Glasser X-Series Carbon Fiber X-Bow Review (4/4 Violin)

Over time, you will find that your violin bow is subject to wear and tear. Whether it mistakenly falls off of your music stand or warps in storage, you may want to invest in a new one rather than repair individual parts. The Glasser X-Series Carbon Fiber X-Bow with Horsehair for full violins is a great starting point in your search for the next bow.

Things to Consider When Looking for a Violin Bow

The bow is paramount to sound quality. When looking for a replacement, you’ll want to check for suitability, quality, and affordability. The type of material you should choose depends on your skill, your technique, and your budget.

Lightweight materials like fiberglass and carbon fiber are good for beginner and intermediate players. Carbon fiber bows are very light and easy to use. Advanced violinists might want to invest in something more expensive, like a pernambuco wooden bow. There are both cheap and expensive versions of wooden bows, so you should be sure of your skill level before you take the plunge off of the deep end.

If you've outgrown fiberglass but you aren't good enough to drop thousands on a new bow, you might be interested in a hybrid of carbon fiber and pernambuco; or a pernambuco bow on the more inexpensive end of the spectrum.

The Glasser X-Series Violin Bow

The Glasser X-Series Carbon Fiber X-Bow with Horsehair for full violins features a round, carbon fiber stick and ebony frog with faux pearl eyes and slides. The roundness of the stick provides better tone, while the bow’s synthetic grip offers stability while playing.

Carbon fiber is more durable than fiberglass and only slightly more expensive. If you’re beginning to feel confidence in your skill but you don't want to spend too much, this may be right for you. However, if you know you're doing well and you want to spend a little bit more, a wooden bow may be right for you.

Pros

  • Made in the USA
  • Made of Carbon Fiber
  • Durable and affordable

Cons

  • May warp over time
  • Sound quality inferior to pernambuco
  • Takes a long time to rosin to personal preference

Features & Benefits

StickRound, carbon fiber stick

Glasser X-Series Violin Bow

The shape and the material of the stick play an important role in sound. I’ve learned from experience that round sticks are superior to octagonal sticks. As for the bow’s construction, it depends on the individual model. You want the stick to be flexible, but not flimsy. It should also be the right weight for you so that you don’t tire your arm.

The Glasser X-Series features a round stick made of lightweight carbon fiber. Its shape allows for a more dimensional tone than octagonal sticks can produce, and the carbon fiber is very sturdy, but still flexible enough to support tightening and loosening of the strings. The strength of the body is echoed in the bright, rich sounds that you’ll get from it.

Horsehair strings

The Glasser X-Series Carbon Fiber X-Bow may be on the inexpensive side, but it’s not entirely cheap. Instead of being strung with synthetic fibers, as is often done to cut costs, the bow uses genuine horsehair. This is extremely important when it comes to sound quality. I find that horsehair gives the violin a much more pleasant sound than when it is played with synthetic fibers. Horsehair also has more longevity than synthetic fibers and is less likely to become messy and unstrung with time.

Ebony frog

The frog is made of ebony, which is not only durable, but also lends elegance to the bow’s appearance alongside its faux pearl eyes and slides. It feels smooth and well-made in the hand.

​Rating

Design

4.

Performance

4.

Construction

3.5

Value for the Money

4

User Satisfaction

4

Alternatives

If you’re an advanced violinist searching for something more refined, here are some of the available alternatives:

VingoBow Violin Bow Carbon Core 

VingoBow Violin Bow Carbon Core

This VingoBow model is a hybrid, which means that the bow's stick is composed using a combination of two different materials. The stick has a carbon core with a laminated pernambuco wood exterior, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of both carbon fiber and pernambuco without all of the cost. Carbon fiber provides strength, while the pernambuco provides an aesthetic element. This bow is only slightly more expensive than the Glasser X-Series.

Compared to Glasser X-Series:

  • Hybrid material
  • Durable
  • Cost-efficient

Hidersine Octagonal Pernambuco Bow (4/4 Violin)

Hidersine Octagonal Pernambuco Bow (4/4 Violin)

For those who prefer an octagonal stick, there is this model from Hidersine featuring a full pernambuco wooden stick. This one is a bit more expensive than the previous bows, but it would be perfect for the prodigious student. It's not the finest of quality when compared to higher-end bows, but would make a fine gift for anyone who's made significant improvement in their violin skills.

Compared to Glasser X-Series:

  • Octagonal stick
  • Mid-range quality
  • Sturdy

Marco Raposo VB035 Silver 4/4 Pernambuco Violin Bow 

Marco Raposo VB035 Silver 4/4 Pernambuco Violin Bow

If none of the other bows are up to par, the Marco Raposo Pernambuco Violin Bow might be closer to what you're looking for. This is the real deal. Handmade in Brazil from the highest-quality pernambuco wood, this model is only for serious violinists. For those professional players who can't gamble with fiberglass, this is a finely crafted, surely reliable bow. Of course, there is a significant increase in price compared to the others, but this is reflected in the craftsmanship.

Compared to Glasser X-Series:

  • Very expensive
  • High-end quality
  • Good craftsmanship

Final Thoughts

Overall, the Glasser X-Series Carbon Fiber X-Bow with Horsehair for full violins is a reliable investment if you're shopping for the younger crowd of violinists. You don't have to worry about it breaking easily like other bows and it isn't going to break the bank, either.

Stephanie Su
 

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