Ken's Corner (Bass Forums Sponsored By KSB)

Go Back   Ken's Corner (Bass Forums Sponsored By KSB) > Double Basses > Bows (and Rosin etc)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-03-2007, 12:05 AM
Michael Holden Michael Holden is offline
Posting Member
 
Join Date: 02-11-2007
Location: Stuart, FLorida
Posts: 37
Michael Holden is on a distinguished road
Default bow options

Hey guys I'm not really shopping persey, just being "aware" of bows that are out there. Right now I'm using an Upton workshop French bow. I'm looking to see what kind of upgrades are out there. Right now I have two in mine a Tom Owen French bow, and a Prochownik French bow. I've noticed Owen's bows are <$1,000. The Prochownik bows are $1,200+. My instructor , who is very knowledgable and helpful recommended the Prochownik, but I've noticed the reviews and comments for the Prochownik have been "Great practice bow, great Student bow" yet the same reviews have been given for the Owen's bow.
Is the Prochownik really that much better then the Tom Owens that it is worth spending an extra $700-$1,100. Or is the Tom Owen bow just as good, just a much better deal.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03-03-2007, 07:19 AM
Ken Smith's Avatar
Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
Bassist, Luthier & Admin
 
Join Date: 01-18-2007
Location: Perkasie, PA
Posts: 4,705
Ken Smith is on a distinguished road
Lightbulb $700-1200...?

With the prices or some makers like Lipkins, Fuchs, Hudson and Kolstein to name a few for Handmade Bows, I have to doubt that the Bows in the $700-$1200 range could be made by hand. First off, did you know that 80% of the worlds Bows today are made in China, all grades of them? Did you know that you can pay $100-$600 for a Chinese Brazilwood Bow that may cost a difference of only $10-$20 to make is that much?

I know the Bow you have and know who supplies Upton as they have that Bow made stripped down a bit but hey, that's business.

A customer comes to buy a Bass from me one day and pulls out is Bow. I looked at the name and it was stamped 'UPTON'.

First, I gave him one of our Brazilwood 'Napoli' model Bows ($200. list) and he flipped. Night and day he told me and this Bow is from the exact same shop as Upton's except we don't strip down the fittings. When you do that, the Chinese also strip down the grade of wood they give you. I also ordered a lower model Bow as a sample and it was as least as good as the Upton and sold it for $80. to a student in the area. Still, I decided NOT to sell or carry anything other than quality grade and stuck with the better Brazilwood grade they offered. Still, my lower grade Bow had more fittings than the Upton Bow with a laminated tip, inlaid Frog and 3-pc screw.

Next, I handed the customer our 'Loveri' model Pernambuco Bow ($400. list) which was our middle grade Bow and it was even sweeter sounding but he mentioned "better, but not as much difference as the first two had, the Upton and Napoli". Last, I handed him a 'C.Loveri' model Bow ($600. list) and said THIS is the best by far of all of them and could notice the sound and feel difference between the two Pernambuco models. He bought that one with his Corsini model Bass purchase.

At one of the Concerts I played last year I brought 3 of the new C.Loveri model Bows to show the other two guys in my section subbing from Philly as it was an extra concert and none of the regular players were able to make it. They each picked a Bow to try, switched at the intermission as I played the 3rd bow not chosen each time myself and they each bought the Bow they used the second half. One of them also teaches privately and sent some of his students to me with instructions to get the C.Loveri model and also commented on one occasion to the student "this is even better than the one I got".

The Bow you mention that costs only $700. is also sold thru shops for that price. Also, each shop has to make some money to make it worth their while and so does the guy whos name is on the Bow. Figure that in realistically and then think, how could this be Possible when a Lipkins shipping today ordered over 2 years ago costs 5k..huh? How much is that $700. Bow really worth then and is it al all possible it is handmade by the guy who's name is on the Bow?

Now, Sue Lipkins is at the top of her class but still, a Reid Hudson handmade Bow goes for about $3500 or more so how could a Bow for $700 be made by hand in North America? Even a commercial Frog is $75 wholesale and the Stick could be $200. Sue and some others make everything including the Frog which looks almost too good to be true that a Human could do such great work but Sue Lipkins has the 'magic'.

I would be suspect of Bows in the range you are shopping and look to Bows half that price for comparison. I have played on Morizot Bows costing 6k that were not as good as some of the C.Loveri models. A Morizot is NOT in the class of a Sartory or Peccatte but is an old French Bow. It's was a bigger shop that made them rather than a handmade master bow like a Sartory which today is 10-15k and worth every penny.

