McFiddles!






1626 George Washington Boulevard 
Wichita, Kansas 67211

look@mcfiddles.com

 Bows

We carry many different bows, and it's important to match a player's ability with the right type. Here's a primer on bows, grouped mainly by the material of the stick. All bows will have real horsehair.

Fiberglass bows

1. These are very basic sticks that function well and are so inexpensive that replacement, rather than rehair, is actually cheaper. Ours may be the "Glasser" student bows or the Eastman "Holtz" brands that sell for around $35 for violin bows.

Composite bows

2. Composite bows have emerged recently. Basically we see them as greatly improved fiberglass sticks. No effort is made to describe the actual material, but we assume it's a similarly constructed fiber-in-resin style. These sell for around $50 (Violin) and we try to include them in our student outfits whenever possible.

 

Carbon graphite bows (Chinese)

3. Carbon graphite bows are very strong, well balanced, and very versatile. We try to ignore the very cheapest of these because they still suffer from head breakage problems, but for around $100 the more cleanly made ones from China are extremely useful. They're available in plain (straight fibers in the resin) or woven (tubular weave in the resin) styles; the woven tend to be in the $140 range. Middle and high school students seem to prefer them to pernambuco bows...

 

CodaBows (American carbon graphite)

4. American-produced carbon graphite bows have a category of their own. In general, beautifully finished sticks with various mounts on the frogs. The CodaBow company dominates this segment, and they'll start around $240 (violin) in our shop. Silver mounted versions will be in the $600 range.

 

Pernambuco wood bows

5. Pernambuco wood bows used to be the standard of the industry, but these days dominate the $500-plus range. This wood is from Brazil and has an uncanny ability to be bent under dry heat and maintain the new shape. Ours are from various Brazilian makers, and starting prices are around $300 for a nice quality nickel-mounted version. The silver mounted ones are about $600 and up, and the gold are now over $2,000.

Arcus carbon graphite bows

6. A special category is for the premium hollow carbon graphite bows by the Arcus company. Each one is laid by hand in Germany, and the company provides convincing information about the scientific specifications of construction. We do know that these are in the hands of some extraordinary players. Generally, they're about 15% lighter than their wood counterparts, but they are immensely strong - especially when a player is really bearing down into a string. We've sold nickel, silver and gold versions and their owners really appreciate them for shoulder pressure relief. Not for the faint-of-heart pricewise...!