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Why Is The Violin Bow So Important?
There may be this tendency to spend so much time choosing a Violin but little or no time on the violin bow. The Best Violin bows do not fall off trees. You need to find them, they usually have a major impact on the sound of the instrument.
Simply as it’s with the instrument, the higher the quality of the violin bow, the better the sound of the violin. It could surprise some people to know that the violin bow gives you half of the sound you get.
A lot of choices…
There are a variety of choices of materials used in building. Various kinds of woods, some very expensive, others not so. Here again, there can be a noticeable difference. If Nigel Kennedy performs over 20,000 UK pounds for his violin bow, there’s a purpose why is in a group with the best violin bows for professionals.
But you then also get modern-day materials similar to carbon fiber and fiberglass. This might be one of the sticking points for what is best. Virtuosos like Vanessa-Mae might use carbon fiber violin bows with their electric violin for their ”rock” performances. However, Kennedy will use one of the best wood for his Classical and Jazz shows.
Hard or soft?
The stiffness of the violin bow has an impact. If it is stiff it is going to be easier for a beginner and produce a clear sound. However, it’ll even be a rougher sound. A softer violin bow will give a softer sound. It’s a huge subject. If you want to sound good, then you definitely want an excellent violin bow.
10 Best Violin Bows on the Market That You Can Find
1. CodaBow Diamond GX Carbon Fiber 4/4 Violin Bow
Codabow is known as one of the leading designers of the carbon-fiber violin bow. They’ve taken the standard designs and styles and added modern technology to provide a range of bows that are admired. Make no mistake it is a high-quality carbon-fiber violin bow made with high-end materials. It produces a powerful and rich sound that’s designed for high-level performances.
It may not have a few of the more gentle nuances of the high-end wood violin bows. This though is a unique technology, and it’ll give a unique sound. Its construction offers sounds that the wooden violin bows couldn’t achieve. It’s recognized as the top-of-the-line best violin bow. Wonderful tracking and confidence playing feel it’s an exceptional bow.
It’s longer than the standard violin bow length at 31 inches, so you’ll need to use the dedicated case it is provided with. This CodaBow Diamond GX Carbon Fiber 4/4 full-size violin bow is made with a Kevlar core, which makes it extremely lightweight, weighing simply five and a half ounces. It’s also well balanced, an important ingredient to a full-size high-quality violin bow.
The frog is a traditional design made by Walter Paulus. The polished ebony provides a gorgeous style. The tightening mechanism is very smooth and easy to use.
High quality comes at a price…
It is a high-quality 4/4 full-size violin bow as we have mentioned and does not come cheap. It’s going to suit higher-level professional players, though students will even feel its benefits.
When you’re spending this level of money, the choice is not necessarily about the quality. We all know it has that. It’s more about style. A carbon-fiber 4/4 full-size violin bow gives you a different sound from a quality wooden violin bow. The skilled ear will recognize the difference.
It is an excellent full-size best violin bow by a recognized manufacturer of quality.
- Professional-level quality and materials used in the construction.
- High-quality sound and performance.
- It is very expensive.
2. Glasser X-Series Carbon Fiber X-Bow With Horsehair
This X-series Violin bow from Glasser is produced from carbon fiber. This carbon fiber violin bow features a round carbon stick rather than an octagonal, which many agree produces a better sound. It has a synthetic grip that provides comfy stability when in use.
Carbon fiber is recognized as a wonderful material. Perhaps more durable than the alternative fiberglass, and not that much more costly. It has a flexible stick, which is an effective feature of this violin bow. But it’s not too flimsy to make it weak. It’s also lightweight at just over 2 ounces. It’s a standard-length violin bow of 29.5 inches.
Elegant and durable…
The frog is produced from polished Ebony. This offers the bow an elegant look and, of course, is very durable. It has imitation pearl slides and eyes. The strings are real horsehair, not synthetic hair. This provides the violin with its natural sound. Using synthetic hair on a violin bow will lead to reduced performance in quality.
It is a bow of some quality but is at a very affordable level. It has all the attributes of a bow that costs way more and has a nice balance and feels comfy. No matter the attributes of these costlier bows, it’s still good value. It’s definitely a lot better quality than you are likely to have bought with the violin and might be considered the best violin bow for the cash.
The price point is set realistically and is due to this fact worth considering if you are thinking of upgrading your violin bow.
- Well-made using good materials.
- Affordable price.
- The sound quality is not as good as some wooden violin bows.
3. Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber Violin Bow 1/2
This can be a budget range half-size Violin bow from Fiddlerman. It may be relatively inexpensive, but it has quite a lot of good qualities. It’s produced from a plain Carbon-Fiber composite and is the standard half-size 25 inches long and weighs simply 2.5 ounces. They’ve gone to great lengths to try to copy the curve of a few of the costly best violin bows which can suit some players.
