JonPaul Bravo Model Carbon Fiber 4/4 Violin Bow Review

As a young violinist, I never realized what an incredible difference a great violin bow could make. Like many people, I thought all the magic was in the violin itself, or that I had to have a Strad just to sound good. That’s when I met JonPaul -- or rather, my JonPaul Bravo Carbon Fiber bow.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Violin Bow

When I started to take my playing seriously, I longed to produce those rich, caramel-buttery tones, but as an artist, I knew I needed to take my budget seriously too. I wanted a strong, quality bow to help me bring out clarity and soulfulness while allowing me to develop finer technique. A carbon-fiber bow, I thought, would give that perfect combination of strength and lightness -- like pernambuco, but not at pernambuco prices!

The JonPaul Bravo Model Carbon Fiber 4/4 Violin Bow

The JonPaul Bravo Model Carbon Fiber full-size (4/4) bow was everything I was looking for. Made of strong, single-piece carbon fiber, the 60-gram Bravo model features high-grade hair, a fully-lined frog, a three-part pearl eye design, and a Steinway Black Diamond finish. Here’s a quick list of pros and cons:

Pros

  • Solid and confident feel
  • Elegant and sleek
  • Great balance
  • Amazing price for the quality
  • Great balance

Cons

  • Hair needed more rosin than usual
  • More sensitive to different rosins than other bows
  • More suited to traditional audiences

Features & Benefits

Strength and Flexibility

JonPaul Bravo Model Carbon Fiber 4/4 Violin Bow

Your bow should feel like an extension of your arm, allowing you to play with confidence. You want your bow to be durable and responsive, which is why I loved the JonPaul Bravo. The carbon-fiber construction means that this bow is incredibly strong, which makes me feel assured even in a crowded orchestra pit. Next, you want your bow to be solid, and at 60 grams with a lovely leather grip, the JonPaul Bravo is just perfect for me. You also want high-grade hair, and the first time the JonPaul Bravo bow touched the strings, I heard the difference. The other wonderful quality about the JonPaul Bravo model is that the carbon fiber bow is not fussy about humidity and temperature like wood is. If you live in an area like mine, you’ll appreciate that!

Looks

The minute you look at the JonPaul Bravo model bow, you’ll think, “Classic elegance.” The bow’s shape makes it so easy to handle, moving in a sleek, graceful black curve from the silver alloy tip to the ebony frog with its ringed pearl eye. It’s such classic styling, like a Chanel dress -- it never goes out of style.

You Don’t Have to Starve to Be an Artist

Best of all, the JonPaul Bravo carbon fiber bow is great value for the money. As an artist, you know you have to work hard, develop technique, and practice, but not everyone can afford a bow that costs thousands of dollars. As pioneers in the field of carbon fiber construction, the makers of the JonPaul Bravo truly show you can have uncompromising quality without breaking your artistic budget.

Rating

Design

3

Performance

5

Construction

5

Value for the Money

5

User Satisfaction

5

Alternatives

CodaBow Diamond GX Carbon Fiber Violin Bow

CodaBow Diamond GX Carbon Fiber Violin Bow

Like the JonPaul Bravo, the CodaBow Diamond GX bow is a great mix of high-tech and tradition with a Kevlar acoustic core, carbon-fiber design, and ebony-wood frog. What’s more, it comes with a lifetime warranty to the original player. At 62 grams, the CodaBow Diamond GX is a little longer and heavier than usual.

Comparison

CodaBow Diamond GX

Price: $803.00

Weight: 62 grams

Material: Carbon fiber, Kevlar core

JohnPaul Bravo

Price: $377

Weight: 22.7 grams

Material: Carbon Fiber​

DZ Strad Pernambuco Violin Bow

DZ Strad Pernambuco Violin Bow

The 62-gram DZ Strad is pernambuco crafted with a medium-to-strong degree of stiffness, and the hairs are genuine unbleached grade-AAAA Mongolian horsehair. However, the real star of the show is the stunning and distinctive frog made of iridescent abalone shell.

Comparison

DZ Strad Pernambuco

Price: $599.00

Weight: 62 grams

Material: Pernambuco wood, abalone

JohnPaul Bravo

Price: $377

Weight: 22.7 grams

Material: Carbon Fiber​

Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber Violin Bow

Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber Violin Bow

The least expensive bow on my “Looks Possible” list was the generally well-reviewed Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber Bow. The 60-gram Fiddlerman, like the DZ Strad, also features quality Mongolian horsehair and careful attention to balance, but some reviewers were less than enthusiastic about the hair quality and bounce. At the very affordable price point, this is a bow for a serious novice to consider.

Comparison

Fiddlerman Carbon

Price: $67.00

Weight: 60 grams

Material: Carbon fiber

JohnPaul Bravo

Price: $377

Weight: 22.7 grams

Material: Carbon Fiber​

There are many outstanding bows out there, and ultimately, it’s hard to go wrong with carbon fiber. For beginners, the Fiddlerman is a solid and inexpensive bow, while if you’re looking for sheer eye-catching style and are willing to pay more for pernambuco wood, the DZ Strad Pernambuco is a strong -- if more expensive -- selection. My advice? Check these bows out for yourself!

Final Thoughts

After looking at many bows, I loved the JonPaul Bravo model best. At $377, it’s easy on most players’ budgets and won’t force you to make the hard choice between quality and price. You can have both! With its classic elegance and durability, the JonPaul Bravo is the one you might keep coming back to in your quest to make your sound soar. Give it a try!

Stephanie Su
 

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