Shar Baroque Bow
I was wondering if anyone here has one of the Baroque bows from Shar and if they'd be willing to share their feedback here or privately.
(PS - I already know how Lyndon feels about these bows from Laurie's post a while back, so Lyndon can spare his opinions about this matter here.)
so I'm not allowed to have an opinion, how democratic!!
We have one of the ones from Shar and also another very similar one ordered off Amazon several years ago. I would say the Shar one seems to have slightly better hair than the Amazon one, but they are otherwise pretty much the same. You have to tighten them considerably to get the camber correct, which freaks out my one kid but makes a lot of difference in their function.
Almost any bow will go straight if you tighten it enough, the point is a baroque bow is supposed to go straight with a similar amount of tightening tension as you would use to normally tension a modern bow to an inward curve.
When I visited Shar last summer I bought one because it was cheap and I was curious. I'm fascinated by Baroque music and also thought this type of bow might be interesting to try on some of the folk styles I usually play, especially the more uptempo numbers. After some experimentation with grip it felt comparatively nimble and overall decently suited to the role I had in mind for it. One caveat here is that it's far from being my primary bow so among other things I'm still playing around with different grips at different balance points.
Better than nothing, but you get what you paid for, which is bad.
I got the baroque bow 'bug' and wrote to Mohr & Mohr for trial bows. I was charmed by the maneuverability of the bows they sent--it's a trip compared to a modern bow! After reading about many disappointments in baroque bows at SHAR's entry level price, I would say that saving up for a bow by a newby bowmaker will get you a bow at least 4 times better than SHAR's $149 model. Katherine Mohr is a newby in the bowmaking family, and her prices are about 1/3 what her dad charges. Maybe some other players here can suggest real baroque bowmakers who are starting out, with good prices? BTW, the bowmakers' bows will only rise in value...SHAR's $149 bows won't.
Given what she charges for a modern bow I suspect that there are some experienced baroque bow makers who may even charge less than she does for her baroque bows. I don't know if Antonino Airenti is shipping yet but his prices weren't too onerous last time I checked, and Eitan Hoffer in Israel might be worth checking with.
Thanks all. I decided to get one, with the intention of saving up for a proper Baroque bow in the future if I feel the Shar bow is providing enough insight to warrant another bow purchase. I had trialed a couple Baroque bows a year or so ago, and almost bought one. I should have!
I second Antonino Airenti, a wonderful man and wonderful bow maker.
Recently I came across the website (https://www.historicalbows.com) of one Stephen Marvin in Toronto. He makes baroque bows and also seems to have quite a credible background as a performer. I'm thinking seriously about dropping him an email and seeing where things go from there.
Jack, he has one of his short bows available at Johnson Strings FYI.
David Hawthorne in the Boston area also has a fairly lively practice in Baroque bows.
Yes he does. I have one of his on the Powerhouse museum model and it's really nice. Still one of these days I will make myself a Salzburg model or sell the Powerhouse and buy one. Or maybe a Tartini, although I keep telling myself I'm more interested in the shorter bows.
Thank you for the heads-up, Andres. Looking at that page now.
In this article from the Strad, bowmakers discuss how to choose a baroque bow:
There's a compendium of advice in Elizabeth Freeland's interesting article on this site from last year, which reflects what must have been quite a research project. (Not gospel mind you. For instance short bows are often in the vicinity of 58 cm.)
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