Korfker Cradle?

April 26, 2018, 3:37 PM · Has anyone tried this thing? It's very similar to an idea I've had for years that would allow just about any possible setup without compromising sound or the security of the instrument (this topic is of special concern to me because of limited shoulder mobility).

It's so dang expensive, but I wonder if it might be worth it if it could make me have even 20% less pain when playing. Also, the lightness of the korfker rest itself could be of great benefit tonally to my violin (small adjustments seems to have a significant impact on the sound).

Anyhow, I was just hoping someone out there has taken the leap and if so, what their opinions were on this contraption?

Replies (5)

April 26, 2018, 5:59 PM · I don't know much about this rest, but it seems like it's worth trying. Even if it doesn't work for you, you could try it with some students if you wanted to. What about the other, less-expensive but still very expensive KorferkerRest model?
April 26, 2018, 7:06 PM · I'd like to try the korfker regular model because I think it would improve the tone, but it's actually the adjustment potential of the cradle itself that interests me the most. I've always wanted to try a position with the violin that would both allow me to bring the end button closer to the center of my chest while also allowing more overall tilt of the violin (this would also involve a more side-mounted chinrest than normal), but no other system would have both the adjustability and the security to allow this. And of course the potential tonal benefits appeal to me as well, as I'm constantly striving for the tone and response that playing restless allows (but this is sadly too painful for me to do long term....my left forearms's limit of mobility is about vertical, so to play on the G restless quickly injures me, especially on something like the g-string runs in sibelius or certain chords like in chaconnne.... And yes, theoretically I could probably work around this if I could truly support the violin on my collarbone which would allow the shoulder to relax and improve mobility to some extent, but I have an extremely shallow collarbone so the violin ALWAYS falls forward onto the shoulder).
Edited: April 27, 2018, 1:37 PM · Ever since I tried the Korfker, I use nothing else. I have two, adjusted on my two primary violins. Using the Korfker is like the violin is supported without you being aware of it. It's so comfortable. It also enhances the tone of the violin. As it's infinitely adjustable, one can bend it to exact contour of the shoulder and place it at any point on the violin. As it's so adjustable, it takes some time to adjust to the preferred position, but once it's there you are set for life.
April 27, 2018, 2:23 PM · For me, adjusting the Korfker was a total nightmare (both when I tried it myself and when my local big violin shop, Potter's, tried to do it). Changing the angle of the feet using the screws results in positions where it won't stay on the violin and/or is at a crazy tilt. The theory of infinite adjustability doesn't seem to actually work.
April 27, 2018, 3:15 PM · I guess their logic in making it so adjustable - to the point of inconvenience - is that once you find the ideal position, you won't have to ever do it again. And using thumbscrews instead of hex screws would add weight and bulk, although they'd certainly make it easier in the short term.

Regarding the angles where it won't work: that was one of my fears when I was looking at the design. It seems that if you moved both of the feet simultaneously closer to the collarbone, it would bring the feet so close together that the leverage would be severely compromised. With that said, maybe if the accessories are used in the right combo (with the ergo-pack and shorter legs, etc...) some of these issues could be solved with enough time and energy on the user's part.

Kypros, it sounds like you're using the cradle, not the regular shoulder rest. Did you ever get the regular shoulder rest and compare it?

At this point I'm thinking that maybe I'll just order the regular Korfker and if that doesn't work then I'll order the cradle.

I feel they made a big mistake by making the cradle such a huge leap up in price over the regular SR. I would assume most companies would understand the principles of up-selling, where if the next upgrade is too much of a leap, then the customer's brain just turns it off as an option. I would guess that at most, the sound improvement in the cradle vs the regular is 10% (not 10% better in terms of the violin, but in terms of the shoulder rest itself), and the comfort improvement is maybe 20% for those who have unusual anatomies or requirements. So for a nominal improvement, I'm paying 4x the price? It just doesn't match up. It should be double the price, max. I think they would have sold a heck of a lot more if the cradle was priced closer to 500 rather than 1000. I suppose it's possible that R+D just cost them so much that they had to price it there because they assumed a certain amount of people would be willing to buy it anyways, and that's just the number they came up with to ensure a reliable profit margin.

But with that said, they should have offered a carbon-fiber version that was at a lower price but didn't have the full benefits (tonally and aesthetically) of tone-wood. This would have snatched a much bigger portion of the market who was on the fence about such a purchase while still keeping the people that wanted the absolute best, regardless of price.

Pirastro: Always offer 3 options, not just 2! There's a reason traffic lights have red, yellow, and then green.

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