anything in Belgium or the Netherlands, I go to France. I'll mail you soon.


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