High Quality Carbon Fiber Bows?
I have a nice Pernambucco bow that I like. But, I have a yen to try some carbon fiber bows. What are some makers and models of high quality CF bows? If you have a CF bow that you particularly like, what is its make and model?
Typically, what should one expect to spend on a high quality CF bow?
I know very little about CF bows. Are these bows manufactured; or, are they hand-crafted? Or, a combination of both?
My spare bow is a JonPaul Carrera. It is a very nice bow. I tried it in both the stiff and soft version and much preferred the stiff. Tested it next to the two top models from Codabow - can't remember the model names (marquis or something similar and Diamond xs?) I preferred the jonpaul in that comparison.
My main bow is a JonPaul Carrera and my back-up is a Coda GX.
My main viola bow is a hybrid (carbon fiber core, wood sheath). When I bought it in 2010, it was sold under the manufacturer's product name as a C.F. Iesta, but it is now sold under license in the US as the JonPaul Fusion Silver. It normally sells between $400 and $500. When I purchased it, it compared favorably to wood bows up to 5 times its price.
The two bows Bo is referring to are indeed the Coda Marquise but the second one is the GX.
I am happy with the "Master" or "3-star" bows from Cadenza. I have two for my violin, my daughter has one for her violin, and I have one for my viola. My cello daughter did not like hers -- she played a Codabow for a while, and that was okay, but then when she was starting to get really serious we took the plunge and she got a good wood bow from Linda West.
In addition, my luthier twice joked that the GX was indestructible, which may be an important consideration.
I've had a Coda Diamond GX now for a bit over a year and truly love it, truly.
My JonPaul Avanti is my daily driver. I use my Voirin only for important stuff.
What's your budget? Usable carbon fiber bows can run from $300 for a kind of spare tire bow up to $8-9K for top-of-the-line bows.
Interesting. I didn't realize that they come in different stiffnesses. But, it makes sense.
The JonPaul Avanti is a sleeper hit. Very good response and agility for a bow that can be found new for less than $800.
CF BOWS – an annotated “list”
Andrew, I'd be curious to know what you think about the tone of the Arcus bows (including the current offerings from them if you've tried them) compared to the other carbon fiber bows you've tried in addition to Pernambuco bows.
In my opinion, from the earlier ARCUS Concerto and Cadenza bows to the next generation, which is as far as my experience goes, the ARCUS bows brought out more high frequency overtones than my pernambuco bows**. The ARCUS Sinfonia violin bow seemed to me more like my CODA Classic.
I'm intrigued. Why are bows being described in absolute terms without rosin being taken into consideration? So far I've been finding that light rosin gives a mellower sound than dark rosin.
Bows still have their own intrinsic sound, even ones within the same model just possibly not as diverse. Rosin is essentially like what strings are to a violin where you can fine tune the sound and feel little bit, but the bow will still have it’s intrinsic sound to some extent.
Any thread about high quality plastic bows needs to include Arcus.
The 8 and 9 level bows tested better at the factory...because they are better. If you are demanding enough of your bow, you'll appreciate the difference.
My experience with Arcus bows has been that not always the way they are valutated in the factory reflects the real potential and sound of a bow.
Doesnt Arcus's rating system really just indicate that they found a way to market a lack of statistical process controls in their manufacturing processes?
Arcus's grading process basically accounts for variances in the manufacturing process which result in products of differing levels of quality.
I find there to be a definitely noticeable difference between the 8 the 9 level bows. The 8 bows are fantastic but the things that still take some work with an 8 are effortless with a 9. Also, the 9 can do things that the 8 cannot. It's a big price jump but worth it if you can swing it.
Mr Musing is particularly able to explain LOTS of things, but my Arcus Sonata bow did put out a better sound than even an S8 in Mondomusica in Cremona in 2019, judged from distance in the crowded hall by the builder himself in a blind test.
The higher grade Arcus sticks have better resonating properties than the lower grade ones. It's this variable that they use to classify their sticks, and only a small percentage of them get rated at the 8 and 9 levels. However, this property isn't the only thing that affects the sound of their bows on different violins, so it is absolutely possible that a lower grade stick, for other reasons, may sound better on a violin than a higher grade one. There's also differences between their previous generation sticks which were painted black, and the current ones that are plain carbon fiber.
My Sonata bow is not varnished, it was built not much before the monoletteral classification switch.
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