Which carbon fiber bow

February 21, 2019, 1:24 PM · 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
Müsing c2
A coda bow NX or prodigy
A low level Jon Paul.

If anyone has opinions on any of these bows I would appreciate it.

Replies (11)

February 21, 2019, 1:34 PM · 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.
February 21, 2019, 1:42 PM · 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.

My primary viola bow is a C.F. Iesta, which is now sold in the US as the JonPaul Fusion Silver at about the same price as the Coda Diamond NX. I'm perfectly comfortable using it with a professional-level viola, because for me it compared favorably to $2000-2500 range wood bows when I tried it in the shop.

Edited: February 22, 2019, 11:58 AM · 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.
Edited: February 21, 2019, 2:08 PM · I loved my Coda Prodiodigy bow. Responsive, well balanced, great for fiddle music! (At least thats what I preferred to play with it) :)
Edited: February 21, 2019, 2:36 PM · 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.

For about the same price as a Coda bow you might find a W. Siefried* pernambuco bow produces better viola tone - mine does. So does a fake "C. BAZIN" I bought on ebay for less than $400. Sometimes my ARCUS concerto viola bow produces stronger overtones that I might like when playing in ensemble and sometimes my CODA Concerto viola bow gives me what I want. One is always best off visiting a shop with current instrument(s) and bow(s) and doing trials.

*I am not endorsing W. Siefried bows. My WS viola bow is really good on-- and off-string with both of my violas, but ~18 years ago I had an adult violin student who had a W. Siefried violin bow that was impossible for sautille, yet she could do those strokes with just about any other bow.

And - by the way - for a deep-toned viola, a cello bow might work better than some viola bow - if you can handle the weight. I know one violist/violinist who bought a snakewood cello bow from a retired SFS cellist to use on her viola. It worked great when she played the Elgar Cello Concerto (on viola) with our orchestra.

February 21, 2019, 2:44 PM · 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!
February 21, 2019, 4:46 PM · 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.

I am told the Emerson Quartet uses these. Whether for their own performances or to recommend to students, I do not know.

February 21, 2019, 5:02 PM · 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.
February 21, 2019, 7:16 PM · 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.

Now, I cannot find a single thing out about Articul, not where they are made, who makes them, what their full range is, absolutely nothing. And, nor can the retailer who sold me the bow. And the national distributor is silent on the question.

Maybe it is also an Iesta hybrid?

I chose the bow from about ten others, all wood, many priced over twice as much, after I tested all of these over about two hours on my cello. (I rapidly dispensed with half of these bows, and so I was not as "confused" as this might sound. I would not claim my bow was "better" than the best of the others (both German made bows), but it certainly was every bit as good, in my hands, and even seemed to offer more subtle challenges in off the string bowing at speed. I took this as the stick having more potential, once I could control it. And, months later, I think I was correct.

My Articul Supreme is a fine bow.

February 22, 2019, 7:07 AM · 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/
February 22, 2019, 7:56 AM · 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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