Violin bow (wood, CF) reviews - any respectable websites that do comparisons?
I'm in a shopping frame of mind, and am looking for some bow comparisons to read before I engage in the arduous, ear-tiring process of testing them myself.
When I look up "violin bow reviews" I get all these sites that you've never heard of before, and from past experience, looks like they're writing reviews based on who pays them, or they are created, surreptitiously, by whomever is the #1 product listed on the website.
Anyone know of a legitimate one? Sort of like a corollary to violinstringreviews.com.
Yes, I know, trust no one's ear but my own, and on my own violin, but, it helps sometimes to narrow the field preliminarily.
I think you should visit shops in your area and try various bows old and new
Yes, I know, but that can be a tiring process. I can get worn out (listening to tone can wear me out somewhat quickly) before I am able to get through 5-6 bows, sometimes. Was looking for something to consider before I started the process, and maybe have a jumping off point in the beginning with the reviews.
at least I found an article to satisfy my "wanting to read something" brain:
I expect you do have a bow. This definitely already a starting point. Ask yourself what do you like in this bow, and what you would like to change. It's not only about sound, playing characteristics are at least as important. As soon as you make progress in knowing what to look for, the whole bow shopping process will not be as tiresome anymore.
I have some things in mind, mostly a bow that allows intonation and ringing to be clear. My Coda Diamond was not really doing this for me (I am getting it rehaired at the moment though). Some of the less expensive wooden bows I have were coming through much clearer. So, I'm looking with something to help with hearing intonation well. I'm not getting really technical yet in my lessons (struggling with staccato at the moment), so maybe I'm being too premature.
Not only 2 of the same model bows won't play the same, one bow on two different instruments will equally differ in tonal response, not to mention individual preferences, hence bow review is a rather futile exercise. Price point is a good place to start but no guarantee of excellence there either. Best to start with a budget in mind and try everything within 20% of that, and a few really more expensive ones to see what you miss and compromise for. Part of this process is dependent on your bowing skills. You may not be able to "see" and appreciate yet some characteristics offered by the more expensive bows and will seem like a waste of money to you.
If you can, find a shop with a good trade in policy. The one I use (bought my violin there) has a 100% trade in policy. I used it to trade in 3 bows over a 4 year time span until I settled. Essentially its an "unlimited" trial period.
Even CF bows of the same brand and "name" can be different in sound and other playing qualities. I remember swapping my Coda Classic Cello bow with that of another cellist because the bows we had each bought were better on the other's instrument - that might have been almost 20 years ago.
For strings, even though they vary between instruments, at least have some general tonal characteristics that usually hold consistent. And strings are manufactured in a consistent way, so when you buy, say, a set of Dominants, it's basically like every other set of Dominants.
I don't have advice to give but instead a question. The 3 bows I own differ not so radically in stiffness or balance as far as I can feel at this point, but rather in the consistency of the hair. What seems to make the primary impact for their performance is how straight and ordered the geometry of the hair strands is, the quality and consistency of the hair strands and how uniform the tension of each hair is compared to the other strands. The contact point of the hairs must be taught and uniform for all hairs not only in a lateral dimension but at common playing angles.
not if you go to a highly competent bow rehairer
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