New coda bow rehair

Edited: September 25, 2018, 8:45 PM · Good day to you good musicians:
I have a carbon fibre Coda Diamond violin bow and I loved the sound of this bow until I got it re-haired today for the first time. I never got a bow rehaired before so I don't know what to expect. The sound dramatically has changed to a mellow dampened sound instead of loud and lively sound that it had before. I tried more rosin with little change in sound. Does the hair need time to adjust under pressure to settle down and produce the sound as before or is there a problem with the rehairing?
Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.

Replies (13)

Edited: September 26, 2018, 8:25 AM · Did they rehair it with more hair than it had before? If so, that could be the reason.

Did they "pre-rosin" it before returning the bow to you? New hair can take a lot of rosin-rubbing before it is well rosined. I always test the rosin on my bow by rubbing the hair on dark trousers - I always wear dark trousers for that reason!

September 25, 2018, 11:45 PM · to rosin a newly rehaired bow you need to score the rosin with a sharp knife, make repeated 45' scratches all the way across and close together, then 45' the other direction so you have an x pattern of scratches, then holding the rosin upward so the rosin particles don't fall off the rosin, rosin the bow for about 2 min, then repeat the process repeating the scratching, this should be enough.
Edited: September 26, 2018, 7:14 AM · What Andrew Victor said about it having more hair than before.

If your bow was missing a lot of hair before you had it re-haired, then this is likely what you are noticing. Try tightening it more and see what effect that has.

When you tighten up a bow, the tension is distributed across the hairs. The more hairs that are on the bow, the less tension is on each individual hair. If you have fewer hairs, there will be more tension on each individual hair.

If rosin does not work, then take it back to the archetier to discuss. Don't start pulling hairs out on your own.

Edit: How old are your violin strings?

September 26, 2018, 7:26 AM · There are so many factors in a rehair that can affect the sound and feel of a bow. Quantity of hair, quality of hair, hair tension, starting the hair with rosin. I recently wrote an article on rosin and about starting new hair with rosin on my blog at: https://adbowsllc.com/2018/09/25/all-things-rosin/ also on my site, I have an article on what to check for after getting back a rehair. If you continue to have issues with the bow, you should bring it to the attention of whoever did it. Most archetiers are happy to make things right at no additional cost and would appreciate your feedback.
Edited: September 26, 2018, 5:57 PM · I had my Coda Classic violin bow rehaired within a year or two after i acquired it 20 yeas ago. When I saw that it was rehaired with noticeably less hair than it had previously I went back to the bow tech who told me it would play better (i.e., it had originally had too much hair) - and indeed it did.

Good article on rosining in Anthony's website! I have not scored rosin to start bow hair. About 20 year ago when I was experimenting with some of the (then) new Glasser composite bows I found their hair very slippery and I was able to "dig into" rosin cakes by putting thumb pressure on the inner side of the bow hair - and it did take several minutes to get enough rosin into the hair to make it useful. (Not exactly true: once in my youth (my 20s or so) I did score a rosin cake because I read about doing that).

At the very beginning of this century (before 9/11/2001) I started doing a lot of bow measurements that I recorded and studied in a spreadsheet (and matched to equations). I found that ALL the bows I tested played and sounded their best under certain conditions:

1.The ideal amount of hair in a bow had a linear relationship to the stiffness of the stick.

2.That amount of hair correlated with a specific "strain" (i.e., percent of stretch) of the hair at the tension in the hair when "tightened."

3. There is an ideal amount of tightening for a given bow stick. Therefore you can't just tighten any bow to get the ideal hair stretching - the factors have to be "balanced." The bow's behavior (other than due to stick resonances) comes from the flexing of the hair and stick working together.

4. Typically, because the hairs in a bow will have a range of diameters, the amount of stress required to impart optimal strain to each hair will not actually be achieved. Instead there will be a range of that parameter - the best you could achieve would be some average.
It would be interesting to do the experiment hairing a bow with carefully measured and sorted identical hair diameters of several values (serially) with the same bow stick and determining the sonic and playability results.

