Testing the NEW Arcus T series: am I buying a new violin bow? | Violin Lounge TV #378

by | Aug 12, 2020 | 30 comments

I compare the differences between my current Arcus S9 bow and the Arcus T9. Also I demonstrate the differences between the price classes of Arcus T-series.

I loved playing with the Arcus T9 violin bow

It’s a lot like my S9, but it’s way easier to handle for someone not familiar with the Arcus bows.

What do you think about the sound?

Watch the video above and I’d love to read your opinion in the comments below!

Most valued features:

  • lightness
  • sound
  • balance
  • response

Hi! I'm Zlata

Let me help you find a great bow for your violin, so you can improve your bowing technique and sound quality:


  1. Michael

    Hello Zlata, as a predominantly altviol player this isn’t really relevant to me but from your demo I feel there is no advantage to be gained by a change from violin S to T. The differences in timbre were not audible even on my headphones, so your other comments about handling are more important perhaps.

    • Andrew Findlay

      I like the sound of the T although is the price worth it?
      I have a round carbon fibre bow from Estonia which looks and sounds very similar but cost only £27 on an offer from Wish and I cant fault it

      • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

        Well, the T9 costs the same as the S9 I have now and that’s worth every penny. You might like this video in which I compare a $ 8,000 bow to a $ 29 bow.

  2. Michael Anderson


    The T series doesnt have the resonance. Id stay with the S

  3. Edward Kickham

    I suppose if I lived another 74 years, I might be able to hear the differences between those two bows from different Arcus bow series. In each case to my ear, Zlata, you get a sound as good as a violin sound can get. You play beautifully. What puzzles me about Arcus are the price differences amongh the various bows within a series. The Fiddlershop says of the T-4, “It offers the same perfect playing properties as its more expensive siblings.” Then it goes on to praise the siblings in increasingly extravagent terms like each is better than the perfection of the T-4. Does the silver vs stainless make a sound or playabililty difference? Does the beautiful or the premium snakewood make a better sound or play more eaisily than plain snakewoold. I underestand the aesthetic appleal of those extras, but it not clear from the Fiddlerman write ups, whether those features make a sound and playability difference. Would you comment, Zlata?

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      The silver doesn’t make the difference, but the stick itself. That’s what causes the differences between the price classes I demonstrate later in the video. Also this video might clarify the differences.

  4. Tosha Matthews

    Zlata, listening from the other room I could hear minute differences. I would say the first bow sounded brighter on the A and E strings but the second had a soothing rich tone especially on the D and G strings. Still very minute, as lovely as you play your students will enjoy either. With your violin I think the S is perfect, with mine I think I would like the T. It’s all about preference.

  5. David W Griggs

    The T Series sounds warmer and fuller to me. I’m not an expert player by no means. Still early learning stages. I am limited right now as to what I can invest in so I’ll have to make do with what I have. A Fiddlerman solo violin and a composite bow.

  6. Dixieoswald

    Really can’t tell difference between a and t

  7. Lori Bell

    It sound to me like the T’s series is more sharp than the S series. I think the S series is like the Limo and the T series is like the sports car, so the opposite of your opinion.

  8. Mary

    Hi Zlata, I prefer the T over the S because the T sings, while the S does not. I like your playing with the T more than with the S. You start with the S and play the T second, which may give the T an advantage, however. Which bow wins the slow pianissimo test? Which bow is best for modern works vs classical or romantic pieces? Would buying the T7 while keeping the S9 be an option?

  9. Robert Virden

    I feel that the S-series has a warm comfortable sound. The strings respond to the bow with a warmth yet it has a crisp sound. The T-series is much more bright Which, personally, I don’t care for. But it is really up to the artist which bow represents their character and stage presence. If the S-series, after five years, still represents you on the stage, then don’t switch.

  10. Rae-ann

    I’m not hearing a significant difference in the sound between the two bows so, in the final analysis, it’s how you feel playing with the bow. Your S series sounds great and seems to handle well. Are these carbon fiber bows?

  11. Guido

    The S sounded weak with a lack of depth. The T sounds much better, almost like a real bow. My guess would be that it is heavier than the S, too?

  12. Michael

    I have not even begun playing the violin but the T-series was crisper and much more pleasant to my ear.

  13. Jonas Sääv

    Interesting comparison. Currently I’m testing T6 against S6, and I experience the opposite from you and find the T6 more resonant than the S6 and not the other way around. However, level 6 and 9 are completely different and perhaps it is not possible to make conclusions on the performance of certain properties of the T6 vs S6 based on a review based on level 9 bows.

    Also, the difference in timbre doesn’t seem to differ very much between T9 and S9 from what I can hear in the video, but my own experience from the T6 and S6 is that they differ a lot in timbre actually. The question is how accurate the Arcus classification process is. The “best of the best” bows ends up in the 9-box, the other bows in box 3 to 8 but perhaps not always in the correct box. Just my thought, but I could be wrong of course.

    • Zlata

      Hi Jonas, on your violin with your playing the differences will come out differently. The classification process is indeed a mystery, but selling Arcus bows for many years I discovered that usually the classes are quite what you’d expect.


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