Double bass bows  for professionals 

   Zdzislaw Prochownik                             
  1196 Grosvenor Ave.         
  Winnipeg, Manitoba
  Canada   R3M 0N9    tel. (204) 831-0055
   email;   or    

Please type this address into your email  as I have removed the mailto link to avoid SPAM.
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  As a  result of an increased problem with customs regarding the control of imports and exports of wildlife products (such as pearl slides and exotic leather), I have decided to  eliminate wildlife products from my bows and substitute them with product such a pig leather, abalone imitation and cow bone. (see picture)     

Dear Potential Customer:

For the last twenty five years I have earned my living as a professional bassist on the first stand of three major Canadian orchestras. Always fascinated with the properties of a good bow, I began to experiment with various styles and was in touch with the bow making industry at large. Encouraged by numerous successes at bow making as a hobby, my interest   intensified in 1991 as a result of my study with Jean Grunberger in France.

My bows are somewhat different than those commonly seen on the market. When making a bow, I concentrate on focus: a direct, clean, penetrating sound, with a very quick response in mind. For players who are used to more heavy bows, this may feel strange at first, but after a short adjustment period it can be seen that heavier bows generally do not have the sensitivity and immediate response that lighter bows do. Why fight velocity, gravity, and risk hand injury when you can achieve more with less effort?

All of my bows have a big arch and are very flexible in character. Designed to be pulled horizontally with minimal pressure, they require a smaller than usual tightening distance between the stick and hair. Each bow uses wood carefully selected from the best Pernambuco available, and are tested with ultrasound waves for strength and flexibility. Keeping functionality in mind as the first , most important requirements, bows are silver mounted and individually balanced for maximum results, each of them providing excellent string contact as well as clarity in "off string" playing. All French style bows come with a thumb rubber to aid in comfort.

When testing my bows, I recommend comparing them with others by playing a variety of difficult passages, as well as listening to comparisons, if possible, from a suitable distance. I use only the finest quality Canadian white horse hair which I find offers the best grip. All bows are tested under professional symphony orchestra conditions prior to shipment.

At this time I do make 3 kind of French model bows:

Solo - hair length of about 55 cm , more bend and a little stiffer piece of wood, very rigid, nervous, bright and extremely responsive and weight between 125 and 130 grams . Hair and the bow feel very stiff. Usually excellent for solo or fast Mozart passages etc. plying. Sound is rather lean.

General-use - hair length of about 55 cm, less bend and hair a little more loose which gets you a little more air in the sound and a feel of bigger sound but somewhat loose at extreme and of response and quickness. Bows weights are between: 125g - 135g

Sartory - -They are 3/4 inch shorter and have more distance between hair and stick. My friends call them "Sartory with a attitude" They are kindlier and gentler and weight around 125-130 grams

The French bows - similar to Sartory and Vigneron models (135 -150 grams) made from Massaranduba wood.

All 4 French models are good but it depends on the style you play. I prefer to first consult my customer before beginning work on his /her order. All German models bows have a hair length of about 55 cm and weight between 115 and 130 grams

Price:   Please call  or email me!

World Exchange Rates 

All bows are guaranteed to outperform your existing bow or your money fully refunded.

These bows are presently being used in many major symphony orchestras in North America, Europe, Australia, Brazil and Tasmania, as well as with many graduate students of Paul Ellison, Francois Rabbath and many other recognized teachers. 

Various Testimonials: 
"PHANTASTISCH!" - Ludwig Streicher 1994
"BRAVO! " - Francois Rabbath 1995
"I enjoy using your bow very much. Sixteenth-note passages seem easier to play with more clarity of pitch  and   articulation." - Clifford Spohr, Principal Bass, Dallas Symphony Orchestra 1993
"Bows which do all tricks." - George Vance, Washington
"Z. Prochownik understands bass and the bass bow. I've played at least fifteen of his bows, both German and French   models, and many of them are as good as anything I've played on. He understands balance and tension in the stick and how to fine tune an individual piece of wood. He reworked my award-winning Nuedorfer and actually improved its performance. My other bow is a Prochownik." - Eric Hansen, Principal Bass, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra 1994
"My other bow is a Sartory." - Stan Label, Assistant Principal Bass, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra 1993
"Your bows are the best new bows I've tried." - Betty Girko, Dallas Symphony Orchestra 1994
"Thank you for your incredible craftsmanship and most amazing German bow I have ever played." - David Moore,  Los Angeles, CA 1993
"The bow is beautifully made and I really enjoy playing with it." - Angela Schefield, London, England 1990
"The bow is well made from an excellent piece of wood, draws a fine sound, and has a very good response and  balance."   -  Jan Urke, Principal Bass, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra 1991
"I can't tell you how much I enjoy playing with your bow."- Jeff Hall, Dallas, TX 1995
"Thank you for the wonderful bow." - E. Browning, Perth, Australia 1995
"I like the bow and I am looking forward to getting another." - Thomas Lederer, Co-principal,  Dallas Symphony  Orchestra 1995
"It suits my playing and is a fun alternative to my Grunberger and Victor Fétique!" - Jean Michon,  Québec Symphony  Orchestra, double bass teacher at Conservatoire de musique de Québec 1996
"Good loud and full sound! Every note is easy to play, spiccato is perfect." - Barbe Thierry, solo bassist,  Opéra  Bastille, Paris 1996 

