Jim Clinton Violins Greenville, SC

Posts Tagged "violin"


Summertime fun may have dire consequences without proper attention to your valuable instrument.

Summertime fun may have dire consequences without proper attention to your valuable instrument.

In the summer time, the living can be easy, as the song goes.  However, heat and changes in humidity can wreak havoc with your bowed instrument if proper care is not heeded.

The physics of your instrument during seasonal change is fundamental.

  • In the winter, wood contracts.  
  • In the summer, wood expands.  
  • Humidity becomes more natural in your home during the warmer seasons, whereas, you may need to add a humidifier in your home during winter to keep your instrument from becoming too dry.

Your Instrument

Humidity causes expansion of the wood and can raise the height of your strings off the fingerboard by pushing your bridge upward. As this occurs, your sound post can also fall out of position.  Open seams and cracks can also occur especially when humidity is combined with heat, resulting in costly repairs and sometimes irreversible damage.  

Your peg box can be effected by temperature change also.  In the summer, as wood expands from rising humidity, you may find the peg holes and pegs expand, becoming stuck and difficult to turn. 

Outdoor Performing

The summer months tend to offer ample opportunity to perform or jam with friends out of doors. Avoid exposing your instrument to rapid temperature changes and direct sunlight.  When traveling about, never leave your instrument in the car.  Never. 

Your Bow and the Summer

Remember, it is not just your instrument that can suffer the effects of temperature change and humidity. Your bow is equally vulnerable to exposure. Even if yours is a composite of synthetic materials, the condition of the bow hair and its correct placement in the bow at either end can be impacted in a negative way. If your bow hair develops an improper fit (shrinking hair in hot, dry weather), the camber, or curve of the bow, can be damaged and permanently altered. A bow can break under these conditions.

What Can You Do?

What can a musician do to help ensure the health and wellbeing of their bowed instrument? Just as the physics of your instrument is fundamental, so are the steps everyone can take to prevent seasonal and weather related damage from occurring.

  • Clean your instrument and bow with a proper instrument cloth after each practice , or playing session.
  • Never allow rosin to accumulate on your wood or strings.
  • Use care to properly tighten and loosen your bow hair before and after you play.

Take Steps Now

The single best investment you can make to help insure the health and playability of your bowed instrument is to make an appointment with your luthier every 6 months for routine inspection and maintenance.  During this service you can have your pegs seasonally treated to avoid them becoming stuck, or so loose that you have trouble staying in tune. You might even consider being fitted for both a summer and a winter sound post.

How well your bowed instrument fares from one season to the next is largely up to you. By taking a few very basic precautions based on a basic understanding of the nature of your instrument, you can easily prevent most of the pitfalls resulting from changing temperature and humidity.


18th Annual Bluegrass First Class

  • @ Crowne Plaza Resort, Asheville, NC
  • February 15, 16, & 17, 2013
  • $45 Friday, $54 Saturday, $99 2-Days
  • Tickets: www.bluegrassfirstclass.com, or call Milton Harkey – 828-275-8650

Friday: Rhonda Vincent & the Rage, The Grascals, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, The James King Band, Will Clark & 10 FEET DEEP, Dillon

Saturday: The Bluegrass Album Band, Lonesome River Band, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Russel Moor & IIIrd Tyme Out, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, Julia Ann Band

Sunday: Appalachian Fire



All too often when you buy a new instrument it is setup to some common standard to fit most players most of the time.  Our passion for instruments does not let us just get by.  Every instrument that leaves Jim Clinton Violins is setup with the musician in mind.  Here is what we mean:

The Setup as (unfortunately) it usually is:
Instrument manufacturers offer their factory setup to music stores and reputable violin shops. This makes it easy for a store or a violin shop to have a large volume rental program without the intensive labor necessary in setting up hundreds, if not thousands of instruments. This significantly saves money and time, a necessity in a highly competitive rental market. Even though setups are offered as a selling point to the end user, they are often irregular, incomplete, mass produced setups done quickly with the bottom line price point as the primary function of this work, or they are cookie cutter setups meeting MENC or some other specifications designed rather to keep the instrument from coming back to the store for buzzing (resulting in being difficult to play). Hardly ever does a setup performed outside the local workshop and without consultation effectively meet an individual’s needs. It is important for the workshop technician to discuss with you your needs in order to complete your instrument setup. We welcome suggestions and preferences from you and your teacher.

