Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber Bow Update

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This topic contains 65 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by Great Scott Great Scott 4 years ago.

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  • #14316
    Great Scott
    Great Scott
    Moderator

    Howdy folks!

    I just wanted to give you all a very quick update on my Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber bow.

    I have had this particular bow for a while now and it is still in great shape! I have lost only one hair because of the bow getting caught on the velcro tab in my fiddle case. Other than that, the hair is still in great condition.

    I gave a positive review of this bow around 5 months ago, and what really impressed me at the time was the quality I got for the money I paid. The Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber bow costs just under $70 and I believe it is great value for money for anyone looking for a very affordable carbon fiber bow under $100.

    It would be grossly unfair of me to compare the Fiddlerman carbon fiber bow to bows costing many times more its price. However, in my opinion and the opinion of hundreds of very satisfied customers worldwide, the Fiddlerman carbon fiber bow is a great bow for anyone starting out or anyone on a tight budget and who wants a decent quality fiddle bow but can not afford to spend more than $70.

    This bow is not a world beater and was never intended to be. It simply does what it does and does it very good at a very low price. Certainly, if you have a bigger budget to spend on a fiddle bow then I would suggest looking at the higher quality (and naturally higher priced bows), but to not discount the Fiddlerman carbon fiber bow as a very good second or third bow in that instance.

    Scott

    #14375
    Avatar
    John (BGD)
    Keymaster

    Thanks for the update, Scott! Sounds like this is a good buy.

    #14387
    kevinj
    kevinj
    Participant

    Nothing against Scott’s opinion on the Fiddlerman bow, but I have one of those too. For what my two bits are worth, I think the JT Jet Deluxe bow ($130) is a much, much better buy than the Fiddlerman bow. In my opinion, the Jet bow has a better shaft (flex and bounce absorption), better finger wrapping, a better frog, and a better tension screw mechanism.

    JT also makes a normal, non-deluxe bow that is priced about the same as the Fiddlerman bow, so I would recommend that over the Fiddlerman bow, if you don’t want to try the deluxe bow.

    Keep in mind that what I’ve said here doesn’t take away from Scott’s opinion. He is talking about a bow, and I am talking about a comparison, if you want to spend slightly more money.

    I don’t use my Fiddlerman bow any more, other than to give myself a boost from playing first with the (downscale :-) Fiddlerman bow for 10 or 20 minutes, and then switching to a better bow and smiling a lot. I wanted to figure out a way to sell it to some deserving soul at BGD really cheap, basically for international shipping and postage, but I couldn’t really envision an easy way to do the transaction to pay for shipping etc. If someone is interested and can figure out an easy way to do it, I would gladly proceed. I’ve hardly used the Fiddlerman bow, so it’s still pretty much in original condition.

     

    #14389
    Avatar
    John (BGD)
    Keymaster

    Here is a link to Kevin’s excellent original posting of the JT Jet Deluxe, from right here in good ole North Carolina, Saaaa-LUTE!

    Excellent JT Jet Deluxe bow, $130 USD

    #14401
    Great Scott
    Great Scott
    Moderator

    [quote=14316]the Fiddlerman carbon fiber bow is a great bow for anyone starting out or anyone on a tight budget and who wants a decent quality fiddle bow but can not afford to spend more than $70.[/quote]

    Kevinj, please note my above quote. Both my reviews were for a carbon fiber bow costing below $70.

    And I will say again, that I believe (along with the opinion of many hundreds more satisfied users of this bow) that the Fiddlerman carbon fiber bow is possibly the best choice when someone is considering bows in the $1 – $100 range.

    And as I stated in my updated review: Quote[ Certainly, if you have a bigger budget to spend on a fiddle bow then I would suggest looking at the higher quality (and naturally higher priced bows), but to not discount the Fiddlerman carbon fiber bow as a very good second or third bow in that instance.]Unquote

    There is a vast difference between $70 and $130, especially if someone can NOT afford the latter amount; hence my review of a $70 bow.

    People can read some more positive reviews of the Fiddlerman carbon fiber bow at the Amazon link below…
    http://www.amazon.com/Carbon-Fiber-Violin-Bow-Professional/product-reviews/B00K0NZQHY

    #14408
    Avatar
    John (BGD)
    Keymaster

    Thanks for the clarification, Scott. It is good to know what is best at each price break. The fiddlerman bow is probably comparable to the JT Jet non-deluxe and the Glasser X-Series bows. This may be a simplistic list, but here are some of the strong recommendations given by BGD members:

    below $100: Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber Bow
    $100 – $200: JT Jet Deluxe
    $200 – $300: Glasser Braided Carbon Fiber Bow
    above $300: CodaBow Diamond NX

    #14412
    Great Scott
    Great Scott
    Moderator

    Thank you for that list, John. I have read many good reviews on the CodaBow Diamond NX — being handcrafted in Minnesota, after all. :) That is the one I have in mind when it comes time to upgrade. Was thinking of the Glasser Braided as well, so I guess it will be a tough decision for me come upgrade time. Oh, will my spending never end?

