Jun 5 2008, 08:01 AM
Has anyone any experience in either using or purchasing a violin bow with a pinned head. What do you think about them, do they tend to prove themselves stable?
A teacher recently told me that you are able to afford a bow which has been pinned which would otherwise be out of your reach, and if the pinning is done well is hardly noticeable and is as strong as the stick ever was.
Taking this on board, we have recently purchased a Collin-Mezin pinned bow, which looks fantastic, and would otherwise be out of our price range. It just screams out quality, being silver mounted and with horn frog, the quality of the stick also looks in a different league to others we have looked at in this price range and much higher. Above all though, it was chosen for its playabilty and the tone it drew out of the violin.
I have googled pinned bows, but not much info out there. As you don't tend to see them for sale at dealers on the high street, I wonder how good an investment they are; not in financial terms, but reliability terms. Do they not stock them because they are a risk which they would prefer not to guarantee, or is it simply because the consumer would rather go for the perfect unpinned bow every time, so therefore no point in stocking them?
Jun 5 2008, 09:17 AM
Providing the piining has been down correctly and properly it should be barely noticeable and yes, it does mean that you will be able to buy a bow that you might otherwise not be able to afford.
A few years ago I was offered (by a well known London dealer) a bow made by James Tubbs. It had a pinned head and was offered for sale at just Â£4000. It was gold-mounted and had it not had repairs, would have cost around Â£6500.
As it happened I preferred the A R Bultitude bow I tried as well and it cost me only Â£2500.
A reputable dealer will sell them, but generally only if the bow is of fine quality in the first place. A cheap bow with a pinned head is simply not worth having.
Jun 5 2008, 10:36 AM
I have a French Bow (HCSilvestre) with a pinned head - the head broke while I was playing in a teachers' conference years ago. Went with a noise like a gunshot in the middle of some Bach. I don't think I've ever had such a fright. It was repaired by a Cambridge bowmaker and the join is really invisible when you look at the bow from the side. That was 15 years or more ago and the repair has been completely stable. I would certainly be happy to consider pinned bows if I was buying another bow - provided, as AmandaL says, that you know that the pinning has been properly done.
British Reserve (as they were then called) paid for all the repair work - great service.