For every bass out there, is a bow that will match it. What is
it about double bass bows that can make such big difference on a
upright bass? Bows vary in price, some as low as $50 on up to
(seriously now)....$25,000!! (For a $25,000 bass bow, I would not
only want the bow to play EVERYTHING perfectly well, I would also
want it to drive me to work in the mornings, take my kids to school
and well...you get the picture.)
Fortunately, the age of a bow has really nothing to do with how it
performs or will sound on any given bass. There is a small group of
people that think that there might be a short break-in period (2-3
weeks), but I really think that is the fact of a "new" bow being
different than the previous one and brand new hair that actually
breaks in within just a few days.
There are really 4 groups of bass bows in the
First, there is the cheaper, new 'brazilwood' type bows.
These have always been cheaper bows because the wood is more readily
available than pernambuco. Nowadays, the best bargains are from
China. We offer a very reliable assortment of these
brazilwood bows. Actually, the wood is often harder and can be
more dense than a lot of contemporary pernambuco bows. We put a lot
into our cheap bows and make them much better in the long run.
First, our models actually are taken from the very famous, well
known models and made to our specs. The weight, balance and
workmanship are unparalleled. You'll see others in the $80-90 range,
while ours go for $140! So much goes into these that it's worth the
extra $40 or $50 extra. Even our hair is specially selected and
purchased for these. The great thing about these bows, is that they
look and feel like very expensive bows.
Then the 2nd group of bass bows falls in the carbon composites. This
would have to be the biggest surprise of the last 10 years in the
bass bow world. With the serious traditions of pernambuco (and that
it has always been a costly wood), there has always been a desire to
mimic that wood, but with a cheaper more available source. When
carbon fiber came into play there were many attempts from bow makers
to copy the master bow. We sell both the Metropolitan and Finale
line of carbon fiber bows. The
Finale bass bows went through many trials with both their
German and French bow, until they got just the right balance, weight
and most importantly the camber (or bend) right! Now their bows feel
and play like some of the most expensive bass bows... bar none!
Affordable Pernambuco bows. Pernambuco is still king! While the
brazilwood bows offer incredible performance for the money, and
carbon fiber sticks being amazing as they are, we all still want to
follow tradition and desire to have a fine pernambuco bass bow. In
order to find a wooden bow that will now surpass these carbon fiber
bows, the price range will go to around the $900 range. It is
important to make sure that the pernambuco IS really that and that
the parts on it are well made. See our
pernambuco bows page.
Lastly, the expensive (usually over priced) professional level,
top notch bows. When I say over priced, you may recall the reference
we made about the $25,000 bass bow. Actually there are some people
trying to sell some very select bass bows (like by Sartory or
Vigneron). Because there are so very few of these, they cost more. A
famous name (legendary) will simply add to the value. Will it make a
bass sound that much better?
Deluxe bass bows in the
$3-5k range. For some this is already getting silly, but
to get the best bow, even though the difference can be so minute,
it's worth it to buy a good bow made by a contemporary maker. One
way to explain this is that with those of us that play and use a bow
all day (in a symphony) it's so nice to have something that raises
you to your highest level. Small differences after many hours and
years of playing are worth it in the long run and these bows always
seem to hold their value or appreciate over time.
In the end, it really depends on what your background and style of
music is that you play, your level of needs (professional orchestral
player?) Now you don't have to rob a bank or take a new loan to buy
a good bass bow.
Going for cheap? At $140 these far surpass anything out there.
Don't mind black colored (carbon fiber) bows? These bows 'run' with
the very best, elite bows. Lastly, the special, deluxe bows are for
the serious orchestral players that desire and search for the very
best and highest level of playing.
bow has to match the bass!!! If you need some help matching your
bass to a good bow.
Call or Email Steve. Tell us about your playing needs,
about the bass, strings etc... we'll find a good bow for you that
will compliment your bass and send it out.