So now I've finally made it as a violinist - nope, not carnegie hall or the BBC symphony orchestrat - Baker's Rosin is on its way - $50 for two bars of original (including shipping).
You guys had better be right about this....
I made one contact, stated my case (I may have mentioned V.com - something I suspect they are sensitive to), got a reply and then promptly forgot about it!
Are you on?
That's a lot of money for rosin. Post a recording of you sounding like Perlman and I'll order some for myself :-)
Stated your case? You not only have to get on the waiting list but also have to put forth justification for why they should deign to sell to you? Can't wait to hear what you think of it!
Hill rosin is total crap.
I've contacted them last summer about getting on the wait list. Have yet to hear back since the initial reply from TC.
Currently using Andrea Solo in winter and Melos light in summer. They're the best I've tried so far. Curious about the Baker as well.
"Hill rosin is total crap."
If you think Hill is crap you havent seen real crap. I dont like Hill either. But somehow it used to be popular when I was growing up.
EDIT (simplifying my post):
As a regular Baker's original user who's tried nearly all the other premium and non-premium rosins on the market, I can easily say I prefer Baker's over all the others (most of which are honestly barely different from one another, even the expensive ones); the rosin I'd use if I couldn't have Baker's would be Bernardel.
I use Andrea solo rosin which is advertise as the same as Tartini. I used both and they are certaintly not the same. The new Andrea solo is just too sticky.
I'm using Andrea Piacere its touted as the same as solo but with a finer grain. You have to use it sparingly - I also find that it cakes but primarly on the string and this can ruin your tone. OTOH just takes one wipe to get it off and the problem is solved. Also, once applied it lasts for ages - about 4 days at 2-3hrs playing a day.
Bernadrel is nice but is a bit weak on grip I find. I'm actually quite happy with the Andrea but figured I had better get the Baker's while it was available (yes, sucker perhaps....). I have Hill but never use it and didn't like Melos, it made my violin sound grainy.
Perhaps the rosin really depends on your bow type. My current favorite bow is a little on the low tension end so a bit of grip is welcome - in contrast to my other bow which is relatively stiff and needs softening (Bernadrel)....
Up here in the Pacific NW the weather affects my rosin quite a bit. I bought the Melo's one winter and didnt like it at first as it was really scratchy. But I tried it again the following summer, when the Andrea Solo becomes too sticky and harsh sounding, and it works well. So now this is my seasonal combo.
I've never had issues with rosin build up. Altho I wipe my strings down everytime I'm done playing.
I used to use Oliv and Motrya Gold on and off. The Oliv had a nasty smell and powdered a bit too much. While the Motrya Gold was okay year round, I found it better using seasonal rosins.
Never tried the Tartini/A Piacere or Bernardel so cant comment on them.
Hopefully I'll get the Baker this season and can see what they hype's all about.
Congratulations, Elise. I am dying to hear what you think of it. I have also been on the waiting list (since Emily wrote a blog about it, last year)I am hoping I can get some THIS year too:)
I ordered 2 cakes (the limit) - I don't imagine I will use both but it could make a dynamite present :) At least to someone who Gets It.
Excuse my thick skin, but I would be a very happy recipient :-)
...I'll put you on The Other List....
I am quite happy with bernadel. Especially when its fresh it makes the sound very clear and the feeling on the strings very sticky. I would love to try this Bakers stuff, but as long as I am happy with Bernadel I think its unpractical to order and wait. Congratulations to you and have fun!
The Baker's situation is unusual. They tap the trees themselves, then make the rosin to their own recipes. So there's a limited supply, depending upon the weather and other factors, hence the waiting list. I was able to get on the list several years ago quite easily, but it appears that their ability to supply the demand may be reaching some limits. They figure that their rosin has a one-year lifespan; thus a new cake each year. Their Web site is interesting and worth a look.
Elise, you might as well auction off the bar you don't need. My bid is $40.
I'll give you $7 for it - you pay postage ...