The weight and balance of the violin bow, after all, are extremely important. This bow is lightweight and well-balanced without being perfect. We expect that this is the best violin bow that will best suit a beginner or improving player who wants to upgrade their bow. Maybe they’ve purchased a Cremona, Mendini, or Stentor violin, and it’s time to move up a level.
A nice bouncy action…
The build’s high quality is surprisingly good for such an affordable price and features a nice arch that can give a great bouncing action of the strings. Fully-lined copper-mounted Ebony frog. There’s a cowhide leather wrap. It has pure Mongolian horsehair and is made in China.
As we have already remarked, this can be a budget-level violin bow. It’s an upgrade from what is often supplied with a violin purchase. But in case you are expecting a high-quality bow, then you’ll be disappointed. You are not paying high-quality money, so it cannot be.
A nice upgrade…
That is purely an upgrade to what you may have been supplied with originally. Take a look at it as a progression through the stages as you would possibly if you upgraded the Violin itself. The sound is acceptable if a little scratchy at times, but it will almost certainly be an improvement.
- The build quality is quite good, featuring a nice arch design with decent materials.
- Affordable price.
- Some may want a higher level of performance and better quality.
4. Crescent Carbon Fiber Violin Bow 4/4
This carbon fiber bow from Crescent is a very budget model. Not a bow that’s likely to be considered the top-of-the-line best violin bow. Definitely not a bow for higher-level players or professionals, it’s aimed at those wishing to upgrade their first bow.
The bow is made from carbon fiber and has a round rather than an octagonal shape. That includes a gentle arch in the frame that many players admire as it could provide a little extra bounce from the strings. This violin bow is also well-balanced and weighs just two and a half ounces.
It’s a full-size bow and is 32 inches in length, which is quite long. And features smooth action and is, due to this fact, a good selection for a new player. It features an Abalone inlay on the frog and also has a bleached Mongolian Horsehair.
For a budget-level full-size violin bow, it’s good, and the performance level is kind of surprising. It produces excellent sound and plays comfortably.
Set at a price level that could be very affordable, this carbon-fiber violin bow 4/4 is unquestionably a step up in performance level. Made in China, it’s not the perfect violin bow you can find, but it’s still good worth for money.
- Good materials used in construction.
- Affordable price.
- Some will want higher quality.
5. Vio Music Full-size 4/4 Silver Winding Violin Bow
We all know it’s not even close to being the right reason for purchasing a violin bow, but please indulge us. This Vio Music violin full-size bow is a beautiful-looking piece of violin hardware. It’s a full-size bow and has been hand-made using a specific hard Brazilwood. That’s not the most expensive of woods used in violin bow manufacture. However, it’s still recognized as being appropriate for a decent-quality bow.
This Vio Music has high-quality Mongolian Horsehair, so the materials used are of excellent quality. It comes with an Ebony frog and has a silver/nickel winding with a golden mount. The screw can be gold-plated. It weighs just over three ounces and is well-balanced and, therefore, comfy to use.
Fleur de Lys…
The crowning glory is its Fleur de Lys motif. That is a motif that’s supposed to refer to life and perfection. It was adopted as an official symbol by the French monarchy sometime around the early middle ages.
Not quite sure why it’s on this bow, but it’s a beautiful addition. If it is alluding to its ”perfection” reference, that could be a little bit optimistic. While not being in any way perfect, it is a good bow for the cash.
It’s quite strong, and the wood provides it with that extra special feeling that’s sometimes missing with other materials. It performs quite well and has a pleasant response to the strings on the instrument. Plus it’s an excellent-looking violin bow.
It will not win too many awards for the best quality, but for the cash, though, it’s a decent buy. It’ll certainly be a vast improvement on any bow that was purchased as a package with a violin. And, dare we say it once more, it looks so much prettier. The price level is set at a really affordable level to encourage an upgrade.
- Well-made Brazilwood bow at an affordable price.
- Great looking violin bow.
- Care needs to be taken as wooden bows can sometimes warp in certain humidity levels.
6. VINGOBOW New 4/4 Size Carbon Fiber Violin Bow
This full-size violin bow is made of carbon fiber and has a great look to it. Some may argue that artificially made materials like carbon fiber and fiberglass don’t have the same feel as wooden bows. There’s a certain fact in that some might say, that there are benefits to such materials. The downside is that they are usually a bit stiffer. This can have an effect on the sound produced somewhat.
Black Mongolian horsehair…
Most bows are made of similar materials, but this Vingobow reveals a huge difference. It has black Mongolian horsehair, as an alternative to the standard plain. Fairly a shock when you first see it, but it is not dyed. It’s a natural color. So right here, the discussion starts.
