Incredibows

Incredibows

I bought an incredibow (carbon fibre and kevlar) at the weekend, at Wallingord Bunkfest, from Mark Harmer’s company, Dance of Delight, and I just wanted to say how good I think the bow is, to anyone who is thinking of getting one. I played at the Herschel on Monday and the fiddlers there couldn’t believe how light and responsive it was, and loud too (you have to be to compete with Sam Proctor). The tone is first rate with hardly any pressure at all.

In case you are wondering I do not have shares in Dance of Delight or the company that makes the bows, but it is a great product and doesn’t mind if you spill beer on it.

Re: Incredibows

Hi Geoff,

I recently bought one from Mark too. I wrote a review of it and Mark has posted it on the Dance of Delight website. I’ve also put it on my own site SessionNetwork.com (a site I made for musicians in Ireland - not just trad, but all styles of music). You can read the review in the "Instruments" section on my forum:

www.sessionnetwork.com/forum

I’ve formed pretty much the same impression as you about the Incredibow.

Regards,
JD

P.S. If anyone wants to add anything to the forum or the SessionNetwork site, please feel free.

Re: Incredibows

Sorry to have missed you at Wallingford Geoff.
I have 4 Incredibows - different colours and 2 weights and I really like them. My husband who sound engineers is always surprised how different bows sound different on the same fiddles.
They also require less rosin than normal bows - so less dust!

Re: Incredibows

I bought one from Dance of Delight at Warwick Folk Festival, after breaking a bow a couple of weeks earlier.

As I’m using it mainly for playing for Morris Dancers, I got one that sparkles in rainbow colours when the light strikes it.

Prior to getting this, I thought I preferred a traditional wood bow, but I like the fact that I don’t need to tension it before playing. When at home, it sits ready on my fiddle stand for immediate access.

Re: Incredibows

Please explain how the wood on a bow can affect the sound. I would have thought it was so much more about the hair which is in contact with the string. The wood certainly would affect the feel of the bow and therefore indirectly change how you play.
Confused

Re: Incredibows

I like the bit on their website that says that incredibows were originally designed for playing the saw.

Re: Incredibows

I have have two Incredibows,a heavy and a light one and I’m very pleased with them. I bought them direct from the inventor.The hair is guaranteed to be unbreakable in normal use,so they pay for themselves,altough they’re not that expensive(70 euros).A friend of mine who is a violin builder and restorer bought a couple and decided to test the claim.He cut off one of the hairs with a Stanley knife and we got hold of one end each wth a pair of pliars but we couldn’t snap it.We tied one end around a vise and both tugged on the other end but no dice.I have no idea what the hair is made of and the maker isn’t telling.

Re: Incredibows

When we get them in, sometimes there’s the odd hair that needs to be cut off - and Alison and I have tried to break them by pulling on them. You’d definitely lose circulation to your fingers before you broke a hair by pulling on it!

It’s true that Ed (maker) was a saw player, and I think he modelled it on the baroque bow. Most comments we have are extremely favourable, and many people end up with more than one bow. Our other thought is that they’re becoming more consistent as Ed has improved his manufacturing process.

Re: Incredibows

Donough—I have a theory about how the wooden stick of the bow affects the tone directly, but first a disclaimer: I am not a bowmaker, violinmaker, classical virtuoso, engineer, or nuclear physicist, and I didn’t hear or read this anywhere. It is just the guess of a guy who has sawn away on the fiddle for some years:

The tone of a bowed violin comes from a combination of sympathetic vibrations. The hair, being taut (not unlike a fiddle string) transmits some of the vibration from the body of the fiddle back into the bow. Throw in lots of other factors (bow angle, pressure, fingering techniques, etc. etc.) and the whole thing becomes a highly complex feedback loop. If you play the same fiddle with heavy, dead bow, you’ll get a different tone than you would with a light, springy bow.

At least that’s my guess.

Re: Incredibows

I have one and love it. It’s a perfect practice bow for tricky bowing techniques, as its lightness helps me to achieve control of the technique more efficiently. Then I can transfer this control to my heavier pernambuco bow and develop it further from there. This has been especially helpful in surmounting the challenges posed by an occluded nerve. I wouldn’t give up my pernambuco bow, but I really enjoy and appreciate having both.

Re: Incredibows

Thanks Mickray, that sounds interesting. Maybe much of the secret with these bows is in the hair as it is obviously something different.

Re: Incredibows

I’d echo the above - interesting ideas and probably spot-on!