Jim Clinton Violins has chosen to set in motion a new direction. We have chosen to stay small, avoid corner-cutting methodology, and put in the time necessary to provide an excellent musical experience for new as well as advanced musicians. The advantage of professional grade craftsmanship is now available to the new musician.

Many years of instrument setup research, an ongoing pursuit at Jim Clinton Violins, has made it possible for the musician to benefit.

The Setup as it should be:
A 14 task Setup couples the JCV Passion for Instruments with the musician’s Performance of a lifetime. The following description is a procedure simplification requiring up to 12 hours of detailed workmanship on a violin.

This is a basic setup applied to all instruments either before or at the time of purchase. Additional tap tuning, tonal and parts adjustments may be applied based on the requirements of the musician and his instrument.

Every adjustment performed on an instrument influences its tone and playability.

Performed on all Jim Clinton Violins instruments are the following Setup inspections and adjustments:

-Analysis & performance testing with a musician consultation
A conversation with the musician may be as simple as a few questions about his musical intentions, ensemble or solo use, tonal preferences, musical style, acoustic environment, and the innate realities of the musician’s instrument.

-Neck angle
Neck angle is foundational to correct feel and ease of play. Correct neck angle provides the ability for the technician to make appropriate adjustments, and provides the basis for the instrument’s ultimate tone, and power. Neck position must be correct before beginning a setup. Correcting the neck angle after doing the following procedures will require redoing all setup procedures.

The soundpost is initially set with the instrument’s removable parts disassembled in order to find the maximum tonal center of the instrument. Thickness, position, and proper fit of this hand made soundpost influences the instrument’s power, tone, and lifetime of the top and back.

Fittings are not merely accessories. Properly selected tuning pegs are made of a strong, dense wood, are easy to use, and accent the instrument’s appearance. Properly prepared and fitted pegs hold the string to pitch, are resistant to humidity changes, and are ergonomic during tuning. These pegs will give maximum life.

The fingerboard is a critical and complicated adjustment to the instrument. Carefully planed compound arcs on the fingerboard’s dense ebony is smoothed to a glassy finish and will stabilize pitch location, regulate string “feel” under the fingers, and clarify tone throughout the range of the fingerboard positions.

The nut is usually replaced with a new instrument setup. It is made of hard ebony and is painstakingly carved and fitted relative to the new fingerboard shape. The nut’s grooves are smooth and evenly spaced. It is fitted precisely to the instrument and fingerboard. This new nut influences string height feel and tonal focus. Strings will now last longer and deliver clearer tone.

-Neck thumb area
The neck’s lengthwise thumb area must be smooth and straight. It will be artistically graduated toward the neck heel and scroll ends of the thumb area. Any varnish is removed to provide a non-sticking surface for ease of shifting technique. Proper thickness and “cam lobe” sectional shape assists the left hand in locating pitches and minimizes fatigue. Changing the thickness of a neck has tonal implications and must be taken into account before performing this task.       

The saddle provides for sensitive tonal adjustments that will be tailored to the characteristics of the instrument and the musician’s acoustic preferences.

All work must be neat, carefully fitted to the instrument’s lines and contours in order to remain intact and allow clean vibration of the tailpiece.