    #14415
    Justine
    Justine
    Participant

    In the $200 to $300 range, I would add the Coda Bow Prodigy. Also,I’m wondering how fiddlers feel about the JT Jet Deluxe that Kevin mentioned. Anyone else try it?

    #14419
    Great Scott
    Great Scott
    Moderator

    Oops! I forgot about that one, Justine. Thank you for mentioning it. I have read some positive reviews re the Prodigy. Surely one for me to keep an eye on. :)

    #14423
    kevinj
    kevinj
    Participant

    If it helps any, I have a Codabow NX, and GX, handled a Prodigy, had a pernambucco high end bow ($$thousands), and once upon a time tried a bunch of bows (20? 30?) ranging up to $15-20K (CAD) some 25 years ago.

    For my two bits, totally ignoring price, it always boils down to a triple – the person, the bow, and the fiddle. Something about the person’s arm mass and playing style interacts with the bow, which interacts with the fiddle. Change any one of the three and the sound and “punch” of the tone can change quite noticeably.

    Once I stood for a several hours straight in a little violin shop, listening to a prodigy player play the same songs on about 8 different high end violins (each $20k to $50k, then followed by a 400-year old Amati violin (recall that Amati taught Stradivari how to build fiddles). Various bows were  used. The sounds of the triplets (her, the bow, the violins) were noticeably different, even to a layman like me. And then the Amati violin — well, that was in a whole different league, head and shoulders above all the other expensive violins. I was really surprised. It seemed the windows of the little shop shook on some of the Amati vibratos – it sure projected the sounds much better / louder / fuller than the other violines, for sure.

    Another time I went through a case of 20? 30? bows, ranging from inexpensive to high end ($15-20k). Even I could hear the difference between them, as a novice. And surprisingly, the sound was not linearly related to price. Some (many?) of the less expensive bows sounded better than the more expensive bows when played by me on my violin. And yet a different set of bows sounded better in someone else’s hands, or in the shop owner’s hands.

    So I think it all depends on the triple (person, bow, violin). Some bows use obviously cheaper or more expensive parts (for example, Fiddlerman vs JT Deluxe vs Codabow Prodigy/NX/GX), but that doesn’t always translate into better sound, for sure.

    A final note on the Codabows – My NX has this tight tension screw that kind of hits a wall when the screw contacts the shaft to tension the string. It drives me nuts (like my old pernambucco bow did, for the same reason). I’ve now tried 3 GX bows, all with silky smooth frog mechanisms, 2 NXs (with too-tight tension screws), 1 NX with a silky mechanism, 1 Prodigy (in between silky GX and too-tight NX). So be careful if you’re buying an NX bow, if silky smooth frog screws are important to you. I’m still in the process of switching my NX out for a bow that is silky smooth, because a daily interaction with an unfriendly tension screw for the next many years is something I’d prefer not to live with.

    Good luck to everyone on finding a happy bow that works for them. Really, there’s nothing like trying out the bow on your own fiddle, if that’s possible or practical.

     

    #14444
    Rock
    Rock
    Participant

    Hey GreaT Scott, I have a bow that is really stiff, can’t remember what its called but it has eight sides.
    I have heard a lot about the carbon fiber bow and was wanting to know if the carbon fiber bow is stiff?

    #14446
    Rock
    Rock
    Participant

    Scott, my mistake six sides. :)

    #14447
    Avatar
    Bruce
    Participant

    I bought Fiddlerman carbon earlier in the year for my “Chinese truck fiddle”.  I love to sit on my picnic table after lunch while working down at my land and play the fiddle for a while before getting back to work.  The bow that came with the cheap Chinese fiddle lost all its hair and I thought maybe this would be a good choice since I would not store it in the best of environments.    It was.  It is a little heavy feeling compared to my older bows but it is perfect as a 2nd bow or a bow to use outside, especially in the summer here in Mississippi.  IMHO it was a pretty good value and serves the purpose I bought it for very well.

