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Rosins Revisited
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Crazymotive
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December 22, 2012 - 3:40 pm
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Okay, here we go.  Since I was a kid I always used light rosins on my bow. This has been that case right into the present day.   Recently I bought some light rosins and I also bought a cake of dark rosin.  I sort of tossed it in with my violin accessories but never used it.

 

Last night I decided to give the dark rosin a try.  I rosined up my spare bow with the dark rosin and started playing.  And I liked the results. The dark rosin seemed to "grip" the strings better, gave me a nice response, and seemed to give me a nice loud and full sound. I alternated between the bow with the light rosin and the bow with the dark rosin and I was more impressed with the dark rosin.  I applied some to my regular bow and was equally impressed.  It is more of a feeling than something I can express in words but I felt a better connection between me, the bow, the violin and the strings.  As it now stands I am going to continue with the dark rosin for a while and see if it works better for me in the long haul.

 

In the past I have read that the dark rosins are better suited to certain particular types of climates where as the lighter rosins better for others. Not sure if there is any truth to this.  Presently our indoor climate here in New York as been warm and quite dry due to the radiators being on.  Perhaps the surrounding environment does play a role in which rosins work best.  Perhaps the lighter rosins are better in summer and the darker rosins in winter.  I am confused but I "feel" a difference.

 

Don't get me wrong. Rosin is not going to account for skill and ability.  Rosin alone is not going to make me or anyone else a better violin player. But I do sense a difference and I am interested if anyone else is on the same page with me or has noticed differences between the dark & lighter rosins ? And then of course there are differences between both the light and the dark rosins I suppose. I guess it can also vary between strings.  

 

 

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Scottishdude12
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December 23, 2012 - 12:44 am
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Hi Crazymotive,

    I'm a new fiddler myself only a month playtime. I have two kinds of rosin.

One is D'addario dark art craft rosin and the other is Jade (light) rosin. I have played mostly with the Dark rosin because it's what came with my violin. It has, as you stated, a fuller sound producing friction in my opinion. I have tried it on both of my bows to make sure that wasn't the difference. The jade rosin (Which from my understanding is not typical light rosin) has a much smoother friction to it than the dark rosin I use, and produces a much softer (still loud) sound.

When I play with the dark rosin the violin is much more finniky than witht he light rosin..... Maybe that's just me lol. I'm from PA so maybe the climate does have something to do with it.

Hopefully my two cents help ya, God bless Crazymotive!

Practice makes perfect-Godliness with contentment is great gain!

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AdverseD
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December 23, 2012 - 2:55 am
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Never tried using different rosins before, but as you guys say, it may have some effect on the tone or preference of friction. I'll have to give it a try! I have been using simple light rosin that's sold at pretty much all music shops. 

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ratvn
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December 23, 2012 - 3:14 am
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I recently changed to medium-dark from light rosin and I loved it.

@Crazymotive: dark rosin is stickier so it will grip better and produce fuller/deeper sounds.

@Scottishdude12: light rosin will have brighter sound and easier for bow control.

Darker rosin is stickier and has more grip to strings hence more effect even with light bow pressure/speed change.

I went with medium-dark Pirastro rosin and am very happy as it's much better in term of sound/bow control than the light/hard one and also it does not have much dust either.

 

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DanielB
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December 23, 2012 - 3:43 am
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Rosin choice definitely makes some differences on sound.  I have mostly used Hill dark, and of the few I have tried, it is the one I prefer.

I found the light coloured stuff that came "free" with my cheaper violins to be harder to get a decent sound with and also to leave a fair bit of dust.  Some of that may have been a plain old difference in quality, though.  I found it to tend to less volume/power and to be prone to squeaky hissy noises more than the dark.

The only other rosin I've really tried was some brand called RDM that came with my Hoffmann violin.  I'd never heard it mentioned, so I don't know if it would be considered a good brand or not.  Not bad, but I still like the Hill better, so after giving it a fair try for a month, I passed it on to the friend I gave my first acoustic to.

I don't get much dust with the Hill dark, and I like the sounds I get with it better.  But what sound a person likes is going to vary from person to person. 

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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ratvn
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December 23, 2012 - 3:43 am
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AdverseD said
Never tried using different rosins before, but as you guys say, it may have some effect on the tone or preference of friction. I'll have to give it a try! I have been using simple light rosin that's sold at pretty much all music shops. 

Give it a try. You've never know. You may like it much better, especially after a few months with violin you can feel how it reacts, but not the real dark if you just use regular synthetic string. Go with good quality one, as the cheaper dark rosin tend to have lot of dust.