The bridge has the greatest impact on the tone and response a musician experiences while playing his instrument. JCV purchases only select grain and top quality maple tonewood bridges. These are individually selected based on the instrument’s needs. The hand carved bridge can be tuned to warm the tone, brighten it, even out the tone between strings, and increase or temper the projection of an instrument. String clearance is also set for correct feel and pitch stability. Much time is spent on a professional bridge while carving, installing, play testing, removing, and repeating this process. For a professional bridge this sequence is repeated until the instrument response is optimum. Simply buying a “premade” or factory setup bridge and installing it will result in poor tonal characteristics, damaged strings, and if improperly fitted will damage the instrument’s top.

-String Selection
String selection, a close second bridge carving has the greatest impact on the tone and power of an instrument. Selecting appropriate strings is not a matter of liking a particular brand and putting that brand on every instrument. Each instrument and its setup brings with it individual requirements. These necessitate an understanding of the tonal characteristics that a particular string, its weight, its winding, materials, and design bring to an instrument’s projection and tonal potential.

As previously stated: “fittings are not merely accessories”. The tailpiece vibrates with the string and delivers tone. The materials, weight, shape, length, and position between the bridge and saddle provides subtle and sometimes not so subtle influence on tone, response, and harmonics.

The tailchord is lightweight, strong, and flexible allowing the tailpiece to vibrate. Shifting the length and position of the tailchord makes significant fine tuning adjustments for tone, clarity, balance, and power.

-Performance test & final adjustments with musician feedback
Performance testing and final adjustments are the last step in a process similar to cheese tasting. The technician must maintain focus and lock in on a tonal reference point. The fine-tuning of these adjustments will bring the instrument to its full potential.  Additional subtle adjustments are available once the musician experiences his/her new setup. The musician and technician may now perform final tweaks together.

-Document the setup
Once the instrument setup is complete, many hours invested are protected when the instrument setup is documented. This service is recorded for professional instruments.  We record the dimensions, positions, pitches, and mass of the many parts adjusted on this instrument. This will serve as a reference should a mishap occur influencing this most sensitive aspect of the completed musical instrument’s tone.

This is all part of the passion that drives Jim Clinton Violins for the instruments we sell.  Please feel free to contact us by calling 864-322-2622

We will be closed Saturday since our repairman / instrument setup technician, Alex Jones will be married to Hannah Bingham: Saturday 5/11/13. All of us at Jim Clinton Violins wish you a blessed day, Hannah and Alex. May you find fulfillment in following Christ together and happiness as you share your lives. ~ Jim, Kim and your friends at Jim Clinton Violins

Are You Being Served?


Have you ever felt like the sales pitch at the store was more beneficial to their bottom line than to serving your interests? Here are a few ways to determine whether or not you are being served. Be sure to read the last item. A phone call removes the impressive store facade from your conversation and quickly gets you to the heart of a store’s attitude toward helping you. 


Questions & Listening

If the salesperson goes into the “pitch” informing you of all the features and prices and asks minimal questions,  you may not be experiencing good service. The more interest a salesperson takes in your story and listens to you, the better your future with that company. Some sales clerk questions may be qualifying you but many questions asked of you indicates interest and effort in finding the best recommendation for you. 


Time & Space

Along with listening comes the good service habit of allowing you time and space. Hurrying you along with the sale because another call may come in or because the next person is waiting is not only rude but leaves you uninformed, under served, and merely another number at this store. A good sales consultant will often create opportunity to step out of the room to give you and your musician or spouse a chance to discuss the information privately before making a decision.


Explain that again, please

A patient consultant willingly repeats important information, even voluntarily. 


Good news, Bad news

Every contract has a requirement for each side to fulfill. If your representative tells you only the wow of their presentation, you will get the bad news later after you have signed the contract. By the way, a contract that doesn’t cover the good and bad news doesn’t tell you what is coming. 


Comments about a competitor

Competitors negative opinions of each other are biased opinions at best. 


