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JD
Would love some comments from my esteemed VL family..... about to make a bow purchase.  Recently demo'd a bunch of bows....under 1k price point....mostly middle of that.  REALLY liked the feel and smooth sound of the Codabows.  I have read an article on Codabows that rates the NX as most forgiving....SX as forgiving, yet better sound, and GX as not forgiving to the less skilled but best tone.  I dont find too much difference in the forgiving factor...and I have a lot to forgive! ::)  but i do appreciate the GX tone quite a bit more.....it just may be that I am not good enough to rate them well....but I know it absolutely has a richer sound.  It is a lot for my budget, but if I like the sound better...I will practice more....and sound better....and practice more....  here's where I would love some guidance.....would a bow touted as "professional"  be a wrong choice and hold me back some how from the naturale progression of development?  Or, if I seem to be able to handle it....is it something I can learn to appreciate even more as I progress.  I always heard it said you should buy the best equipment you can afford....especially bow.  I was not a believer in how much difference a bow can make until now....it IS an instrument unto itself as Rowell has said.  I know Joe P. like the SX....and that bow, like the NX model does seem to glide a bit better....but, boy the GX for my ears really added some depth.  Someday I will return to pernambuco....but for now these bows sound the best for the price range I am at now.  a big thanks in advance for any guidance I consider while making a decision.

Couple of details:
Wanted to upgrade violin first, but did not find the right one yet...and discovered Codabows, especially GX, GREATLY improved the tone of my instrument.  

If a bow can improve my tone, maybe I will hold off on upgrading instrument for a while.

Played Codas on a couple of trial violins and it seems to improve all instruments....so maybe not as much worry that when I do upgrade my violin, the bow wont be right for it?

Want a bow I won't grow out of fast....like the "too light weight" entry level pernambuco bow I bought last year.


JD
11 Responses
Posted: April 29, 2013
Last Comment: May 1, 2013
Replies

JD
Posted: May 1, 2013
Everyone, thanks for all the great comments.  On day six of my bow trial from Shar..... still liking the Codabow Diamond GX the best....and the weight has seemed to improve my technique some for many days now (hopefully that sticks).      Tried to look up comments from Laurie Niles as Diane suggested, but did not have any luck....have seen some postings on other sites, however.  The GX bow I have has some cosmetic issues, so for that price I asked Shar to sent me couple others to try (GX model) as I have read (backed up by a call to Codabow) that each bow my vary slightly due to frog being genuine ebony with different weights, etc.  

Beth, thanks for the encouragement to follow my passion about this bow....wow, surprising that parents want their budding violinist to "suffer" through bad equipment.....their version of suffering for art....?  we adult student do know of that....LOL

Did not (have not) tried Carbondix.... but many Pernambuco, Cadenza, Codabow Prodigy, Joule, and three diamond series NX, SX, GX.  Joe, I can understand why you like SX....I did too.  Tricia, glad to hear you still like your GX.  Diane said omething interesting about your bow being able to teach you some new things....Already I have felt some of that....but did not know how to put it into words until I read Diane's comment.

I am not quick to choose on pricey stuff....so I will no doubt take this trial to the maximum time limit  :-)



Diane in SOCAL
Posted: May 1, 2013
Hi Andres and JD...here's some discussion from Laurie Niles site...the violinist.com
on the Carbondix bows...both for violin and viola.

Carbondix CF bow - it's rather good! - Violinist.com

www.violinist.com/discussion/response.cfm?ID=5305
Oct 19, 2004 – I just bought a new Carbondix CF bow for 130$, and I'm really pleased with it comparing to my old cheap bow, which came with my violin outfit.

This might be a good bow for some folks who want to upgrade to a bow  that is better than the one that came with the violin outfit they bought.  Also try a bow out first...ask to have it for a trial period before purchase...if a dealer or shop will not allow that...find another that will.  Have a great day and stay tuned.
Diane

Andreas
Posted: May 1, 2013
Thx Diane :) The prices I looked up are for the viola-version of the bows :). I think its better to wait until I really can afford such a bow before trying it although I´m really curious about the difference... I´m afraid the Dörfler will be degraded as a growing aid for my tomatoes ;)))
JD did you try bows from Carbondix too? Or Diane or someone else have one? They have a price range from 50 to 350€... would be interesting to know the difference to the Codabows :)


Diane in SOCAL
Posted: April 30, 2013
Hi Andres....a bow and viola have to work together..are synergistic, to get the best possible tone.  Your best bet would be to try a Coda Diamond with your instrument, (Viola bow),  SX or  GX and HEAR and FEEL what tone they pull, you do that  with you bowing arm as well...:>).  You'll  have to try it out with your instrument for a few days to know the essence of how it plays in your hand as well as how it sounds on your viola. I would have a teacher eval it as well if your going to spend that type of money on a bow. I would discourage anyone from just buying a bow that you have not had time to evaluate with your instrument.
Remember, a viola bow is alot heavier than a violin bow so you would need to try out one that is specific for a viola.  You might look up Coda Bows on the internet and send them an email to find out a string shop near you in Germany where you could try one in your own home and with your teacher for more advanced technique...I say that because you want a bow that will teach you new tricks....LOL. 
Diane in SoCal

Andreas
Posted: April 30, 2013
Very interesting discussion... I wonder if would make a huge difference from my bow to a Diamond Codabow. My Dörfler was about 270€ / 350$ when I bought it... in comparison the Diamond SX costs around 500€ / 650$ and the Diamond GX 690€ / 900$ here in Germany :/  What do you think about the difference in tone and playing??

