What people are saying...
Please note that permission to use these comments has been given to AR Distribution exclusively by each musician who has been in contact with us. If you want to use these comments on your website, you must ask permission first as we will need to seek the permission of the musician / luthier in question.
I've been performing with my Arcus S6 violin bow for about a month now, and it feels like I've always had one of these in my fingers!
It is beautifully light and nips neatly over the strings without me ever having to fight it -- it plays,
and I simply let it play! At the same time it helps me produce some truly rich sounds with the subtlety and finesse you would expect from a fine wooden bow. I recommend an Arcus to anyone.
Update from FUSE via twitter 22.08.12 :
FUSE electric violin @fuseband Love our Arcus E4 bows Allyxa! Worked them HARD around Europe this summer & have TV appearances planned 4 autumn :) B&L
It's been a very fun couple of weeks here, mostly due to getting to play my gigs and rehearsals witg the E4 which Tim kindly sent me.
I'd expected it to be good but even bearing that in mind i was very pleasantly surprised. The immediacy of response on the lower strings is such a breath of fresh air. I love the direct response on the higher strings as well, and am very pleased the nature of the bow is not prone to killing projection in the upper registers.
In a nutshell, i am delighted with my new E4. The only dilemma i'm now faced with is whether or not to sell my good Hill bow in order to afford a second E4 for when this one needs to be rehaired...
Jon Bews - Violin
The Last Battle
I am writing to say how happy I am with the new A4 cello bow by Arcus which is made to a new design in carbon fibre. I recently had the opportunity to try a number of bows both carbon fibre and wood against my own Brazilian pernambuco bow which is excellent in its own way but the new bow is lighter and gives a more
even response over the whole range of the instrument and is capable of a wider dynamic range. I liked it so much that I bought it!
Mr D Loughlin
I have just bought my second arcus bow because I needed a spare bow and I haven't come across any bow I prefer
to my 6 year old Veloce which has always been a pleasure to play with (even when it was very overdue for a re-hair!).
All the arcus bows I tried allowed me to do every technique I could think of trying without any hindrance or compromise.
The different bows have subtle differences in timbre and projection which allowes different bows to fit different playing
styles and basses while at the same time allowing a player to reach his absolute potential in all areas. These bows are Limitless.
Alfie Weedon - Double Bass
Ben & Alfie
Well I have to tell you I am well chuffed! It was a gamble taking off the fresh "normal"
brilliants that had already given an improvement over what was previously on, but I'm
glad I did. The vintage are obviously designed for the older instrument and I could tell
straight away the way things were going. My Derazey feels even more responsive and richer
in overtones most probably due to the advertised lower tension of these strings freeing things up.
The lower two strings have a beautiful velvety sound. The a string, usually the one that disappoints
in a set of strings, is beautifully clear and resonant.
Thanks so for introducing me to the brilliants, I'm really pleased with the tone they produce on both my instruments, especially the Derazey now, my best violin which has now got even better. The brilliants will be my string of choice until something better comes along, though it would need to be something very special!
I'm very keen on the A Piacere. It is indeed a close run thing between that and the solo rosin. If anything,
I think I slightly prefer the A Piacere. It does feel a little
more responsive and a little smoother in legato playing. So I think that may have become my rosin of choice for the future.
James Barralet - Cellist
It's been 15 days since I put the Brilliant Vintage strings on so it's time for a review. Overall, I like them a lot. What I like the most about them is how well the set is balanced: Crossing strings does not lead to any abrupt change in power or timbre, these 4 strings are the most homogeneous set I've ever tried. I also like their playability: they are easier to play than the Evah Pirazzi. For me, the D string gives a much cleaner response in the high positions than the D Evah.
Deciding between the round and the octagonal was hard because I liked them both,
even if their sound as well as the way you play them are so different.
At first, the round one had my preference because of its highly focused sound that
feels "sweet" (sugar-like) to me. Also, at first I could hear that the octagonal was broader
but it did not sing well (not warm at all) because, as I discovered later, my right hand was
a bit nervous. I started to change my mind when I tried to play pianissimo orchestral sections:
I was amazed by the cleanliness of the sound when playing pianissimo with the octogonal bow.
I then tried to go back to louder dynamics while keeping a more relaxed right hand and that worked.
After that, I found the octagonal to be vastly superior. I do have to mind my right hand a bit but
I can manage that. The sound is warm enough for my taste, and the richness is amazing. I really feel
that this bow is drawing out every single harmonic my violin has to offer.
Arcus S5: Very balanced and light as a feather so as a direct result of this combination this bow is an absolute joy to play. It reciprocates your
Arcus E4: It feels so light at first but rock solid on the G and lower C string of a Zeta Jazz fusion E violin and just at ease on the lower range of a Viola d'Amore (7th a, 6th d, 5th a). It's balanced yet lightweight structure is very responsive. Recommended.
Ben Coleman - www.no-man.co.uk
We're really enjoying the Arcus E4 bow. It has a wonderful even feel from heel to point and is especially useful on the lower strings of 5 and 6 stringed electric violins. The bow easily overcomes the extra string resistance
typical of electric violins (due to the less resonant body) to create a richer tone and immediate feel.