Today only, Now

Pressure to make a purchase now minimizes your power in the decision process. Sometimes you may miss a good deal, but try to obtain information in advance of that pressure situation, should it occur. Every sale has to end some time, so be informed before the sale. Make a call and visit the website. Waiting till the last day for class forces you to make a pressure decision.


Information empowers 

Ask lots of questions. You will make a better decision if you know what your options are. 


Plus and Minus

Asking the clerk to explain the plus and minus of a particular selected item vs the plus and minus of another selection will help you choose a more personalized product than what you were seeking when walking into the store. Read “Why JCV?”.


Big Store or Local Shop

Big impressions are often smoke in mirrors when it comes to good products and personalized service. Shop around and find a local, small business that wants and needs your business. You can tell when a shop will try harder to serve you, even if they don’t seem to be the biggest, lowest priced guys around. 


Limited options

“This is our model to rent. This is our upgrade model. Any questions?” If that is what you get, there is not much for your child to grow into should he/she succeed. You do wish for your child to succeed. Lots of options here….


Contradictory claims

“We have high quality instruments and the lowest prices.” Discernment is necessary to understand that two different instruments may be discussed here or that this claim is simply too good to be true.


Inconsiderate behavior

Shop with people you like. Enough said. 


Call before you visit

Telephone manners and conversational courtesy informs you about a company and its culture. Before you walk into an impressively decorated and fully stocked store, you will have the advantage of knowing the people of this business before seeing their well planned facility presentation. Remember, you will be doing business with this company in the future, not just today. Once in the store, you are not obligated to stay and begin a long-term business relationship if you are not being treated fairly on the first day. Contact Jim Clinton Violins….see if they pass the test.

A reoccurring nightmare for teachers and repair persons is the bright-eyed student who comes in the door with their new acquisition, fresh from  (you pick), EBay, Craig’s List, the local flea market, antique store or the local pawnshop.  “It was a great buy”, they exude,  “and it only needs to have new strings or a new bridge or a setup or something.”  All too often the instrument is of inferior quality with budget level fittings, not of a high-grade wood, and will only aggravate their efforts to learn.  The chin rest is plastic and the sound post is not properly fitted so there is an almost imperceptible bulge to the top, or it falls and starts to roll around as soon as the strings are slackened even a little.  The old adage, “If it’ s too good to be true, it probably isn’t”, persists for a reason.  Or, “You get what you pay for.” Is another quote that comes to mind.  When shopping in these places the other adage one must keep forefront in their mind is, “Buyer beware.”  Often the people doing the selling are not informed as to the true value of these treasures.  They tell you it is old or pretty or some other quality as their selling point.  These qualities are not top priorities when buying an instrument, though they are considerations. It is exceedingly difficult to buy an instrument on the Internet and know exactly what you are getting.  The photographs and descriptions tell you nothing of the tone or sound of an instrument.  Sound and tone are perhaps the most important characteristics of an instrument along with playability.  You cannot get a good measure of these qualities when viewing an instrument on line.  It does not matter how pretty an instrument is if it does not sound good. In the initial rush of acquiring and instrument it is easy to get swept away in the moment.  Rushing into a contract at a school event while your child is wide-eyed with excitement is very tempting.   Taking a deep breath, shopping around to find the best deal to find a friendly atmosphere with folks who are there to help is a much better idea. As we all know, money does not grow on trees.  So take your time.  Evaluate the place as well as the instruments and what financing options they may have. Your best bet for buying an instrument that will suit your needs is a local shop that provides service after the sale.  A shop like this will have a friendly, helpful, knowledgeable staff that recognizes quality, not only in instruments but also in instrument care.  They set up each instrument to fit your needs, to meet your requirements.  They have researched the available product lines and will have what they feel is the best buy for the dollar available.  They can back up what they sell and will make sure that it is ready for you to play when you get it.  It is tough enough to learn a new instrument, you don’t need to add to the complications by using an inferior instrument that won’t stay in tune or the pegs don’t operate properly, or the bridge is ill fitted.  This can lead to frustrations that come from fighting the instrument just when you are facing the daunting task of learning how to play it. As a rule of thumb, your first instrument should be good enough to take you through and beyond your first three years of learning.  This way you can concentrate on learning the instrument and how to play it without the nagging problems incurred when parts fail, tuning pegs get stuck and will not turn, and the instrument becomes more of a hindrance than a help.  With an eye for the future, ask the local merchant if he has a rental plan for his instruments.  If they have a “rent to buy” program, you can work your way up to a better quality instrument as your playing skills advance.  This is especially helpful when buying for a child.  With the right program you can roll over your rental towards a larger instrument as the child grows.  Check into trade-in and buy back programs the store may also have.  Some stores keep detailed records of what they sell and whom they sell it to.  These stores often have buy back or trade in programs where you can recoup some of your investment when upgrading to a larger instrument or one of better quality.  Before buying ask about plans for rolling over rental money toward a better instrument, buy back and trade-up policies.  Find the one that is best for you. When passing through the threshold from being a music consumer to becoming a music producer, many things change.  This instrument is not just something pretty, but it is a tool for the expression of your artistic self.  This makes the qualities of playability and sound more important than ever.  If the instrument is not easy to play and cannot produce a pleasing sound, you aren’t going to want to play it.  It is that simple. As you progress on your musical journey, you will become more demanding of a responsive instrument that can reflect and express your music for others to enjoy.  Having the support of a local shop and all the services they supply is invaluable to your journey toward fulfilling your musical destiny.  The shop that deserves your business will offer good trade-ins when you want to upgrade or they provide a good rent-to-own program where you can take your equity in your instrument and apply it to an advancing instrument.  The deserving shop will have a knowledgeable, friendly, sales staff that helps you find the instrument that suits you, and a repair staff that can keep your investment in top form.  This will make your trip into the shop more of a delight and less of a chore as well as an opportunity to learn a bit more about the world of bowed instruments.  Additionally, with this support system you are free to keep your mind on your music and not on getting along with your instrument.  