    #14448
    Rock
    Rock
    Participant

    Thank you Bruce, I have been hearing about them and different prices too. My bow is very stiff so i was wanting some info on them.

    Thanks

    #14450
    Great Scott
    Great Scott
    Moderator

    Hi Bruce. Thank you for your positive comments on Fiddlerman’s carbon fiber bow.

    I have posted the link below for anyone interested in watching Fiddlerman’s (Pierre’s) quick review of it.

    http://fiddlershop.com/accessories/bows/fiddlerman-s-carbon-fiber-bow-violin.html

    #14454
    Rock
    Rock
    Participant

    Sounds good Scott, i think i will look into it.
    Thanks for the link.

    #14464
    Great Scott
    Great Scott
    Moderator

    Strength of carbon fiber bows…

    and here is a link to some information on how to choose the right bow…

    http://www.kennedyviolins.com/how-to-choose-a-bow/

    #14465
    Rock
    Rock
    Participant

    Thanks for another good link Scott. John uses one also you know.
    I really don’t know yet if they would be better than this newly haired octangle bow as far as playability.

    #14468
    Avatar
    John (BGD)
    Keymaster

    Wow Kevin that’s cool that you have sampled some of the high $$$ bows. I agree with your assessment of a non-linear correlation between price and sound. In my opinion, the gains in tone and play-ability really die off around the $1000 mark.

    I also agree that the bow, fiddle, and performer create a triad which contains a LOT of co-dependencies. I guess we should also toss strings into the mix. So much experimentation needed to hone in on the best mix!

    #14469
    Avatar
    John (BGD)
    Keymaster

    Scott, thanks to the link to Pierre’s review. What a wildman!

    #14471
    Great Scott
    Great Scott
    Moderator

    Rock — If you are thinking of purchasing a new bow, then I would like to echo my suggestion from something I said some months ago: If you can, take your fiddle to a fiddle shop and try out as many bows as you can and MATCH the bow to your fiddle. This is the advice of many professional violinists / fiddlers. If you can’t go to a fiddle shop, then do as much research as you can in regard to bows, and read as many reviews as you can. I would like to suggest buying a bow that has quite a number of good reviews. If it is a good bow and worth the money, then it will have quite a number of positive reviews by many happy users.

    Some shops will offer a money back guarantee on some of their bows. The FM carbon fiber bow comes with a 10 – day money back guarantee. Could even be 30 – days but check to find out. Some places like Shars (may have changes their policy) will ship you several bows to try, allowing you to then purchase the one you want, or send them all back.

    Ultimately, it all comes down to the bow that YOU feel is the better one that draws the best sound from YOUR fiddle. Ultimately, feel, balance, weight, quality, playability are a few things that come into play. (no pun intended). Purely subjective, of course!

    #14476
    Great Scott
    Great Scott
    Moderator

    Hi John! The bow that Pierre is breaking is (I believe) the same FM carbon fiber bow that was his own bow that his has used pretty much consistently and alongside his other more expensive bows for the one year that he mentions, hence the hair being worn to a frazzle. He can play pretty heavily sometimes. Just like someone else I know! :)

    #14481
    Rock
    Rock
    Participant

    I agree Scott.

    #14495
    Rock
    Rock
    Participant

    John, you have a carbon fiber bow i would assume you like it or you wouldn’t have it. What is the difference with carbon fiber bows? Also what about how stiff they are?

    Great Scott, you need to come on we are ready to eat! Just waitin on you!

    #14508
    Avatar
    John (BGD)
    Keymaster

    Well, the carbon fiber bow is light and responsive like a good wooden bow, but costs much less. I would have to save up for a long time to buy a wooden bow that is as good as my Glasser Braided Carbon Fiber bow. Plus, it is much more impervious to weather than wood.

    #14526
    Rock
    Rock
    Participant

    The BOW, i think i will keep what i have, the olg six sided one.
    I remembered when John was showing hi fiddles with the 59 dollar one. I remember the cheap one sounded good when he played it. So its a nice enough for me. Maybe when i wear this one out i’ll do something then.

    I hope i didn’t tick anyone off last evening. I was trying to do to many things at ounce. I think ,looking back at some of my post, they sounded short and odd. Sorry if they offended any one.

    #14556
    Avatar
    John (BGD)
    Keymaster

    Hi Rock, do you use a hexagonal wood bow? I can’t remember every playing one like that! My first wood bow was octagonal, and it lasted me quite a while. Polygonal bows are more stiff than the round ones, and more expensive to make. I like a bow with some flex to it, so I don’t prefer the octagonal cut. But to each his own! Many prefer a stiffer bow.