Peter, you are really going out on a limb there. Are you sure you can afford it?
Peter - I should send it to you - complete with a large red lipstick kiss on the top!
However, I know you would not be able to put your hands on exactly $CA7...
Now $40, I'm tempted.... Anyone got $100? :)
Actually, I think I have virtuoso bait here... thinks....
I am on the list, but not had my reminder email! What's up, Tom?
how long have you been on? If you remember Tom's name I'm guessing not long enough,,, :)
[Speaking as One of the Elite :) ]
Baker snobs, they all think they are hot stuff. All I can say is, wish I had some Bakers. If Elise doesn't send me the extra, I'm doomed to mediocrity. Arghhh
Smiley: how about I save the dust and you can mold it into a new cake - or just sprinkle it on your bow?
Isn't baker's dust free? How about if you send me your used strings every few months, and I'll wipe them on my bow to get some of the baker's residue.
This would be my third season, so over two years.
And I remember Tom's name because he likes my playing.
Smiley: won't work - I wipe my strings each day. However, I can send you the powdered tissues. Just be careful not to reach for them when you have a cold...
Deal! How much do you want per tissue?
Why bother powdered tissue? Glue stick works just as well. A few swipes on the bow, and Viola!
Oppps...I meant 'voila!'
Just be careful not to reach for them when you have a cold...
At least the tissue won't slip.
Also, voila is for the French-minded. Viola is for the musically-minded. Come to think of it, maybe not! (Cross-reference to viola joke thread.)
Elise, if you can post a picture of it, maybe the rest of us could print out the picture and put it in our cases. Perhaps then our poor, pitiful, inadequate little cakes of rosin could take a hint and cowboy up before they all get replaced.
"A few swipes on the bow, and Viola!"
Yeah, that's how I think of violists too. LOL!!!
I've been making Baker's rosin for well nigh 150 years or more. I tap the local trees and the local virgins, add a bit of vinegar, stick it in the oven and viola!! No, I mean voila or whatever the stupid word is.
My rosin sticks so well you can't follow an up bow with a down bow, let alone a sideways bow!!"
If you add a bit o salt and pepper it's even better. Guaranteed to get your smelly octaves in tune, let alone them fifths. You don't have to worry about vibrato or HIPP replacements as it does it all for you. It even cooks the meal and gets yer girlfriend all al fresco.
So it's yer great Baking Rosin, made to measure, or meeeeeeesure, and can be used as an afrodisiak (new spelling) to really get the romantic vibrato going - and sniffin it is great too.
Just keep it out of the bedroom as it sticks like glue.
I'm sure Baker's enjoys all the free advertising. I bought a cake based on all the fuss on this website a year ago as I am sucker for anything new. It's OK rosin, but I get a better sound out of my fiddle when I practice more, regardless of which rosin I use.
Kitty - if that was a typo (A few swipes on the bow, and Viola!) it should go in the Pantheon of V.commie Typos.
You should listen to your right brain, its obviously brillante...
"I'm sure Baker's enjoys all the free advertising. I bought a cake based on all the fuss on this website a year ago as I am sucker for anything new. It's OK rosin, but I get a better sound out of my fiddle when I practice more, regardless of which rosin I use.
I think Carlo has said it all, and has expressed this exactly as I feel. End of story!!
re carlo's post...can i also buy this thing called "practice" and is there a waiting list for it? :op
on other notes...baker baker, bake me a cake
Peter - come on - next you are going to say that Alphonse, my good luck music room teddy bear also has no impact on my playing! And thats totally absurd.
'end of story'.
Sorry, note half started yet. Now where's the magic Heifetz strings, we haven't talked about them in a while...
Give your teddy bare a kiss from me, but be careful where you place it ...
You know the best rosin is the powdery stuff they give to gymnasts to make them have a grip.
I could say, "come on get a grip on this rosin distraction ..."