Is it better than white Mongolian horsehair?
It’s definitely different. You’ll sometimes find it on the bows of Double bass players or Cellists. It’s coarse hair and grips the strings better. Especially the low, thicker strings. It does, though, make a much coarser sound. Some will favor it, others not.
We return to more traditional materials with the Ebony frog. It has a nickel-silver mount. It has a shell with a motif that resembles the French Fleur-De Lys but is actually a peacock.
Quality lightweight build…
They’ve certainly tried very hard with the build quality. It has a real leather grip with thread winding produced from nickel silver and a mother-of-pearl slide. It’s lightweight and well-built and an excellent choice.
At a time when replacing the hair on a bow costs more than the worth level on this item, it must be worth considering. It might be considered the best-worth violin bow out there.
- Good materials and nice playing action.
- Very affordable price and attractive-looking violin bow.
- Some may not like the black horsehair
7. Giuliani Brazilwood Violin Bow 4/4 (Full) Size
It is a full-size violin bow from Kennedy violins from the Antonio Guilliani company. It’s produced from Brazilwood and has a round designed shaft. Being a wooden bow, it’s a little heavier than other materials and weighs one pound. The wood has flexible qualities that allow it to maintain its strength.
Being flexible has plus points in the bounce and the way in which it responds to your playing style. It’s well balanced and so feels comfy even on the slightly higher weight. It’s fitted with Mongolian horsehair that has been bleached and has an Ebony frog that has a metal mount.
This violin bow has a real leather grip and silver winding. Including mother of pearl eyes and a bow, the slide provides it a nice styling. It’s an understated design with nothing of any great note to make it stand out from the group. Some will favor that. It’s a plain and easy but nevertheless attractive bow.
It does its talking with the way it plays and sounds and is another bow that will be considered the most effective violin bow for the money.
A full, open sound…
The hair texture may be very smooth, which inspires the player to create a full, open sound. For the price point, it’s well made and is another bow that’s excellent worth for money.
- Well made wooden bow with a nice understated design.
- Affordable price and a very nice action and sound.
- Some will prefer other materials than wood.
8. D Z Strad Brazilwood Violin Bow Model 200 (4/4 – Size)
We recently were in a position to review a Violin by D Z Strad and found it to be a good starter instrument. Let’s check out what they can produce with their best violin bows.
This D Z Strad violin bow is a full-size violin bow produced from selected Brazilwood. It has an octagonal stick rather than a round with an Ebony frog. It’s fitted with white bleached Mongolian horsehair. Some attractive features have been added, including an abalone slide and a Fleur-de-Lys inlay.
The grip is leather, and the screw piece has an eight-eye design. Similar to the slide, this is also given an abalone addition with the button.
A step-up in quality…
In case you are trying to take the quality of your bow up a level, this might be worth considering. Normally, the violin bow that comes with a starter violin may be very basic and sometimes not of the highest quality. It is going to suffice in the very early stages. However, as the player progresses, they might want to move to a better quality.
On the price level, this bow is a step in the correct direction. It provides a great high-quality build from high-quality materials and produces a great sound.
It’s handmade and is well balanced, and at six ounces is lightweight for a wooden bow. And has a medium to strong stiffness rating.
- Well-made with good materials.
- Produces a pleasant rounded sound.
- Some choose other materials than wood.
9. Violin Bow Carbon Fiber (4/4, Black)
Kmise has produced this black carbon-fiber bow for many who favor this material over wood. One of the big benefits that carbon fiber and other materials have over wood is that they aren’t affected by weather conditions. You’ll not always be capable to choose the humidity or temperature of the venue you might play in. It makes no difference to a carbon-fiber bow.
It’s full-size and is fitted with bleached Mongolian horsehair. It has a wooden Ebony frog with an abalone slide and also has a Parisien eye decoration.
Quick as a flash…
Specially designed to be lightweight at two and a half ounces, it has a standard length of 29 and a half inches. It’s well-balanced, so you are more likely to feel a quick response to the strings. While the feel of a carbon bow is different from wood; it’s still possible to feel the music by the bow. That is evident with this bow.
Kmise is a company with a great reputation for its work with stringed instruments. This bow is offered with its tradition of high-quality materials and workmanship. It’s set at a reasonable price level and is a good worth for the money.
Excellent upgrade for beginners…
For a young improver, it is a good choice when they need to improve the quality of their bow. All players reach a stage where their improvement will rely on their equipment. This bow will take them up a level from their first bow and take them to that critical improver stage.
- Nicely made at a really inexpensive price level.
- A beautiful bow is produced from good materials.
- Some will choose wooden construction.
