Violin bow metal coil head

January 7, 2020, 10:35 PM · I've found an interesting violin bow played by the concertmaster of a professional orchestra in South Korean (Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra) mounted by some kind of metal mechanism in the head. It is right at 1:43 and 3:49 of below Youtube (Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet).

https://youtu.be/MYUpvPOWFDc

I always thought that the design of violin bow head has important impact to the tonality because this part of wood is nearest to the bow hair and strings. Can someone comment on whether or not that metal head is just a quick repair or a latest innovation?

Replies (14)

Edited: January 7, 2020, 10:56 PM · I am guessing that it's a repair. Maybe he just likes that stick so much but crushed the head somehow. Putting a new head on a violin bow is one really hard repair. I had one repaired with a new head when I was a kid (the luthier did it almost for free just because he wanted to see if he could actually do it) and it held for about 10 years but eventually the joint failed. It's a long joint made at a very slight angle.

I've never seen something like this before. It's not like the guy is on the last stand in a community orchestra or something ... like you say he's the CM of a pro orchestra.

Edited: January 8, 2020, 3:08 AM · I didn't look too closely but I'm pretty sure it's a tête-bêche bow made by Nehr, probably made out of ipe wood judging by the color (something he is promoting as a sustainable pernambuco alternative). I've never seen one in real life although I would like to try.

From what I've read as a bow enthusiast the tip has surprisingly little effect on the mechanics of the bow. A bow maker might correct me on this, but I believe the height of the tip is the only really important choice from a playing aspect, together with the durability in terms of mechanics. Everything else is aesthetic, thus Nehr's design.
https://www.gillesnehr.com/tete-beche

January 8, 2020, 4:32 AM · fascinating on the site John mentions, scroll down, you find many wonderful pictures of objects I can best describe as hybrids between a fancy wine opener and a violin bow!
January 8, 2020, 7:35 AM · It's at Tête-Bêche violin bow by Gilles Nehr, the stick is made of acacia wood. Gilles' metal work is exquisite and his bows are of excellent quality. The design is definitely not traditional but many player find his bows a joy to play. His website can found here: https://www.gillesnehr.com/about
January 8, 2020, 11:23 AM · Wow that's fascinating. I'm sure the traditionalists are all horrified.
January 8, 2020, 11:47 AM · Fascinated, anyway. I've not handled one, but would be very interested to see how it behaves and sounds.
January 8, 2020, 1:15 PM · I think they're beautiful. I'd love to try one. I wonder what they cost.
Edited: January 8, 2020, 2:20 PM · I'm guessing around $7-8k. But I'm not officially in the market, so haven't inquired.

Bay Fine Strings has a couple.

January 8, 2020, 5:03 PM · I've never seen Nehr's bows in person, but they look incredible in the photos! Very innovative work.
Edited: January 9, 2020, 7:14 AM · I wonder how the hair is fixed into the little black plastic or rubber ends of the special hanks, whether that's durable, and what those special hanks cost (if it's truly cost-saving to do your own rehairs).
January 9, 2020, 8:14 AM · The ends of the hair is tied like a traditional rehair knot, but then it looks to be coated in a light wax. Traditionally bow makers would use a little bit of rosin and melt it with an alcohol lamp, it wouldn't look too nice for this presentation. You could tie your own knots but there is more to a rehair then putting a bunch of hair together. I'm sure you'll save some money but the results may not be ideal unless you use Gilles's hair, for players. The cost of a good rehair isn't really that expensive and saving a little money for more of a hassle isn't really saving money in my eyes.
January 9, 2020, 8:14 AM · The ends of the hair is tied like a traditional rehair knot, but then it looks to be coated in a light wax. Traditionally bow makers would use a little bit of rosin and melt it with an alcohol lamp, it wouldn't look too nice for this presentation. You could tie your own knots but there is more to a rehair then putting a bunch of hair together. I'm sure you'll save some money but the results may not be ideal unless you use Gilles's hair, for players. The cost of a good rehair isn't really that expensive and saving a little money for more of a hassle isn't really saving money in my eyes.
January 9, 2020, 9:36 AM · Oh, come on. A mere $8k to avoid $160/year in rehairing fees?
January 9, 2020, 10:04 AM · If the only selling point of this bow is that you can do your own rehairs, then I'm not interested at all. Rehairs are not that expensive. The bow would have to play well -- like you'd expect from an $8000 bow. Since we're talking about pretty close to what I paid for my violin, it's not likely I'll find myself in that market any time soon. Still one can be curious.


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