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  #1  
Old 01-20-2007, 12:21 AM
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Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
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Lightbulb Bows new and old..

Around 1973 I acquired a beautiful Sartory Bass bow (French). I used that Bow until I retired from playing in 1988 and sold it a few years later. It has been hard finding a replacement since I started back playing a few years ago.

Last year I was lucky enough to acquire both a Sue Lipkins Bow and a magnificent Bultitude Bow as well. Long story short, someone bought the Bultitude from me and I was left with just the Lipkins. Then, I find another Bultitude Bow as good or better then the last. Shortly after, the Lipkins gets sold to a friend that loved it as I was in Bultitude heaven and then, I get the Lipkins I have been waiting for since 2 years ago. Now, I have one of each again. I think I have my Sartory replaced with these two Bows so I can take a deep breath.

Have a look at the current Bows I have including some other Bows I have picked up over the last few years; http://www.kensmithbasses.com/doublebasses/bows/
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  #2  
Old 01-20-2007, 12:32 AM
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Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
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Lightbulb KSB Bows...

Last year I get an email from a Chinese Bow maker offering to supply me with Bows from his shop. I tell him I am not the easiest to please as I have personally owned and used Bows by Sartory, Morizot, Bisch, G.Villuame, Vitalie, Lipkins, Eibert, Bazin and Bultitude which were all great Bows. I told him my personal specs and he then offered to make me a sample.

A few weeks later the sample arrived and I could not believe this Bow came from China. The only other exception I have seen was a few handmade Bows from China in the hands of Symphony professionals that are one offs and I also bought 2 of the 4 Bows Sam Shen made in 1997 but he has not made any since.

I was curious to see if they could make other Bows as good so I took a chance and ordered only 10 Bows. They came in and were just as good. I gave them my comments for QC and then ordered 20 Bows. Again, as good as the last plus they listen! Then I ordered 50 Bows and again, all the tweaks and changes I requested were done! Now I take the plunge and get the 100 piece order that they required for a small discount and once again, a sigh of relief that I have Bows I can sell with confidence.

As soon as I have the time, I will update my KSB Bow page showing the changes as we no longer use white hair or wrapped silver on the grips. We have switched to all Black hair which is better for this grade Bow and imitation Whalebone Grips throughout.

here is the link; http://www.kensmithbasses.com/Double.../KSB_bows.html
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  #3  
Old 01-22-2007, 01:29 PM
Dwight McCartney Dwight McCartney is offline
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Default two questions

Is the grip the same thing as frog, or a wrap around the stick up from the frog?

Do you try out each of the bows when they come in? 100 bows at a time, whew.
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  #4  
Old 01-22-2007, 01:43 PM
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Smile Grip? Frog?

The Grip is what is wrapped around the Stick just forward of the Frog if that's what you are asking. The Frog is made from Ebony and we have used 3 different Grips on these Bows so far. The current Grip (imitation Whalebone) is the least troublesome of the three tried and the most comfortable as well.

I test EVERY Bow either when they come in, when they go out or both. I stamp Serial #s on every Bow, weigh them and record the model and weight in a book as well as add the customer name when sold or Dealer who bought them.
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Old 01-22-2007, 07:29 PM
Dwight McCartney Dwight McCartney is offline
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Default

Answered my quechins, thanks.
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  #6  
Old 03-09-2011, 12:46 PM
Amin Zarrinchang Amin Zarrinchang is offline
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Default New Bows or old Bows..?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Smith View Post
Around 1973 I acquired a beautiful Sartory Bass bow (French). I used that Bow until I retired from playing in 1988 and sold it a few years later. It has been hard finding a replacement since I started back playing a few years ago.

Last year I was lucky enough to acquire both a Sue Lipkins Bow and a magnificent Bultitude Bow as well. Long story short, someone bought the Bultitude from me and I was left with just the Lipkins. Then, I find another Bultitude Bow as good or better then the last. Shortly after, the Lipkins gets sold to a friend that loved it as I was in Bultitude heaven and then, I get the Lipkins I have been waiting for since 2 years ago. Now, I have one of each again. I think I have my Sartory replaced with these two Bows so I can take a deep breath.

Have a look at the current Bows I have including some other Bows I have picked up over the last few years; http://www.kensmithbasses.com/doublebasses/bows/
Hello everybody.

First of all, nice to meet you, I am new in the Forum..

I have a question for everybody, especially for Ken who has an incredible experience in fine new and old bows.

Do you prefer new bows or old bows?

Do you think old bows lose their skills during their life..?

Would you prefer the sweetness and the balance of an old bow or the grip and fastness of a new fine bow?

