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MinkeyDGreat

Has anyone tried Deja Rosin?

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I have never heard of "Deja Soloist Rosin." all I can find out is it is sold online by Etsy that appears to be a dealership for small business products. I have bought some things through Etsy and that worked out well. My granddaughter sold some handmade crafts of hers through Etsy.

I decided to buy a cake of this rosin, so if you can wait a week for mine to arrive I'll report my opinion here. Or if you have already bought some, please let us know what you think about it.

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Thanks! Will be on stand-by.... 

I haven't bought much from Etsy before. I like the presentation on the page, though, and the claims seem enticing enough to give it a try.

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I TOOK A 2nd LOOK AT DEJA SOLOIST ROSIN 5 DAYS LATER - CHECK MY ADDED COMMENTS IN A LATER POST  (on Sunday, Aug. 11).

My cake of Deja "Soloist" Rosin arrived yesterday.

It is a neat cylindrical cake, of 3/4" thickness and 1.5" diameter a substantial size. It is nicely packaged in an aluminum case that holds the rosin and its attached cloth. I find this case particularly nice because the top is threaded: a much better idea (in my experience) than the friction fit cases that come with "Old Master" or "Baker's" rosins for two reasons

(1) the threading makes the cylinder less likely to deform and

(2) threaded tops go on and off more easily than the friction-fit ones.

The rosin itself is not too soft or too hard (may tend toward the harder end of the usual range)**. I tested it on 3 bows, one each violin, viola, and cello and played on the appropriate instruments. I feel I do not get as much low tone as I get with my usual "Leatherwood (supple)" rosins - but then Deja rosin lists for 1/6 the price Leatherwood (the most expensive rosin I've ever seen). On the other hand I thought I got more higher register output with the Deja rosin and on the cello I got better responsiveness in the higher octaves of the lowest (C) string than any other rosin has given me with this bow.###

I removed what rosin I could from each of the bows with a microfiber cloth before rosining generously with Deja. Then I removed the Deja and re-rosined the bows with the appropriate violin, viola, and cello (supple) "Leatherwood" rosin and played each instrument again immediately after playing it with the Deja rosin. I essentially played a 3 octave scale on each instrument (4 on the cello) and also some "noodling."

It will take me more time to decide how and when to use the Deja rosin.

* *Hard rosin? In the 1960s I bought a cake of Liebenzeller gold I (for violin) and felt it was like trying to rosin my bow on a stone. I never did use it. It was another 30 years before I tried Liebenzeller again - that time grades II, III, and IV - and did use those rosins for about 10 years until Tartini (and later Andrea that replaced it) was marketed. Deja is not that hard.

### The state of my hearing must be taken into account. I wear hearing aids in both ears. Without them I am very hard of hearing. Even with them I do not have a full spectrum of normal hearing.

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For the record, I second what violinnewb said:

3 hours ago, violinnewb said:

That was extremely kind and thoughtful for you to go out and buy the rosin in order to reply to the OP! Much respect Mr. Victor!

Also thanks a bunch for giving such an in-depth testing of the rosin. I think that I have a much better idea of what it is now that you've described it.

 

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I thought some more about my trial of DEJA Rosin the other day and checked the surface of the cake and realized that not much rosin had been removed from the cake when I rosined my bows. So I "scored" the surface of the cake by gently cutting a "square grid" pattern in the surface and tried it again with the same violin and viola bows. The result was a very nice and very rich tone on both instruments.

(Scoring the surface of a new rosin cake is not something I usually (if ever) do. Probably should have tried it with that old Liebenzeller-I cake 50 years ago. I might try that if it's still around.)

I have not tested the DEJA playing qualities for a typical "set" duration of say 2 hours, but based on the short-term result the DEJA ROSIN seems to be a good deal, especially for the price and size of the cake. I will keep playing with it on the bows to see how well it holds up and report more at a later time.

EDIT: I've kept DEJA rosin on the bows the last couple of days and it seems to keep its character very well. I give it 4 stars (out of 5 maximum). It has gotten very hot here in CA the past few days (~100°F) so it's had a pretty good test/

Edited by Andrew Victor

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That's extremely interesting! I never thought about scoring rosin. My teacher once commented about having tried smashing up some chips of rosin in a mortar and pestle to get a really good first application. But he thought the result to be too gritty.

