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I am just starting to learn cello - I am 66 and retired and I started 3 months ago, so I have limited experience to compare to this. I also can not compare this to any other low price carbon fiber bow. I can compare it to my "student/starter" Brazilwood bow that came with my rental, and the only thing I can say is the makers of the brazil wood bow should be arrested for selling that as a cello bow. This bow is so far beyond that, even in my limited experience. It is smooth when pulled over the strings, and yet I can feel it grab. The tone is very full and mellow. I am extremely happy with this bow. My luthier wants me to try a JonPaul Avanti, and has ordered one for me to "trial". He believes I will be much happier with it. Well, it is going to have a high bar to compare to this Fiddlerman CF Bow.
I have a blog where I am detailing my progress learning to play the cello and I will be posting a full detailed review of this bow within about a week.
EDIT: I have been using this bow (and my new Codabow Diamond) for about a year now, and I have made a couple videos to show the to playing a simple study for comparison of tone. Tone is only one aspect of a bow, and is not enough to judge a bow, but the others articulation, balance, etc, are difficult to demonstrate and very personal.
I am still very happy and can recommend this bow if you want an inexpensive bow to start with:
I do love this bow. I was very impressed by the quality and at this price point it completely shines.
I've been playing cello for a long time, sheesh 25 years now and I went to a violin shop to try bows. I ended up playing wood and carbon fiber and took a much more expensive carbon fiber bow to play/test. I liked it a lot but I am...er... budgety so I ordered this to be able to compare.
This bow has a darker, more muted sound than my wood bow, for sure. For me that was lovely and perfect, because my cello has a very bright resonance, which i love, and the... i wouldn't even call it damping... the... darker overtones really worked nicely. In all honesty the tone was basically indistinguishable from the fancier (more expensive) carbon fiber bow I played. I even did semi-scientific recording tests to see if anyone could hear any difference at all. No difference in tone.
This bow feels chunkier (slightly heavy) but is by no means "cheap" heavy. It just isn't an ultra lightweight bow. I have played ultra light weight bows... I don't really like them. So, again, super subjective stuff here.
Lastly the hair is nice and thick and has a beautiful luscious sound, you get that classic very subtle whoosh sound when you change bow directions. I haven't played with a fully haired bow in a long time so it has been heaven.
Ok actually lastly I play a lot a lot of the time and I semi-often play shows in loud venues. Certainly if you need a backup bow or a gig bow this will more than fit the bill. Having destroyed a couple bows playing in clubs when the monitor volume was too low (my rock gigs, not classical heh ;) I can say this would hold up quite well (kind of a general statement re: carbon fiber). Oh and lastly this is a composite I believe, hence the extra weight (right?).
I am a beginning cellist. I purchased this based on the outstanding Amazon reviews. I personally didn't feel it was any better than the fiberglass bow my cello came with. I contacted Michael at Fiddlerman and he very graciously sent me a braided carbon fiber bow that is not listed on Amazon to try since I was looking for something lighter (the regular carbon fiber bow weighed 82 grams, the braided was 77). I am VERY happy with the braided carbon fiber bow. If you are looking for a carbon fiber bow, recommend contacting Michael and asking about pricing for the braided carbon fiber.
This bow by all accounts is a good casual bow - great price point for reasonable sound and quality. The hair length is perfect (just a few mm between frog and pad when at a tension I find comfortable), the bow seems moderately well-balanced, and the mother of pearl-look inlays on the frog are a nice touch. But! The adhesive the pad was secured to the stick with was hastily applied and there is glue leaking out of both ends of the pad. Not the end of the world - except it becomes sticky when you rest your thumb on it. Further, The winding is covered by a plastic wrapper that has trapped some of this glue underneath it along with dirt or dust, giving an otherwise elegant bow a sloppy, cheap appearance.
I really want to love this bow, but it’s really disheartening to see what should be a great bow marred by careless finishings.
Over all, this is a very nice bow. It's a little heavier and less responsive than the bow I've used for the past 35 years, but that one was recently appraised at several thousands of dollars, not $80! We purchased this bow for my husband who is taking up cello as an adult, and it definitely meets his needs. When he has been playing for a while, and can actually judge how a bow responds to his style, we might look at getting him a wood one or a lighter carbon fiber one. For now, it will serve him well for at least a couple years, if not become his lifetime bow. Certainly can't complain about the cost! Perfect for beginners, or even as a step up bow, or one to take to summer pops concerts on those blistering hot afternoons when you just don't want to fry your good bow. We didn't try any of the other carbon fiber bows, so I can't say if another $300-500 would have made a big difference, but I can't imagine for a beginner or even an intermediate player it would.
Very nice bow! Have 2 expensive carbon fiber bows (Jon Paul) and this one is comparable. Weight is a little heavier but acceptable, good balance, nice hair job! Plays great! I love carbon fiber every time I a friend breaks off the tip of their wooden bow. These things are practically indestructible!
Nice bow. It is the first bow I have bought since I got my cello/bow combo. I have not played long enough to have a seasoned opinion, but I definitely feel like I got good value for my money, no doubt about that.
I did a weight comparison of this bow with my original, generic 'Brazil Wood' bow: Fiddlerman weight = 82 g, 32 g at the tip and 55g at the frog. Generic Brazil wood = 74 g, 25 g at the tip and 51g at the frog. The weights don't add up precisely, because I was not able to measure exactly at the tip or frog, but close. The center of gravity of the Fiddlerman is 10.5 inches from the end of the frog The center of gravity of the Brazil wood is 9 5/8" from the end of the frog. The Fiddlerman is definitely much stiffer. and is well appointed. NOTE: I weighed some other cello bows to see how the Fiddlerman compares by weight. Here are the weights I got: 83g, 77g, 79g, 82g. So the Fiddlerman is about in the middle by weight.
I had the bow for a week by now. It is easy to play with warm sound. The quality of the bow is good for its price. No complaint. However, I need to point out two characteristics of the bow that may influence your purchasing decision. First of all, it is a bit on the heavy side. The bow I got weights 82 gram. The balance point is a bit further toward the tip. Also, the bow is more flexible than my current bow. I feel it is more bouncy and I have the tendency to over-tighten the hair to get the tension I like.
I contacted the seller. Alex from the Fiddlerman gladly offered me a free return and exchange for a new weaved bow. The weave bow is a new product. It should weigh 80 gram and is stiffer. I only have to pay for the price difference between the two products. Excellent service from the Fiddlerman! Highly recommended.
I needed a new back up bow, and I had never owned a carbon fiber bow and this one seemed reasonably priced while having decent reviews. It came in a sturdy box, and after rosining up I gave it a whirl. The sound was smoother but softer than my regular pernambuco bow. It was hard to project when I got to those more aggressive passages. However, it handles softer more legato passages with ease. It's slightly longer than my other bow, which is nice for getting through those longer phrases or when a conductor is really milking that fermata. One last thing, the hairs did start to fall out right away. After a 30 minutes of playing two came out, and pretty much every time I play I lose another. It's definitely not my go to bow for performances, but still a decent bow for the price.