Going from a Bow like the one you have to the ones you mention should be better but that price may not get you much more if anything than a C.Loveri grade Bow . A good or even average Bow should play evenly from the Frog to the Tip. IF you have to press down to make the bow play the second half or last quarter by the Tip, DON'T buy it! Now, considering you have good bowing strings on a decently set-up Bass and some type of legit bowing technique you should be able to judge this. If not or you are not sure, have your teacher help you choose the Bow.

I know this is a long post here but unless you are a professional Bow player or a well trained one, you need to learn this stuff.

A couple of years ago someone was selling a well known modern French Bow that sells for almost 4k new. This was going for about $2800. used, a few years old or so. Knowing who I was, he shipped my the Bow to try out as I was very interested to buy a Bow by this maker. I played it for a few days and always came up with the same conclusion. 'I have to press down the Bow to make it sound the last quarter of the stick towards the Top. This is one of the things I just mentioned to watch out for. When I mentioned this to the seller he commented that he agreed and was one of the reasons he was selling the Bow. I shipped it back as even at half the price (if I would have insulted him which I didn't) I just didn't want the Bow, period. By the way, I tested it on some very expensive classic Orchestra Basses I own and I have fairly good Bow technique to it 'was' the Bow that was the problem and not me or my equipment.

So, in closing here make sure you are aware of what they are selling you. Even if the Bow comes from Germany, France or Brazil it still could be a Chinese Bow. UPS ships worldwide and China has their phone number not to mention the cheapest labor in the world!!

A fancy name on a Chinese Bow is just that. Judge the Bow for what it can do and not for the name. The reason I used non-Bow makers' names on our line of Bows was to make sure we would not be mistaken for a real Sartory or in the case of the German models a Pfretzschner.

We also have some other Fine Bows available hitting your range and up to 5k or so. My Bultitude is NOT for Sale just in case you were wondering. If interested, call me during the week at the office, email me there thru my website or just PM me here. The Eibert Sartory model and the Old French bow will be within your range. The Eibert goes for about double but I am no longer using that Bow and will sell it at a great loss. I just bought another Lipkins about 10 years old and have a new one coming so I will let the Eibert Sartory go which was made personally for me about 5 years ago. The Old French is a lighter bow but grabs the string great just like a Fetique does which average in the 120s grams... Contact me.. and, ask as many questions as you need to regardless of who the seller is. A good Bow is just as important as a good Bass and can make a huge difference.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-03-2007, 01:07 PM
Michael Holden Michael Holden is offline
Posting Member
 
Join Date: 02-11-2007
Location: Stuart, FLorida
Posts: 37
Michael Holden is on a distinguished road
Default

Thanks for all the information Ken! I sent you a PM
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-05-2007, 07:48 PM
Michael Holden Michael Holden is offline
Posting Member
 
Join Date: 02-11-2007
Location: Stuart, FLorida
Posts: 37
Michael Holden is on a distinguished road
Default

Hey Guys, What's the deal with Peasold? I gave them a call and talked to a guy that speaks English. They handmake all their bows in house (in Germany) and it is either made by a master bowmaker or reviewed and approved by him. That being said, why are their prices so reasonable? A Pernambuco stick, silver hardware, and highly figured abalone slide, eye and button lists at only $1,068.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-05-2007, 08:15 PM
Ken Smith's Avatar
Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
Bassist, Luthier & Admin
 
Join Date: 01-18-2007
Location: Perkasie, PA
Posts: 4,705
Ken Smith is on a distinguished road
Exclamation Lists at?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Holden View Post
Hey Guys, What's the deal with Peasold? I gave them a call and talked to a guy that speaks English. They handmake all their bows in house (in Germany) and it is either made by a master bowmaker or reviewed and approved by him. That being said, why are their prices so reasonable? A Pernambuco stick, silver hardware, and highly figured abalone slide, eye and button lists at only $1,068.
So, if it Lists at $1068. what does a Dealer pay wholesale after a distributor gets his cut? How much does Paesold actually collect for the Bow themselves?

Go over to West Germany and see if you can watch someone there actually making an entire Bow. Then, go over to the Pfretzschner Shop and watch them.

List is not usually Street Price. The Street can be 20-40% lower. Then figure the Dealer is making 30-40% on average to stay in business and then YOU do the math.

So, my top Bows LIST for $800, Street is $600 and Discounted we sell them for $480. What does that mean? Less middle men I think! I doub't any of the USA Dealers actually buy direct from the Factory. Paesold is sold thru distributors in USA. Now, do not doubt the possibility that the can come from China by way of Germany.

The Last time I was in Germany, the costs were somewhat equal to here. Also, the Euro is now at about $1.31 so they are doing very well if they are buying from China. If the Dollar was equal to the Euro now, the List would only be about $815. and thats going thru a distributor and then to a Dealer and then to you.