Patricia
Posted: April 29, 2013

Hi JD:

I have some good as well as easy on the pocket items and I can tell you that, even an inexpert like me, can notice the huge difference. I have a CodaBow Diamond GX and I love it. It is registered with my name and address because the stick (Carbon Fiber) has a warranty for life.

I agree with Beth, purchase the best equipment you can afford.

Patricia


Joe P
Posted: April 29, 2013
A few months ago I upgraded to the coda bow diamond SX which was at the upper end of my price range.  I love it!  My old inexpensive bows feel like toys in comparison. 

I had tried several bows in shops but took the Coda Luma and the diamond SX on a week long trial.  Before I tried them I thought I would like the Luma better because it was noticeably lighter.  I was wrong.  The SX just felt like it had been custom made, just for me.

Oh, and before I decided I had both my classical and fiddle teacher try both bows and they were both VERY enthusiastic about the diamond SX.
joe

george #
Posted: April 29, 2013

HI, I HAVE BEEN GOING THRU SOME OF THE SAME THINGS OVER BOWS. I HAVE BEEN USING A CARBON FIBER BOW MOST OF A YEAR ,NOW..I FOUND IT MORE ''FORGIVING'' THAN ANY CHEAP WOOD.....WHEN THE HAIR NEEDS REPLACED--EVERYTHING GOES down hill....(Ifigured that out as the rest of the story unfolded)....SO RECENTLY I'VE COMPARED SOME NICE PERNAMBUCO BOWS...THE GOOD QUALITY HAIR---DOES MAKE A BIG IMPROVEMENT -IN ITSELF-----HOWEVER I FOUND A VERY WELL BALANCED , ''SELF-DAMPENING''  WOOD BOW--THAT I WILL USE....I'VE A SOFT 'PERNAMBUCO' HEX BOW= IT BOUNCES WITH MY HEARTBEAT..  OTHER INEXPENSIVE 'WOODS' DO NOT FEED ANY VIBRATION TO THE HAND--DEAD FEELING..AND DOESN'T ENHANCE THE SOUND EITHER...THE C.FIBER BOW DID GIVE FEELING AND DIDN'T DAMPEN THE STRING VIBRATIONS/TONE.....OVER ALL, I HAVE A NEW APPRECIATION OF GOOD 'WOODEN' BOWS,  THAT I HAVE COME TO BELIEVE WILL ENHANCE THE SOUND---BY VIRTUE OF THE FACT I CAN FEEL THE VIBRATIONS IN MY FINGERS...NOT BECAUSE THE BOW IS SO SOFT IT'S ''SHAKING''....BUT BECAUSE THE BOW IS 'CONTRIBUTING ' TO THE PRODUCTION OF SOUND/FEEDING SYMPATHETIC 'VIBS' BACK INTO THE VIOLIN.....ok, i'll quit !I LIKE THE CARBON FIBER BOW...I LIKE THE MID PRICED, MODERATELY FIRM, WOODEN BOW A LITTLE MORE......<2years in the 'practice' and counting the little epiphanies (Beth) at every turn....GOOD PLAYING !!

Diane in SOCAL
Posted: April 29, 2013
Hi JD....are you talking about the Diamond GX?  If so, that is a good bow for the money. Some professionals I know have said that the Diamond GX is equal to an upper, (intermediate level) student grade pernamboco bow.  Here are a few pointers to look for: 

What is the weight of this bow that your considering? Under 60 grams could be too light ...over 62 grams might be too heavy later on as you mature with your bowing. a heavier bow fatigues the right arm and hand.   Also, bows are synergistic with violins...so you need to pick one (try it out for a few days) that is best suited to the violin your now playing on.  If your not going to upgrade your violin then up-grading your bow is an excellent idea. I found that when I upgraded my bow it made it a joy to play and I DID PRACTICE MORE!!!! I 
sounded so much better with a great custom-made bow : >)! Do you know someone in your area that is an excellent player..maybe a professional teacher...let them try out the bow and help you evaluate it...especially for some of the more advance techniques that you have not mastered yet but want to.  Only buy that bow which you have tried out for a few days...most good violin shops and dealers will let you try out something and then decide.  Bow are not all made the same...balance points, weight can make a difference...so before you purchase..make sure it sounds great to your ear on your violin.  I would also go to the website:  violinist.com and go to the archives and search for Coda Diamond GX bows and see what is mentioned about them...there are alot of professionals on Laurie Niles site that will have comments.  I did try a Diamond GX at the NAMM show here in LA, California a few years ago and liked the balance and feel in my hand...I did not have my violin with me at the time...but the bow was nice. I personally like wood bows, but I have a JonPaul carbon fiber bow that is a back up when I travel.  Good luck and let us know how your search goes.
Stay tuned. Diane in SoCal.

Beth Blackerby
Posted: April 29, 2013
Hi JD,

I've heard people at the shop that they didn't want to buy their kid a good instrument because they thought they would learn more if they had to "struggle". I feel just the opposite. Bad equipment holds you back.  e.g. You can't develop a good spiccato if your bow is improperly balanced. It sounds like you're executed about this bow. I say go for it. If the day ever comes that you have a violin that doesn't seem to marry well to the bow, you can sell it and look for another one.

KarenJ
Posted: April 29, 2013
Have you watched this?

"What to Look For When Buying a Bow" http://www.violinlab.com/videoLibrary/lesson.php?id=350

If you like the Coda bows, also try the Jon Paul carbon fibers.  They are very similar, have several grades and are priced competetively with Coda.  maybe a little cheaper even.