Arcus Violin Bow

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Welcome to Arcus - home of 21st century bows.

We strive to supply musicians with bows that achieve perfection as never before and that are made to enthrall any audience to maximum delight by freeing the player of all the usual problems that are common to traditional bows and copies thereof.

To achieve this goal we continuously carry out what is probably the most intense and thorough research work ever on bows. We then match our analysis with the finest materials and excellent workmanship to produce an exclusive line of premiere bows. ARCUS Violin Cadenza gold

Countless professional players around the world, as well as advanced amateurs and students, have acquired an Arcus bow over the past decade - to make it their primary bow - and keep on playing happily with it.

Experience the unique power and lightness of playing an Arcus bow. Odds are that you will stick to it. We are now introducing our new range of bows that will gradually replace the current models. Click the image to download the new brochure (pdf).

"Spectacular" Christian Tetzlaff

(Concert in Tokyo with the NHK Symphony Orchestra. Cadenza bow.)

"Since 2004 I am playing with an Arcus Cadenza bow. It pulls a rich sound from my J. Steiner violin with many overtones that fills every concert hall.

From the beginning its lightness and agility was absolutely tempting. With wooden bows you always have to make the choice between the two, but with the Arcus I can have both, plus a noble and pure sound in the upper registers and precision in the bass.

I just acquired a second, octagonal, Arcus which also has a very beautiful sound, a little meatier in the middle, which feels really strong.

My wife, who plays first violin in the same orchestra shortly purchased a Cadenza gold, which matches her old Italian violin perfectly. This amazing bow pulls a sound that is full and round at the same time. It is very stable in soft pianissimo and has unlimited potential at the tip.

BRAVO to Arcus for this innovation with talent, technology and musicality."

Stefan Rodescu, Concertmaster, Orchestre National d'Ile de France

"This is a bow with an exceptional sound, an extraordinary clear articulation and is very comfortable. It improves the sound of the instrument in every aspect: the volume, the projection and the colors. It works perfectly for chamber music as well as for soloists, but also for the hard work in an Orchestra (in my case - the opera).

Thank you very much for thinking of us who spend countless hours in the orchestra pit - with your bows this job is so much easier to handle!!!"

Vera Paskaleva, Assistant section leader, Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid

"I purchased a Cadenza violin bow several weeks ago. I feel that I have to let you know how much I enjoy playing my Arcus bow. I have owned a number of very fine French and English bows (two Simons, D. Peccate, Henry, Tomassin, Bazin, among many others) and none have had the outstanding playing and sound characteristics of your bow. It is almost impossible to find a bow with which to play a delicate and light piece and a heavy and loud one with the same easy, refinement, and comfort as with my Arcus bow. The quality of sound is wonderful and leaves nothing to be desired. Three of my students are also playing on your bows with the same great results.

So, please accept my many thanks for such an outstanding product."

Ricardo Cyncynates, Assistant Concertmaster of the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington, USA

"My Arcus Cadenza allows me to play very powerful and still keeps a surprising subtleness and precision at the same time. It's handling is entirely uncomplicated and it lies perfectly in the hand!

The sound it produces is big and round, together with a wonderful clarity and penetrating power."

Isabelle Faust

Isabelle Faust plays the "Sleeping Beauty" Stradivarius dated 1704 and a "Del Gesu" from Peter Greiner, made in 2001.

"I have played in the past with beautiful old French bows, like Sartory and the like, but this bow is superb in quality. I was a little bit shocked at first that a bow (not made of wood) could be so excellent. I am a concertmaster in a the North Netherlands Orchestra in Groningen for already thirty years and this is the best bow I ever felt in my hands."

Michiel de Sterke MA, BA (now plays a round Cadenza silver bow)

"I have my Arcus Cadenza gold now for 3 days and I have just played my first concert with it: What a pleasure!

It allows me to switch from pianissimo to fortissimo without any difficulties, pulls a rich or light sound, provides a perfect contact to the strings and an unmatched security which I have experienced neither in my F.N. Voirin nor in any other bow. I am sure that over the next days I will discover more new facettes in this bow. Bravo for your work."

