Bow shopping suggestions / opinions?

Edited: February 24, 2020, 6:16 PM · Hi everyone,
Sorry if this topic has been beaten to death, but I am looking to get a new bow and would greatly appreciate opinions and suggestions.

My current bows:
A nice Ipe bow that sounds good but is too heavy for me at 65g
A good quality Brazilwood bow that is easy to play and sounds OK; 60g
A very entry level carbon fiber bow that plays easiest but doesn't sound quite as good as the Brazilwood; 56g.

My violins are an old Mittenwald and a new upper-mid range Chinese, both with Pirastro Tonicas at the moment.

The bows (and general price range) that I'm considering are:
Codabow Luma Carbon Fiber- 57g
Fiddlerman Pro Carbon Fiber - 54g
Helisson Cyrillo Pernambuco - 58-60

If anyone has any experience with these, or alternate suggestions I'd be grateful! I plan to try the top 2 or 3 in-home.

Replies (5)

Edited: February 24, 2020, 8:02 PM · You did not show the price range. One might expect a chance that the Brazil-made bow (Helisson Cyrillo) has a chance of being decent - depending on whether it is a 1, 2, or 3-grade. But the real issue is how well it will do off-string strokes and how it mates with your needs, your technique, your violin and with your ears. Even the CF bows show variation in these characteristics - wood even more so, even by the same maker.

You can only tell by trying it. Some of the CF bows handle very well and to my ears some sound very good. My son, who is a fairly newbee violinist (in his mid 50s, but has been into music on other instruments for 50 years snd gets by well enough to perform fiddle gigs with groups) has been happy with his Fiddlerman CF bow purchases in the v1cinity of log($) = 3.

I have been through a number of bow-purchasing sessions, one of which involved testing of 66 bows.

February 24, 2020, 6:02 PM · Hello Andrew, thank you for the reply! My apologies; my price range is in the $600-1k range; my technique is still developing since I'm relatively new to violin (though like your son I've been playing other instruments for decades). I've learned enough that I can feel the limits of my current bows, so I'm looking to upgrade without spending a fortune.
February 24, 2020, 7:57 PM · I have tried out a Coda bow luma and many other carbon fibre bows from people in my high school orchestra and quartet, the handling was ok but not as good as wood. The sound was where the carbon fibre bows really lost out. If you look enough with a teacher you can find really amazing bows! I wish you luck.:)
February 24, 2020, 9:16 PM · 54 g seems pretty light.
February 25, 2020, 3:16 PM · Don't worry too much about overall weight. Balance of the stick matters more, and that can be changed by messing with the wrapping material at the base.

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