"The Prochownik bows which I use, and won a position in the Wiener Philharmoniker with, allow me the most detailed articulations, while guaranteeing a full sound and precise string contact in the most delicate musical moments. They are equally excellent in the large repertoire of the Weiner Philharmoniker from Donizetti to Berg." Bartosz Sikorski-2001

“I purchased a bow from you about two years ago. I am extremely pleased with it and everyone who tries it out thinks it is incredible”. Bill Bentgen Cross Junction, Virginia 2001

“The bow is fantastic.”  Enzo Figliuzzi , Vancouver 2002

“The tone that the three bows produced on my bass was amazing. The 126 brought the low tones out of my bass and did not over highlight the highs.  It all also sounded good in orchestra as well as solo playing.  I am very happy with it”.  A.J. Topp, Tampa FL 2002 

"I am really happy to inform you that after 4 years looking for a bow, I have finally found it! I really like the bows you sent me, specially one of them, so I'm buying it."   Jose A. Luque Osuna Spain  2003

" I still can't believe the tone it gets out of my bass.  It's like I went out and bought a whole new bass!"  Matt Stromberg   Kearney NE   USA  2004

"It has transformed my playing and I'm so happy with it, it's perfect for both solo and orchestral playing!  Best wishes and many thanks, Nicki Davenport"   UK  2004

"With my bass, your bow sounds wonderfully clear, I love the way it draws over the string, it feels amazing from tip to frog, it bounces incredibly and has a wonderful punch to it and the list goes on."   Jordan O'Connor  Toronto  2007"    

"The Sartory is simply a pleasure to work with, playing with it is  practically effortless! My bass has never sounded better! I will definitely be recommending your bows to my friends!"  Patrick A.  Montreal  2007

"Hi ! I'm still in the National Symphony here in Dublin, very pleased with the bow I purchased 2 years ago"..  Edward Tapceanu 2007   

"I really love it and it fits well in the hand and gets a great tone from both my basses! Thanks - it's really a great piece of craftsmanship." L. Fantasia L.A  USA 2008

"I currently use a "master" old French bow and to be very honest and serious your bows sound better and are easier to play"  Calvin Marks.   Toronto  2008

"The bow I like most is one of the most responsive and articulate bows I have ever played - bravo" - David Odegaard  Texas 2008 

"As I thought, the bows are wonderful, the light one it's incredible precise and the 124-126 grams full of harmonics, all of them suitable for every piece, from solo to orchestra playing. Thank you very much for your excellent art."  il primo contrabbasso della "Orquesta Sinfónica de Galicia" Spain -2009.

"I did a couple of Messiahs last week, and, apart from the aching back, enjoyed them thoroughly. Your bow worked marvelously, so much control, spiccato, even at the tip, the bow felt really long, which meant to me that it is much more usable at the tip. My long tones felt longer, everything is great. People even are commenting on the different sound. This is the sound as opposed to the Sartory I have been using for 38 years. Thank you so much for the beautiful hand made bow". Jack McFadden, Ontario, Canada 2009

" I gotta tell you, I immediately loved the bow.  It's made from beautiful wood and is much lighter than my present bow (153g).  From behind my bass, I thought it was quieter than my other bow. But, after my last orchestra rehearsal, our principal cellist came back and asked me if I was playing a new bass, because I sounded so much better.  I told him I was auditioning a new bow an he stood out front and had me switch back and forth between the 126g Purpleheart bow and my old one. Out front, your bow projected much more, was louder, had more harmonic content, sounded fuller, and made my other bow sound "nasal" in comparison.  I am quickly getting used to the lighter bow, and feel like I can play longer without fatigue, and that I can play challenging passages easier (I'm currently working on Beethoven's 9th)."       Russell Bergum Virginia, MN  2010

"I love the bow. It is a joy to play and exactly what I was looking for. Multiple people said if I didn't buy they would "     Steven Fox  Columbus OH.   2012

"A professional and accomplished colleague joined me to listen and play on bows. There were 6 bows in the mix- widely varied in size and shape. The Prochownik bow drew a sound similar in power and inflection to a bow that weighed 10 grams more- the biggest bow we had in the mix. As I was playing the Prochownik bow, my colleague described it as "Effortless!" Of all the bows I demonstrated, the Prochownik bow- and only the Prochownik- sounded effortless to the listener. I am sure that the reason he heard it as such is because the bow plays that way: of all the bows I have tried in my time, this Prochownik bow best allows me to draw a lovely sound with the least effort. It projects very well, too! Incidentally, my colleague said later that day, "If you don't buy that bow, I will."      Eric Seay      College Park   MD 2012


    Copyright © 2012    Zdzislaw Prochownik.