 

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Minkey,

I think it is common practice (by some) when a bow is rehaired and then prerosined by the rehairer, powdered rosin made as you described is applied - often unless the customer specifically requests it not be done. at least that seemed to be the case many years ago when I first had to pay for my own bows to be rehaired. I have always preferred not to have that done, but instead to always do my own initial rosining and know what rosins are on my bows.

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OK - back with more review of DEJA "Soloist" rosin. I now conclude this stuff is quite unique in my experience.

I have long felt that an ideal rosin would have static friction (that pulls (and pushes) the string and thus creates the vibration and sound - the bigger the displacement the louder the sound)  in proportion to the pressure applied to the string by downward force as well as by the speed of the bow and sliding friction (that damps the string vibration during the slip phase) of zero. I feel this rosin comes closer to that than any I have tried in the past 20 years (maybe 70) - it's not something I am equipped to actually measure. So I upgrade it in my estimation from 4 to 5 stars.

I think it will bring out overtones from any instrument very well and this should promote "projection," but I have not tried it in a large hall. On my cellos (and with the 3 bows I tried) it brings out the upper octaves of the C string like no other rosin I have tried.

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I finally got the chance to test out this new Deja Rosin for myself and quite frankly I'm astonished how well it works. I don't think I can write as well-researched a review as Victor's, but I'd like to throw my two cents in, just the same.

Until a month or two ago, I never even thought that a rosin could make such a huge difference in playing. I have played violin on and off for a couple of years and my experience can probably be classed as being an intermediate player. When I noticed that my "no-name" Brand, music store bought, rosin was running out, I thought it would be a good time to start experimenting with buying a rosin or two. However, now that I've tried this rosin, I think I can safely say it blows everything else I've tried to this point, clean out of the water! P.S. Thanks again Victor for giving me enough confidence to try buying one.

Now that initial impressions are out of the way, I'd like to describe what I personally find good about this rosin. First of all, when playing, there are alot of overtones... honestly my cheap german workshop violin sounds better than it ever has. Furthermore, I feel like I can interpret my music more because the sound has become so nice and forgiving (while not losing any power). I invariably want to try new things with my instrument now that I play with this rosin. I also quite like the packaging and even the cloth it comes with. Easy to access and very satisfying screwing the top on and off. Funny that after years of lessons, it just took some good rosin to make me want to practice more!

I whole-heartedly recommend it above the Andrea Solo/Tartini and Jade L'Opera that I tried before this one. I'm putting those two in a drawer as spares simply because I don't think I can return them at this point

Edited by MinkeyDGreat

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On 9/3/2019 at 10:15 AM, MinkeyDGreat said:

...

I whole-heartedly recommend it above the Andrea Solo/Tartini and Jade L'Opera that I tried before this one. I'm putting those two in a drawer as spares simply because I don't think I can return them at this point

I'm glad you like the new rosin! Rosin does make a difference. Dust levels certainly vary and there are sound differences under the ear...

But I hope you were joking about wanting to return the other perfectly fine rosin brands.

Reminds me of 5 star product reviews...

"I gave this product 1 star because it didn't fit me. I bought the wrong size." :mellow:

 

:P

 

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Yeah, maybe I shouldn't have been so negative about the other brands. They just didn't gel so well with my expectations.... Andrea Solo was too rough sounding and left too much dust for me. I also was a bit confused about why it left a reddish tinge on my bow hair (all my previous experience was with simple white residue). L'Opera gave me a gentler sound that I liked but it was much slicker. I was actually mixing the two and getting kinda close to what I wanted.

Edited by MinkeyDGreat

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The Andrea, depending on how you bow, is best used minimally. It appears to be more temperature sensitive, then compared to, say, Hidersine or Bernardel. I understand most violinists do not use Hidersine Deluxe ( intended for steel strings, they say. )

For example, if the contact point is more aggressively placed near the bridge and there is a reasonable amount of pressure, greater than mp/ mf, than only a few strokes of the Andrea should be applied. If one is to apply too much rosin on the bow hair, the hair will have a difficult time making the desired contact with the string. 

Of course there are many factors that can make a rosin less effective, including too much hair or inconsistent hair tension from edge to edge, higher tension strings, steel strings, but excess dust in certain rosins indicates too much had been applied. Bernardel, on the other hand, sounds best on my set ups when a fine coating of powder between the f-holes is there to be wiped clean at the end of the rehearsal. It feels smoother and there is less resistance ( more slip ) at the contact point on hotter and humid days, playing more controlled or stable music? Liebenzeller ( mosly gold or silver I - IV, player's choice ) has been more effective for dynamic music like summer opera festivals. 

