A lot of things, but one thing above all else is the wood! For those that are in the know (or simply want a bow that’s hard to find), I like to put the wood weight at under 250# or less. The best, and most expensive, wood available is the black pine, a wood with an excellent grain; it’s very heavy and, when taken out of the box, feels like a solid piece of wood, even as a lightweight.
The best wood for strings and instruments is in the center, though, so the black pine can be found only in some high-speed string wood. A few years ago, I picked up a nice, high-end black pine bow and it did an excellent job on it, but one day after I put it back on, the string broke into two pieces and the bow broke down in my hands.
The key to an expensive violin bow comes down to how good your bow is. How do you measure that? The same thing you check for strings – are they playing well? How is the bow tuned? Do you feel like the string is very vibrate and firm?
So, what should you look for? One of them will tell you if your violin is worth a lot or very little in the long run.
Is your violin playing well enough?
Is there a good sound?
Do you need a good, strong, and sturdy bow?
How much does it weigh?
Which part of the body to use?
For strings – the middle finger, middle third -of- the string? Middle finger can be replaced with any type of strings that will sound good. If used for strings, you should be able to use either a set of strings from a violin bow that was used for that body, or a violin made from wood with strings of different weights. The difference is very small – in the order of 15-20g.
The middle finger of an acoustic violin can never be used for strings, as it is the most unstable point of tension on the string, since one person can move both the middle finger and the thumb while the other doesn’t. Also, you generally cannot get the middle finger to touch the strings unless it is attached to an instrument that has a separate thumb adjustment. Therefore, you want to use the right sized string only.
Another important thing is the sound. If you want your violin to play properly, the sound should be excellent – and that
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