    Of course, the stiffness also depends on the wood. An octagonal bow made of flexible wood may have the same stiffness as a round bow made of less flexible wood. I have also read and noticed that octagonal bows are less likely to develop a warp.

    #14562
    Great Scott
    Great Scott
    Moderator

    Sorry I wasn’t there to play for you at your anniversary dinner last evening, Rock.  One of the reeds went in my accordion which made it pretty useless.  And besides, I wanted you to have a really romantic evening — just the two of you!  And I don’t eat Spam.

    Anyhoo, I hope you had a great evening and that your lovely wife forgave you for forgetting.  :)

    #14570
    Rock
    Rock
    Participant

    Hi John, it has six sides and it is stiff. even to the point of bouncing some times. Very stiff.

    #14571
    Rock
    Rock
    Participant

    Great Scott, she was so angry when i told her to run out and get some Chinese food. Then when you didn’t show up, she was in tears. But thankfully i still got my gift. Then thankfully i know her week points, so it all went well! :)

    #14577
    Great Scott
    Great Scott
    Moderator

    black gif wallpaper

    No wonder she was in tears, Rock!  You were supposed to order Italian, NOT Chinese!

    #14579
    Rock
    Rock
    Participant

    haha1 Great Scott, I think asking her to go pick it up went over the top! She is really great and we never argue. We are soul mates, you know I used to be a shoemaker! Italian would have been better, i know i should have taken your advise!
    In fact i used to repair a lot of Italian made shoes.

    #14583
    Great Scott
    Great Scott
    Moderator

    black gif wallpaper

     

    Italian cuisine wins ’em over every time, Rock!  So for your next anniversary, order Italian and practice your Italian accent and you will be in like Flynn!   :)

    Italian -made shoes are the best in the world!  I have over 200 pair!   Move over Imelda!

    I have to go and get stuck into my work now, so I might see you back here a little later.  All my patients are waiting … and they are not very patient!   :)

    #14585
    Rock
    Rock
    Participant

    ok

    #14586
    Rock
    Rock
    Participant

    I was reading an article from a violin store. The guy said it was a matter of feel, one will like one and another a different one. He said its not the bow as much as the one playing it.
    These are not his exact words. :)

    #14589
    Avatar
    John (BGD)
    Keymaster

    Kevin and Scott mentioned this as well. The bow has to match the performer and the violin. It’s a love triangle!

    #14597
    Rock
    Rock
    Participant

    Or an eight tangle.

    #18451
    Avatar
    Angela
    Participant

    A bow came with my Goodwill/fixer-upper fiddle.  After going to a very humid, very cold jam around a campfire the other night with my “good” wooden bow, I decided to take the old bow that came with the fiddle to a violin shop here to be rehaired, so I could use it in less-than-ideal conditions.  It also needed wrapped, and apparently, something fixed on the tip to the tune of a about $200…more than they said the bow was worth.

    I told them I wanted something to use when I played outside, and they recommended one of their carbon fiber bows.  So, I brought it home to demo.  Honestly, I cannot tell any difference in the overall weight on the strings  and “playability” or even the sound from my better wood bow.  But, it feels a little light at the frog and maybe just a hair uncomfortable. And sort of like new shoes,  I can’t tell yet if it’s something that will get more annoying as a I play with it…or just the opposite, something I will get used to.  They want $100 for the bow.  Maybe the leather wrap is a bit thinner???

    Any thoughts, advice, observations, oh wise and experienced BGDU mates???

    • This reply was modified 49 years ago by .
    #18457
    nagumaq
    nagumaq
    Participant

    Hi Angela, I have been playing my Carbon bow for 2 months now, and I am just happy it was haired really nicely perfect. I was trying to buy the kind that was talked about here at BGDU “delux” model for 130, and the seller on ebay sold me one he was promoting as “delux” but was not the one I was looking to buy. But it costed 130 plus shipping 30 $ so , sometimes I wish I would have simply drove to a store in Montreal to try 2 or 3 first. For 150 I could have got a better one. But sort of like as you were saying, I cant tell the difference much myself .
    I am happy with it for now .
    Gu

    #18460
    Avatar
    John (BGD)
    Keymaster

    I’ve heard good things about the Fiddlerman carbon bow, which is probably equivalent to the Glasser X Series that you can get at Amazon. For a cheap beater you may want to go with a fiberglass bow, although the weighting can be weird with those as well. I usually recommend the Glasser X Series for an inexpensive carbon fiber bow, before moving up to the Glasser braided carbon bows or the Coda bows.

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