Ben Lee & Linzi Stoppard, FUSE.
For further information please visit  www.fuseofficial.com
Many thanks for the M5 violin bow and rosin which have both instantly transformed the sound of my instruments. I've never used a bow of anything like this calibre before, so it has brought things to an entirely new level for me. The strings respond cleanly, quickly and evenly with intonation being much more accurate to pinpoint. They also give the left hand a lot back so the whole thing feels alive and playing is all of a sudden a rather 'moreish' pleasure.
It is now possible for me, as a maker, to really appreciate the differences I can make with adjustment to design and set-up.
Alan McGeoch - Violin Maker - Fife
The Andrea rosin arrived today, thank you. It definitely gives a better sound, especially on the higher notes. Those notes sound much more clear.
I am so delighted with my new Arcus Cadenza Silver violin bow. I just
can't imagine ever using another bow again ... and I have tried a lot
of good bows in the last few months. I am very impressed by all
aspects of this bow, but ultimately of course it comes down to sound,
and it is really amazing the difference the Arcus has made in this
regard to my already fine sounding instrument. Added to this, the
lightness and balance makes for great ease of control and playability.
This is just a beautiful bow."
Patrick Daly. Dublin
I really like the Andrea rosin. I think that the Andrea is superior in all respects.
String adhesion .. sound... durability (how long it remains on the hair etc ) ..and it just generally sounds better to my ears. I won't use anything else now. I am spoiled after using the Andrea.
Further comments after 2 weeks of use.
The new Rosin is proving to be even better than I had first thought..... I actually took all the existing rosin off all my bows and started with virgin hair. And then I applied the Andrea rosin. Well it was certainly worth the effort.The result was superb. More adhesion of the hair to the string. The sound greatly improved as a result. I am just so pleased that I took all the old rosin off. It actually sounds like I am playing with different bows, the change has been that good. The rosin no longer looks new and shiny now! I really don't think that I could go back to any other rosin now.
Graham Buckner - Violinist, Portmouth UK
I bought an Arcus Sinfonia Violin bow from yourself about 8yrs ago. I have got to say that it was the best thing that I have ever done and the lightness
and quality of the bow is second to none. I certainly would not ever revert back to a traditional wooden bow again.
I am very happy with my arcus (concerto) violin bow which I've now had for around four years. It is a fabulous bow and has to work extremely hard, long hours but never lets me down.
I would add without any exaggeration that using the concerto violin bow has allowed me play in ways that I could hear, in my head, but couldn't execute easily or at all i.e rapid spicatto
Also and most noticeably it has been the realization of wonderful tone colours; the bow just sings and flies and has great response at any speed; I love the lightness - mit liegenden bogen - and the obvious great strength of the bow. I guess the other revelation has been seeing and hearing how the bow/instrument relationship is so crucial and in fact a fine bow will make a mediocre instrument sound really good so limited budgets being the norm I'd advise anyone to spend on a good bow and get the strad later.....
Francis MacNamara - www.hangingtreeband.co.uk
"I have just been trying out your Arcus Concerto viola bow - quite different from my heavy pernambuco French bow!
It is very responsive, and makes it possible to achieve much more subtlety in my playing - I could certainly get used to it! I found that
I could achieve a more pronounced range of dynamics in the quieter music as well. I would gladly recommend this bow to our customers."
Becky Springall N.V.S.M - Violist and maker - Devon Strings
I bought my beautiful German-pattern Arcus bass bow in 2003 & have never looked back. I play so many different styles of music that I need my bow to be truly versatile.
My Arcus bow is perfect: delicate & light response, but with a huge fat power transmission ready to kick in whenever I need to get the powerful bass sound that I love.
What's more, the rehairs last about ten times longer than I've ever experienced before.
Jonny Gee - freelance bassist- London - www.jazzberries.co.uk / MAS Profile
"Can I say at the outset you are due huge congratulations for having the courage to produce an innovation which I believe will truly revolutionise string playing. I said to Allyxa, and stand by, the statement that the days of wooden bows are numbered. No one would consider using a wooden tennis racket now.
I applaud your decision not to do what other makers of carbon bows are doing, and simply to copy a wooden violin bow using carbon fibre. Instead you have redesigned the bow to optimise the benefits of the material. The only thing your bows have in common with the other makers is that carbon fibre is used. I feel your bows are as different from other carbon fibre bows as they are from wooden bows."
"If I read these comments in the testimonials section of a website I would be tempted to think "they must be getting paid to say that". The fact that I am not says it all! I am an experienced amateur player. I have played the viola and violin (that order!) for 34 years, and more recently have been learning the cello, for about 3."
Comments made to Arcus - Iain Purchase - Glasgow
I am a composer who happens to play the viola. Bennigsen and possibly others have made carbon fibre bows
in the recent past, which aim to replicate all the characteristics of the conventional wooden bow with the added
advantage of being less susceptible to temperature changes. At 73 grams, it also reflects the 'ideal'
of what we were taught as students in the past.
