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Very low profile shoulder rests?


polkat
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Thought I'd ask this here as some luthiers have stores as well.

Seems the violins I've made or restored for myself sound a bit better when I use a shoulder rest. I know it's a matter of perspective, but it seems that if my shoulder is not actually touching the back, the sound is better. Although I've used them in the past, I'm take it or leave it about shoulder rests. Not because they lock me into position (I can look around and move my head just fine when using one, and it seems my vibrato is better with one), but because it seems to raise my head too much....just doesn't feel right.

Anyway, does anyone make a rest that is very low in profile, nearly touching the back plate? I'm thinking of modifying an old Kun I have, but thought I'd ask.

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It's a widespread problem. Most players end up with too great a distance between their shoulder and instrument and use a shallow chin rest to maintain the proper neck angle. The result is an instrument that's less ergonomically comfortable to play than would be the case with a low shoulder rest and higher chin rest, placing the instrument low to the shoulder.

Mutter is a great example of this principle... no shoulder rest and a very tall chin rest.

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Hear, hear, I've got raised chinrests by Gary Frisch on all my violins and love them.

http://www.chinrests.com/

Re shoulder rests: the sound of your fiddle is generally going to be much better with a shoulder rest to free up the back. Unless you are careful about only balancing it with the end block directly on your collarbone and not contacting your pectoral or trapezius (too much). Wolf shoulder rests can get quite low if you flip the mounting points upside down.

ALB

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Thought I'd ask this here as some luthiers have stores as well.

Seems the violins I've made or restored for myself sound a bit better when I use a shoulder rest. I know it's a matter of perspective, but it seems that if my shoulder is not actually touching the back, the sound is better. Although I've used them in the past, I'm take it or leave it about shoulder rests. Not because they lock me into position (I can look around and move my head just fine when using one, and it seems my vibrato is better with one), but because it seems to raise my head too much....just doesn't feel right.

Anyway, does anyone make a rest that is very low in profile, nearly touching the back plate? I'm thinking of modifying an old Kun I have, but thought I'd ask.

The old Menuhin shoulder rest was a low one designed not to contact the back of the instrument. I don't know if the original is still available. A new shoulder rest came out a few years back that reminded me of the old Menuhin, the Comfort (or Comford) shoulder cradle. Google "Menuhin shoulder rest" and "Comfort shoulder cradle."

You'd want to make sure that any low shoulder rest you use that's designed not to contact the back of the instrument really does not contact the back of the instrument when chin pressure is applied. Otherwise, you could scuff the varnish.

The lowest shoulder rests I've ever tried were the Playonairs. They do contact the back of the instrument, but are designed to. But maybe a pillow of air doesn't damp a fiddle the way people think a solid substance might.

For me, the choice is easy: no shoulder rest at all.

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Years ago I contacted Peter Mach for a different curve of his shoulder rests. He sent me back one that dipped low over the shoulder, close to the back - and I mean real close. If you set the feet to the lowest position and push the bar it might touch the back kind of close. The side which contacts the shoulder is plain, varnished wood.

Some people will dock Mach Ones for being slippery, for being too low, for being harder to hold than a padded bar, almost as if it's not "shoulder-resty" enough. But hey, that's what I was looking for and it sounds like you are too.

If you're not opposed to Mach Ones, try giving Peter a call.

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I had an older Wolf Forte maybe 25 years ago that would go very low and worked pretty well for me, but sadly it was stolen (weird the things people select to steal). I've looked at a new one, but the design seems a tiny bit different, and they don't go as low. I will experiment with one and report back.

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I had an older Wolf Forte maybe 25 years ago that would go very low and worked pretty well for me, but sadly it was stolen (weird the things people select to steal). I've looked at a new one, but the design seems a tiny bit different, and they don't go as low. I will experiment with one and report back.

Are you talking about the fact that the feet have screws now instead of fixed pivots? You can find the old style ones around

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A local violinist ( Steve McMillian Houston)

makes a shoulder rest that is a fiberglass plate

that rests on the edge of the violin, does not

touch the back, has velcro to add pads oto

adjust everything.

It can be very thin. or very thick.

If you want total control, this is your best bet.

I will chase his address if asked!

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A local violinist ( Steve McMillian Houston)

makes a shoulder rest that is a fiberglass plate

that rests on the edge of the violin, does not

touch the back, has velcro to add pads oto

adjust everything.

It can be very thin. or very thick.

If you want total control, this is your best bet.

I will chase his address if asked!

Howdy,

It's http://www.suretone-rest.com/.

All the best,

A.C.

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