Please click each of the FAQs below to see the answers.
We’ve built “coolness,” ease of play, personality, and durability into each bow. We’ve also made each bow unique. The primary difference is the type of material used to craft each bow. All our bows are constructed from carbon fiber, but BRUCE and LUKE blend their carbon fiber with fiberglass -- a lightweight and durable composite material that is not quite as robust or responsive, but more cost-effective.
BRUCE LEE also uses a natural black horse hair which is slightly more course and tactile. LUKE's and ZIGGY's hair is a colorized, high-grade horsehair. ZIGGY is also a blended bow, but using material slightly superior to what is used to build BRUCE and LUKE. ZIGGY also features a special "Texalium" skin which allows for a textured design rather than a solid colored stick.
CARMEN is a solid core carbon fiber bow, which is the most robust and responsive way to compose a bow that isn't wood. CARMEN also adds a nickel silver tip, which is both beautiful and functional -- it provides greater strength where the bow is often most vulnerable. CARMEN also features a more plush grip (where your thumb goes), a nickel silver inlaid signature and genuine flamed abalone (mother of pearl -- a valuable, iridescent material), topped off with premium Stallion horsehair.
All of these differences provide a diverse potential for design and functionality. Each bow has been carefully constructed to simulate the playability of a wooden bow at least double its value, coupled with the peace of mind and functionality of increased strength and stability afforded by carbon fiber’s advantages over wood.
Any of our bows can be used at any level of playing. I (Steve here) have used all of them in a variety of concert and music video settings. It’s been said, you get what you pay for. In the case of TPG Sharp Bows, you get much more. I’d prefer any of these bows to an entry-level or mid-level wooden bow any day. And those bows can often cost 3 to 4 times more.
Currently, I’m enjoying using ZIGGY to play my electric and carbon fiber cellos in concerts and CARMEN to play my wooden cello. For more serious or professional players looking for a primary bow, CARMEN is my recommendation. (But don’t forget to consider a “back-up” or inclement weather bow, in which case I’d recommend BRUCE, LUKE, or ZIGGY.) For those players who are just starting up, or play more occasionally, any and all of our bows will work wonderfully — just choose according to your tastes.
Any of these bows pair harmoniously with any kind of cello. CARMEN and ZIGGY have the most potential to coax a wooden instrument to sing angelically.
Good question! Way to think ahead. This depends on a lot of factors, namely, how often the bow is used and for how many hours at a time; how hard the bow is played (are we talking Mozart minuets or Stravinsky’s mayhem?) and in what conditions the bow is played.
Generally, players who are using their bow for a considerable period of time each day would rehair roughly every six months, whereas just-getting-started or occasional-jam-session players could go as long as two years between rehairs. Because we are one of the only brands to offer uniquely crafted and colorized hair, when it comes time to rehair we offer two convenient options:
- Send it in to us and we’ll rehair it for you (and we’ll match any reputable Luthier’s price you can find) or
- We’ll send the hair out to you directly and you can take it in to your local shop to get it installed.
Our bows are all currently size “4/4,” or full-size. The size of bow used typically corresponds with the size of instrument you are playing. If you are playing a half size cello for instance, then you would most likely play with a 2/4 or half-size bow.
Generally, anyone 12 and older (or slightly younger if you’ve been eating your broccoli) can use a full-size bow. We are currently considering offering smaller bows. If this is something you are interested in, please email us at [email protected]
Anyone who asks this question makes us a little nervous. Just kidding!
Our lifetime guarantee means that if your bow ever manifests any problems that are a result of an inherent defect, a manufacturing error, or something that isn’t caused by normal wear and tear or accidental (or purposeful) breakage, we’ll cover it.
You ship the bow to us and we’ll fix it or replace it. That’s it! Why do we guarantee our bows like this? Simply because we’re confident in how they’ll hold up and in how much you’ll love them.
You certainly could. But you’ll spend a great deal more money buying a wooden bow that will match the quality and playability of these bows and you’ll have to worry a great deal more about humidity, potential damage, and warping. TPG Sharp Bows offer an opportunity to simulate the experience of a more expensive wooden bow without the worry.
I noticed there is a significant difference between the prices for the LUKE and BRUCE bows and those for the ZIGGY and CARMEN bows. Is the difference due to the materials used to make each bow, or is there another reason for the difference?
The differences in price of the bows are primarily due to their composition.
- Graphite/Carbon Fiber
- Full Carbon Fiber
CARMEN also has a silver nickel tip, a premium grip, and higher quality stallion horsehair. It is a professional bow, whereas BRUCE and LUKE are more for student level players and ZIGGY is in-between.
All TPG Sharp Bows have been carefully designed to feel the way a handmade wooden bow feels — so the weight and balance are spot on — just enough to pull a solid sound from the strings, but not enough to fatigue your hand.
Rosin adds a little white flair to the hair. It textures nicely, like a painted canvas, not detracting from the original hair’s color, but accentuating it instead.
Not at all. We use a specialized non-corrosive dye that has been proven in the strings market for over 20 years. It will not harm your strings. It may, however, harm your reluctance to practice. :-)