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Recomend a rosin cake


Lane
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I just had a bow re-haired by Elizabeth VanderVeer Schaak. She put on Salchow rosin on the new hair. I don't know whether it is the rosin or the hair, but it is wonderful now. She believes that the Salchow rosin gives a smoother non-scratchy tone. I can't disagree. And it is not expensive - $7.95 in the shop. I just quit using Jade.

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Lane,

I had to switch to a harder "light" rosin. The Hill "dark" rosin that I was using was getting real sticky here in Florida's high humidity. It sounded as if I were playing my violin with a hack saw! If I used a dry towel and wiped all the rosin from the strings and the excess rosin from the bow hair, sound would smooth out...for a while. Then as it built up again, the scratchy sound returned.

The harder "light" rosin fixed the problem. Now that I misplaced my Hill "Light", I am giving the Tartini a try. Even though it seems a little dusty, it has a clear crisp sound. I believe the dustiness may be caused by my "over rosining" the bow. I think it takes very little Tartini rosin to draw a good sound.

BTW: Thomastik is offering it's new Dominant rosin with the purchase of a set of Dominant strings.

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The humidity seems to have an awful lot to do with it. In

relative humidity below 35% I like Hill dark or A&B dark.

They seem to work equally well for violin and viola.

They're a little scratchy. That seems to be a trade-off.

A bit of scratch under the ear may translate to a better

sound at a distance. Listen while someone else plays.

But when the humidity get up to 40%, Liebenzeller gold (I'm

using #2) is wonderful for smoothness, and seems not to

need as much rosin, or as frequent application, as most.

I've heard that Goldflex is similar, but haven't tried it.

Bernardel seems to be a very hard rosin. In a warmer,

wetter climate than New England it may be just fine, but

I haven't cared much for it.

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Yes- dark rosin has a lower melting point than light, and doesn't work well when it's very hot and humid. In areas with extremes of summer and winter weather many people use light rosin in the summer and dark in the winter. I have found Goldflex to be a good "all-season" rosin. As to Tartini etc. I'll eat my rosin before I'll pay that much for it.

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If a cake lasts five years, and I gain pleasure from it every time I play, then I don't have a problem paying $2-$4 a year for fancy rosin. I'm about the cheapest person on the planet, but this is one luxury I'll allow myself.

(Tartini goes for about $20 at Concord...I don't use it, though...I think I'm using Motrya Gold now, which I like. I wish I knew what my last cake was...I wore it down to the size of a 50-cent piece. It was complimentary with the puchase of a violin bow at Classic Bows in San Diego. Best rosin ever...My oldest kid loves Obligato--it turns her bow's hair the loveliest shade of pale pink ).

J.

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Rosins are hydrophilic, pick up moisture on humid days, and their playing characteristics change accordingly. There is only one rosin on the market, Clarity, that is completely hydrophobic and unaffected by humidity.

With regard to rosin price, why do people spend thousands of dollars for instruments and bows and then cringe at something as cheap as rosin, which afterall has a huge effect on play and sound? I spend more on Guinness during one Irish music session than I spend on rosin all year.

Unfortunately all rosins, including Clarity, are affected by changes in temperature and there isn't much that can be done about it. However, the bass version of Clarity is more resistant to temperature changes than other bass rosins like Pops.

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It's easy to exaggerate the difference a particular brand of rosin makes (and I've tried plenty of different kinds over the years.) It's also easy to spend a lot of time and energy fussing over our equipment, strings and accessories when what would really improve our playing is practicing more. And I say "we" because I'm just as guilty as the next person.

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Quote:

It's also easy to spend a lot of time and energy fussing over our equipment, strings and accessories when what would
really
improve our playing is practicing more. And I say "we" because I'm just as guilty as the next person.


Agreed!!! I finally realized this after I went through just about every "upper echelon" string brand and more than a few rosins. Granted, I only realized this once I found my perfect combination--and I have had zero desire to buy a new rosin or try a new set of strings since (this might be due to my new obsession with fountain pens, but that's a whole 'nother story! ).

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  • 10 months later...

Quote:

(Tartini goes for about $20 at Concord...I don't use it, though...I think I'm using Motrya Gold now, which I like. I wish I knew what my last cake was).

J.


Just tried Tartini Green for about two weeks. I had Motrya Gold on my bow and did not bother to clean it off when applying the Tartini Green. I really liked it for about a week, more grippy and getting into the string. But after another week, it started to feel too smooth and bland. I was applying very sparingly. I also noticed that my sound was missing this glittering sparkling quality that I had before on long slow sounds (like Meditation Thais). So two days ago, I swiped a couple of strokes of Motrya Gold and this beautiful glimmering sound was back. Is it the gold that makes this sound? I wonder...

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I've been using Motrya Gold for several years, the same cake. I read in Shar's catalogue that rosin loses its "characteristic formula as it gets older and dries out, so we recommend using a cake of rosin for one year only." On that basis I ordered from them a cake of Tartini Silkier Mini Rosin. It's a smaller cake for $10.00 instead of $20.00. I only just put it on yesterday but my initial reaction is very positive.

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I have had used the same Motrya Gold cake for about 2 years with no decrease in effectiveness. Personally, I think they say to replace the cake every year just to sell more. that's like a store that told me to change violin strings every 6 months, regardless of playing time, because they "stretch and weaken". They even offer to send reminders to those who have the store change the strings! Of course, they try to sell you a new cake of rosin and suggest having the bow rehaired while the instrument is in the shop for new strings. It's just a racket.

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Amen, Steve. For the very best players, strings, rosin, whether or not you use a shoulder rest, etc., may make a significant difference. For most of us, the problems are greater and these differences are relatively trivial. Ever wonder why a really great violinist can make a mediocre violin sound like it is worth significan bucks?

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Quote:

It's easy to exaggerate the difference a particular brand of rosin makes (and I've tried plenty of different kinds over the years.) It's also easy to spend a lot of time and energy fussing over our equipment, strings and accessories when what would
really
improve our playing is practicing more. And I say "we" because I'm just as guilty as the next person.


Sad but true! If only I could buy my way into being a better player. I have a friend who maintains my bows and also fiddles with us. A while back I asked her what rosin she uses in summer and winter. She thought I was kidding

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The quantity factor (apply more rosin or less)is more important than anything else ,I know, as far as rosin is concerned. I don't use cheap one, what is the point (saving money?) I don't use expensive one I don't see the advantage. If you feel differently, buy whatever you like, it won't break you bank. /yuen/

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