So, all things being equal, the List is actually higher for the dealer to make money. If my top Bows were sold that way, the LIST would be $1,200.

Judge a Bow by the Bow and not by the List business and remember to count all the people making money along the way. Then think to yourself 'can this be true'? If it's too good to be true, it probably isn't!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-05-2007, 08:47 PM
Michael Holden Michael Holden is offline
Posting Member
 
Join Date: 02-11-2007
Location: Stuart, FLorida
Posts: 37
Michael Holden is on a distinguished road
Default

Yea I was actually asking about the quality of their work... not their business practices.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-05-2007, 09:01 PM
Ken Smith's Avatar
Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
Bassist, Luthier & Admin
 
Join Date: 01-18-2007
Location: Perkasie, PA
Posts: 4,705
Ken Smith is on a distinguished road
Lightbulb Quality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Holden View Post
Yea I was actually asking about the quality of their work... not their business practices.
The Quality of Whos work? That's my point. We don't actually know who is making them. Companies will go to great lengths to protect their sources. I do not doubt that a large US Distributor does not or cannot import Bows directly from China contracted by Germany.

Asain companies drop ship as well to cut down on double shipping costs.

Find out from Pfretzschner how much their Bows cost and in Italy, call Lucchi who I know hand makes their Bows. The run $2500-$4500 from what I have seen and that's from Lucchi directly to the Bass shop, not thru a distributor.

If a Paesold 'handmade in Germany' can be 'double' wholesaled and still LIST for only $1068., then I have a Bridge in Brooklyn for sale..

I think if the Quality was anything other than average for a Student grade Bow, we would hear more about them.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-05-2007, 09:29 PM
Michael Holden Michael Holden is offline
Posting Member
 
Join Date: 02-11-2007
Location: Stuart, FLorida
Posts: 37
Michael Holden is on a distinguished road
Default

I understand what you're saying. That's why I called to make sure they list Eastmans as a distributor... so I called them they said they are Handmade in Germany... but they also sounded like they new less than I did so I wasn't sure of their info... so I went right to the source... Paesold told me that they personally in their shop... make their bows.. in Germany... they are not in Asia.. their bows never touch Asian soil.
and since I can't find a distributor for Marco Raposo bows, and on his website it doesn't look like you can purchase straight form him... Paesold may be a decent choice.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-06-2007, 11:44 AM
Anselm Hauke's Avatar
Anselm Hauke Anselm Hauke is offline
Senior Posting Member
 
Join Date: 02-05-2007
Location: Bremen, Germany
Posts: 737
Anselm Hauke is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Holden View Post
Yea I was actually asking about the quality of their work... not their business practices.
my first bow was a paesold. i paid 600 DM (300€ now) 25 years ago.
i used the bow through my music-study and several years working fulltime in professional opera/symphony-orchestras.
i have also some other bows (kurt dölling/albert nürnberger/arcus) but the paesold did the job always good. i never heard complaints about the bow from my colleagues, only about the bow-user

Last edited by Anselm Hauke; 03-06-2007 at 11:51 AM. Reason: my miserable english ;-)
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-07-2007, 10:48 AM
Michael Holden Michael Holden is offline
Posting Member
 
Join Date: 02-11-2007
Location: Stuart, FLorida
Posts: 37
Michael Holden is on a distinguished road
Default

Hey Guys, I'm trying to find out some info on a bowmaker named Horst John. Does anybody have any info?
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-08-2007, 04:20 PM
Michael Holden Michael Holden is offline
Posting Member
 
Join Date: 02-11-2007
Location: Stuart, FLorida
Posts: 37
Michael Holden is on a distinguished road
Default

I actually just found out. Horst John bows also go by John Brasil. Any info on them?
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 02-15-2008, 09:03 PM
Charles Stark Charles Stark is offline
Senior Posting Member
 
Join Date: 01-12-2008
Location: .
Posts: 275
Charles Stark is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Smith View Post
With the prices or some makers like Lipkins, Fuchs, Hudson and Kolstein to name a few for Handmade Bows, I have to doubt that the Bows in the $700-$1200 range could be made by hand.
Prochownik's are around $1500.00 and they're completely hand made by Mike himself. They're good sounding bows, very light and very clean with no cosmetic frills. You actually can't get better for the money if you're looking for JUST a bow, no frills, no fanciness. I also know many professionals who use them, so I wouldn't say they're a student bow just because they cost a 1/4 the price of a Lipkins.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:53 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2007 - Ken Smith Basses, LTD. (All Rights Reserved)