Modern bow maker suggestions

October 9, 2018, 7:16 PM · Hi all:

Hoping to have your valuable opinions and suggestions ... which ones of these makers would you suggest that make works that in general are lighter and flexible, full and solo sounding, and handles similar to Tourte and Persois?


Eric Fournier
Yannick le Canu
Pierre Yves Fuchs
Klaus Gruenke
Helge Netland
Edwin Clement

(Recently got a fantastic Noel Burke which fits the bill perfectly, hopefully able to have another after trying other makers works)

Thanks for your suggestions in advance! 

Replies (18)

October 11, 2018, 2:31 PM · I have a Le Canu bow... and I've tried about five others of his all together.. and I think they are a good match for the qualities you describe. To me they are more supple and alert than most modern bows, but I haven't had a chance to try the other makers on your list.
October 11, 2018, 3:30 PM · Paul (and Allen) are you guys working with him directly or is there a shop that still offers his bows from time to time?
Edited: October 12, 2018, 6:12 PM · How interesting, I just made an appointment to go visit Yannick at his atelier in Lille later this month!

So far I think based on (limited) personal experience and suggestions from others,

Noel Burke , Yannick le Canu, Morgan Andersen, Matt Wehling and Eric Fournier all fit the bill, now just need to get to try theie works in person :3
(Already have one from Noel, top class and a real gentleman!)

Works by Yannick are harder to come by these days, lots of these younger French makers' works go straight to dealers and shops in Asia where they have increasing demands for them.

October 11, 2018, 8:01 PM · Rodney Mohr makes faithful Tourte models. You can check out my latest Tourte model violin bows on my Facebook page AD Bows, LLC.
Edited: October 11, 2018, 9:02 PM · Eric Gagne, Montreal, Quebec, Canada - French lineage, perfect workmanship, excellent mechanics and sound properties. I am very, very happy customer.
October 11, 2018, 9:03 PM · I have two bows (violin and cello) by Paul Martin Siefried of Port Townsend, WA, USA. He is a multiple gold medal winner. Both of these bows are quite remarkable for tone.
Edited: October 11, 2018, 10:08 PM · Port Townsend has become kind of a hotbed of bow making, partly because Paul Siefried and Charles Espey were there to act as mentors and contribute to the training of others, like Robert Morrow and Ole Kanestrom. I don't know whether one can get bows from Siefried or Espey any more. Both have been good friends of mine, but they're not exactly "spring chickens", and they might have onerous wait times due to prior commissions.

Morrow and Kanestrom are highly worthy of being added to those already listed in this thread. Lots of competition awards from the Violin Society of America, etc.

Edited: October 11, 2018, 9:51 PM · Emmanuel Bégin of Montreal. Multiple gold medal winner. Worked with Yannick Le Canu for several years. I own a beautifully nimble Bégin bow, 57.9 grams, remarkably rich tone, crisp articulation.
October 11, 2018, 10:29 PM · The Soundpost, a violin shop in Toronto, has had quite a few LeCanu bows pass through... I believe they have some sort of arrangement with him. I don't know if they have any currently, because they do tend to get snapped up pretty quickly.
October 11, 2018, 11:19 PM · A LeCanu bow plays virtually the same as a Begin. Very slightly more springy at the frog, but that's about it. LeCanu trained Begin, and Begin uses the same design.

Fuchs plays bouncy at the frog and has a noticeably fuller tone at the tip. Metal tips tend to do that.

If you're looking for a particular trait, you can contact bow makers and they'll make you what you're looking for. I had Cody Kowalski (3 gold medals as VSA, 1 Grand Prix, trained under Charles Espey) custom make me a bow, and it was perfect. I told him what I wanted and how I wanted it to play. I got exactly what I specified. Overcame the shortcomings of the other bows I had.

October 12, 2018, 1:22 PM · Thanks Paul - I talked with them some time back but they had no plans to have one of his cello bows. Allen sounds like he's set since he's able to visit in person, that is ideal.
October 13, 2018, 6:40 PM · Can anyone recommend a good shop on the east coast with a good selection of modern makers? I went to a few in the DC area and just found a few here and there. I'd love to try some mentioned here all in one place
October 14, 2018, 12:29 AM · Carriage House in Boston.

Also, Julie Reed-Yeboah in NY might. Worth a call.

October 14, 2018, 8:35 AM · +1 on Carriage House, a really good selection there with a good trial program.

Yeboah's shop I would visit in person. My daughter had a very good experience visiting there but having bows sent was a little chaotic.

These aren't east coast but do a good job shipping for trials - Claire Givens in Minneapolis, Ifshin in Berkeley. Also one of the v.com sponsors Thomas Yee (Bay Fine Strings) has a rather interesting collection of great modern makers but I haven't done business with him.

October 14, 2018, 9:08 AM · In Europe, John Stagg of Bristol, England, who learnt his craft at Hill's. I've heard that pre-owned Staggs are rare on the market, which speaks for itself.
www.johnstaggbows.co.uk
October 14, 2018, 11:58 AM · My Morgan Andersen bow is definitely "...lighter and flexible, full and solo sounding, and handles similar to Tourte and Persois.."
October 14, 2018, 1:30 PM · I have a Cody Kowalski bow and it is phenomenal, as was mentioned earlier. I really recommend his bows. I have another bow that's on loan to me, a french bow by Thomassinn, and they are definitely of similar quality. Only difference is the Kowalski bow is a bit lighter and the Thomassin helps me produce a bigger and darker sound.
October 14, 2018, 5:48 PM · Another vote for Carriage House Violins/Johnson Strings. I recently bought a very nice Thomas Goering Viola bow from them and they were great to work with, with their trial program. I also recognize many of the makers in this thread from their viola bow inventory, so I imagine they have violin bows by many of the same makers.

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