P S I've never heard of the "BBC symphony orchestrat" (wink)
I think I'm still the highest bidder. Now ... what kind of music does Alphonse like best?
@Tammuz. I will practise for you. I won't even charge you much. Let's say £20 an hour? What are you working on at the moment?
If your good luck teddy bear sheds any fur, can you send it to me along with the tissues containing Baker's residue? Those two things might just turn me into an instant virtuoso.
Paul: Alphonse? He goes giddy over albeniz tango -but i only play that lalst caue then we have to tango for hours and you know what they say about tango...
"You know the best rosin is the powdery stuff they give to gymnasts to make them have a grip."
Nope, we just use regular old chalk :)
I also am on the waiting list for Baker's but haven't heard, have a feeling I won't be getting any :( I'm a sucker for anything 'special'...
@Cara, I've pretty much decided the same thing. I think I was too late. There's always next year, I guess :)
I had no idea it would take so long! The good news is of course that once you have a piece it will last for years.
Which means if I like it, maybe I should get right back on again....
I wonder if it helps your chances if you post about it here ;) ;)
They reckon it only lasts a year, which is why they offer it yearly.
I am not so sure. My blocks are still giving me the grip and sound I want.
I was thinking about this a little more and I wonder, if Baker's Rosin is so darned scarce and there are waiting lists, and if it lasts for ever and ever, and if we're all such wonderful violinists that anyway we only use rosin "sparingly" (credit: Heifetz), then why does an order from Baker's need to be two cakes? Surely they could serve twice as many customers with one cake each.
Paul, have you ever actually used up a cake of rosin? I always end up dropping mine on a concrete floor or some such. They send a spare so you don't become suicidal when the first cake is lost, broken, or stolen before the next year's batch is ready.
Yeah, it's real hard to go through a cake of rosin. I have dropped my Bernardel and melted it back into a new cake, and it's just fine. I melted it in a steel measuring cup over the lowest heat of my smooth-top stove element, then poured the liquid into a silicone mini-cupcake mold. After overnight in the fridge, the mold peeled away easily and the new cake stuck down to the old cloth with a piece of 3M mounting tape. Now ... if you lose your rosin, that's another thing. I guess I can see the point in the second cake of rosin, but I'm still surprised there's not a brisk market for "second cakes of Baker's" on eBay.
I have this vision of a cake of Baker's rosin with a little tag attached "Reward for safe return. And if you bring back my violin too, that would be nice."
' "I have this vision of a cake of Baker's rosin with a little tag attached "Reward for safe return. And if you bring back my violin too, that would be nice." "\'
(pity the poor bow that never got a mention...)
Bows are interchangeable. Everyone knows that. LOL
"A few swipes on the bow, and Viola!"
Does that mean this rosin is like the stuff that Dr. Jekyll drank?
"P S I've never heard of the "BBC symphony orchestrat" (wink)"
There might be a BBC symphony orcheguarneri or two...
"P S I've never heard of the "BBC symphony orchestrat" (wink)"
Peter - a word who's time has come -
"Orchestrat": A person (usually young) who's life is the orchestra - first to come, knows his part - and the conductors - by heart, last to leave, puts the chairs and stands away, sorts the music and then only leaves when all excuses to stay have gone - only to go home and listen to recordings of the pieces etc etc.
"Rosinrat" ( colloq. n): A person who spends his/her life threading the confusing maze created by rosin marketing claims, the personal preferences of others, and hearsay -- while trying to improve tone by means other than focused tone production practice.
qv 'lab-rat', 'orchestrat', 'gym-rat', 'rat-a-tat'
Oh, yeah: :-)
I was thinking of marketing a new brand of rosin. I was going to call it "Mr. Mojo Rosin."
Keep-on rosin .... rosin, rosin ...
Mojo Rosin: "Make your violin rosinate"
I think we have a marketing plan...
Oh, and "Only available to virtuoso violinists. Please send a recording of the complete Paganini caprices. Future virtuoso violinists may qualify with a testimonial and committment to purchase 50 bars."
