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     Zdzislaw Prochownik   Professional quality double bass bows  since 1983



Purpleheart 129 grams. Excellent  bow with very fast response, well balanced, good  range off low medium and high sound. Great for orchestra, chamber and solo playing. Special price $1800.00 Can  





How Much Should I Spend On A Double Bass Bow ?  It is a question often asked, especially by serious students. The answer is very simple. Given that one receives good value for the cost, one should spend as much as financially possible to acquire the best bow possible that suits the individual player. There are many reasons to do this, but the main ones are, firstly, that bows generally keep rising in price over time. Secondly, your performance level will increase proportionately, and most of all, it will help teach you how to play more naturally. It is also very cost effective, considering that one would have to pay around ten times that to realize comparable benefits when purchasing an instrument. A quality bow is very important in achieving musical results as it is a direct extension of the arm and ultimately, the body and soul. 

Double Bass Bows  by Bruce W, Okrainec

If you are a string player, I am sure you will agree that the importance of the bow cannot be overstated, after all it is the implement responsible for producing our sound. The double bass is unique among the string family in that it has two distinct bows: the French bow and the German bow. It appears that "one continued the tradition of the viol family, the other the violin family" (Walter, 1983 p. 28). Similarly, Green states "the German style was adopted from the viol family. The French style was adopted from the present violin family" (Green, 1973, p. 34).

The existence of two types of bows has generated substantial debate among bassists as to which method is superior. The subjective analysis has tended to conclude that "the weaker aspects of the two bows can be mastered by a competent bassist" (Green, 1973, p. 34). Walter states, "it must be stated unequivocally that players of both bows are able to overcome the inherent disadvantages of one or the other" (Walter, 1983 p. 29). So which bow do I teach? Walter suggests that "the beginning bass student who has played no string instrument earlier on be offered the German [bow] .........more

MASSARANDUBA BOWS     One of my South American friends has shown me  a very good double bass bow made from Purpleheart wood and also mentioned  about good bows being made from other Brazilian  and South American woods. After doing some research, analyzed lab test results of bending strength, stiffness, density, crashing strength, weight and availability, I have decided to experiment and make a few bows. Of course, the selection of wood with tight nice grains is very important. The first few Massaranduba bows were sold quickly and were preferred over the traditional Pernambuco bows. The French model bows are slightly heavier (135 -150 grams). For these bows, I have chosen a model similar to Sartory and Vigneron. While working with this wood I have found better consistency throughout the whole stick, better vibration quality, and more predictable results. This wood grows in many South American countries and is being used in bridge construction, support beams and decks. Massaranduba is available at exotic lumber suppliers in the US, Canada, and Europe.

How to clean bow hair for violin viola cello and bass bows
This procedure is NOT recommended but since many people have asked me I have decide to show how it could be done. Buy alcohol – Methanol (methyl hydrate) or Ethanol. Alcohol must be as pure as possible (98% and up.)
You will need a rubber glove, clean cloth and a small clean glass jar. Methyl hydrate is poisonous and you must have good ventilation. Contact with the alcohol will damage or might even remove varnish from the bow.
Both alcohols are extremely flammable - you must keep away from any flames, sparks or other sources ignition. Remove the frog from the bow. For small dirt or grease patches on the hair (02.jpg), soak a cloth in the alcohol and rub hair and soaked cloth between your fingers (03.jpg) When the hair is full of old dirty rosin you soak hair in jar for 5-10 minutes (04.jpg), dry gently with a cloth, and let it air dry completely before assembling. Practice first without alcohol to make sure the stick does NOT come in contact with alcohol. Bows that are more valuable should be handled by professionals.  see pictures