Orlando Faneite, section leader 2. violins, Orchestre de Chambre Français Albéric Magnard.

"Regarding the Cadenza Gold: I feel very honored playing this bow. The sound is deep, smooth and sovereign. The playability is extremely easy and exact. I always felt slightly uncomfortable playing the fast movements of Mozart's violin concertos and sonatas. With the Cadenza I achieve for the first time in my life the phrasing I had always meant to play and everything sounds joyful and easy.

I sold my beautiful (but 65 grams heavy) Sartory bow. The combination of my 17th Century violin and the brand-new Cadenza Gold is superb! The Concerto remains also a favorite to me, it feels already like an old friend. Off course the sound projection does not match the Cadenza. So I will use the Cadenza gold for my performing activities and the Concerto for the teaching work. After selling my beautiful but too heavy Paul Weidhaas viola bow I will order an Arcus Concerto viola bow .

These bows make me very happy and I am starting a new violin-life with them."

Hugo Holleman

"When I first heard of the Arcus bows, I was rather skeptical. I had played other carbon bows before and found them quite disappointing. In addition I used to prefer heavier bows, where the Arcus are extremely light. Out of curiosity I tried the bows nevertheless and after only 10-15 minutes I knew I would have to own one. It turned out that the bow I liked best was a Sinfonia, interestingly the lightest one of the entire selection!

With the new bow my violin sounds much fuller and richer in the overtones, each tone in my play comes out much clearer and focused than ever before, with the greatest improvement in the upper registers and in chords. My playing has become much easier and very relax because of the bow's steadiness on the strings. Triple chords can be played so nicely and the bow also helps greatly in avoiding unintentional "bow-vibrato" in pianissimo passages during performances. It took me a while to figure out the off-string bowings, but now I can vary them much more than before.

I want to thank you for every single minute I am playing the Arcus bow for the endless pleasure it brings to me."

Marta Kletinitch, Violinist, "Duo Appassionata"

"For more than one year I am now playing happily with my Arcus bow. I think I convinced a couple of friends to switch over to an Arcus (Cadenza) for its lightness, its rapid response and especially for its wonderful sound.

Sometimes I meet skepticism against carbon fiber bows, but then I simply let them try the bow to convince them of its qualities.

I don't reject to maybe invest in a good pernambuco bow some time, but you have to admit that you would have to pay a lot more for a bow with similar qualities as my Arcus.

Many thanks to Arcus for the continued development and the great service for the music."

Frederic Moisan

"Incidentally, although I am a bassoonist, I ran across an article regarding bows by Andrew Victor. The comments regarding the Arcus bows by Mr. Victor so intrigued me that I convinced my wife to try an Arcus Concerto violin (she is a violin/viola player and teacher, and was using a fine Tubbs). She loves the Arcus bow! So much so, we have also bought (or will have in the next 2 weeks--our son's viola bow is currently on order) Arcus Concerto bows for all of our 4 children (our eldest daughter is a viola major/Masters program at Juilliard). Although there are other bows in their cases, the Arcus bow is the bow that is being used ALL the time by ALL of them!"

Jim Fellows "The quality of a bow for string instruments can be defined mainly on how well it allows the player to gain full control over his performance. Arcus has this quality. In addition, Arcus bows offer “a new dimension” in sound, compared to most traditional wooden bows. Of course, the “one ideal sound” is a myth, just like different strings made from various materials may all sound beautiful but different. But the sound produced with an Arcus bow is quite like with an old “Tourte”. I wish that players will be able to happily appreciate the benefits of the Arcus bows at its reasonable price, and be no longer deluded by the famous names and high prices."

Hitoshi Maezawa, violinist

NHK Symphony Orchestra.

" Now that I have done an intense exploration of carbon fibre bows, I want to share my results with everybody involved and interested...

For my trials I had 5 carbon fibre bows: Coda, Righetti and Arcus, the reference being my very good Dölling bow which I bought at 1,000 € a while ago.

