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Curiously, I have found the bow to be a different animal altogether. Not all 'rehairs' are of equal quality. I finally found a guy in Chicago that can rehair the bow in half an hour and charges $50. I love the way my violin sounds after he has done his rehair. I have had others do it and been really unhappy.
But how often should it be rehaired? Don't know. How can you tell? Not sure. I did read that you should rosin the bow every other day and that will keep the hair from wearing so rapidly.
Any knowledge or ideas here?

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I use rosin every time before playing. Especially for folk music :) Usually rehair... mmm... about 1, 1.5 year. Do you mean new hair? Cost of bow master in Moscow is 50$ (new hair with work), very well :)
I try to rosin every time but I sometimes forget my rosin cake and just play on without it. Too much rosin seems to produce a rougher sound on my fiddle. Or am I imagining this? I have been rehairing every 6 or 8 months when I am playing a lot. It seems like the sound of my fiddle becomes 'thinner'. Lacking in richness and depth. I check my bridge, soundposts, put on new strings and if it still sounds not right, I get it rehaired.
sometimes my music partner and I get gigs where we pretty much play all day long for the strolling public. And then play for a dance in the evening. So the hair wears down on my bow pretty fast. However I really don't know the rules for this aspect of fiddling.
My question might sounds a bit silly... but hey...! We're all here to improve and share tips, right..? ;-)

My case : I bought a bow back in 1982 and I use it everytime I play the fiddle...
I always thought the best time to re-hair a bow was when not enough hairs remains on the bow...
In other words, this is the very first time I hear about having a bow re-haired on a regular basis (frequence)...!

Question 1 : Do you mean it would be about the right time to put new hairs on my bow..? ;-)

And if yes is the answer, my next naive question would be...

Question 2 : Why..?

Thanks (and please don't laugh to loud..!)

wwm

p.s. Thanks for this new and instructive thread, NIta...!
The bow is strung with horsehair (tail) and horse hair has these little tiny 'hooks' that hold the rosin and grip the strings. After a while these wear down smooth and you are not getting the full sound you should be getting. I have been looking into it and some say twice a year, some say once a year for the rehair. problem is, not all rehairs seem to be equal. There are different quality 'hair bundles'.
One guy did mine and I did not like it. My fiddle wasn't a good one and it sounded worse to me. The hair was dyed a bright red (not good for historical recreations. Also, I had to wait a month for him to finish it. another guy managed to bend my bow and tried to straighten it, leaving dark burn mars. It also took him morth than a month. And it was not a good hair.
The guy I go to now has a shop above Orchestra Hall in Chicago and says he does the bows for the orchestral violinists. I can believe it. After he rehaired my bow I loved it from the moment I drew it across the strings. And he only takes an hour to finish it.
I would say it is time for a rehair but ask around to find someone who knows what they are doing.
I crossed the ones off my list that I had used before and got on the 'net and started calling people.
Thank you very much for all the explanations..!
All I can say is :
I will look forward to get my 27 years old hairs replaced..!
And I will come back here to give my appreciation of the job...
But to be honest, I am a bit flabergasted to hear how speedy (fast) do the small hooks wear down from horse's hairs....!
But while thinking over, I'm now confident my E string will be much more reliable after the bow gets his new hairs on...!!!
Thanks, thanks and thank you all again..!!!
wwm
I tend to play out the e string faster than the rest of the strings. When it gets really hard to tune, I replace it. Generally when I order a set, I get an extra e string. But yeah, 27 years eithout a rehair ...mmmm. might make a difference for sure. Let me know if it makes a difference. You might not have to rosin so much as the rosin will cling to the bow better.

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