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Chin Rest?


MarkHoffman

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Quote:

Next-to vs over the tailpiece results in a distinctly different tone. I usually prefer sound of the side-mounted ones, tonally. But players seem stuck on the over-the-tailpiece types.

I haven't looked at differences in materials.


Michael, when you say a distinctly different tone, is it a constant difference with all violins or a variable difference that varies from instrument to instrument.

Either way, what are the main differences in tone that a person would expect?

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My daughter used to have a Collin-mezin violin (of the cheaper sort)for which the effect was not subtle at all. With an "over the tailpiece" type chinrest it sounded like it had been stuffed with cotton wool compared with when it had a side mounted chinrest. Strange but true but also (thankfully)quite unusual I would have thought...

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I have observed the same general tonal tendencies that Michael has with side-mtd. vs. center-mounted chinrests. But some violins could tolerate the center-mtd. better.

Even more important to me has been my inability to find a comfortable center-mounted chinrest. I have found a few styles of side-mounted style chinrests comfortable for me, although for all but one I also add a chamois cloth to the chinrest for comfort and control.

Chinrest selection is a very personal choice.

Andy

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Until I read this, I never would have thought that the mounting location mattered. I like the center-mounted, guarneri-style rests because of that extenstion over the tail piece. My chin often ends up there, right on top the tail piece. I wonder if anyone makes a chin rest in that shape but with a side mount? (Should we be running to the Patent Office?)

Here's a collection of chin rests from Johnson String. None seem to extend as far over the tail piece as the Guarneri: http://www.johnson-inst.com/catalog/index.htm . (Click on "Accessories" and then "Violin" and "Chin rests")

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Next-to vs over the tailpiece results in a distinctly different tone. I usually prefer sound of the side-mounted ones, tonally. But players seem stuck on the over-the-tailpiece types.


Do you know, or have a theory about, why it works out that way? I would have guessed it would be the other way because of the dampening effect of the side mount clamping onto surfaces meant to vibrate.

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Hi,

I have tried both kinds and my perception is that the sound hits the ears differently with tailpice mounted chin rests. It hits the left ear almost full on. The sound is more evenly distributed with the side mounted chinrest. It is a matter of preference!

Cheers Wolfjk

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Quote:

Hi,

I have tried both kinds and my perception is that the sound hits the ears differently with tailpice mounted chin rests. It hits the left ear almost full on. The sound is more evenly distributed with the side mounted chinrest. It is a matter of preference!

Cheers Wolfjk


You must be thinking of the cup-over type if that's what you're hearing, but I'm talking about Stradivari or Guarneri types of over-tailpiece mounts--side cups with center mounts vs side cups with side mounts. Either masks about the same amount of top, but the effect is very different. You can reproduce a certain amount of the effect of a side mounted chinrest by just holding or clamping where the chinrest clamps--it's not necessary to actually have a rest in place to hear the effect.

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The Hollywoods indeed look to cover more of the tailpiece than any but the Guarneris. From the Johnson photos, the Hollywoods also look more massive the Guarneris, as do all the side mounts. Do you think that's the case? I wonder if the mass affects the sound projection, too.

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My experience has been that any chinrest will dampen the vibrations of a violin. You might try just laying a small piece of chamois over the left lower belly. This will protect the varnish from being abraised by the beard stubble, if the player is a man. If you use one, adjust the shoulder rest to compensate for the absence of the chin rest by raising it slightly.

It will take some getting used to, but it works for me. One advantage is that the instrument will be noticeably lighter, and if the ribs are very thin, as would be found in an instrument of the finest quality, the lower ones would be better able to do their job.

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Teka is comfortable but for my violin it hits the tailpiece. I alternate between the Hollywood and a hybrid Guarneri/Strad rest I found at Dov-music.com. It mounts over the tailpiece and is very comfortable. It's my favorite right now. My teacher says that center-mount gives better sound though I haven't heard any difference myself.

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Concerning mass of the chinrest and sound, my Wallin originally had a side mount style which was offset quite a bit over the tailpiece. I found that it rotated the violin too much to the right for my taste, causing me to have to twist the left wrist even more than the normal unnatural violin position, so I switched to my old "Vermeer" side mount model. The "Vermeer" is the highest type I've seen, it is also a rather massive brick of ebony. There was a change in tone, I preferred the sound with the lighter model, but chose comfort over sound. I think the sound with the lighter model was a little more open.

I would like to find a style which is high and also lighter. I have considered removing some wood from the underside of the "Vermeer" to lighten it up.

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Just an inserted observation here: about 99% of my customers us Guarneri style chinrests, and 80% of them don't use the cup at all--they just hook their chins over the bar that crosses the tailpiece. I don't think they'd notice at all if I sawed the cup off!


Yup. I've seen very few people who really look comfortable using one of these ubiquitous torture devices. Their popularity is a mystery to me.

My favorite is the Wittner, a side-mounter somewhat like a Teka in shape, with both cup and mounting hardware made from non-allergenic, easy to clean plastic. Comfortable (except if you need a very low chinrest) and eliminates that nasty neck rash without having to cover the chinrest with a cloth. But not aesthetic enough for fine instruments, I suppose.

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Hi Michael,

-------Just an inserted observation here: about 99% of my customers us Guarneri style chinrests, and 80% of them don't use the cup at all--they just hook their chins over the bar that crosses the tailpiece. I don't think they'd notice at all if I sawed the cup off!------

This is what I observed when looking at violin players. This hooking over the bar puts the left ear in a dominant position, and that is probably what many violinists prefer subconsciously. Some Baroque players do not use chinrests, however they rest their chin on the plate on the right side of the tailpiece so their left ear is very near the bow action. Is the music reception on the right side of the brain?

Cherrs Wolfjk

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Quote:

The Hollywoods indeed look to cover more of the tailpiece than any but the Guarneris. From the Johnson photos, the Hollywoods also look more massive the Guarneris, as do all the side mounts. Do you think that's the case? I wonder if the mass affects the sound projection, too.


I don't know about the projection. I changed from a very old bakelite (yes really) Guanari style which was very light, however, I have not be playing for others so have no comparison. Part of the massive look is that it is a relatively tall rest, most of it is up and off the violin though.

Ok, read all the new posts first... My comment still stands though wrt the effect of the Hollywood.

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