The Codabow (the "Classic" model) got sorted our right away. The workmanship is so bad, I could hardly believe it. It looked and felt like a crude stick. (At the end of my trials I played it anyway and found it doesn't sound to bad.) This left the Righetti (Sartory model) and Arcus (2 Sinfonia octagonal and 1 Sinfonia round).

Righetti: A true aesthetic pleasure. ... The stick of the "Sartory" shows the total mastery of the material. It is slim and lean, the fibres are visible and lightly iridescent. Over all a very warm appearance with some similarities to wood. The grip feels good too. It feels good in the hand, the balance is perfect. The sound: Very impressive how the "Sartory" draws over the strings. One can handle it very easy, the sound develops as very even and "creamy". It can also jump, not so easy though (although made from carbon fibre it is build with the same weight as a wooden bow). ... A friendly and comfortable bow which executes with elegance what's being asked of him.

But then the direct comparison with the Dölling shows a little different picture. The claim that it performs in different league does not hold true here, especially when taking in account that the Dölling is even a little cheaper. It does not reach the brilliance of the Dölling. The sound is rather muffled and the sound spectrum is not nearly as rich. Spiccato: the Dölling is much more stable on the strings, while the "Sartory" jumps back and forth and is pretty capricious. The sound is also more scratchy.

Conclusion: A very good bow, but not as good as my 1,000 € Dölling. It may be unbreakable, but still is not really a "catch". ...

ARCUS: ... from the Musikmesse 2000 I already knew that one can not play these bow "just like that". They have a different concept and one has to adapt to it.

But instantly I recognized that something about them has changed since then. In contrast to the "show-shock" I can get much faster to a feel for the bow which allows me to control it nicely. ... With the first sounds it becomes instantly clear that here the promises hold true - it develops a big sound and a rich timbre. Any listener realizes at once that this is the bow which delivers the most powerful sound. One can really dig in deep! All strokes work really fine, due to the light weight of the bow miraculously easy and without any effort. Here I see totally new possibilities unclosing which are the main reason for me to take a dive into this new technology. It was never before so easy to go from detachč to spiccato. Finally one can play Baroque with a modern bow. Mozart, Bach,... all this finally works with a "normal" violin and a "modern" bow. Until now I pulled out my baroque bow on such occasions.

The comparison to the Dölling: At first the playing qualities seem to be similar. Both deliver a clean spiccato, without much noise. Both draw a round and rich tone. The Arcus is the clear winner when it comes to combine fast strokes in forte. One can give the strings some real big lashes. It is light, takes a lot of force and the response is just so much faster. Thus I can just get a lot more out of my violin. It is very impressing how much pressure you can apply. After some more hours of playing there is so much brilliance and richness. Both detache and spiccato can be executed in a way that delivers a perfect sound, the extremely fast change of bowings is for me a novelty in the technique of the violin play.

Back to the Dölling I find this is still a fine bow, but does just not have quite the fire of the Arcus. Of course, it is more heavy, which is nice when you want the bow to play by itself, but you are just so much more agile with a light bow! And it can pull even more powerful sounds... also the piano sounds fine with the Arcus. Yes, you have to adjust your way of playing quite a bit...

Conclusion: A fascinating bow which opens many options and opens a larger potential in the violin. Time will tell how much you get out of it when you develop the complete control of the bow. Definitely a welcome opposition to the Dölling, really not a bad copy but a true completion. ...

Final words: To me the future and potential of carbon fibre bows is not in copying wooden bows but in making use of the possibilities this material offers. Once you have explored the new "way of lightness" of these bows you won't want to miss it ever again. Arcus has just the right and convincing concept. ... The possibilities which lie in an Arcus bow are leading the way. Maybe it is up to a new Paganini to establish a new technique with it. To me it is absurd to make bows from this ultra strong material as heavy as wooden bows, especially when you feel that it is at least as strong, only because we are used to it. Technique realizes possibilities and expresses them - the Arcus concept offers these possibilities! ..."

Matthias Zeller, Violinist and Composer. Leipzig.

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