Codabow Classic: What say you? Yay? Nay? Kay? Jay?

Codabow Classic: What say you? Yay? Nay? Kay? Jay?

So I tried a Codabow Classic bow [really expensive one] tonight and I wanted to try it more but from what I’ve tried, I really like it! I’ll have to ask to use it more, but yes. Errr, anyone have one? What say you?

Cheers and sleep,
Armand

Re: Codabow Classic: What say you? Yay? Nay? Kay? Jay?

I don’t have a Classic, but I have the Conservatory model, which I’m told is essentially the same stick, just not as much bling as the Classic. I love mine. Best bow I’ve ever had.

Re: Codabow Classic: What say you? Yay? Nay? Kay? Jay?

Oh, and it’s half the price too 🙂

Re: Codabow Classic: What say you? Yay? Nay? Kay? Jay?

The first thing to know is that bow preferences will change between players *and* instruments. That said… there are some differences in feel between a Classic and a Consevatory. I own a Classic, because I wanted a nigh indestructible bow that I presumed would be less affected by humidity changes. This is exactly what I’ve gotten, so I’m pleased. The only unpleasant surprise my codabow has given me was some finish peeling on the stick near the grip in its fourth year of life, but that should be easily repairable. Coda bows in general produce a sound that pernambuco bows twice their cost wish they had. Drawbacks are that they feel a little "stodgy" and sometimes generate a bit more string noise up close than wood bows. Cheaper alternatives in composite bows abound - you may also wish to try a Musicary bow, which you can find from a place like Shar on approval if it can’t be had in your area.

Re: Codabow Classic: What say you? Yay? Nay? Kay? Jay?

I use a Coda Classic as my main session and ceili bow. Very stable yet responsive. It compares well to my two pernambuco bows, one of which is very high caliber. I second flatland’s sense that the carbon fiber bows are "stodgy"—almost too stable.

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Re: Codabow Classic: What say you? Yay? Nay? Kay? Jay?

i’ve got a Classic and it’s the best bow i’ve used. haven’t had it for very long (bought on a whim when i saw it for seriously reduced price on the net, oh the net is so dangerous!)

i’ve also got a reasonable quality pernambuco bow which cost a little less than the Coda, but it doesn’t get a look in these days.

mind you it’s just getting to its first rehairing…

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Re: Codabow Classic: What say you? Yay? Nay? Kay? Jay?

Oh dilemma~!

Cheers and homework again,
Armand

Re: Codabow Classic: What say you? Yay? Nay? Kay? Jay?

Armand, bear in mind that what feels like a good bow will change as you grow as a player. I’d recommend buying the best you can reasonably afford now, with the idea that you may well want to upgrade in a few years. It never hurts to have a spare bow or two (to use when another bow is in for rehairing).

Also, it’s possible to find a decent pernambuco bow for less than the Coda Classic. Take care of it, and the pernambuco stick will increase in value. The Coda bows are not so likely to appreciate, unless Coda itself starts raising its prices. But since they’re incredibly stable (structurally) and nearly unbreakable, a Coda bow shouldn’t lose value much either, so you can always sell it off to help finance a new bow. Personally, I like having a bow in my case that always feels the same, no matter what humidity changes it goes through. The Classic is a very good journeyman bow—well balanced, straight, and good camber that doesn’t vary. Compared to most of the $1,500 pernambuco bows I’ve seen, I’ll take my Classic any day. (I tried out 5 different Coda Classics before I found one I really liked—despite the company’s claim of consistency, they do vary. The sales rep said this was due mostly to variability in the density of the ebony frog, which results in slight differences in the balance point of each bow. But you can also specify what weight of bow you want, within a range of about 58 to 62 grams. The one I finally settled on weighs 60.9 grams.)

It’s also very educational to go into violin shops and play through their inventory of bows. You can learn a lot in an hour or two about what qualities you like in a bow, and what to look for when you go to purchase one. And how different bows draw different sounds out of the same instrument.

I also keep my eyes open for stray pernambuco sticks—good bows sometimes get tossed in with low-value fiddles at garage sales, pawn shops, in rental programs, etc. You just never know.

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Re: Codabow Classic: What say you? Yay? Nay? Kay? Jay?

One other consideration - pernambuco is an endangered tropical hardwood. Take that as you will.

Re: Codabow Classic: What say you? Yay? Nay? Kay? Jay?

Yes, but most reputable bow makers today have joined forces in a conservation effort aimed at protecting the trees in their natural habitat. Apparently, the sprawl of civilization and slash and burn agriculture is what most puts the trees at risk.

Given that Armand has been playing a little over a year, I don’t think he’s in the market for a new pernambuco bow (which typically start at around $3,000 USD). And I don’t see anything wrong with buying and "re-using" wood bows already in existence. My best pernambuco bow is around 200 years old.

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Re: Codabow Classic: What say you? Yay? Nay? Kay? Jay?

