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Rosin recommendation


Guido
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Violin is a fun hobby for me. So far I've been cheap on rosin but would be curious to try something better.

I have seen the Warchal rosin test winners but didn't want to spend quite as much.

Any "one-rosin" recommendation amongst the widely available suspects?

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Ok, done a bit of googling since the OP and cross checked what my favourite source has available (No Andrea, sorry).

Short list has Jade, Bernardel, and Melos. Maybe Kaplan or Hill. That's what seems popular.

Jade and Bernardel are universal and don't come in dark/ light versions. Jade seems so universal it is even recommended for violin, viola, and cello.

The Melo on the other hand comes in light and dark and is different for each instrument. So if I play violin and viola in summer and in winter Jade says I need one rosin, Melos says four different ones.

I can see me go down either route. Any comments or suggestions?

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I bought some Melos some years ago when I was away from home and borrowed a violin.  I never finished the old Goldflex rosin and just keep with the Melos, just bought another cake. Only the dark because it doesn't usually get very hot here. It suits me.

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Just with the dark/ light in winter/ summer thing: it seems to make sense at first sight but then when you think about it, the ambient temperature where one plays doesn't vary that much, does it?

If anything it's cold in summer when the aircon is on full blast; and warm in winter when the heating is humming.

Any experience with actually using light vs dark versions of rosin around the year?

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19 hours ago, Guido said:

Just with the dark/ light in winter/ summer thing: it seems to make sense at first sight but then when you think about it, the ambient temperature where one plays doesn't vary that much, does it?

If anything it's cold in summer when the aircon is on full blast; and warm in winter when the heating is humming.

Any experience with actually using light vs dark versions of rosin around the year?

More google and YouTube. Seems the light vs. dark rosin is more about humidity than temperature, apart from what one might prefer in grip vs. clean sound production.

At this stage I'm inclined to try the Melos dark.

Any views on Larica (ex Liebenzeller)? Thinking about the Gold II. 

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Over the years I have liked best the Liebenzeller, Tartini/Andrea*, Magic and finally the Leatherman rosins in that chronological order as they became available. None of them is cheap, although Magic is relatively reasonable..

At the present time I am using Leatherman and I think it is the best rosin I have ever used. Leatherman comes in "Supple" and "Crisp" versions for violin, viola, and cello (increasing in grippiness in that order). Because I play all three of those instruments I was lucky to be able to purchase the rosins from the maker in Australia early on in his marketing venture when a half-price sale was offered ( was amused to follow its transportation progress from Australia to me in San Francisco (6 time zones) via Frankfurt , Germany (18 time zones) - it all depends on whom you hire to carry your cargo). Leatherman rosin is now sold in the USA by a number of dealers.

I have also tried dozens of other rosins, but the ones I have named have impressed me most.

*There is a new "Andrea Sanctus" brand of rosin that includes rosins of two different hardnesses in each cake (violin, viola and cello are different). Based on experience I have found no virtue in this product. If you want to mix rosins on your bow, just take two different cakes and apply both as you wish.

ADDED Nov 10, 2018:I have been a kind of "rosin nut" so it is unlikely you can name a rosin I have not tried. Last month I sent my son 20 different kinds of rosin cakes I have tried. Most are OK. What I have named above are just the rosins that rose above the rest at the time - in my opinion. Another one to add that might make it above the "line" is Thomastik Peter Infeld violin rosin - I still have a cake in my violin/viola double case.

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1 hour ago, Andrew Victor said:

Over the years I have liked best the Liebenzeller, Tartini/Andrea*, Magic and finally the Leatherman rosins in that chronological order as they became available. None of them is cheap, although Magic is relatively reasonable..

At the present time I am using Leatherman and I think it is the best rosin I have ever used.

Thanks Andrew. Have you ever looked back? Re-visited, say, a fresh cake of Liebenzeller/ Larica?

Edit: Did you ever try Melos?

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On 8/14/2018 at 1:37 AM, Guido said:

The Melo on the other hand comes in light and dark and is different for each instrument. So if I play violin and viola in summer and in winter Jade says I need one rosin, Melos says four different ones.

I can see me go down either route. Any comments or suggestions?

"Back in the day" all rosin was for violin, viola, and cello, except for bass rosin which was real gummy.   There was light and dark of some brands which meant sticky, and less sticky; and not related to anything like winter or summer.  Then Al Gore invented the internet.

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Nothing wrong with Salchow rosin - in my opinion, it's kind of like the Dominant strings of rosin; it works very well for most players, in most climates, on most bows and instruments (and strings).

I also love Bella Rosin, which feels similar to the subscription-only Baker's Rosin, but is more readily available, and works better, in my opinion - you don't need to apply as much of it (2-4 swipes is usually more than sufficient), grips extremely well, and unlike most other rosins, it is very easy to clean off your strings. However, it is not cheap.

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On ‎8‎/‎16‎/‎2018 at 11:42 AM, Spelman said:

I like Liebenzeller Gold 1, not cheap but good.

Have you tried and compared the Gold 2? From (limited) previous experience with other rosins I'd probably lean towards the supposedly stickier Gold 2...

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One rosin to rule them all, huh?

I used Bernardel before trying Kaplan Light (on the viola). I switched to Kaplan because I hated getting my fingers all sticky by touching the Bernardel cloth, but the little plastic Kaplan case got all sticky as well so now it needs a cloth to hold as well. :mellow:

I'm very satisfied with my change soundwise, though, as the Bernardel seems to produce a scratchy sound, whereas Kaplan seems smoother. But maybe that means that Bernardel produced more high frequencies, so it might suit someone else.

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1 hour ago, matesic said:

The fact that about a dozen contributors have recommended at least an equal number of brands suggests to me that there's no clear market leader. Somewhat like soap powder?

That's been my conclusion too!

As long as it's not the cheapest brand (like that crumbly stuff that comes with outfits) it works!

I've tried various brands and they actually are all a wee bit different- but all sound fine. 

Now my focus is on less dusty - and a nice/practical case! 

I am also using the Kaplan at the moment - for those reasons. Don't like the ones that come with a cloth - awkward and sticky.

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Funny, its an aspect of violin that I never put much thought to. I don't think I ever purchased rosin more than once or twice in my life. I use it very sparingly compared to others and have lived off of giveaways from violin shops. One day I'll probably get a bug in my head and go out and buy 30 brands to test.

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Guido, I have used Melos. I have used almost every brand, certainly every one listed above and many more.  Most were pretty good to my taste. I have highlighted those that I liked best over about the past 15 or 20 years.

My problem with the Liebenzeller that I used for cello playing was that after about 90 minutes it started to get "ratty." I wanted rosin that would maintain its consistency for longer than that. Sure I could re-rosin (and I did), but that was probably in the middle of a piano trio movement.

Pirastro Goldflex - apparently I am sensitive to that one and it irritated my eyes when used on chin instruments (violin and viola).

I don't know a day when "all rosin was for violin, viola and cello" even if it was used that way. - must have been before my time. When I received my first cello in 1949 there was a fairly well-used cake of Thomastik 2-sided CELLO rosin in the bag. It probably dated from 1929, when the cello had been serviced by a Baltimore luthier who had put a dated repair label inside the cello. That kind of rosin was still being sold by Thomastik 18 years ago when my younger granddaughter gave violin playing a short-lived try - but she used my old cake. It would appear this brand has been discontinued.

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