I am very happy that the rosin you were interested in ended up being the best for your playing style and it being affordable is a plus.

Below is a link to a big time distributor, and these are their recommendations without much in the way of rationalizing the suggestions. Best not to confuse new bowed-instrument students. Not all suggestions are helpful. I am sure Strings magazine has their suggestions that might be slightly different. I never scratch a rosin's surface. I can also form opinions of the quality of a new batch of hair by testing how well it grabs on the rounded side of a known cake.  

https://www.connollymusic.com/stringovation/how-to-rosin-your-bow   

There's more stuff on their site, too. 

The Leatherwood Bespoke is a rosin embedded in a long wooden trough? For my playing, the rosin is not so effective, but the way the rosin goes onto the hair is interesting. A friend let me borrowed the rosin as she was a bit skeptical. She rocks the cello. I tried applying the rosin from the ends of the trough just to get the rosin on the hair. After several hours, it felt fine on several violins. It felt as it would play well on something very light, like an Arcus bow. An efficient, polite rosin. It reminded me of the Melos. Then out of curiosity, the suggested application was used over the length of the hair through the long trough, and the bow played noticeably better. The bow felt better on the string; it was easier to control. This bothered me a great deal as i had no rational explanation for the improvement. I tried to apply the rosin using the same gentle pressure, same slower speed, and i did apply a bit more after every hour but when using the "normal" application, the bow handled better. 

Could there also be an "application" effect when using the larger Andrea rosin cake? Could the effect of a long stretch of rosin be good for applying on to a bow? Certainly, the hair has a better opportunity make contact with the rosin given a 10 - 12cm run.

The Andrea Sanctus has been relatively disappointing. An odd thing happened the other day when i left a cake of Sanctus in the car, the middle dark center part melted and the outer clear part kept its form. The previous, uniform Andrea formula adhered to the strings better. 

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Thanks for the insight! I'm going to do some serious "research" about application to see what I can learn. There is definitely a tonality difference between the brands that I can observe right away from just pulling the bow on the strings but I can do some experimenting to see what I can come up with.... Time to make more use of my back-up bow!

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Cool. There are rosin agnostics out there. "I am one with the rosin; the rosin is one with me." But i notice a difference, and more so with great but quirky bows. There are not as many noticeable differences with composite bows, but they are getting better and more subtle changes can be heard and felt.

Next rehair, find a good tech and try the best hair. Because i wait a little too long to rehair, the impact and the joy of playing is greater than when changing strings. ( I also change strings about every three weeks, so maybe that's not so special. )

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13 hours ago, GoPractice said:

I also change strings about every three weeks, so maybe that's not so special

That probably isn't quite a world record. I was told by the cellist of the Alberni Quartet that their first violin changed his strings more often than his shorts

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18 hours ago, GoPractice said:

... ( I also change strings about every three weeks, so maybe that's not so special. )

Great balls of fire!!! Why????

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Having several instruments used for performance, violins and violas, the strings migrate down the chain and to students.

On e-strings: The Goldbrokat, plain "26" e-strings last about a week, but they often sound very good. Certainly a fine value. Pirastro Wondertone solos have an amazing finish to the tone, but that also wears quickly. I think they deliver a bit more information so i do not play them as hard, unless i need that extra reserve. At largest volumes, the Westminsters and the heavier gauge or "gold," labeled or coated strings offer a variety of color. I will treat myself with an occasional Pirasttro Olive when performing stuff like Bach. In my set ups, it is not a very sensitive string.   

The lower strings of the Dominant strings bottom out and the tone gets a little tubby ( a resonant mono tone, as in a small bathroom or tub  ) with the aluminum d-, so generally use the silver. The siIver also tracks faster and the feel is surprisingly supple when playing double stops as it is narrower and sits in the finger grooves better. Spending more time on the Dominants because quite a few students are using them again. Many do not like the high-gloss sound of the Dominants new, but i prefer, it and that easily disappears in about 2 weeks. 

Evahs, Warchal, but mostly synthetics. In my cases i have the gut core strings but can not trust my own intonation skills when using them. During the fall, i will play guts for a short while before the heater goes on.