I’ve owned a Codabow Classic for six years or more and have used it pretty much exclusively. It is lighter than my previous so I never thought it stodgy and it has ther right spring to do triplets properly. Also comfortable in the lower half which seems to be where crappy bows feel all wrong.

I like it very much but have never owned a really fine pernambuco bow. I don’t know what a Classic costs now but at the time I didn’t consider it very expensive in comparison to good wood bows.

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Re: Codabow Classic: What say you? Yay? Nay? Kay? Jay?

Will - absolutely right about the new conservation efforts. A quibbling point - I’ve obtained new pernambuco (not brazilwood) bows for around $400 USD.

Re: Codabow Classic: What say you? Yay? Nay? Kay? Jay?

It totally depends on your instrument too. Some Coda bows don’t sound so hot on certain instruments. You have to play lots of bows (both wood and graphite), then decide. Play the a Coda bow, then a wood bow then back and forth and go with what you feel good with. I have a classic and 2 nice pernambuco bows that I use for different things and sounds (b/c they all draw different tone)

I would say this, that I wouldn’t buy any other kind of graphite bow other than the Coda bows. (and I would stay with the classic)

Re: Codabow Classic: What say you? Yay? Nay? Kay? Jay?

I’ve heard that a reasonable alternative to pernambuco is snakewood. Anyone know any more?

BTW, the cheapo brazilwood bows don’t last. I know a young woman (by no means a heavy-handed player) at an workshop who bought one and within 6 months the stick had not only acquired a noticeable lateral bend but an even more noticeable axial twist. It was virtually unusable as a consequence.

My preferred bow now for most sessions is well-made Chinese carbon fibre viola bow (£GB130). It’s well balanced and responsive, and well-haired. It doesn’t produce quite such a big sound as my best pernambuco (which is about 100 years old), but otherwise has a very similar response. I’d hate to get the old one damaged in a pub, which is why I use the cf viola bow as a good alternative.

Trevor

Re: Codabow Classic: What say you? Yay? Nay? Kay? Jay?

Just curious Trevor, do you know the weight of that viola bow?

Yeah, the Classic does triplets very nicely. They are responsive bows. But they transmit the feel differently than wood bows, so it takes a little while to get used to that, if you’ve played a wood bow for long. Most long-time players who try my Coda immediately say something like "I can’t feel the strings." I no longer notice that—in fact the consistency of the stick allows me to fine tune hair tension to a point where I can feel the string better than with most other bows. The stick is very stiff and strong, so you can lean into it without bouncing the camber into the strings, even at somewhat lower hair tension. Or I’m imagining things.

And I like the glossy black finish. 🙂

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Re: Codabow Classic: What say you? Yay? Nay? Kay? Jay?

the only query i had about mine was that i got a strange resonance when playing a D on the A string. it doesn’t seem to do it on any other fiddle, and i haven’t found another bow that does it on my fiddle. very odd… but i’d completely forgotten about it until just now, so i must have got used to it. it’s a very minor thing, just coming across as a slight roughness to the touch on that note.

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Re: Codabow Classic: What say you? Yay? Nay? Kay? Jay?

Oooh snakewood… EXPENSIVE, from what I hear, isn’t that what they use to make Baroque Bows these days? I’d love to get my hand on one of those, or just to try one! Ohhhh!!!

Cheers and on hold,
Armand

Re: Codabow Classic: What say you? Yay? Nay? Kay? Jay?

I agree with Will Harmon, I’ve found I can use much less tension on the hair with my Coda than with my pernambuco stick.

Re: Codabow Classic: What say you? Yay? Nay? Kay? Jay?

Oh good—at least it’s a mutual imagining. 🙂

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Re: Codabow Classic: What say you? Yay? Nay? Kay? Jay?

Armand, I just checked the prices for the bowmaker who made my baroque bow, and they’ve gone up substantially since I got mine.

A baroque or transitional unfigured snakewood or banya bow is $1500AUS and the figured snakewood (which is what I have) is now $2500AUS. That’s not dirt cheap and it’s way more than I paid, but on the other hand it compares very well to modern professional bow prices.

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Re: Codabow Classic: What say you? Yay? Nay? Kay? Jay?

I own a Coda Bow Classic viola and violin bow. They are both really good sticks. I also own the Staccato Bow. I like the Staccato bow just a little bit more. Personally I think most fiddle players are better off with a composite stick. A few months ago I was doing a gig with another fiddle player and she dropped her $3000 stick. It promptly broke in half. I also had a $1500 stick that got dropped one too many times and had to have some cracks repaired. Even though that did not affect the way it played, it still decreased the value in half. I was able to sell for $800 a few months ago. I used that money to buy the Staccato and have been happy with the purchase ever since. I think the Staccato does bowed triplets better than the Coda.
Cheers
Sean

Re: Codabow Classic: What say you? Yay? Nay? Kay? Jay?

Love my Coda Classic violin bow. Have played on it for 12 years. Very light and responsive.
Would highly recommend.

Ann

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