Violin Bow tuning for fuller and richer tone ...by David Langsather {5/2016}
...There are two basic acoustical ideas I believe that need to be satisified in order to get a properly matching bow for a particular violin; that is the bow which will get the most of the violin in performance.
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... I suspect that the 'Rub Tone' of the bow should match the wood of the instrument:
please see:
www.violinresearch.com/violinrubtone_001.htm
for more information on this subject.
...If the insturment has numerous different rub tones for its major components, then I select the rub tone of the top plate, or possibly the back plate and try and select a bow which is made of wood having that rub tone. It would be preferable if the wood of the violin frog also matched this rub tone.
...The goal is to have an instrument make entirely of matching rub tone woods and to then mate that instrument to a bow made of entirely matching rub toned wood.
(...As you might imagine, this kind of matched set is probably very rare.)...
...For sure I believe the best performing bows have matching rub tone wood for both the bow wood proper and the ebony wood of the frog.
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...As to the tap tone of the bow stick:
...First, I believe that you would like a bow to have a downward {downward from above toward the hair} tap tone, all along the length of the bow, which is even throughout its length, and this should match the center tap tone of the back plate of the instrument, which should be 198 HZ; (G below middle C on the piano).
{ To test, please review articles on tap tone skills which should prove helpful:
see www.violinresearch.com and the index by subject}: OR:
http://www.violinresearch.com/violin_065.htm

...Once you understand the basic principles you should be ready to use tap tones to adjust your bow to acoustical balance, provided it is close enough to the goal frequency ( 198 HZ) to adjust.
...Finally, the bow being even in fundamental tap tone all along its length, you next want to adjust the bow tip and frog so that the each end tap in line with the bow hair also matches this tap tone { 198 HZ} ; then your bow will be performing at a higher level.
...Unless I am wrong, I strongly suspect that the ideal violin bow will have a tap tone of 198HZ, G below middle C on the piano. In these various directions.
...Perhaps if there is enough interest I will present a detailed description on how to adjust each area specifically...
...In the mean time when selecting a bow for your violin, just tap the center of the back plate and then the bow in these various areas; the bow closest to matching will possibly sound the best with your instrument.
signed: David Langsather (c) 2016; Salem, Oregon, USA
..The first adjustment is to have the fundamental part of the tap tone (as well as the highest part of the tap tone) match all along the bow stick.
..If the tap tone (fundamental) is too low, then scrape even amounts from each side of the stick in that area until the tap is raised to match your goal frequency.
..If the tap tone (fundament, or lowest part of tap) in a certain area is too high, then scrape even amount from the top and bottom of bow in that area until it matches your goal frequency.
...Finally, we want to tune the bow tip and frog to match the new even tap tone of the stick.
...Note: no space for the text!
..If tip is too low in fundamental tap tone, then scrape side of bow head; if too high, then scrape material from front edge to lower tap tone to goal frequency.
..If the front end tap (inline with bow hair) is too low, then scrape the side concave shape evenly on each side to raise it. If too high then scrape material from inner or outer ends to lower to goal.
To refinish, you might try some boiled linseed oil lightly applied with a cotton rag (being careful to not touch the hair).

I have read about possibly adding a little plaster of paris into the oil before rubbing in to bow wood.

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... I suspect that the 'Rub Tone' of the bow should match the wood of the instrument:
please see: www.dalemfg.com/violinrubtone_001.htm for more information on this subject.
...If the insturment has numerous different rub tones for its major components, then I select the rub tone of the back plate and try and find a bow which is made of wood having that rub tone.
...The goal is to have an instrument make entirely of matching rub tone woods and to then mate that instrument to a bow made of entirely matching rub toned wood.
(...As you might imagine, this kind of matched set is very rare.)...
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...I hope this information is helpful, please let me know if you have questions....

David Langsather
503 364-8685 PST USA
or E-mail to
dalemfg@q.com