Arcus Viola Bow

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The unique performance of the Arcus bows is the result of a unique design. The stick is basically a thin walled tube from high-density carbon fiber composite. This makes them much lighter than any other bow and at the same time much stronger and resilient.

The camber of the sticks is comparatively shallow. In combination with the high resiliency the hair will show the correct distance from the stick under playing tension.

The gradients of the rigidity along the stick and the distribution of mass are the key features of every bow. Compared to solid wooden sticks, our hollow bows must follow a completely different principle, which was one reason to develop a complete new mathematical model for our bows.

To achieve a perfect balance with the light sticks we have developed a new, lighter frog which is also very comfortable to hold.

Traditional frog

New frog of the Concerto line

The problems of tight-running screws and internal wear of the stick we have solved with the integration of metal bearings.

The ultimate strength and reliability allow us to provide the sticks of our bows with a 10-year warranty. This warranty covers all damage that might occur with proper use of the bow. We also offer a 2 year warranty for the frog and mechanism. Normal wear and tear for example on the thumb-leather and the hair is excluded from the warranty.

Comments from players about the Arcus Viola Bows:

Professional Players / Viola

“For several months I am now the happy owner of an Arcus Cadenza gold viola bow. Its elasticity and fast response allow to modulate the tone perfectly. Not only my chamber music partners say that my not very large French viola (40,5 cm) sounds much bigger with it. Due to the excellent balance the weight seems to be just like a violin bow, which makes the alternation between the viola and the violin, which I play mostly, much easier. I will recommend your bows further, also because of their beautiful design.”

Volker Beling, Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Mainz "Several colleagues of mine told me that the sound of their carbon fibre bows would be rather weak. In direct comparison with wooden bows it got clear quite fast that with my Cadenza is was just the other way round. The history of music is full of examples where a new technology has replaced an old one, simply because it was better. I believe that "Arcus" is a good candidate for that.

My wife Catherine Mirgain is especially happy about the lightness of the bows and that they are still at least as powerful. This is an especially important factor for violists in an orchestra (e.g. Wagner operas). I totally agree with that."

Paul Fenton, First Solo-viola at the «Orchestre Symphonique et Lyrique de Nancy» and Violist at the Stanislas Quartet.

"Thank you for Arcus bows. As a violist who has experienced a lot of tendonitis, a lightweight bow such as these is most welcomed… especially when it draws such a deep, full and rich tone from my viola (Geoffrey Ovington, 1983, NY). It is easy to control in various different bowings from spiccato to détaché, and accented beginnings of notes come out with intense clarity. There is a flexibility and responsiveness to this bow which makes my wooden one feel a bit clumsy – as if going from a sports car to a van!"

Liz Rose, Springfield Symphony Orchestra

Valentin Eichler "My Arcus Cadenza opens many possibilities in modulating the sound, from the finest pp to extreme ff. At the same time is handles much easier in difficult passages because of its light weight and reacts much quicker than a wooden bow.

Just as remarkable is the formidable stiffness, because of which the stick never breaks away. As a violist I am always happy about a reduction of mass and also for health reasons I am very attached to the new concept of the Arcus bows."

"I’m writing to express my appreciation for the Arcus Cadenza (Gold) Viola Bow which I purchased recently. After trying the same model about four years ago and not really finding it to my liking, I was very surprised at how wonderful this bow works and feels. I simply cannot put it down and have temporarily abandoned my wood bows, including a fine Sartory and a bow by a highly respected living maker. The Arcus has helped me to be able to play my 18th century viola with so much more ease and with much less effort in the right arm, ensuring a much more relaxed approach to technique. One characteristic of the Cadenza which I find quite singular is the bow’s “recovery” or “damping” ability—meaning that after the bow has “flexed” (for example producing a spiccato note) it “recovers” to a neutral “at rest” state immediately, without quiver, being instantly available for the next note. In a wood bow this is usually only achieved by making the bow very stiff (“strong”)—and such a bow usually lacks the flexibility to produce a good sound. I have always thought that a great bow must exhibit the dual qualities of strength and flexibility; the Arcus bow seems to have come very close to that ideal. Further, these qualities are achieved in a very light bow, making all motions easier to execute.

You obviously are continuing to develop the potential of the Arcus bows, and I am grateful for your successful efforts."

Martin Andersen, New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

"I recently purchased an Arcus Concerto viola bow ... and I thought I would let you know how impressed I have been with it. It really does perform as well as you claim on your website....The performance of the bow is most remarkable, the combination of strength and elasticity, together with a very low mass allows for a very easy style of playing previously only possible with old French master bows. The sound that this bow creates is of great richness, with upper partials having a freedom that is rarely possible with a wooden bow. The different position of the centre of gravity caused some initial problems, particularly with accented and articulated playing at the point, but a slight change in bow hold and technique has solved this problem."

Richard Wallace, Violist, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

"It's the best bow I have ever owned."

Peter Barber, Violist, Member of the "New Zealand Symphony Orchestra" and the "Nevine String Quartett".


"Durch Zufall, obwohl ich Fagottist bin, bin ich auf einen Artikel über Bögen von Andrew Victor gestoßen. Die Kommentare über die Arcus Bögen machten mich so neugierig, dass ich meine Frau davon überzeugte, einmal einen Arcus Violine Bogen zu probieren (Sie ist Geigerin und Bratschistin und Lehrerin und spielte bisher mit einem feinen Tubbs). Sie liebt ihren Arcus! So sehr, dass wir für alle unsere 4 Kinder auch einen Arcus Concerto gekauft haben (bzw. in den nächsten Wochen noch kaufen werden - der Bratschenbogen für unseren Sohn ist in Bestellung). Unsere älteste Tochter absolviert an der Juilliard das Major/Master Studium für Viola. Obwohl noch andere Bögen in ihren Kästen sind, spielen sie nun alle und zwar immer mit ihren Arcus-Bogen!"

Jim Fellows

Markus Protze, Wuerttembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen

"After extensive tests and comparison I found the Concerto viola bow produces a somewhat smoother sound than the Sonata. I think that has has to do with the slightly softer stick of the Concerto. I think this has also some effect on the modulation of the sound. Of the Sonata I especially like the even better "grip" which helps to unfold all the potential of my instrument without even getting close to the bow's physical limits.

Due to the very good balance of both bows in combination with the reduced weight, compared to wooden bows, I experience a completely new level in the ease of play and relaxation of the right hand. The Arcus bow and the right hand form a unified whole, and so you never have the feel of holding a strange thing in your hand.

I decided to take the Sonata for now, but will probably also get me a Concerto some later day."

"My Arcus Concerto S.E. bow is absolutely fantastic. I use it for all my concerts. Compared to every other bow, the projection of my viola is much improved and the sound is just perfect. Plus it's extremely comfortable to play, too. My colleagues still look very skeptical, and expect me to show up some day on the stage with my old expensive wooden bow, but that one keeps stored nice and safe in my case. And due to it's most beautiful engravings they sometimes look really jealous."

Carolin Kriegbaum, Germany