10. Haoyue Carbon Fiber Handmade Violin Bow
Haoyue is a company that makes a range of violin bows in several formats and materials. They use high-grade wooden as well as Carbon-fiber.
This Haoyue bow is a full-size carbon-fiber product that’s durable and is going to last a decent time. It’s a straight bow design with no arch and weighs ten ounces. It’s a standard 30 inches in length and has a silver and nickel screw with a wooden Ebony frog. The weight is well-distributed, and the bow is well-balanced.
It’s fitted with bleached Mongolian horsehair, which is kind of standard with every bow at this level. And is attractively made with its Abalone slide and the Parisien eyes on the frog. It’s fitted with a leather grip. It comes with a fitted black textured case.
That is another bow that could be considered as the next step forward. The unique bow bought with a starter instrument is rarely of good quality. Upgrades are then inevitable for the improving player. Many customers choose carbon-fiber rods, however, at the end of the day, it’s a personal desire factor. There are positives for both carbon fiber and wooden rods.
Basic and practical…
This is a powerful-looking bow that’s devoid of any fancy design attributes. Plain and simple, it’s going to do the job.
It’s set at a really realistic price level, which takes the financial sting out of an upgrade. Unlikely to win any high-quality awards. It’s a good bow set at an attractive price.
- Well-made and attractive-looking bow with good materials.
- Good sounding upgrade at a reasonably priced value.
- Some will favor wooden violin bows.
Best Violin Bows for Professionals Buyer’s Guide
Changing Your Bow
Not as simple as it sounds. Whether it’s replacing an old bow or upgrading for a beginner, it is a vital decision. There are some things to think about because this can be an essential part. So what do you have to be taking a look at?
Weight & Balance
Obviously essential. Violinists say the best violin bow needs to be a natural extension of your arm. You’ll be able to stare at weights and factors forever. They’re all pretty similar, but it’s what feels best for you. Most will weigh somewhere between 2 and 4 ounces, but it’s more vital; it just feels right. And we would add, feels right not for one bowing style but for all of them.
The Shape Of The Bow
This can have an effect on its stiffness, which can have an effect on its sound. Most violin bows are made round. This makes them very supple and flexible. Some are made octagonal, which will probably be stiffer. A bow that is made too soft will struggle to provide clarity and attack when it’s needed.
This will sound like technical flaws in the playing. It’s the fault of the bow, not the player.
On the other side of the coin, a bow that’s too stiff is not going to allow the gentler nuances to be executed delicately. Bows will make a unique sound depending on these issues, and it requires a cautious ear to choose those differences.
Many professionals choose a round stick. For a student or beginner, a stiffer bow will most likely initially make life easier.
Wood or Something Else?
We might argue this point until we run out of Mongolian horses for a very long time, Pernambuco bows have been thought of as the highest of the shop since the 1700s. They’re stiff but additionally very sensitive and responsive.
Some manufacturers will claim that their artificial materials equal the sound of the Pernambuco bow, but they don’t. At this point in time, nothing can. They’re simply the perfect as someone once sang. That’s the reason they are so expensive.
If you need a wood bow, there are other less expensive woods, one being Brazilwood. This is generally used and is a good wood for bow manufacture. They don’t, though, give the same level of responsive feel or the stiffness of Pernambuco. On the price, you wouldn’t expect them to.
Carbon fiber and fiberglass are also well-liked nowadays. They are often very stiff and long-lasting and aren’t affected by weather or humidity. They’re also generally better at dealing with quite a lot of bow strokes.
What About The Horsehair?
So far as we all know, they don’t kill any horses to get the hair. We understand that the hair is taken from a deceased horse, but yes, it’s real. The best quality comes from a white stallion. Different horsehair is often bleached to make them look like it is white. Bleaching will weaken the hair and make it vulnerable to an excessive level of usage.
Black horsehair can also be an option. We reviewed one such bow. It’s coarser and rougher and produces a sharper tone. Not everyone likes that. In case you feel awkward with real horsehair, as many do, then try something else.
There are imitation synthetic materials that can be excellent. You can try Coruss instead of real horsehair. In case you prefer it as many do then, we are able to leave the horses alone. Not many can distinguish between the two for sound.
Something To Go With Your Bow?
In case you’re upgrading your bow, it may also be time for another upgrade. So please take a look at our reviews of the Best Student Violins, the Best Violin for Kids, and even the Best Electric Violins at the moment available.
When one of the bows you looked at costs more than ten times more than the others, then, in fact, it is going to be better. Most people could not afford and would not need that level of instrument. We will, therefore, rule it out of our decision. We have decided to choose one of the best violin bows for the money.
There are lots of bows at very near the same price level, so it’s not simple. All are very similar in materials and what they provide the upgrading student. However, we want a wooden bow that’s full-size, and we’d also prefer it to look attractive.