Violin bow characteristics

December 13, 2018, 3:14 PM · I am told by several good violinists that the diameter of the bow of the last 6-8" from the tip should be smaller than some bows are. I am wondering what this difference means, presumably it relates to playing factors. I have noticed that good player's bows are like this.
Also I have a good carbon fibre cadenza bow, 60 grams, which is like the above and it works fine for me. I have my grade 8. I also have a synthetic Golden Strad made in England which I have had for 40 years and 3 other bows. The cadenza is the best.

Replies (8)

December 13, 2018, 6:52 PM · Smaller than "some bows are". Every bow is a little less something than "some bows are".

December 13, 2018, 9:39 PM · Hello Cotton
I got this info from a luthier in London Ontario about 20 years ago. He has retired. I have forgotten what he said but it was a good explanation. Being a physician and an engineer I have a curious nature!
Edited: December 13, 2018, 10:27 PM · Every bow will taper at the tip. The degree depends on wood type, wood density, balance, desired responsiveness and skill of the maker.
December 15, 2018, 11:40 AM · My impression is that the narrowness has something to do with the sound, not sure what.
Does anyone know about the “Golden Strad” synthetic bow, stick and hair. It is very smoothe and comfortable to play? I still like the bow that I bought 65 years ago for $50.00. No idea what it is, nothing on it. It may be pernambuco. It is still straight tip to nut and no flattening at all. Any comments?
December 15, 2018, 11:51 AM · The graduations are in a tight relationship with curve and density of the material. The thinner the graduations behind the head, the more curve is needed. Example Sartory's start around 5mm at the throat and go to 8.5 about 1/3 away from the butt, Sartory's have more curve behind the head. Conversely, Peccatte's start around 5.5 mm and go to 8.5 about 1/3 away from the butt, the curve is more gradual on a Peccatte to go along with a slower graduation. All measurements can vary slightly from stick to stick depending on the piece of wood, but the general graduations for each particular model will be spaced similarly matching the curve.
December 17, 2018, 9:00 PM · Any opinions about Golden Strad
Edited: December 24, 2018, 10:14 AM · A little 28-page "pamphlet" titled "How to Select a Bow for Violin Family Instruments" by Balthasar Planta gives the information about bow design and dimension these postings seek.

My copy came from Vitali Import Co. in Glendale (is that correct these days, used to be in Maywood) in southern California. My copy is marked with a little penciled #280 - perhaps that was Vitali's catalog number.

You must be careful to adjust any tapering dimensions by the density of the wood. For densest wood the diameters along the stick would be minimal; for lighter wood, you would have a thicker stick, although the taper would follow the same ratios. AND the thickness of the wood must also provide the proper range of springiness to the bow.

Good luck finding wood worth the effort.

This is at least the 3rd time I have misplaced the little book, but the first I have not found it again - so I had to search Maestronet to find my 2002 posting of this reference.

DEC. 24 -- I FOUND IT --- AGAIN!!! It is little and THIN!

December 23, 2018, 10:23 PM · Thanks Andrew. I have ordered the book when they get more in.

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