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mom2olivia

New Rosin

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Hi everybody,


  I bought new rosin for my
daughter and the instructions say not to mix rosin.  So how do
I clean the old rosin off the bow hairs?  How thoroughly do
they need to be cleaned?  I've seen discussions here about
soaking the bow hair in alcohol or something, but do we really need
to be that drastic?  She has two bows, neither of which need
rehairing so I don't want to go that route.  Is just wiping it
down with a clean cloth good enough?


  Thanks, Wendy

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Hi, Wendy - you have bought one of the rosins with metal in it? I know they say not to mix them, but wiping the strings really well with a microfiter cloth seems to do it for me.

I have, though, several time, washed the bow hair in detergent and water - diluted to about as you would wash dishes in: Unscrew the frog, and swish the hair around int the water, being careful not to get the tip or the frog wet - or very wet. Then rinse it well, blot the hair dry, reassemble the bow, and let the hair dry naturally. It will keep getting shorter, so keep an eye on it, and loosen the frog accordingly. DO NOT BLOW DRY WITH HAIR DRYER - the cutical gets all roughed up and you have to start again. (Personal experience.)

Personally, I have had horrible results from trying alcohol on the hair - it gets all gummed up, and becomes like plastic, and I am not the only one this has happened too. In fact, it was such an occurance that encouraged me to try washing the bow hair for the first time - I had no choice, as I needed to play with the bow. It worked like a charm, and while some people discourage washing the hair, I understand the Japanese do it all the time - they like clean bows.

ON THE OTHER HAND, you might try just wiping the hair with a rag as best you can, and see what happens. You may notice no ill effects. Good luck, And sorry for this over-long reply! No time this morning to think succinctly! Shirley

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Tap the bow a few time against a table. It is enough to shake the old rosin dust out.

Play violin (or cello in your case) for an hour without any rosin. It will be clean enough.

Don't wash the hair because you do not know what will get on your bow. If you use your hands.,

it means problem if not trouble.

There is no such "rosin" that bad needed to be washed away.

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That is different. That is "bad, bad" ( you are not kidding ?) Metal in rosin?.

Pure rosin is from tree product, not supposed to have metal in it.

Throw the old rosin away. Take a good look at the strings to see if any metal

(wrap) of the strings broken. Metal fragments may be from the broken wrap of the strings.

You can trace (or find out) where the metal is from. (Don't touch the part of strings

where the bow makes contact. )

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I believe mom2olivia is talking about rosins that have gold particles (supposedly) in the rosin. Their sales talk says the gold gives better tone, etc. I don't think the cleaning (and tapping) techniques mentioned above will work any differently on this type rosin in comparison to regular (non-metal) rosin. The techniques should be equally effective.

Whether the gold particles represent any potential danger to the violin finish is problematical. The amount of particles is probably extremely small.

I don't think the Andrea rosin has the gold but that is easily checked.

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Andrea Paganini is very good rosin. The rosin that purportedly contains metals is Liebenzeller. Rosin that might actually contain suspended metal particles is insane and should not be used. Inhallation of metals is one of the most hazardous routes of human absorption.

With all due respect to the poster of an earlier reply, do not wash the hair. The problems that one can have far exceed any possible benefit. The first problem is changing the length of the hair upon drying. The second is soap contamination interfering with rosin adhesion. The third is that water can easily creep into the head and frog through capillary action, where swelling of the wood can occur. This can damage the bow, and/or cause the mortise plugs to loosen upon re-drying.

Simply rubbing down the hair repeatedly with a firm cloth like denim or chiffon (frequently turning for fresh material) with long strokes will more than suffice for changing rosins.

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I have been told by other people that I should wash the hair on my

bow but have always thought that it was risky! If you do decide to

do it though be sure to hang on to the frog as if the hair starts

to twist and tangle you could end up going into a luthier shop and

explaining that you were just "washing" your bow My advice would

be as the others have said just wipe it down with a cloth and don't

worry about it.

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Wendi - just a word of caution concerning the Andrea rosin - it is a reformulation of his earlier rosin, and is very potent. Just a little bit does it, and it is easy to get too much of that rosin on the hair. Just go easy at first, and build up slowly. At least it is this way for me. Shirley

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Thanks everyone!


  Being the big chicken that
I am, I decided to go with wiping the bow hairs with clean clothes
until all the rosin was off.  We also thoroughly cleaned the
strings with string cleaner, (different cloth :-)  Part of the
reason we bought a new rosin was the Bernardel got left in the hot
car and hasn't been right since.  Anyway, we tried the Andrea
Paganini today and it is wonderful!  I didn't realize rosin
could be so different.  She has her orchestra audition
tomorrow so this is a nice little pick me up for
her. 


  Thanks again,
Wendy

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I think you did the right thing - wiping the hairs with a clean cottone cloth. Microfiber is good too.

i chedk my rosined hair on my dark trousers to estimate the amount of rosin, although the way it plays tells me just fine.

When the weather gets cold, you may find that Andrea Vitali works better, but that can depend on the bow and fiddle.

I think that these are excellent rosins, although they are somewhat sticky, something that bothers some players.

I've also found the Liebenzeller, metal-filled rosins (at least they are advertised as such) to be very good too. I've used the violin and the cello grades on their respective instruments. I've used the gold, pyrite, and tin to good use. I've had no troubles with irritation or allergy. But I ahve had trouble with my eyes with the Pirastro gold-flex rosin (as a violin rosin, close to my eyes - no trouble when I've used it a sa cello rosin).