Carolina Youth Symphony

Les Hicken, conductor

March 3, 2013

3:00 pm

@ McAlister Auditorium

Tickets: 864-232-3963

We’ve discovered the formula for making great grades in strings class!

Set yourself up with a really good instrument, put in some serious effort, and be sure to keep your teacher happy!

Jim Clinton Violins offers several models of violins, violas, cellos, and basses that are perfect for students. All of our instruments are assembled right here at Jim Clinton Violins in Taylors, South Carolina. With packages starting at $699, special back-to-school discounts and payment plans available, our instruments will make your teacher and your wallet happy.

Visit the instruments page for more details about the models described below. You may also wish to consult our detailed comparison of our four most popular string models.

V E Torelli: A+

V. E. Torelli violin, viola, cello, bassComes with steel core strings, a fiberglass beginner bow and thermoplastic case. Available in full size and children’s sizes. The V E Torelli is a great option for a first-year strings student.

  • Strings: Steel Core
  • Setup: OEM (original equipment manufacturer’s) setup performed in the US
  • Bow F1: Fiberglass beginner bow
  • Case C-100: Thermoplastic outer shell, arrow shaped basic case

Get more information about the V E Torelli.

Vitorio Torelli: Teacher’s Pet

Vitorio Torelli violin, viola, cello, bassAll the features of the V E Torelli, plus performance enhancements including a recarved bridge and new soundpost. Available in full size and most children’s sizes.

  • Strings: Steel Core
  • JCViolins signature Hypertune-1 setup w/ performance ehancements: recarve mfr bridge, fb, nut, new soundpost
  • Bow F1: Fiberglass beginner bow
  • Case C-100: Thermoplastic outer shell, arrow shaped basic case

Get more information about the Vitorio Torelli.

