Should Bows for electric string instruments be high quality?

June 21, 2019, 4:44 PM · I have a NS Design 4 string Cello on order and I'm not sure which direction to go in for a Bow. TSO's Asha Mevlana uses a Glasser series that's less than $200 so I'm guessing quality bows are only required for acoustic instruments. I've been thinking about the NS Design carbon fiber bow that runs slightly over $200. CodaBows look to be pretty nice as well.

Mevlana also mentioned TSO is very demanding, and her expensive wooden bow was being re-haired too often. My focus will be recording as opposed to concerts.

Replies (7)

June 21, 2019, 4:47 PM · Bows don't just affect the sound. The balance and feel are important, so you must choose a bow you like the feel of and is easy to work with. This may mean that a high-quality bow is necessary.
June 21, 2019, 4:53 PM · Sounds reasonable, the local music stores are very limited in what they have in stock however. I'm also guessing they're not returnable if I order online.
June 21, 2019, 7:07 PM · Another thing that has made me curious is why they don't recommend advanced bows for beginners? Is the response very different?
Edited: June 21, 2019, 8:35 PM · The reason they don't recommend "advanced" bows for beginners is because beginners don't need them. They are just learning how to avoid scratching half the time. They don't need to find just the right balance that will give them the fastest and most delicate sautille. Also the prices of "advanced" bows will scare folks away from starting violin in the first place.

Bows can be taken from many dealers on a trial basis. I use the same CF bow whether I'm electrified or not.

June 21, 2019, 8:43 PM · Shar Music will ship you up to 5 bows at a time and you can return the ones you don't want to keep.
June 21, 2019, 9:14 PM · Cheap bows need rehairing just as often as expensive bows.
Edited: June 23, 2019, 6:48 PM · You're not going to get as fine of a sound out of an electric instrument, not the same resonance, etc. At one point I was using my CF bow for my electric violin because it just seemed to be better than my other bows. Those were not great wooden bows though, at the time.

I just tried my 4 better bows (1 CF, 2 Brazilwood, 1 Pernambuco), and, even though I was having to listen through the piezo sound to hear, my new pernambuco bow that gets the best sound out of my acoustic also gave the best sound out of my electric. There was more dimensionality to the sound with the new bow, more overtones.

You should try them out though and not buy on name. Go with Shar. Best deal on evaluations. If you haven't used a DI box to tone down the piezo buzz, do so, so you can hear the violin/cello tone better, unless it is an active pickup on the instrument.

I bought a Marco Raposo violin bow from Shar. I just looked and they have cello bows by the same maker. Might be one to consider in your evaluation batch.


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