As far as I am concerned, the bow is the real instrument. Everything 'musical' (besides vibrato) is performed with the right hand and the bow. Because of that, selecting a bow that is compatible with your cello is of utmost importance. "But what does compatibility mean? Can't I just play my cello with any bow?" Well, you could but it doesn't mean it will be great. Your cello and bow each have a favorite resonant frequency, and finding a match will bring you much better tone, control, vibrato, performance, etc.
When someone comes into our shop to buy a bow, initially, I have them do just 2 things: starting in front of the winding (not too close to the frog, where it can sound scratchy), I ask them to bow the C string, then the G string.
In the video below you can clearly hear the difference between the 1st and 2nd bows, which are not compatible, and the last bow, which IS compatible. The 1st bow barely is able to get the C string moving at all. Listen carefully to it. The 2nd bow is particularly incompatible with the G string and doesn't sound good at all on it. Then listen to the last bow, how the C string starts to make a clear tone immediately.
It is more evident on the 2 lowest strings, and typically results in a hesitancy, stutter, or flutter before getting the string activated. The most important thing to look for is a bow that gets your C and G string going without a lot of effort. That is a sign of compatibility.
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