GianCarlo Torelli Basic or Ultimate: Honor Roll

Giancarlo Torelli violin, viola, cello, bassAll the features of the GianCarlo Torelli Basic plus a Pernambuco bow, and cloth-covered, aluminum reinforced case. Available in full size.

  • Strings: Perlon
  • Recarve MFR bridge (basic) or pro bridge (ultimate)
  • JCViolins signature Supertune-2 setup with performance & tone ehancements: pro bridge, fb, nut, post, tailchord, saddle
  • Bow H2: Hardwood for stable performance (basic) or Bow P3: Pernambuco, best bow tonewood (ultimate)
  • Pegs: Ebony Hill Heart-shape, with Hill style peaked tailpiece
  • E-Z Turn Peg Treatment system installed
  • Case C-100: Thermoplastic outer shell, arrow shaped basic case (basic) or Case C-200: Pedi cloth covered lightweight aluminum internal structure (ultimate)

Get more information about the GianCarlo Torelli.

S Mahler: Blow your Teacher Away

The S Mahler is the high school pro kit. Pick your own bow, and we setup the instrument to meet your specific needs. Available in full size.

  • Strings Perlon
  • JCViolins signature Supertune-2 setup with performance & tone ehancements: pro bridge, fb, nut, post, tailchord, saddle
  • Bow P4:Pernambuco, hand crafted in Brazil for added “zing” to sound and bowings
  • Pegs: Handcarved “Fleur-de-lis” design w/ matching tailpiece
  • E-Z Turn Peg Treatment system installed
  • Case C-200: Pedi cloth covered lightweight aluminum internal structure

Get more information about the S. Mahler.



My experience with ipe started when I needed a bow rehaired in the middle of a recording project.  I was playing fiddle for a singer-songwriter, and the hair on the good pernambuco stick that I reserved recording sessions and high profile gigs just was not getting it done.  I dropped by Clinton’s Violin shop and was trying out bows.  Jim said, ”Try this, it is new.”  He handed me a bow with a light color wood and a very nice looking frog.  It was heavy but very well balanced.  It produced a warmer if not quite as bold sound as the pernambuco bow, but it was more alive than my very good carbon fiber bow.  It tracked well and followed the strings very nicely.  It was not quite as stiff as either of the other bows but was not nervous either.  There was some give but I didn’t fight it during difficult bow passages either.  I took it to the recording session a few days later.  I was warming up in the studio and trying to figure out what bow to use since my main one was still being rehaired.  The singer-songwriter heard the ipe bow and said, “That sounds good. Use that one.”  So I used it on the session that day.  The combination of warmth and the smooth ease of performance make it a good choice for a bow.


As musicians, we tend to be more introspective. We tend to be aware of the spiritual aspects of life and the world around us.  To care for our environment, as commanded, is obedience to God.  As believers we will show good stewardship by accepting the responsibility that was given in the beginning.  As musicians, we are constantly striving for a better sound.  We want the best tools we can afford.  We search for that right instrument, and want to marry it up to a complimentary bow.  As the world strains under the load of supporting ever more people and a small fraction of those people take up bowed instruments, the amount of resources available for each person is diminished.  As more activities take place in the rainforests of Brazil, fewer trees remain uncut.  As a result, pernambuco, the wood of choice for violin bows, is an endangered species.



Many efforts have been made to find a substitute wood for pernambuco. Ipe (pronounced ?’-pay) is regarded as one of the best candidates.  It shares some of the properties that make for an excellent bow. Ipe is a dense tree from Brazil and has been utilized in making furniture, decking, and other outdoor uses. It is increasingly popular as a decking material due to its insect resistance and durability.  Indigenous peoples of the Amazon made hunting bows from the wood, which is the source of its common name pau d’arco, “bow stick”.  It is proving to be a very good source for violin bows. In recent years, some bows made of ipe even won gold metals in international string instrument making competitions. Good ipe bows certainly outperform the moderate level pernambuco bows. One bow maker claims, “Ipe bows are ideal for advancing players, with a medium firm to strong stick that is quick responding and offers full tone projection. Ipe makes for a bow with a medium to heavy weight, an excellent balance and a warm tone.”


