What follows is a brief summary of pricing standards and some procedures for common repairs and upgrades. This section is subject to expansion, check in often.
Surely the most common necessity for maintaining good articulation, tone production, and sustain. In the care of an experienced and educated bow maker or restorer a well re-haired bow can invigorate your playing adding fresh life to your interpretations and ease the ire brought on by poor articulation.
Differences in hair types may alter many aspects of performance practice. My standard for bow re-hair is the finest unbleached Siberian or Mongolian Stallion hair. This hair offers the highest level of endurance, strength, and consistency. Musical qualities include a silky smooth tone with immediate response and incredible agility, however, the larger members of the viol family can find the articulation to be a little weak. Cellos and Basses especially will often try sorrel or black horse hair as these types tend to be considerably thicker and coarser for easier and more punctual articulation on the far heavier gauge strings. The trade off is of course tone and in some ways agility. As most avid students, amateurs, and professionals find it good counsel to re-hair a bow every three to six months, I encourage curious parties to explore the possibilities.
All re-hair prices include stick and frog cleaning, light french polish, new spread wedge and mortise plugs as needed.
Violin or Viola Re-hair: $50
Cello: $50 sorrell hair - $60 stallion hair
Bass: $65 sorrell hair - $80 stallion hair
Bow Tip Repairs
Bow tips refer specifically to the white plate and ebony substrate at the base of the bow head. These plates often last decades and in rare cases a century or more, but are nonetheless a somewhat common repair required on many bows of all calibers. Either from the poorly skilled repairman the overzealous staccato up-bow, or myriad other possibilities a tip may become dislodged or broken and a repair must be effected immediately. Further playing on a bow without a properly fitted tip plate will cause catastrophic failure of the bow head, the repair of which will be considerably more costly and time consuming.
The materials used in tip plates has changed and varied greatly over the centuries. From ivory (now illegal), to mammoth ivory, horn, bone, gold, silver, pewter (not recommended as it contains lead and trace arsenic), casein, plastic, carbon paper, ebony, aluminuim, the list grows such that I will only list a few common replacement materials here. Should you desire a rare Earth heavy element, meteorite, unobtanium or other exotic material as a tip plate call or e-mail for pricing, availability, and turn around time. All tip replacements include appropriate ebony substrate.
Casein: Standard material today, long lasting, similar weight to bone and easy on my knives.
Violin or Viola - $90
Cello - $90
Bass - $100
Bone: Traditional element for this job. Slightly heavier than casein, can become brittle, dulls an edge as a matter of duty.
Violin or Viola - $120
Cello - $135
Bass - $170
Plastic: Space age petroleum based polymer, very light. Turns professional bows into 80's Ford Escort.
Violin or Viola - $60
Cello - $65
Bass - $80
For all aforementioned exotic materials expect to start at $200. Unobtanium's market value fluctuates wildly, plan ahead.
The winding refers to the various metals, plastics, and cloth wrappings found at the frog end of the bow just in front of the grip and frog proper. Many will assume that the purpose of the winding on the bow is pretty adornment in the colors of the players choosing. Perhaps to attract a mate and establish dominance during orchestral rehearsal in the wild. Contrary to the former the primary goal of the winding, and to a lesser degree the grip, is to adjust the balancing point of the bow. This one seemingly innocuous task can be quite important especially to anyone that develops tennis elbow, shoulder bursitis, or tendinitis in their right wrist as a result of a poorly balanced bow. Yes, this is for real. Call or e-email for more information, or come in with your bow for a full weight and balance analysis.
Violin or Viola or Cello: for Bass add $15 Prices may change suddenly to reflect market price fluctuations, call ahead for confirmation.
Pure Silver - $80
Sterling Silver - $75
Tinsel - $60
Synthetic Whalebone $60
2 - 3 color Silk $95
10k - 18k Gold - Market Price
All whalebone has been ethically harvested from post consumer recycled plastic and on occasion fresh plastic. No whales were injured for your bow windings. Just plastic, really good plastic though.
Grips refers to the leather, plastic, rubber, or cloth that cover the rear most part of the winding closest to the frog on the stick. While the grip can at times cover some kind of weighted material like extra winding, lead, etc. to help adjust weight and balance, the player often decides what kind of material to use here as questions of allergies, comfort, bling, matching your tie or shoes, or durability can vary from person to person.
Leather - $30
Moroccan Lizard - $50
Monitor Lizard - $60
Gorn - Market Price