Shar Bows

Edited: January 22, 2018, 11:10 AM · Has anyone had any experience of buying bows off Are the bows high quality, and how long does it usually take to ship to you? Are they good for advanced players, or would I be better off buying one from a shop?

Replies (21)

January 22, 2018, 11:19 AM · Welcome Anthony!

I bought a cheap Presto Spark bow from Shar a year or two ago on a whim and was very happy with it. I have bought strings and rosin from Shar for 20 years and always been happy with them.

January 22, 2018, 11:26 AM · What is your price range?
I bought a number of bows from SHAR back 40 or so years ago. Even tried one violin from them around 1972.

SHAR is a fine company, but nothing beats being able to go into a store with a testing strategy and trying 30 - 60 -100 bows. Five bows in the mail is just not the same!

January 22, 2018, 11:55 AM · the advanced bows range (500-5k)
January 22, 2018, 1:56 PM · If you're looking for a new bow, try a variety of affordable bows and pick your fave.
Edited: January 22, 2018, 2:08 PM · It might be easier to negotiate a price if you buy from a shop rather than an online vendor.
Edited: January 22, 2018, 2:37 PM · Shar sells everything from cheap student bows to high-end antiques. So the answer, vaguely, is "yes".

Shar is not just an online vendor, by the way. They do have a physical shop.

January 22, 2018, 3:54 PM · I bought a Guy Laurent "Collector's Series Peccatte-style" bow in 2015 from Shar, and I'm happy with it. But I bought my violin (and my previous bow) at a local shop, where I tried lots of violins and bows.
January 22, 2018, 7:42 PM · I got this bow from Shar for $200 1 1/2 years ago. It's not bad. Definitely a great value.

Klaus Becker Brazilwood Violin Bow 4/4 Size
Item #: VB3 44

January 23, 2018, 7:53 AM · I know players who have bought bows from Shar and they are pleased with them. I have purchased a Chinese made Pernambuco bow from another domestic vendor and I'm happy with it also but I was dissed for say so here. We don't all have the opportunity to go to a shop with a good selection.
January 23, 2018, 11:22 AM · Probably because you said it was Pernmabuco, no one is selling genuine Pernambuco bows for less than $500-1000, they might call them Pernmabuco but they are not genuine, Pernambuco is too rare and expensive to be used on affordable student bows.
January 23, 2018, 12:17 PM · I have some Shar bows too.

A Guy Laurent Peccatte violin bow that I really enjoy - beautifully balanced, solid feel, warm sound.

And two viola bows, a JM Luthi and Markus Fischer, which both have a delicacy to their feel and sound that I enjoy.

January 23, 2018, 1:36 PM · @Lyndon Taylor, Shar also sells both student and advanced bows. I'm pretty sure the advanced bows are made out of genuine permanbuco.
January 23, 2018, 2:06 PM · Possibly not if they're outsourced from China, as most bows are today.
January 23, 2018, 5:28 PM · No one should be "dissed" for any reason. Very bad form...
January 23, 2018, 6:35 PM · I think there's a big difference between questioning someone's choices, and/or negative commentary on a particular piece of gear, versus a comment that is disrespectful of an individual.
Edited: January 23, 2018, 6:46 PM · I know for a fact that one company in the USA has a substantial stash of Pernambuco going back to the '50s and sends it to its China facility. They use it for bows in the $1,000 range. I don't know if they use it for bows costing less than that. Again, there is never a good reason for rudeness.
January 23, 2018, 7:14 PM · Just the wood for a Pernambuco bow costs at least $100 so you can figure out how no $200-300 "Pernambuco" bow could possibly be genuine, how is that possibly rude to state that, some people are getting far too sensitive
January 23, 2018, 8:33 PM · Not singly you out at all Lyndon. Just talking in generalities after having been on many boards over the past 20 years. It's all good...
Edited: January 24, 2018, 9:22 AM · Pernambuco stories:

In an issue of the STRAD magazine earlier this century there were two interesting articles related to pernambuco. The first told of how Vuillaume complained about the increasing lack of good quality pernambuco back then in the mid-19th century. The other article was about the Fernando SOLAR shop in Madrid (of interest to me because I own a Fernando Solar violin) - apparently since the death of the founder his heirs have moved more into making bows and claimed to have purchased pernambuco shelving from the Vuillaume shop, which they were using to make bows. Makes me wonder about the quality of some pernambuco bows. Do you think?

The other pernambuco experience occurred very late in the 20th century when I visited Frank Passa at his home in Santa Rosa, CA. He had moved all his remaining stock from his "violin shop" in San Francisco to his very large home to the north. In addition to a single automobile, the 5-car garage below one side of his house contained much "luthier wood" including stacks and stacks of pernambuco bow blanks, already pre-cut for violin, viola, and cello. Sometime after Passa had passed I was talking with Jay Ifshin about Passa and what he had left and I asked about those stacks of pernambuco. Jay told me it was not very good and he had decided against acquiring any.

I'm not really sure what to make of all this. I own 3 "name" 19th century pernambuco bows (1 cello and 2 violin) that have good names and are good bows. But I consider my best bows for many purposes to be two by a living maker (one violin and one cello).

What is the real truth about pernambuco?

Which is all just preamble to this: Just because a bow is made of "pernambuco" does not mean it is a good bow - also just because a bow is made of "Brazilwood" does not mean it is not a good bow.

January 24, 2018, 11:52 AM · I've always had positive experiences with Shar. I purchased my outdoor violin and bow from them, and more recently acquired an early 20th-century French violin from their shop. I've also used them as a primary source of strings and accessories for years. I would definitely recommend you call their violin shop and work with someone directly to set up a bow trial, rather than simply buying straight off of the website.

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