The Arcus philosophy is very different. I chose the Arcus Concerto for its lightness at 59 grams and its comfort in use. The Concerto feels like the weight of a conventional bow, odd as this may seem. Extra hair and lightness are based on sound principles where the string responds well rather than being choked by too much pressure in the search for a bigger sound. Tone quality and reduced surface noise are immediately apparent. Staccato bowings work well, particularly up-bow staccato. The dynamic range from loud to soft is very impressive.
It should be noted that Arcus bows are sensitive to the amount of rosin, which should be used sparingly. There is one peculiarity I have observed. That is the need to slacken the hair tension as playing warms up. The music room where I practice is an extension and very difficult to heat from cold and struggles to exceed 60 degrees. On the other hand, now the room is warmer with early morning sun coming in, the variation is hardly noticeable, maybe a half turn to get it right. In any case, the strength of the stick is such that less tension is required anyway.
For me, using my Arcus Concerto bow gives me great pleasure; this is a quality product of fine appearance as well.
Gareth Clemson - Composer, Viola Player and Author
"My scepticism towards carbon fibre bows was part being conservative and also an earlier experience with a bow which
was mildly speaking uninteresting. Within minutes of playing with an Arcus bow my opinion was changed. Instead of using
a new material to recreate a clone of an old concept they came up with something quite different. The design of this bow
allows to reduce weight, which gives more freedom in the faster, lighter strokes, and its hollow stick resonates extremely
well, producing a strong singing tone. The strength of the material allows for a greater length of the stick, like that of
a violin bow, and gives it a great lateral stability, for me a vital factor in projection of the sound. The makers of Arcus
ask you to try the bow for a week without playing a heavier bow, to get used to the unusual weight. For me the deciding
factor is the balance not weight, and that is not any different from a good wooden bow. I have no problem switching back
and forth but at the end I still play with the Arcus."
Leonid Gorokhov, Cello - Guildhall School of Music
I mostly play scottish traditional music. The nimble quality
of arcus bows are excellent for this style.I previously owned a
Sinfonia which I was happy with but there is a significant improvement in sound
with the new bow. It pulls out a bigger warmer sound which I am very pleased with.
Dr Donald Gorman
I have been using an Arcus cello bow for several years and was an instant
'convert'! On the rare occasions when I need to use my reserve wooden bow I
miss the Arcus for it's ease of playing. You might imagine that the pay-off
for such a lightweight bow would be a lack of power, but not so, the Arcus
bow has a fantastic strength from heel to point and a balance and poise that
needs to be experienced to be believed. I am now doing alot of electric
cello work and have found the Arcus bow to be ideally suited to this way of
playing also and have therefore purchased a second identical model
(Sinfonia). I am such a fan of these bows that my friends all believe that I
secretly work for the company!
Clare Pusey - one half of duo DIZZICELLI
I am a great wrecker of music stands so this one looks as if even I can put it together
safely and it won't wobble, lean sideways, go rusty or get bent. It also has a super slot for all
my bits which include generally - glasses case, rosin, duster, pencil, rubber and tissues (mostly these are
lost in my handbag which I keep out of sight and then can't find in the middle of a concert when I want to blow my nose).
"Let me take the opportunity to thank you once again for all your help with the bow. You really take customer service well beyond even the most exacting expectations, and I'd have no hesitation in recommending you to anyone"
"Well I will definitely want to be keeping this bow. It's so forgiving I can't believe it. And I seem to be able to play louder and with a much darker, richer tone than before.
It is so much less work than my old bow, and is very nicely balanced, I can bow relatively comfortably at the frog and much more controlled. I can just let the bow do all the work in the piano sections, I don't need to put pressure on at all. So if it all sounds awful it has to be me not my equipment now!
I had my lesson today and my teacher was so impressed. He was asking for details and he spent about half my lesson just playing on my violin with my bow!! He reckons that string crossing is so much easier and that arpeggios are therefore a cinch, and so much more control at all parts of the bow."
"Just recorded another 2 albums with the bow & still very happy with it!"
"The new bow I've of course been trying out - most recently with the Arpeggione . The longish last mvt in partic. was easier with it, my hand tired less and a it encouraged a lighter, speedier bow-stroke."
"I recently purchased an Arcus Concerto viola bow ... and I thought I would let you know how impressed I have been with it. It really does perform as well as you claim on your website....The performance of the bow is most remarkable, the combination of strength and elasticity, together with a very low mass allows for a very easy style of playing previously only possible with old French master bows. The sound that this bow creates is of great richness, with upper partials having a freedom that is rarely possible with a wooden bow. The different position of the centre of gravity caused some initial problems, particularly with accented and articulated playing at the point, but a slight change in bow hold and technique has solved this problem."
"After the initial adjustment period the bow provides an extremely pure tone, especially in the higher registers where the sound will not crack as easily when playing near the bridge. Regarding the lower registers, the sound becomes deeper as well as louder and my teachers have both commented individually about this improvement in my sound."
"I tried all of them and found the sinfonia the best deal, it was just so light and responsive. It changed my violin's sound noticeably. It holds the string well but does take a while to get used to and to find the best point for sautill, spiccato is much easier!"
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