 

 

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ozmous
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December 23, 2012 - 8:50 am
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Different rosins give much different results, I am currently using a cheap one, of Chinese made, it's a dark one, but even though it's cheap, it makes my violin "sing" beautifully.

dark rosins grips the strings well, because they are stickier, and they are quite of use in violas and cellos, they don't give much residue(actually, I've been using my rosin for quite some time, and I've never seen any residue, not once), they are very good amuse

and as for the weather, dark rosin is, as I've heard, for cold temperatures(i.e winter), while light is for hot(summer)....but i regularly use my rosin at any time.

cheers! - ⁰ℨ

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Fiddlerman
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December 23, 2012 - 9:53 am
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As many of you know, I am drawn to dark rosin and feel it is superior in all weather conditions. I am always more interested in a better grip. The rest (soft, smooth, careful, bowing and bow changes) you can do with a better technique. A lack of friction can only mess things up for me when I am trying to utilize the most from my bow.

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but the one who needs the least."

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RosinedUp
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I use Super Sensitive Dark, and I guess it is okay, better than a couple of light rosins I have.

I believe what makes a far greater difference than the rosin is the humidity.  If at the onset of cold dry weather you think maybe you have a rosin or string or hair problem, first try increasing the humidity where you play.  It is something that you can control (with a humidifier) and measure (with a hygrometer) easily, if you only play on your home turf, that is.  It is possible to experiment, with say 40-45% humidity for a few days and then back down to say 30% for a few days, while keeping everything else constant.  By experimenting, you can more easily find the rosin that works best in low humidity, for when you are playing away from home.

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Crazymotive
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December 23, 2012 - 6:38 pm
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For a while I was using SuperSensitive light rosin, it was the only type the local music shop carries, and I got pretty decent results with it.  A bit scratchy perhaps but it worked.  I switched ti Hidersine 1V light rosin and I wasn't too happy with the results. Seems like my sound was a bit too light, scratchy, and there was too much bow slippage.  So Here I am experimenting with a dark rosin.   It is a generic dark rosin from SHAR music but so far I like it. In the near future I might head over to Fiddlershop and order a cake of the D'addario dark or perhaps the "Jade" rosin and give it a try. Anyone use the Pirastro Gold Fex ??? 

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fishnrodds
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I use the pirastro goldflex, get along with it pretty good.. I also use hill  dark and it is grippier. I wish the hills came in a better easier to use container. Going to buy another cake of dark soon..undecided as of yet, might be whatever is packaged to make the most convienient to use...

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Worldfiddler
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December 24, 2012 - 2:59 pm
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I've never really bothered much about a type or brand of rosin, and I haven't consciously stuck with one brand, ever. I don't use much of it on my bow, btw, whereas many people do.

For me, I use just enough to grip the strings and make a sound, that's all. When the bow hair gets worn to a certain point (so that the profile is smooth, rather than rough), then no amount of rosin will help.

I'm currently using a cake of Jade Opera dark green. Ive been using that same cake since ... er ...2006.

I went to the Buxton Fiddle Hell in 2006, and there was a stand there, selling all manner of violins and bows. Well, I really was quite happy with my own violin, but the stand owner was happy for me to try them out, with the added benefit that other (potential customers) would hear his instruments too.

I played every doggam one of them, and quite a a few bows too. In the end I felt a bit guilty, so I bought two cakes of the Jade rosin I mentioned before :)

So, at this rate, I won't need to buy amy more rosin ... :)

Mr Jimdancing

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cdennyb
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December 24, 2012 - 7:41 pm
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Ive been on the list now for over a year and just got notified by tom that im eligble to  buy 2 rosins at $22.00 ea.

you might be able to get some if they have any left. Go to http://www.bakersrosin.com and send tom an email request. You wont find his rosin advertised nor stored from year to year Nor sold by any retailer.

it is probably the finest rosin any player of any ability would ever use.

 

UPDATE: Dec. 25, 2012

Karen sent an invoive and I paid for my rare and often sought after Bakers' Rosin. Cost was $48 on 2 including shipping. Can't wait till it gets here.

Anyone want my old stuff? As soon as the Bakers' gets here I'm never using the others...

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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Fiddlerman
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December 26, 2012 - 9:33 am
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You just reminded me of this Dennis.
I actually put myself on the list too. Haven't heard a word from them yet. No idea if it's any good but I will be getting some as soon as hear from them. :-)

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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DanielB
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December 26, 2012 - 1:34 pm
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On the topic of rosin, does anyone use or know about "Magic Rosin"?   I got a couple of those for xmas this year.  No dark or light to them, since they are clear and colorless, but their "ultra" is supposed to be the one with more grip, according to their website.

They look really neat, but I haven't actually tried them yet.  Because if they aren't a good rosin, I may as well leave them shiny and keep them as keepsakes.  LOL

 

 

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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