Materials

Mongolian Horse Hair

We use only high-quality Mongolian horse hair.

Live Stallion–Liz splurged on live stallion for her good viola bow.  It gives a very clear, sweet sound, and is extremely responsive.  Live stallion is the most expensive hair there is, so we do charge an extra $5.00 to rehair with Live Stallion.

Standard Mongolian–Mary uses our Standard Mongolian on her Schuster, and is very pleased with the result.  This is the type we use on all bows unless another variety is requested.

Fiddlers’ Special–Mary put Fiddlers’ Special on her second violin bow.  Fiddlers’ Special, which can vary in color from light brown to light grey, is great for more “grab.”  Mary doesn’t do a lot of fiddling, but she has been delighted with the more robust sound and handling she gets from this hair.  Cellists also have been pleased with Fiddlers’.

Chestnut–Liz has Chestnut on her second viola bow. Chestnut gives a very warm sound, and now she really likes how the bow performs.

Hair for Bass Bows—We have players who use everything from white Mongolian to Salt-and-Pepper to Black hair on their bass bows. We have recently introduced Silver Chestnut to some of our professional colleagues, and they are enjoying the sound quality this hair produces.

Visit our shop—we consult with you about your special needs.

Rosin

Most rosins are made by the same few manufacturers who simply use different additives under different labels. Cheap rosins generally contain impurities. Expensive rosins can have additives ranging from fish glue to metal dusts. Liz used a rosin with gold dust for years, despite its high cost. Unfortunately, the metallic additive simply produced an abrasive dust that attacked the finish on her viola.

Also, players, professional and student alike, use too much rosin, believing that this will improve their tone.

When your bow leaves our shop, it is rosined and rehearsal-ready.

We recommend Millant-Deroux, a plain, pure rosin, which we stock for our customers. Use only a few passes, and rosin only when you need to, not necessarily every time you take up your bow.

Weight and Balance

MP1_4749_Con Brio

Most bows, even high-quality ones, are not properly balanced. This causes the performer to have to “fight” the stick, and can lead to a variety of physical problems.

Liz began to have serious right elbow tendon problems after a particularly demanding South Dakota Symphony season. After a weight and balance evaluation, we discovered that the balance point of her Hill bow was almost half-an-inch off. Adding a few grams of lead under the grip corrected the balance, and eliminated the tendon problem. It also made the bow play like a dream.

MP1_4752_Con Brio