"Over my 33 year career as a musician, I myself have been faced with the problem of the deterioration of horsehair, and this is, surely, what motivated my desire to find something else.
Horsehair will certainly remain a leading material. When it is good-quality, which is increasingly rare, it provides complete satisfaction. However, uncertainty about horsehair quality makes Coruss essential for professional musicians like myself.
Of the 4 bows adapted to different types of repertoire I use in the 140 concerts the OCT gives every year, 3 are strung with Coruss and one with horsehair, just for the pleasure of varying the sensations. My colleagues at the OCT have also chosen to keep one bow strung with horsehair and to rehair the others with Coruss.
I am certain that many musicians would take this technological step, whilst keeping some bows with horsehair for specific purposes.
Renaud Gruss, Double Bass Soloist & General Administrator, Orchestre de Chambre de Toulouse
I came to Cardiff Violins searching for synthetic bow hair for my double bass bows. For some reason it seems like the classical luthiers are persistent in keeping with the tradition, and finding alternatives to animal products in our line of work can sometimes be a hassle. Therefore I was so happy when I found Coruss bow hair. They work excellent for my type of playing which is — well a bit out of the ordinary. They are super durable, and I haven?t broken a single hair since I got them (and I used to break a lot!). What is really super about them is that they have all the qualities needed for playing more conventional as well. I simply rejoice by the fact that a competitive alternative has entered the market, and I hope the rest of the business follows suit. I will recommend Coruss bow hair to every player I meet, regardless of playing style!!!
Christian Meaas Svendsen, Norway, www.christianmeaassvendsen.com
Love this viola it's so beautiful! And the bow - your mans done a fab job. I had my first viola lesson the day it arrived, I can see I'll have to get past those scraping noises before I find out how wonderfully this instrument can play!
It had always been one of my ambitions in life to be able to play the viola. However as a long time vegetarian turned vegan, I soon found that there were particular obstacles that prevented me from obtaining an instrument. In particular, I found it VERY difficult to find a bow anywhere that was completely free of animal products. The hair on the bow was from slaughtered horses, the slide or eye made from abalone and mother of pearl(also exploited by cruel practices), and other materials such as leather, snakeskin, bone and sometimes even ivory. My heart sank - perhaps playing this instrument was never to be.
But I don't give up so easily, and I'm glad I didn't. After a few e-mails to different music shops I learned that many student instruments tend to use a low melting point resin glue rather than animal hide glue. This was good news - now if only I could find a bow that used synthetic strings…
It was then that I stumbled across Coruss hair on the Cardiff Violins website. At last, synthetic bow hair for the viola! It DID exist! I was so excited - I got in touch with Cardiff Violins immediately about buying an outfit from them with a completely customized bow. Being vegetarians themselves, they completely understood my problem. They were extremely helpful and more than happy to fulfill my needs, replacing the horsehair with Coruss hair, removing the leather thumbgrip and shell, and replacing the slide with ebony instead. They did an absolutely AMAZING job, and without their help I would probably never have had the chance to play. Thank you so much Cardiff Violins!
After 28 years of service in a professional orchestra, using traditional horse hair on my bows and having to rehair them very often, I discovered Coruss hair and decided to give it a try. I now recommend it to all my colleagues and all players in general. Apart from the obvious massive saving due to the longevity of the hair (in nine months, I have only broken two hairs, which is extraordinary for a double bass bow being played every day), the playability is also very satisfying. I get more sound without working so hard, so less is more, and that is good for my arm! Sound-wise, it is slightly different, but not in a bad way. In fact, I find the response better, the notes are more immediate. So all together, I am delighted and will carry on using and recommending Coruss bow hair!
Tim Older, Double-Bassist, BBC National Orchestra of Wales
Just a quick note to say how pleased I am with the Coruss bow hair. I fitted it last week and have to say that it is superb. Needs a bit more rosin than usual but plays with minimal bow noise and good grip. I find that cello rosin works best. It has transformed an ordinary Snakewood baroque violin bow into a very expensive feeling bow that plays effortlessly and with great precision. Thank you very much.
Perhaps I tilt my bow too much or perhaps I perform with just a bit too much enthusiasm. Either way I had been finding my bow in need of a re-hair every two or three months. That was until I re-haired with a nylon hair from Chris King at Cardiff Violins. That was over a year ago and I have yet to break a single hair. It wasn’t an instant success - I had to change my rosin to find something that worked better with the combination of nylon hair and my bow/instrument. I also perceived a very slight loss of tone compared to brand new natural hair. But the difference being that the natural hair would degrade much more quickly. This just keeps on going! I suppose in the same way that some excellent bows simply don’t work with some excellent violins - this might not be a solution for all outfits - but with its consistency, longevity and excellent value its definitely worth a try.
Oli Wilson-Dickson (ALAW, Jamie Smith’s Mabon, The Devil’s Violin)