Help with bow hair stretch
I purchased a JT Jet Deluxe bow about a month ago and have used it approximately 10 times or so. The other evening when I was playing out side with average humidity and a temp of about 60F the hair stretched so much that I had it tightened all the way and there was less than 1/4" between the hair and the bow. Today it's back to normal. I have a very cheap bow that came with an old $100 violin setup I first started playing on. The only time that bow had come close to having that issue was when I was playing outside int 90F weather with high humidity. Is this normal for the JT bow? It's carbon fiber and I thought they were supposed to be more resistant to the elements. I play outside about half the time and having a bow that gets to the point where it's practically useless will not work for me.
If I do end up sending this bow back, what should I be looking for in a bow that will let me play outdoors without having to worry if I'll be stuck using the $5 bow by the end of the day/night?
It's the hair, and not the stick that reacts to high humidity by lengthening, and I'm going to guess that the outdoor humidity was higher than you think it was. That's just how it goes. Violin is not ideally an outdoor instrument.
If the hair is extremely loose (falling all over the stick) when the screw is unwound enough to allow the frog to reach the end of its travel toward the head of the bow, you may want to consider having the hair shortened (if someone will do this, versus doing a rehair).
This is not unusual, especially if a bow has been haired at a location with a different climate. When I lived in the California desert and had my bows rehaired in Oklahoma I had hair length problems - also with new bows shipped from SHAR in Michigan.
Then why does the $5 bow have better durability? Synthetic hair? It definitely doesn’t play better should I have a second bow?
It was probably haired with a better "compromise" hair length to begin with. Probably just by chance, on a $5 bow. Not a lot of time for the factory to dink around with the fine points of either making or hairing.
I would suggest you try Coruss on a bow you plan on using outdoors.
It's unlikely the bow unless the stick is outrageously stiff. Sounds like the hair needs to be shortened. On a bow like a that, it'll probably need to be rehaired. The original hair in those are glued in and is difficult to get the knot out cleanly to shorten. It will also be higher quality hair if you take it to a reputable shop and will be less prone to excessive stretching.
In the outrageous suggestion department--has anyone ever used a hair dryer on humid hair to enable it to tighten to the right tension?
"I know you paid me to play at your wedding and all, but lemme just blowdry my instrument for a few minutes first."