I know there wonderful old bows that are fast in response and have still so much power and great articulation, and new fine bows that have sweetness and colours in the tone, but which are your general opinions?

Then, a question for Ken who had the chance to perform on such a great French bow like an E.Sartory:
Which are your general opinions on that bow?
Do you think that sweetness in sound is not his first quality..? I mean that it helps a lot for agility and articulation and clearness, and has an important voice, but not the sweetness of bows with a different kind of curve..(like a Peccatte Style - curve..)

I am really curious about a commentary about that.. I only tried once a Sartory, and did not have the chance to own one for a long time, so I can not judge properly..
My first sensation was like driving a Ferrari... incredible for fast and hard to articulate passages (orchestral excerpts, or certain solo repertoire) .. it did it so easy..!
But is it also a sweet sounding bow? Or did you miss something in sensitivity in his last half..?
And did its age affect in some ways the use of the bow..?
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and opinions.

All the best

amin
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  #7  
Old 03-09-2011, 02:24 PM
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Cool humm..

Not all bows are great. They make bows to make money too, then and now alike.

I have one Sartory and maybe saw one other bow by him. Mine made life easy. If I had the skill to play someting, the bow was part of my hand, period. No effort to play IF I could play the part. I don't remember the weight or length. I never weighed the grams liek I do now with every bow and measure them. back then, I just played and liked or didn't like the bow.

For the other old makers I too have little experience playing one of this or that here and there.

My Lipkins copy was not my favorite bow the first day. It was just MY bow and I have to not only get used to it BUT, the Bow it self needed to break in. As a bow ages, the stick/wood comes alive or rather wakes up like a sleeping beauty. A good bow does. Some bad ones might be your worst nightmare but that will be known in the first few strokes.

This Lipkins of mine has been commented by many as the best Lipkins they have every played and I have turned down quite a sum for it on more than one occasion.

New or old, good is good. new needs to break in and old needs to be cared for. Grips, tips and hair can be changed. The main bow components stay forever. Personally, I prefer less hair and not new hair. maybe I am just used to the old rosined aged hair or, I like using a lot of rosin. I never 'love' a newly re-haired bow. After breaking 10-20 hairs out, the bow seems better to me or perhaps easier play and better sounding in my hands.
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  #8  
Old 03-11-2011, 07:19 AM
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Thomas Erickson Thomas Erickson is offline
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Default

I think the question of whether bows actually get better with age is an interesting one. I tend to think they don't really get "better" so much as they just, well, change. And, the good bows stick around (so to speak) while the rest go wherever it is that all the bad music gear goes to rot and die.

It seems to me like an old bow and a new one can both be good and even very similar in performance, yet the old one will still have a different "vibe" - it will feel and sound older. Of course I haven't done any extensive blindfolded studies, but when I was "bow shopping" I did play a pretty fair number of bows, all in the "decent" and better range. Interesting to note that the bow I ultimately chose was old and clearly had seen a lot of use over the years (it belonged, at one point, to an institution of some sort); it was not as "fine" a bow as some of the newer choices I narrowed down to and perhaps didn't even have quite the technical performance - but, it had the mojo that made it, like Ken said, disappear or become part of my arm/hand.

To me, in a bow or a bass either one, that "mojo" is the most important thing. It doesn't matter how great the bow performs or how sweet the bass sounds - the best music is going to come from the one that works!
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:24 AM
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Thomas Erickson Thomas Erickson is offline
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Default hair age

Ken -

How often do you get a bow (one that you're using all the time) rehaired? Do you go by how much playing it sees, or by time?

I don't love new hair either, but after a few long sessions the improvement over the old hair is always nice IMO. But then, I'm a hypocrite - I always tell people to get their bows rehaired and then let mine slide, even though I know better. Doesn't help that I can't find somebody who does rehairs just the way I like and/or has hair I like. Did I mention I'm picky?
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  #10  
Old 02-25-2014, 03:11 PM
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Cool Im late, sorry..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Erickson View Post
Ken -

How often do you get a bow (one that you're using all the time) rehaired? Do you go by how much playing it sees, or by time?

I don't love new hair either, but after a few long sessions the improvement over the old hair is always nice IMO. But then, I'm a hypocrite - I always tell people to get their bows rehaired and then let mine slide, even though I know better. Doesn't help that I can't find somebody who does rehairs just the way I like and/or has hair I like. Did I mention I'm picky?
I totally missed this post/question. For me, I usually get a bow re-haired when it no longer works. Probably longer than some would wait but if I am using it, I just don't like letting it go sometimes.
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