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I see a lot of discussion about strings and clearly some strings are better than others, but what about rosin? Is there any really any real difference between the higher and lower priced rosins?
What about dispensers? My Cecilio rosin is in a little u-shaped container that fits around the bow strings. This is nice, but restricts the way you create wear patterns on the rosin. I've also tried the ones attached to a little cloth which are a little fussy to handle. I think a little handle on the round rosin that fits in a container would be best. I suspect such a thing exists, but I can't see for sure.
I have used a few different rosin brands.
I was gifted some Bakers Rosin. It is really smooth and pure. It smells good also. I notice less dust on my violin. I believe I have to use it more often than other rosin brands that I have tried. It doesn't not clump on strings like some of the other rosin brands I have tried.
Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato
I think there are a lot of parameters involved. Your bow, the hair on it, strings, the sound you want, how you play.. What one person considers "not very good" may be "just the ticket" to another player.
At least in my personal experience, there are differences. But other than fairly general things like "dark" rosin usually having a bit more "grab" to it, how useful people's thoughts on rosin are to you personally.. Well, your mileage may vary.
Probably the best approach is to try at least a few?
With the ones mounted on a piece of cloth, you could always take them off the cloth and put them in any small container you feel is suitable.
I even saw a mention in a novel of someone having a rosin holder/case made by a jeweller from sterling silver. Considering that I can't find an image of one of those on the internet at the moment, I would guess that is unusual. But it wouldn't surprise me to find out they were perhaps more known in past times. And hey, you could always have one made or make one out of any material you like, if you wanted.
Personally, I use Magic Rosin (ultra) most of the time, sometimes I go back to Hill (dark). But for me, the Hill leaves a little more dust and is only slightly grabbier than the Magic.
"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
Here are some that I have tried. I have the ability to make all of them clump on the hair and make screeching sounds that scare the cats. I settled on using the cheapest one that came with the $30 crescent violin (the one on the bottom, round can). I learned that using less is better. I now only rosin the bow when the bow skates or when sound is missing when I should hear something.
I can answer this one. The answer is Yes there is one rosin that is better than all the others. Unfortunately, we each have to discover for ourselves which one that is.
A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright
I will have to try Andeas.
I got on a list for Bakers.. Same thing ... Never heard.
Got a gift of it from Denny.
Got back on the list.... I am not sure I made it ... So maybe to the list again.
But I do like it... I don't have temperature issues or anything like that... I do think I need to rosin more than other brands. But I like doing that!
Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato
Thanks to all who posted so far.
What about dispensers? I once tried gluing a cake of rosin in the cap of a little snap-close container. It would have worked fine except I used rubber cement and the solvent in the rubber cement wouldn't dry properly in the rosin.
What could you use to glue rosin to something? Is rosin water soluble? Does it glue itself? How do they stick it to those little cloths?
Do any of the rosins come with dispensers that are preferable to anyone?
I know i went though a "i gotta find the perfect one" phase back when i first started playing. And while i didn't buy a ton of different ones i did try the cheap one that came with my first violin, Hill dark, Hill light, and Jade rosin to get a feel for the different types.
I happened to have three clean bows at the time, and tried the rosins on cleanish bows. For me I liked the grabbiness of the Hilldark. The free dark rosin that came with my violin just put dust everywhere and didn't seem to last more then five minuets.
The only thing i really noticed different was how different rosins pulled a crossed the strings. The Light didn't grab as much at the strings, it had a smoother feel. The Dark definitallly had a grab. I could feel it pull at the strings a lot more. And the jade, predictably, was in the middle. While I prefer the dark, maybe as i play i'll branch out to different brands and try to find the "perfect one" but for now at my learning stage i just stick with the Hill Dark and go my merry way.
Who knows maybe as we play and maybe even what we play might have an influence on the types of rosin we choose to use but from my very small and unscientific experiment Hill dark is my favorite for now. I think when learning finding one that makes it easier for the strings to vibrate (why i choose the dark, seemed more secure if that makes sense) is good for when learning to play but thats just me. Like everyone else has stated its a very personal choice
Lead me, Follow me, or get out of my way!
~General George S. Patton
I've settled on Pirastro Oliv. It gives my bow reasonable responsiveness and isn't too dusty.
In general, dark rosins are gummier while light rosins are harder. One might prefer a light rosin in a warmer climate and a dark rosin in a cool climate. But really it's an individual thing.
I like being able to drop into most any music store and walk out with a new cake. Rosin fanatics tend to believe you should change cakes every year or so since they can dry out at the surface. Another option is to warm it, or even melt it down completely, to bring volatile oils up to the surface.
I suppose if I was a pro I'd subscribe to Baker's annual delivery....