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Old 06-13-2010, 01:38 AM
Justin Leonard Justin Leonard is offline
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Default Bow hair thickness

How does the thickness of the ribbon of hair affect the sound drawn in terms of loudness and affect of short attacks clarity. I don’t mean width I mean literally how much hair has what effect. Please do not rant about the hairs color or quality, or the stick weight, distribution or etc.; or the instrument or strings. only the thickness of the hair. ie: a thin amount of hair -vs- a thick amount of hair

change of mind, responses can include how they sound on bel cantos GDA or Helicore orchestral ext E strings.

Last edited by Justin Leonard; 06-13-2010 at 02:16 AM. Reason: changed mind on string choice
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Old 06-13-2010, 11:08 AM
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Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
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Lightbulb ??

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Originally Posted by Justin Leonard View Post
How does the thickness of the ribbon of hair affect the sound drawn in terms of loudness and affect of short attacks clarity. I donít mean width I mean literally how much hair has what effect. Please do not rant about the hairs color or quality, or the stick weight, distribution or etc.; or the instrument or strings. only the thickness of the hair. ie: a thin amount of hair -vs- a thick amount of hair

change of mind, responses can include how they sound on bel cantos GDA or Helicore orchestral ext E strings.
Thickness of the ribbon across it's width? I thought it was one hair per string going across the ribbon. I am not totally sure what you are saying, sorry.

By more hair we mean closest to a full ribbon and by less, we mean hairs have broken off. When the ribbon is down to 3/4 or less of its original width, it has usually already lost its grip to hold rosin and/or become dried out or brittle.

Sometimes when I have a bow re-haired, I don't like it as much as when it was down 10-20% and nicely broken in.

Too much hair if uneven at all across the ribbon can sound scratchy. As the loose ones break, the sound gets cleaner.

Since I am allowed to say how they sound on bel cantos GDA or Helicore orchestral ext E strings I must say I am NOT a fan of Helicore strings. Mixing them with smooth Belcantos I can't see but without the Extension E/C Belcanto I can see that the regular E might be too soft for those basses that are weak below the A. On that note, I don't think it matters what the strings are. Good haird bows are good haired bows period. Some bows work better on some basses so don't ignore that fact.

Now, about the hairs color or quality, or the stick weight, distribution you will have to come for a lesson as this is not totally free information.

When you post a question here, be prepared to see the answers stray with the minds of those who post. Limiting how people can talk or express themselves might result in less replies. In this case so far it was zero before I came in.

I have a Bow I just got and it has Black hair.

The Stick is on the lighter side but grabs well because of the quality of the stick and not the craftsmanship of the bow so much in my opinion.

I have another Bow of good quality that grabbed better before it was re-haired when it had older hair with only 3/4s of its ribbon left. Now it needs to be played in again, the hair, not the stick.

Some bows grab better on some basses depending on the string tension and bass quality believe it or not. Also, wood has its own sound and frequencies. If you don't believe me, drop two different basses down the stairs, one at a time of course and see if they sound the same. Record the sounds and then do a blindfold test later on see if you or anyone one else can guess which bass is which as they tumble down the stairs self-destructing. Then, you can hear all of the wood in each bass.

Was that allowed or off topic to your question?

Ok, time to walk the dog. He's waiting and I need to put my shoes on to take him out.
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Old 06-13-2010, 12:01 PM
Justin Leonard Justin Leonard is offline
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Default thanks ken

Thanks Ken that pretty close to what i was asking. I'm not sure how to clarify what i mean by amount of hair. I guess its more in regards to say ounces of hair; or like a whole hank of hair or most of the hank. Im just being curious about others experiences with what sound difference they notice but you've pretty much answered the question. Sorry to anybody whom my restrictions may have limited as it will always be a combination of things for our instrument (any instrument really) and how the player uses them.
Off to practice for summer pops concert. Cirque de Symphonie
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Old 06-13-2010, 02:51 PM
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Thumbs up ok...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Leonard View Post
Thanks Ken that pretty close to what i was asking. I'm not sure how to clarify what i mean by amount of hair. I guess its more in regards to say ounces of hair; or like a whole hank of hair or most of the hank. Im just being curious about others experiences with what sound difference they notice but you've pretty much answered the question. Sorry to anybody whom my restrictions may have limited as it will always be a combination of things for our instrument (any instrument really) and how the player uses them.
Off to practice for summer pops concert. Cirque de Symphonie
Also remember that Bows themselves vary in width at the Tip and Frog. The width of the ribbon of hair used in a re-hair has to match the width of the Bow. Too much or too little will not work. Like fitting shoes for your feet. Must be the right size. Then, you have to break them in.

With new re-hairs you have to be patient and let the hair and re-hair job as well adjust and break in. With new bows, even more so as the Bow/stick has to mature just like a bass does. Wood is wood and needs its time. Bow hair wears and should be changed out just like strings. Replace as needed.

We all need to practice more. That's what I am doing right now between messages. Just went thru a Bach Cello Suite II with bow and Pizz a few times as a warm up. Then on to the Trout. A few scales and a LOT of doodling in between. Help to break up the boredom. I am more of a live player than a solo practice person so I need whatever it takes to stay focused when alone in a room with a bass.
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