£10,000 On trial
James Tubbs is without doubt my favourite maker. He is said to have made a bow a day, and no-one coud accuse him of consistency – many of his bows used wood with little strength, and they are just too whippy for any kind of serious technique. But when the wood is good, his bows are exceptional – we have probably sold more bows by Tubbs than by any other maker.
The Tubbs model is very well thought out, with a big strong head protected by a silver face and a nice long adjuster. The wood is stained a dark red-brown, almost black, and the sticks tend to retain their clean appearance even after 100 years.
This example is very typical of Tubbs’ later period post 1900, with a plain ebony frog and a slightly narrower and slimmer head.
The condition is generally excellent – some normal signs of use but no cracks or damages. The pearl slide is very worn but it’s original and I’m reluctant to replace it!
If you’re looking for a lighter bow that still has power and attack, you couldn’t do much better than this Tubbs. It has a very pure and refined sound with lots of high frequency content – totally devoid of grit or any kind of fuzz it nonetheless brings some special colour to the music. What I like most about this bow is its articulacy – it’s completely effortless in the hand, and somehow you can put it on the strings exactly where you want to, every time.
Maybe not the ideal bow for Schostakovitch, but unbeatable for classical repertoire where precision at speed is of paramount importance.
Dimensions: weight 57.9 grams, length 74.1cm
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