Why does my Coda GX sounds so terrible?

January 24, 2019, 5:28 AM · I bought a Coda GX bow untested back in 2012 based on its good reviews.

It produces so much noise which makes playing unbearable. I can barely hear my doublestops higher up on the fingerboard. It plays worse than the free bow i got from a $150 Yita violin.

What could be the cause of this?

Replies (26)

January 24, 2019, 5:59 AM · because its carbon fibre, carbon fibre sounds like shxt!!
January 24, 2019, 5:59 AM · Can this noise be heard from 10 feet away?
How old is your bow hair?
What ckind of rosin are you using?
January 24, 2019, 6:08 AM · Lyndon, there are good carbon fiber bows. Arcus bows are legendary.
I wish I had one, I only got to borrow one when my pernambuco bow was in the shop.
January 24, 2019, 6:09 AM · If one had to trust good reviews (here too), the Codabow GX should be the solution to all world's evil...... :)

Instead, as i already reported in a post here (unnoticed, i believe) few months ago i tested several new Codabow bows in Mondomusica fair (Italy) and saying "delusion" would not be too adequate.......
In particular i didn't like the GX at all. It did not have "sound" ..... I liked a bit more the Marquise and the Luma.

Two stands apart, the Musing bows were 100 times better ......

January 24, 2019, 7:00 AM · Did you like it back in 2012? When was the last rehair? What kind of rosin are you using? When is the last time you had your instrument adjusted, do other bows do the same thing? Have you changed your strings? Is there a large amount of build up of rosin on your strings? The sound quality can degrade so slowly over time with these factors that we hardly notice it until one day we hate our equipment. If you liked the sound at one point, chances are things aren't maintained properly.
Edited: January 24, 2019, 8:53 AM · In my experience with my violins and cellos I have found that different instruments do better (sound-wise) with different bows.

Writing of my CF or other composite bows:

My ARCUS Concerto bows for (violin, viola and cello) generally provide a nice strong overtone quality when that is what I want to produce - especially good for hearing myself and blending in ensemble.

My Rolland Spiccato bow (from Rolland's Paris days) seems to produce a better quality of sound on one of my violins than any of my 7 other violin bows (4 pernambuco, 2 CF and one hybrid) but not on the other violins.

My CF Durro cello bow produces a nicer over-all sound on my oldest cello (1877) than my other 7 cello bows but not on the other 2 cellos. The CF Durro bows were sold at about the same time the Coda bows were introduced and I ended up buying 3 of each brand (vl, vla & vc). Over the years I ended up giving the Durro viola and violin bows away to others in my family, but the brand was very competitive with Coda at the time (~20 years ago) and less expensive.

My viola and cello Coda Bow Classics are not remarkable on my instruments, but there is nothing wrong with them and I still use them sometimes. Maybe it depends on the state of my hearing on those days - maybe the weather! I gave my violin Coda Bow to my son several years ago and he recently purchased several newer Coda bow violin models for himself after trying them and other CF brands.

My Berg Deluxe violin bow is a non-wood bow and probably the best handling bow I have, but not the best sounding on any of my violins. For what the d_mn thing cost it should be best at everything, but at the time I bought it for its handling qualities.

Bow choice is very instrument and player dependent.

My violinst trio partner for 20 years used Coda Classic and Rolland Spiccato bows on his $150,000 Enrico Rocca violin while his Lamy remained in his case. Some other people didn't like his Coda on their violins but liked it on the Rocca when they tried it. He ended up using the Spiccato pretty exclusively.

If a non-wood bow works for you choose it! If not, don't!

January 24, 2019, 9:02 AM · I have a CodaBow Diamond NX that I'm using with an instrument I recently acquired. My heavier German pernambuco bow is simply too heavy for the instrument, and the CodaBow brings out a lot of overtones that the pernambuco bow simply crushes. I do have a lot of under-the-ear scratching with the CodaBow but one cannot hear it from a couple of feet away. I've had mine only for a few months, and have only been using it for maybe four weeks total out of those few months. I have noticed I seem to need a lot more rosin than with my pernambuco (I use Pi strings).

Like Andrew said: depends on the player and the instrument. I never would have thought I'd prefer the CodaBow to my beloved pernambuco, but my pernambuco is a better fit for my other violin. So, CodaBow it is until I can afford a suitable pernambuco upgrade for this other violin.

January 24, 2019, 10:02 AM · Much like wooden bows each produce a personal time, so do carbon-fiber bows. The CF "screech" is much more noticeable with individual CF bows and violins.

In general, if you buy a CF bow, you should test multiple bows of the same model in order to determine which you like best (the feel is very slightly different within each model), as well as which produces the best tone on your violin.

If you like the way your GX plays, consider whether you can do a lateral trade at a violin shop. You will probably have to pay some money because your GX is 7 years old, but you may be able to trade for a different GX that sounds better on your violin.

