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Hi Fiddlerman (and others). I did not know that Conrad Gotz sold more than one type of chin rest. I am using the Flesch model, and I am placing it under the left portion of the jaw in combination with the Wittner Isny shoulder rest. I am now playing with my head upright in the position favored by Charles. I must say that I really like it and I feel much more relaxed and "in control." My bowing has immediately improved since the violin lean (and overall position) is completely rigid and uniform. I have not progressed in my training yet to attempt vibrato, but with this combination of chin rest and shoulder rest I am now confident that I will be easily be able to do it. I previously thought that it would prove to be a difficult technical challenge.
I find that my left hand is more fluid since I no longer rely on it at all to maintain violin position.
If I were to purchase another one (and I am confident that I will), I would like to try the viola model given the thicker 8 mm pad (although the 6 mm version of the violin model is perfectly comfortable) and the assumed longer rib attachment fasteners. I think that I would use a torque screwdriver if securing the Isny to an acoustic instrument (no problem at all on a solid body electric violin, such as I am using). I would not trust the conventional barrel connectors (version 282) to secure the Isny.
I think that the ability to configure the shoulder pad with the "windshield wiper" balls is an important feature and I do not know why Wittner does not address their use in the instructions and in their videos. I also don't know why they use a phelips head screw on the rib connection fasteners, since they use an allen head on the arm adjustment balls (they would save the cost of providing the phelips head screwdriver with every unit). Wittner should have made the arm removal levers a few mm longer to reduce effort required by young players.
The above "objections" are certainly minor in nature and the Wittner Isny shoulder rest is already paying dividends on my practice. I can now go longer periods without muscle fatigue, and my playing is better because my hands have better control.
I sent an email to Wittner asking about the purchase of a Isny mounting plate so that I could install it on a second instrument and transfer the swing arm and pad. They sent me a parts list for the shoulder rest and told me that they would send whatever I needed. It seems that they had no idea that the pad attachment balls could be latched and wanted me to send them a photo (it shoulds like engineering is not talking to marketing).
The parts list is attached.
OK. I have only owned this shoulder rest for two weeks and I already put a "hack" on it. I was practicing the other day, heard a "pop," and found that the "windshield wiper" latch holding the shoulder rest pad in the "J" position had released. No damage to the latch, but I wanted to prevent it happening again. I placed a 1/2" piece of 1/4" inside diameter black surgical tubing in the windshield wiper. Problem solved.
Do I still like the shoulder rest--absolutely.
I am glad to hear that I can order the Wittner Isny from your shop. Do you carry the viola variety as well?
The parts I ordered to mount the shoulder rest on another violin (transferring the swing arm and pad) came today priority express from Germany. Wittner also provided me with two sets of clamps and a 8 mm pad. I now must wait for the chin rests to come from India.
The two most important changes I made to the violin as they affect my playing are a properly fitted bridge and this shoulder rest. The Knilling planetary pegs and the Fiddlershop strings and bow are very nice but not as important.
I thought that I would add a photo of my surgical tube mod to better secure the pad latch. I tried the 8 mm pad (intended for the viola) last night. I was amazing that a 2 mm difference from the standard violin 6 mm pad would make. Since I did not want to change all of my settings, I quickly reinstalled the 6 mm pad. I also requested viola length attachments and, as I suspected, they are about 1/4" longer than the violin version (perfect for my mod of adding slots to non-Wittner chin rests to act as anchors for the Wittner Isny shoulder rest).
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