Ipe is a fast growing wood that shares 90% of the physical properties of a high quality pernambuco. This makes it an extremely good choice for making bows. While this wood is more commonly adopted in Europe and among European makers, it is less commonly used in the US and Asia. In double blind tests, this bow has outperformed pernambuco bows. Many European bow makers have used ipe and continue to use it in their bow lineups. Prestigious bow making competitions have been won with ipe bows. The best advantage ipe has over pernambuco is cost. It is a fast growing tree, so it is easily replenished, therefore making it a candidate for sustainable usage.


Pernambuco is not the only wood that is getting scarce, so is ebony, a material of choice for making the frog of the bow.  In late 2011, Taylor Guitars and Madinter Trade, S.L, an international distributor of guitars and tonewoods used to make musical instruments, partnered to purchase Crelicam, an ebony mill located outside of Yaoundé, Cameroon. The new ownership shares a forward-thinking vision for the procurement and milling of ebony, one that offers both investment and enrichment to the local community and ensures that ebony is legally, sustainably and ethically harvested.  Ebony, a material used in lots of musical instruments and for frogs on bows, has become quite scarce.  This prompted Bob Taylor of Taylor Guitars to buy an ebony plantation so he could manage his supply.  When he found out that the wood cutters may cut ten trees in order to find one that was all black and let nine lay in the forest to rot because they brought less money due to color variations, Taylor announced that from now on ebony will display these color variations.  There is not enough ebony to meet the demand.  Taylor said, “We need to use the ebony that the forest gives us.”


Much of the same thing is happening with pernambuco.  While it is increasingly being grown in sustainable plots, it is becoming more expensive and harder to get.  Ipe has many characteristics that make it valuable as a bow material.  We are living in a world where flexibility is required.  We cannot remain dogmatic that only one wood is good for an application.  We all need to be to be ready to embrace change.




In researching this article I found quite a number of bows out there made from ipe and they range from inexpensive to quite pricey.  Jon Paul Ipe bows start around $200 with nickel-silver and range up to $450 with fully mounted silver.  Comparable pernambuco bows made in Brazil, start at $400 for nickel-silver and $700 for fully mounted silver. Asian imports range from less than $100 to a couple of hundred dollars, and European makers charge more for their work.  There is a bowmaker in Montana who makes bows out of bamboo, but they start at $1,000.  A bit more than some players want to spend.  Good carbon fiber bows start in the $300 to $400 range, and while they are no match for the very best bows out there, they are a definite step up from fiberglass and Brazilwood bows often offered as part of beginner outfits.  Ipe makes for a warm sounding bow with good handling characteristics.  Ipe makes for a reasonably priced bow that produces a more dense and live sound than a carbon fiber bow.  So in this time of an ever so fast changing world, it is good to know that while not everyone is a bow maker, there are bow makers out there finding what will work best for you in a bow in the future.


Bob Buckingham performs in the southeast region on a variety of folk instruments, but primarily plays fiddle. While teaching and playing Old Time and Bluegrass fiddling styles, Bob uses a bow of pernambuco, carbon fiber, and now Ipe.

To try an Ipe bow or discuss its attributes Contact Jim Clinton Violins.


Joshua Bell



Peace Center, Greenville

Joshua Bell will perform in Greenville, SC

Where: the Peace Center for the Performing Arts, 300 S. Main Street, Greenville, SC

When: February 24, 2013, 3:00 pm

With: Pianist, Sam Haywood


  • Shubert Sonatina in A minor D385
  • Strauss Sonata for Violin and Piano in E-flat
  • Prokofiev Sonata for Violin and Piano No 2 in D major

Tickets: $45, $55, $65, $75