Obligatos on the viola on very special occasions but they last two weeks before the sound rolls off. I am not sure why i consistently use Larson a- strings but they have a bit more information than Jargar. I use a variety of D'Addario strings and often wonder why i do not use their a- strings, but it is mostly an availability issue when i purchase from shops. Rarely do shop owners ask me what i prefer... partly because i rarely show them my instruments? Not sure.

Savarez strings, have a special place in my heart as they always surprise me. I have met many of the string designers and they are all very informative. Professor Warchal is charming and i assume a fantastic player. His instincts have been excellent, but Savarez has designs for many types of playing as does D'Addario and have compatibility issues with various set ups. The Alliance and Cantiga lines would be used on my teaching instrument but their availability is mixed. Given their sale pricing, the Savarezs would be cheaper than the Dominants + gold label e- string.

Went to Shar. Maybe Cantigas are discontinued as they were not listed. 

The new Infeld strings including the PI are very popular amongst students. But he sonic lives of the strings are too varied. The arc is, from the first few days to when the dynamics fall off, pretty smooth, compared to the Dominants. But having tried nearly all of the combinations and maybe my ear training is off, but i find myself squeezing a bit too much and am far more tired at the end of playing. On some music, the feel is splendid, but when practicing i am less happy. At one point several years ago, i would put on the Visions only for the dress and performances. They are a bit buzzy so for orchestral playing, i can hear myself. For piano or solo work, they can sound a little superficial on my current set up.

----

Opinions are bound to change, but it was important to convey the seriousness of my thoughts on strings. I would skip lunch to buy a good e- string, but thanks to the good people who make the Goldbrokat e- string, i really never miss lunch, on purpose anyway. For the price of a soda, i can have a decent string for a week. For the price of a high-end Scotch Whiskey at a hotel bar, i can get a viola Larsen a- string that lasts 3 weeks. I have to nurse that a- string , though, like i suck on the ice at the bar.  

If i am to spend time practicing for pitch, tonal color and articulation, having the feel of newer strings is reasonably important. It is a luxury in many ways. Most students do not have this luxury. Pianists rarely get to practice on instruments they perform on. Woodwind players rarely have a reed that lasts them two weekends, even under great management and care. Brass and Flute players are lucky. So i do not feel that bad. My sweat, is probably more damaging than most because i practice longer than most, and the finger strike, is likely harder than most on impact, though the after touch is light. I am sure the combination of sweat getting ground into the strings has an effect. 

I try not to wash my hands with soap before practicing nor do i use any hand creams. This is more to preserve the neck and stick/ frog, but i am sure it may save the strings a bit.

When i do get to practice, the feel of the string is very important. As the string set goes, it is relatively cheap. The cost is between $1 - 2 an hour. Compared to a bow that i have performed on only once so far, i think its cost me about $5 a note given a 2 hour performance. Guitar strings at a recording session get changed every hour but a full set might only cost $6, so still very cost effective.

 

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Just like wow. You are right, that is a luxury almost no violinist has. Changing every 2-3 months is important, for me my visions or vision solos are best at 2-3 weeks, so that is what I aim for when changing. 

Frequent hair changes are a different issue. New hair may be worse than the old, and the person rehairing has no control over that, unless they too live lives of extreme luxury, able to throw 20lbs of fresh hair away for not being quite perfect. They all throw away very bad hair as it is, part of why rehairs are expensive. 

For me, I change hair once it feels brittle and dry. I'm sure I am missing out, but it is better to spend more on strings, which give pretty consistent results, than hair, which might actually make my life more difficult. 

All of that, and this is a rosin thread. I used the red top Millant growing up, and after switching to bernardel, then melos light, then Leatherwood crisp, I am back to the red top. Just a great all rounder, and no major detractions.

Rosin is also somewhat bow dependant. Leatherwood and melos will smooth things out, but also limit how much weight the string can bear. If you need dynamics, they are not the best. Bernardel is comparable to red top, but crunchier. Good for spongy sticks. Wife used it on a Hill. 

Every day, with any rosin, you need to clean the rosin completely from strings, and apply 3-4 swipes of fresh, something students do have the luxury of doing, but mostly don't..... 

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:blink:

I feel like one of us is from another planet...lol.  I  prefer the sound of my new strings after they've settled in...~2 weeks...^_^

But I certainly appreciate your in-depth reply! :)

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