May 21, 2020 at 9:34 pm #41517
Just curious if anyone uses an Incredibow? I got interested in it after following a discussion on one of the Facebook sites I follow. Some folks had a lot of good things to say about it, so I ordered one, and I really like it. It is not a traditional bow, but I love how light it is.
Here is the website: https://www.incredibow.com/
Here is my review…
My Incredibow arrived earlier this week. I purchased the Featherweight, no frills, medium tension model which is their number one seller. It definitely is a unique bow as the stick curves down rather than up, and the tension on the “hair” is constant and does not require any adjustment up or down at all. But, those are only two differences.
The first thing that struck me after opening up the box was how light it was. At 35 grams or 1.23 ounces, it is a bit more than one ounce lighter than my other two bows, the Holstein 1-star Pernambuco Bow and the Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber Bow , both of which weigh in at 64 grams or 2.25 ounces. Holding each bow from the middle, the weight difference is not that noticeable, but when holding each bow at the frog, the difference in weights is remarkable. The Incredibow is as light as a feather as it is made from a hollow, tapered graphite/epoxy tube. In fact, after playing with it for a while, I switched back to my Holstein bow, and it felt like I was trying to play with a baseball bat. I find the difference amazing.
The second thing I noticed is the width of the hair, actually 200+ strands made of tough synthetic polymer filament. The Incredibow has a narrower width than my traditionally haired bows. At .79 cm or 5/16 inch wide it has .32 cm or 2/16 less width, as my other two bows have their hairs strung at 1.11 cm or 7/16 inch wide.
The grip area is octagonal and not round like most bows, and it has a more generous space for the thumb. That, along with five layers of a rubberized coating on the stick and frog area, makes for an exceedingly good grip with more comfort than a traditional bow. I find there is more room to bend my thumb properly and it stays bent as I play.
The first hour or so I played with my Incredibow, I wasn’t wild about the sound, but I believe part of that was getting used to how light it is and being overly cautious with loading too much rosin at once. However, as I adjusted to the weight and built up sufficient rosin, I began to like the ease in which this unique bow made playing easier and the rich sound it produced.
I kept switching between my three bows listening carefully, and while I can’t say I noticed a significantly better sound from one particular bow, I can say I liked playing more with my new Incredibow; it just seems easier to play on the strings with less effort and easier to hold in these older hands, and for me, both of those are pluses!
So, this is my initial impression of my new Incredibow after using it for five days. I would be interested in hearing from any other Incredibow users out there, or would be glad to answer any questions if you have them. Just post below in the Comments section.
June 20, 2020 at 1:47 pm #41855KvmceffParticipant
Just got word mine is in the mail. I will let you know what I think and compare to my Arcus bows!
June 22, 2020 at 12:47 pm #41869
Yes! Please do so, Kvmceff.
June 22, 2020 at 3:54 pm #41870KvmceffParticipant
It’s here. I can tell I haven’t been playing!! My first notice was a sense of differently balanced. I was pushing harder on the Incredibow. Sound is subtly different. Maybe the bow changes are more distinct. Or crisper. A tad more loudness. Not sure if I would say fuller sound, though.
Will keep at it and play more. Is there a way to share recordings?
June 25, 2020 at 1:30 am #41932
It took me a while to get used to it, too. I really don’t hear any difference between the Incredibow and my other two horsehair bows. Perhaps a more refined ear than mine would hear a difference.
You would need to upload your recording to a service like YouTube, Clyp, or one of the other ones and then share the address.
April 3, 2021 at 5:05 am #46892PeterParticipant
I’m new to the forum and was wondering how you guys feel after one year of playing? I’m thinking about getting one because I was looking for a baroque bow made out of carbon fibre (I live in Okinawa where the humidity is crazy high and wood bows do not do well here). Any feedback you may have of your experience would be appreciated!
April 3, 2021 at 9:00 am #46893
Of the 3 bows I own, my Incredibow is my favorite. For me, it is just easier to play with it. I have experimented with going back to my other bows, but I keep coming back to my Incredibow.
If you have a Facebook account, check out Brett Dudenhoeffer. He plays exclusively with an Incredibow.
April 5, 2021 at 1:59 pm #46910cbFidHed2020Participant
Peter, I don’t think it’s a straightforward decision. The Incredibow will not handle exactly like a traditional bow. If you can find a way to try one out in Okinawa that would be best. I think it also depends on how long someone’s been playing, the type of music played, and personal preference.
I was given an Incredibow for my birthday last month. For me, it has its pros and cons. For all-around playing, it’s a little bit of a let down. For me, its forte will be playing outdoors and playing faster fiddle tunes, especially double stops.
It is impervious to the weather. I play outside a lot and I was sick of bows tensioning and detensioning themselves on the fly, so it’s good for that. The synthetic hair/carbon stick combination has a good bit of give to it and it seems to hug the two strings in a double stop in a nice, natural, balanced way. Very nice. It has a quick action to it when playing very short fiddle strokes. It chops nicely playing near the frog.
The sound produced by the bow is fairly similar to my other bows, but my favorite bows produce a slightly more complex tone. The Incredibow also produces less of a dynamic range.
The frog and grip are coated with a thick, cushy rubber that feels nice when playing for an excessive amount of time. However, a true beginner would probably never learn proper bowing technique or control using the Incredibow alone. The frog is not a traditional shape and a proper hold couldn’t be taught. The end is shorter than other bows and a larger hand might lack room for the pinky. Notice in video mentioned above, the fiddler has a proper English teacup grip with pinky extended straight in the air. The bow is very light and I sure won’t be using mine for scales and exercises. I don’t think the hand and wrist would develop strength. The feel and handling is just so different from a traditional bow that I haven’t enjoyed using it. I am not a new player.
When tilting the Incredibow, the synthetic hairs squish together forming a cord. That makes it easy to grab a double stop, but I feel some bowing techniques would be impossible with this arrangement. Someone who has already developed some decent bowing skills could adapt to the Incredibow for certain styles of playing and could thrive with it.
Right now, I am crazy about my Fiddlerman Hybrid Violin Bow from Fiddlershop online, just under $120 US. It is a carbon stick wrapped with a thin veneer of pernambuco, and of course has traditional horse hair and a traditional shape. It is comfortable to hold, feels naturally effortless to play, produces a lovely tone with depth, and adapts well for playing melodic pieces as well as brighter fiddle tunes.
After all that, the Incredibow was recommended to me by a virtuoso fiddler and violinist I follow. He loves his. He often plays several fiddle gigs a day and appreciates the light weight. Plus, many of his gigs are outdoors. He does play an acoustic-electric fiddle and I think that is a factor. I’m playing a traditional instrument. Fortunately, I saw another one of his incredible performances the week I got my Incredibow, and that was enough to make me keep the bow and resolve to adapt to it for fiddling outdoors.
If you do buy the Incredibow, I think it’s best to stick with whatever rosin you already have that works for you. We bought the rosin recommended by the manufacturer and it drew horrific sounds! Finally gave up and used my normal preferred cake of rosin and it sounded like a violin again.
April 5, 2021 at 11:44 pm #46916PeterParticipant
Thanks so much! You both have been helpful. Unfortunately I think the only way to try is to buy…
I’ve been playing 35 years now and am classically trained. I’ve never used a baroque bow, but being in a high humidity climate this may be the closest analogue to a wood carbon fibre bow. Thank you for the feed back, I have a lot to think about.
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