Which carbon fiber bow
I am a violist and has recently purchased a new instrument and I also have an arcus bow which I love. However for school orchestra I have my liveable instrument that I plan to leave here so when I try out for college and have an instrument at that level I won’t have to worry about making it travel to a public high school. And I would want to buy a carbon fiber bow something useable.
I was considering a
A coda bow NX or prodigy
A low level Jon Paul.
If anyone has opinions on any of these bows I would appreciate it.
I have not tried the models you mention, but when comparing high end carbon fibre violin bows I preferred the Jon Paul bows over similarly priced Codabows.
Consider the JonPaul Fusion bows too. They are actually the Iesta line of hybrid bows (carbon fiber core and wood sheath), now sold in the US under the JonPaul label. The durability and elasticity of carbon fiber is still there, and the layer of wood adds back much of the warmth of a wood bow. I've found hybrid bows to be superior to both carbon fiber and wood bows in the same price range.
C.F. bows are a good choice for any situation where the bow might be damaged, exposed to weather, lost or stolen. For Violin, my low-price Jon Paul "Bravo" is good enough. When I up-graded to a higher-priced model it was not very much better. I did not like one of the Violin Coda bows, but I did like the Coda - Viola bow. Sometimes a heavy, cheap, out of balance violin bow can work well as a Viola bow. Since the same models of synthetic bows should behave the same, you could borrow bows from your colleagues to test how they react with your viola.
I loved my Coda Prodiodigy bow. Responsive, well balanced, great for fiddle music! (At least thats what I preferred to play with it) :)
I beg to differ with Joel that "the same models of synthetic bows should behave the same." Maybe they SHOULD but in my experience they do not. My first CODA Classic cello bow was not exactly the same as a fellow cellist's when we bought them at the same time. Mine was better on his cello and his on mine - so we traded (problem solved). The professional violin-violist at the local college had a CODA Classic violin bow and remarked that she liked the 59 gram CODA but not the 60 gram one.
Which one sounds the best with your instrument? We cannot hear how these bows sound, so it is difficult to give an opinion that is meaningful. Try some, and be sure to have someone play your viola using the ones that seem best so that you can see how your instrument sounds with each one. Then choose the one you like best. Almost anything we tell you will probably not be helpful. Good luck!
Cleveland Violins sold me a no-name Chinese bow that was very fine for $500. They sent three sticks and they were quite different. I went with the one that my wife and daughter said sounded better two rooms over.
My .02. . . .depending on your style, all around multi purpose (composite) bow, worth a little extra. JonPaul Muse, Silver mount made in the style of a Peccate, it’s stiff, and has a wonderful lasting resonance. I would say this bow feels like an extension of my arm. I wish you luck on finding a good match.
I recently chose an Articul Supreme cello bow. Articul market a range of bows, and this is their "professional model". It has a wooden core and CF sheath. It weighs 83 grams.
I really like the Coda bows but one of my favorite JonPaul bows is the Corona. Of all their models, there is just something about the playability of this model as a whole that just sounds and feels right. Clearly each bow will vary even of the same model, which manufactures do this on purpose and I share some of my thoughts in this article on carbon fiber bows: https://adbowsllc.com/2019/01/30/carbon-fiber-bows/
I recently tried a couple of Coda NX plus the full range of JonPaul's up to the Muse on my violin. The general consensus in the shop was that the codas handled extremely well for the price, but that all of the JonPaul's pulled a better tone (at least on my violin, but confirmed by the shop owners). I ended up with a JonPaul Muse, but also own a JonPaul Fusion (which is a great bow for the price!) I was also impressed by the Bravo, Corona, and Avanti bows I tried, I just had a slight preference for the Muse.
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