January 24, 2019, 11:33 AM · I don't like anything about the CF bows I've tried, but I haven't spent much time with them. Some fine bows and violins don't always play nice together, though. It's always best to test bows out, and to do so on the violin you plan on playing on. That's not much consolation to you now, but maybe it's time for an upgrade of some of your equipment.
January 24, 2019, 11:39 AM · Try it slacker.
I have Coda GX and thought it was a bit "scatchy".
Slackening the bow seems to help.
And it still has enough "bounce" in it.
Edited: January 24, 2019, 11:50 AM · When I read "Try it slacker" I thought, wow, maybe this IS a snobby forum after all.

But there's no comma. "Try it, slacker" means something else entirely!

January 24, 2019, 12:02 PM · Try slacking it, maybe?
January 24, 2019, 2:12 PM · I read that similarly, Paul! HAHA!!!!
January 24, 2019, 2:34 PM · I liked the original Codabow Classic models, but have not really found the current GX/SX lineup to sound all that good. Their higher-end Marquise lineup has a model that plays fairly well, but JonPaul achieves the same result in their Avanti model for hundreds of dollars less.
Edited: January 24, 2019, 3:30 PM · Nina, don't worry, I'm already slacking. All my colleagues think so anyway. LOL

Turning back to the topic of the thread, I was thinking about the sound the OP is getting with his bow. As many of you know, this is something I have a hard time understanding. However, I recently learned that one of my colleagues, who is a decorated mechanical engineer with expertise in the transmission and coupling of mechanical vibrations, and who I have sat next to in countless committee meetings, is also a violinist! So I'll be asking her how that might work.

Edited: January 25, 2019, 7:06 AM · The only times I use my CF bow (£100, made by P&H London) are in potentially hazardous scenarios, such as playing out of doors, in theater orchestra pits, playing for barn dancers, or playing folk music in a pub. For these I also use my steel-strung #2 violin. Both items do the job as required.
January 24, 2019, 4:11 PM · I have a Coda Diamond NX that I bought as a backup for when my pernumbuco bow is getting rehaired. It has a lot of surface noise right under the ear, but I'm told that it's not noticeable a few yards away. And like Malcolm says, you don't need the hair very tight on these bows. All the Codas I've tried have been nicely responsive (it's almost as if they're designed primarily for off-the-string strokes), but they sure don't sound like my wooden bow.
January 25, 2019, 7:59 AM · Paul, don't worry. I should be studying right now...
January 25, 2019, 10:37 AM · My son has one as well for backup and outdoor situations and he hates it. I don't think it is terrible but he absolutely hates and refuses to use it unless forced to.
Edited: January 25, 2019, 11:20 AM · Yes, bows are mysterious objects, and the price seems to be the least important factor. One of my better bows is a $50 octagonal brazilwood. The P&H bows are noisy. The $100 P&H C.F. Violin bow is tip-heavy, but works well as a Viola bow. I liked my John-Paul Bravo bow, not noisy, enough to up-grade to the Avanti, but it feels the same, not better. One would think that the grade of hair and the rosin should have a lot to do with this
January 25, 2019, 11:29 AM · As Anthony asks, what did the OP think of his bow in 2012?
The OP seems to have ducked out, though.
Edited: January 26, 2019, 3:43 AM · I feel we never pay enough attention to bow hair on these bows..

Surely, we can only compare two bows for sound (as opposed to balance etc,) if they both have hair the same age, from the same horse! with the same rosin.

Then we can compare weight, balance, springiness etc, which also have an effect on tone.

Edited: January 26, 2019, 3:11 AM · In a different thread Robster says he is a returning grade 8 violinist with intonation difficulties. He doesn't say if he returned in 2012 or if he quit in 2012 or if he bought a bow in 2012 and is only just starting to use it. It would seem unlikely that he has used the bow since 2012 and it is now wearing out, but I don't want to appear to be questioning his life story. It may be an acclimatisation problem: I bought a Yamaha electric piano two weeks ago and found (after 38 years) that one or two of the hand stretches had been lost from muscle memory.
January 26, 2019, 12:46 PM · Hi Andrew which Yamaha keyboard did you get?
Edited: January 27, 2019, 5:24 AM · I got the P-125. I had been watching it on Amazon for 6 months and the price suddenly dropped, so I went for it.

It's what I wanted - a good piano sound (strictly speaking, 4 barely distinguishable ones, lol).
Total of 24 sounds, but I only like 6, which is enough, although a better jazz organ would have been appreciated.
Also I think the action is a tiny bit heavy - you notice it on trills - but apart from that, the competition I'd seen had made me feel this was value for money.
The alternative is a Roland, which has its fans, but I'd seen a video which made me prefer the Yamaha. I'd played the P45 at the Yamaha showroom in Soho a few years ago, but I haven't played a Roland.
Oh, the Yamaha has no visual readout, just audio, which needs getting used to, unless you have an iPad, in which case it becomes much easier to operate. There are videos that demonstrate how that is done.

Edited: January 26, 2019, 5:12 PM · I have a Coda Bow GX and I like it on my violin. The other bow I have is a nice pernambuco Ernst Heinrich Roth workshop bow from the 1940’s or 1950’s so bear in mind I don’t have a “fine” bow to compare it to.
If you haven’t lately I would take it to a luthier and see how the hair is holding up. Maybe it just needs a little TLC.


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