Chimney's and Melos and Dominant (a relatively new rosin) are also relatively soft rosins that are less expensive than the Andrea, Tartini, or Liebenzeller rosins. But I get most good playing time with no adverse behavior or sound from the Andrea. There are certain playing conditions and musical numbers that I want a little more "ring" for and I might use the Liebenzeller Tin-III (for violin, Tin-IV for cello). Liebenzeller Pyrite and Gold were my favorites just before the Tartini/Andrea products were marketed.

I have also cleaned my bow hair by careful shampooing and using alcohol pads (sold in drug store diabetes displays in boxes of 100). The alcohol cleaning has worked for me, but it is MOST IMPORTANT to realise that you need to remove disolved rosin after each alcohol swipe with a clean cotton cloth swipe until no hairs stick together. It takes me about 8 alcohol swipes of the hair (each followed instantly by a dry swipe to remove the disolved rosin before it solidifies at all). If you do this carefully, you can probably extend the life of a bows hair the equivalent of three rehairs.

But it is not necessary to wash, alcohol clean, or rehair to switch to Andrea rosins (or their Tartini precursor).

Andy

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The most common mistake (problem)of rosin application is that "too much" rosin is used.

What kind of rosin is a less problem to me. The quantity issue is more than its quality issue.

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Andrew: Thank you so much for the detailed instructions on how you clean your bow hair with alcohol - if I had known what I know now, I wouldn't have ended up with "plastic hair." I didn't know about drying the hair right after swabbing them - with pads easily bought at the drugstore, yet. Nifty.

I'm also glad someone else has tried careful shampooing of the hair, with no ill effects. My father (a physicist) used to soak my sister's bowhair in weak citric acid, I believe, to clean it. Ouch. But it worked great (This was like 50 years ago, before detergents, when who knows what rosin was used - the stuff in the wooden holder, I presume.) So I figure careful washing can't be that bad! (Works for me.)

Thanks again for the alcohol-cleaning instructions! Shirley

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SHIRL - Be sure NOT TO rosin the alcohol-cleaned bow hairs untill they are completely dry. You can test them against the back of your hand. If the hair feels cool, it's still evaporating alcohol and noot ready yet.

Andy

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I have mixed rosins before and never had to clean the bow before doing so. It has caused me no problems what so ever. I just let the rosin on the bow to run down so it starts slipping on the strings, then I apply the new rosin. The reason I had to mix rosins was because I use Libenzeller (grade 1), and I found out that these rosins are no longer made, so I strarted looking for an alternative. Fortunately I found a mail order company in the UK who still have some stock of Libenzeller (and cheap), so I have bought enough Libenzeller for myself for the next few years!!

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Liebenzeller no longer made??? Horrors! My favorite rosin! I'll have to look into this - thanks for the "heads up"! Shirley

Or - you don't happen to mean "Tartini" rosin do you - the stuff Andrea pulled out of and is now marketing as an "upgrade" in his own name?

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Hmmm... It begs the question, if it is so good, then why are they ceasing production? Perhaps their claim of containing metal particles like lead, gold, copper, tin, etc., is really true and they are simply stopping production before any class action suits are filed.

Inhallation is often cited as the most hazardous route for human intake of metals (see numerous articles in Patty's Industrial Hygiene and Toxicology, vols. 1 through 6, Wiley-Interscience)

About the only thing that might convince me to use a product that contained suspended metal particles would be if it could cause me to suddenly play like Vengerov, and even then I would have to think about it.

This is a ploy of the worst order as it appeals to the most vulnerable, namely those who have not a clue about the dangers of breathing in metals, or marketing. The whole topic is patently absurd, first for a company claiming to, or actually planting metals in rosin, and for others thinking that somehow this will make the violin sound better.

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Then, does that mean that it is inadvisable for violinists or violists to use rosins with suspended metal particles, but ok for cellist since the it is not played near the nose?

How about violinist or violist to use surgical face mask? (it's a joke... don't take it seriously...)

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Is the additive , whatever it is, safe to breathe?

I bet the manufacturers do not

know (for sure) either. We are talking small quantity of additive. Research is hard to conduct.

Most likely none has been done. Just my guess.

How the rosin works is easy to understand. The heat generated from bow hair that contacts with

the string, when we draw the bow, enough to melt the rosin. It is the liquid form of rosin (sticky stuff)

to drag the hair and then to lease the string to make sound. It is not clear how the additive

there will help the performance. (solid form of any material is doing absolutely nothing, except cleaning

job for the user) It is that tiny bit of rosin liqid does the work.

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It may be off topic (sorry), but, my son's been using Tartini which is no longer in production. When I found out about it, I stocked up a few. He is using the last one right now. Is Andrea equivalent to Tartini? I would like inputs from those who switched from Tartini to Andrea and tell me what you think of it. If you don't like Andrea, what are you using right now?

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Mommag - I loved Tartini, and so I did get several kinds of the Andrea - but for me, it seems to cake, and get on the strings much more than the Tartini. I used it for about a year, and went back to Leibenzeller Gold II, BUT I play the viola, and I'm sure I will be trying the Andrea again, as my playing changes with time. The Andrea is a GOOD rosin, I believe, just a bit too much for me. One poster here said that it allows a "bite," which may be too much for some violinists, but for him it was really good.

The Tartini was sold in itsy cakes, but I don't think the Andrea is. You might ask the people at Quinn violins - they seem very "consumer friendly", and I think they would answer your questions.

Gppd luck! Shirley

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