If you asked me 15 years ago if I preferred a wooden or carbon fiber bow, I probably would have said "wooden" without any hesitation.
But carbon fiber bows keep getting better and better, and at this point, I've tried too many excellent carbon fiber bows to dismiss them. In fact, most of the time I prefer to play with my Coda Diamond over the wooden bow that I have!
A good carbon fiber bow can be a great buy. Wood is extremely variable, but carbon fiber is not, so it's possible to make bows that are very consistent in weight, balance and feel. Unlike with violins or wooden bows, you really can figure out a good "brand" and trust it pretty well.
That said, I also have a cheap carbon fiber bow that is awful! The winding mechanism has become more and more stiff over the years - I can barely use it. I've also had students get fractional carbon fiber bows that were disappointing.
Of course, a fantastic wooden bow is a dream - though often quite a costly one! A good wooden bow is generally made from pernambuco wood - which is actually an endangered species. So there is another consideration!
I'm curious about how everyone's attitudes are evolving (or not evolving!) about carbon fiber bows. Have you ever tried a carbon fiber bow? Do you actually prefer playing on one, or will nothing replace wood for you? If you have students, what is working best for them?
Please participate in the vote, and then share your thoughts. Also, if you have thoughts and preferences about particular bows, please share those.
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