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Metropolitan Carbon Fiber bass bows, $939
Otto Dürrschmidt, $950-1,890
W. Dörfler "Select" bass bow, #18 level, $850
Steffen Kuhnla, shop made bass bow, $1.285
Steffen Kuhnla master bows, $1985
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Steffen Kuhnla Upright Bass Bows

We now offer some terrific bows by the German maker, Steffen Kuhnla.  Mr. Kuhnla is a world class bass bow maker and we offer two levels of his bows: 'Shop' class and his Master level.  While the German bow is the standard H.R. Pfretzschner model, we offer two models of French bows that are special and exclusive to us here only at the String Emporium.

What's the difference between 'Shop' grade and 'Master' grade?  While the workmanship is exactly the same between bows, the primary differenceKuhnla "String Emporium" bow production can be in the density of the pernambuco and the finishing, which includes the type of metals (like the ferrule and the adjuster) used on the bow.  This is often the case with other makers as well.  While it can be difficult to grade or quantify wood, only the most dense woods are saved for 'Master' level bows.  At the same time, there is no obvious cut off from where a 'shop' bow ends, and where a 'master' level begins.    Even while there are specific ways to measure bow blanks before they are carved into a bow using weight and bending meters,  in the end, it is up the maker to decide.  Steve, (the owner of S.E.) and self-admitted 'bass bow snob',  now personally owns and plays on one of Steffen's French bows!

Above photo: These are our special 'exclusive' models in mid production.  Note how orange they look at this stage (this is natural) and if you click the photo for the larger image, you can see some of the initial burn marks.  (Bows are held and heated over a alchohol burning flame and bent to the desired curve.)  Truly an art!

Interestingly enough, players often have differing ideas and preferences to what they (as players) want in their hands.  On a 'shop' bow, Mr. Kuhnla chooses to use 'German' or nickel silver.  On a Master bow, he uses only pure Sterling silver.  Nickel silver is not even actual 'silver', but an alloy made up of zinc, nickel and copper. This is the traditional and extremely common, even today.  Back in the old days though, in late 19th century or early to mid 20th century, there was a much bigger difference in the value of these two metals as well as the societal perception of a 'first class' premium being associated with Sterling (pure) silver.  (In old movies, what's the one thing they would always say to hide from theft? Hide the silver!!)   Fokr the record, when you compare the metal, shop to master, it is a very slight (if at all) difference in appearance.

Today, bow makers might still save a few bucks and use German silver on their second tier level bows.  Not so much because it is such a big price difference in keeping them affordable, but it is somewhat of a tradition to keep Sterling with the masterbow level and nickel silver will the other levels. As a player do you care?  Again, 'Master' bows are called such because the wood was first chosen as the best most desirable quality and the metals chosen represent this level.  (i.e, these bows get the best of everything.)  Ultimately though, it is the player that decides which bow works best for his/her needs, playing style and bass.  For every unique bass (they are all different!) there is a good match for it in a nice bow.  Both models and both levels offer sensational value for your money.  There is no difference in the appearance or quality of bows between 'shop' or 'master'.  The workmanship is impeccable on anything he makes!  Kuhnla is a 'simple', old school luthier and master bow maker: When he makes and bends a bow, it is with his own hands, his expertise and years of experience.

A player's perspective on how they sound and play on the bass.  Obviously, one can read all he wants about the quality and workmanship of a bow, but the only real way to know how it plays....is to play it yourself!  For many years, (owner Steve) has owned and played on two prized PW Bryant French bass bows (a short and a long one) and never needed, nor was looking for a new bow, but now... his number one bow of choice?  A Kuhnla, 'shop' bow, short model.  "It grabs and punches out the sound on my Italian bass like no other bow I have ever tried!"  It makes it sound fatter and the 'shop' model is strong from frog to tip.  I can put the bow anywhere on the string:  At the frog, in the middle or even towards the tip and it just grabs the string like no other.  The funnest part of this Kuhnla that I really enjoy and don't even get on my snobby Bryant bows, is this super easy spiccato (detache'), fast, pecky and yet as soft as I want it.  It's easiest on my Kuhnla and I am a better player with this bow. All around, it is just a better sounding, better playing stick!"

Steffen Kuhnla French Bass Bows:

We offer two lengths in French bows by Steffen Kuhnla.  The shorter model length from tip to end of shaft (not including adjuster) is  25 15/16" and they average 134-138 grams.  The longer version is of similar weight and 26 3/4" long.

About these paricular models and 'specs'.  The French models are uniquely special and are only offered here, at String Emporium.  The short model is a copy of Steve's own Peccatte model bow.  The hair has more of a contemporary width that is better suited to steel stringed basses, which need a little more force and strength.  (Keeping in mind that the old 'great' French masters most often made their sticks for players only using gut strings, before say...1950's era steel strings started to be the norm.)  Bows now need to be a tad heavier than before (133-138 grams).&nbnbsp; Today, you cannot really get away with playing a big, steel stringed orchestra bass, with a 120 gram bow!

Steffen Kuhnla Bass Bows Checklist:

  • great bow maker, beautifully made with exacting workmanship
  • a nice Pfretzschner (German) and two French models, only available here at S.E.
  • only highly rated and very dense, pernambuco wood used
  • wider hair
  • nicely balanced bows with nice a spiccatto, yet lays into the string throughout the whole length of bow
  • still greatly underpriced when comparing other like quality/playability bows selling in excess of $5,000, a fantastic bargain for the money

We accidentally took the photo of this master bow on the non-brand side.  The brand Kuhnla uses on his deluxe master bow is similar to the deluxe German bow found below.  For his master level bows, we chose the pretty pearl eye with traditional silver ring. Click on any image here for a larger, more detailed image.

Steffen Kuhnla Master French bass bow, $1,985

With Abalone pearl on underslide and eye, with silver ring:

Kuhnla 'Shop' level pernambuco French Bass Bow, $1,285



Kuhnla German upright bass bows:

Here is Mr. Kuhnla's German model bass bow.  All of his German model bows measure from tip to end of shaft (not including adjuster) is 28 5/16".   They are again, a simple, elegant German bow, without un-needed wrapping or ornaments.  The Master level bow also shows his special stamp as well.

Steffen Kuhnla Master German Bass Bow, $1,985

Kuhnla 'Shop' German Bass Bow, $1,285


Steffen Kuhnla Bass Bows Prices include free Priority Mail shipping in USA

International customers outside of USA, we ship everywhere.  You can simply select your item and the shopping cart will say how much shipping is for your destination.

Steffen Kuhnla 'Shop' pernambuco French bow
Bow Length :


Steffen Kuhnla Master level French Bow (only in long model)  
Bow Length :


Steffen Kuhnla 'Shop' German bow  


Steffen Kuhnla Master level German bow  


Special packages only available with bow purchases: 

We offer THREE special packaged deals when buying a new bow from us!  You can select a combination of bow case and rosin, a Kolstein bow quiver and rosin or a combination of all three: quiver, bow case and rosin. 

Read about our special bow accessory packages here.

 Bow Packaged Deal Price
1. String Emporium Deluxe Bow Case and Rosin, $55
Bow Case Model :
Bow Case Color :
Rosin :
2. String Emporium Bow Quiver and Rosin, $35 $45.00
Bow Quiver Color :
Rosin :

3. String Emporium Deluxe Bow Case, S.E. Quiver and Rosin (saves $54)

Bow Case Model :
Bow Case Color :
Rosin :
Bow Quiver Color :