I recall reading an on-line "bio-bit" by someone describing his first job in a luthier's shop. He had to count out the number of hairs for "hair hanks" for rehairing bows. This was a short time after my "bow experiments." My first thought was "did they just load each bow with a standard hank of hair?" I subsequently noticed that my luthier seemed to do the same thing - rehair bows with a standard hank of hair - probably usually enough to account for bows of any stiffness. Well, almost! I had to request extra hair when my ARCUS bows were rehaired - very, very stiff sticks!

When I did my bow experiments, I actually trimmed the hair on my own bows according to the equations I had derived to get to hair counts that matched the stiffness of each stick. To do the trimming I used a straight blade X-Acto knife and trimmed hair evenly across the hair ribbon on the inside of the hair ribbon - not on the playing surface side - no more than 5 hairs at a time.

More than anyone wanted to know - but that's it!

Edited: September 26, 2018, 11:25 AM · Thank you Andrew, Lyndon, George and Anthony for spending time to answer my question. Yes my bow originally had much less hair and it sounded great. So I think you all are correct, the issue might be that there are too much hair on the bow. However, as suggested, I will try scoring the rosin and rosining for 2 minutes and see if that will change the sound before trying to take hair off.
Edited: September 26, 2018, 1:59 PM · If you're going to take hair off, make sure to cut the strands individually near the ferrule and the tip. Don't pull the hairs off! Pulling them diminishes the overall bundle at the ends and depending on how much hair you remove could cause the wedge at the tip or the spreader at the frog to come loose or hairs to start falling off. Always cut the hair, don't pull it!

Also, maybe consider contacting Coda Bows and asking how many hairs they recommend on that bow model?

September 26, 2018, 5:45 PM · UPDATE: I heavily rosined the bow and it made a huge difference and I also removed 5 strands of hair from each side as suggested by Victor. Problem is totally resolved. I got the sound I wanted back. Thanks a million everyone. I am so happy.
Edited: September 26, 2018, 11:48 PM · I've experienced an episode about this two years ago when I bought a bow from the principle second violinist of one of our pro orchestras. He inherited it from his father who had been a professional violinist himself, and used it as his primary bow for more than a decade after university, then moved up to a Lamy, and finally wanted to get rid of it since he meanwhile owned four bows superior to it. He told me that once back then he thought it had a great sound, but experienced a big sound degradation over the years he couldn't explain, although he had a rehair some years ago and hadn't played it much since. For this I got it for very cheap, although it's not the best but a fine work of a reknown mid 20th century French bowmaker, whose bows sell in the 3-8k zone. (After a short negotiation I got it for 450 actually...) I loved it's handling, but it sounded somehow muffled.
Shortly after I had to stay at home because of a heavy flu and had time to count (!) the amount of hair. It was 260!far too much. I progressively cut out some hair, and when it reached 180 it was great again! Unfortunately I continued and so ended up in overdoing, which led to another rehair... But now I knew how things worked on this one.
September 27, 2018, 6:36 PM · Let me make this as clear as I can.
I do not remove hair from the "sides" of the hair "ribbon."
I remove hair from the underside of the hair ribbon - that is the side that faces the stick.I insert a straight X-acto knife blade and remove about 5 hairs as equally spaced as possible across the ribbon. I have tried to avoid removing hairs from the sides of the hair ribbon.

If I noticed no change in tone, I would repeat the process. But beyond that amount of hair removal I would not remove any more without trying other remedies, such as more or different rosin or different tightening of the bow hair.

September 27, 2018, 9:38 PM · It would be easy to assume that the best value in a rehair is a bow that comes back with the most hair. But it just doesn't work that way. Too much hair dampens the vibration of the string.
September 27, 2018, 11:33 PM · Andrew and David - both perfectly right. I completely overread that "from the sides". Not only for playability, but by this the bow could warp and suffer damage.
Edited: September 28, 2018, 12:57 AM · Removing hairs after getting a rehair defeats the whole purpose of getting one in my opinion. The problem probably is you didn’t put enough rosin on. You have to rosin a newly rehaired bow for a good 2-3 minutes and play on it for a few hours to break it in.

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