Can you hear the difference between a $500 and $160,000 violin bow?

10 May 2018, 17:46

These four violin bows range from $500 to $160,000 in price. Can you hear the difference?

If you’ve got a well-trained ear, you’ll probably be able to hear the difference between a cheap modern violin and an expensive antique. But have you ever thought about how the violin bow might influence the instrument’s sound?

Esther Abrami is an Instagram violinist who has released a comparison video of the four violin bows she tries with her 1690 Stradivarius.

Violins can be some of the most expensive instruments (yes, Stradivari, we’re looking at you), so the cheapest bow Esther uses is worth a still-eye-watering $500. 

She then plays Monti’s Csárdás on three more bows: a $40,000 François Voirin, a Joseph Henry on the market for $90,000, and a Dominique Peccatte model worth a whopping $160,000. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the sound gets warmer and smoother as the bows increase in price.

Read more: Why are musical instruments so expensive?


Follow Esther on YouTube and Instagram for more videos.