That should get them breaking down the doors..
"Rosin in the oven"?????
Elise, ain't you gals supposed to keep your biscuits in the oven, and your buns in bed? :-)
better than biscuits in the bed and buns in the oven I guess
The first impression - oh, the size looks more like a piece of amber than rosin - its 0.5 Oz.
It comes in a tin with the rosin shaped in a smoothed cone, with the tip attached to the lid. Oh, and a curled up piece of paper that I assume is a Certificate of Authenticity (but didn't look)...
Is the rosin worth the wait....?? I got some of the Vuillaume Citron a couple of years ago. I think I would have been happier with the Baker's Original formula. The Vuilluame rosin was a little to hard for me and didn't adhere to the hair as well as I would have liked. I have been using Andrea A Piacere green for the last 6-7 months and I have been very happy with it. At is a little less sticky than Andrea Solo and is smoother as well. Doesn't gunk up the strings as much as the softer Andrea Solo can. Has great bite without having a coarse sound.
I almost hate to admit this - I too have been using the Andrea A Piacere before testing the Baker's, I like its grip though I usually have to wipe the strings after re-rosining the bow to stop the stickies - but the Baker's really IS better. Even to a mid-level player like myself (or maybe more to ;) ) the grip is better than the Andrea but somehow its not cloying - the smooths are smoother and the crisps are crisper. Kinda like grandma's apple pie crusts!**
Its early days of course (actually early day!) but I was astonished. Indeed, I wonder how many bow salespeople give a wipe of this to make the sale and people wonder why the bow is never as good as it was in the store...
But at $640/lb I guess it should be something... Actually, I don't think I've seen a cost/wgt comparison for rosin....
** I should make the disclaimer that the Baker's was added onto a bow that had last been exposed to the Andrea's so I may be seeing a combined action. I'll report back later...
If you made a recording before Baker's and after, do you think we would hear a difference?
well my empty wallet would resonate more for starters...
Once in a certain range, I think what a good rosin does is not to make you better in tone (or precision) thats really about your playing, but to make it easier to get there. Thats what I feel, its easier to get both grip and a ringing smooth tone. But who knows about the 'new rosin' factor! What I need to do is get used to it and then switch back to my old one and see if I get the opposite sensation.
double bach concerto, second violin part...just after first two movements of telemann violin b flat sonata and kreutzer etude 32. i'll pay provided your practice affects my playing positively :o)
i once asked my teacher about rosin and brands and so on...she just sort of scoffed and said "roseeen eeees roseeen". my impression was that, provided i get one of the decent common brands, it won't matter in my case till the point where it might matter..ie when i'm actually good enough of a player to afford being intelligently geeky about these things. then again, who is to judge (except one's own self).
You are not factoring in the placebo effect. You think the rosin makes you a better player and therefore you ARE a better player. Placebos can be very powerful. Sugar pills can do wonders for certain ailments. :-)
Smiley: truly spoken as one looking at the grapes...
[pluck, munch, pluck pluck, munch....
oh yes, you are right, definitely 'placebo sours'..
pluck, munch munch munch... mmm... burp..]
And for our hourly Baker's report - definitely more deposit on the string than I am used to - but it does not clog and does not have to be wiped off, unlike the andreas ...
But Elise, remember:
(1) You have to practice about 10000 hours to master a particular brand of rosin.
(2) The more you stroke a new cake of rosin with the bow the more it will "open up."
(3) Now that you have different rosin you have to get different strings, a sound-post adjustment, a new bow, and probably a new violin, in that order. All to optimize the sound of your rosin.
Anyway it would have been a lot funnier if you had said that it came in a little U-shaped wooden block and you've already lost half of it to the floor by chipping it with your frog.
I've heard that grapes improve your intonation. For fuller tone, try couscous. And nothing helps your spiccato more than jelly beans. Give it a shot. I'm sure you'll notice an immediate and dramatic improvement.
I'm curious, Elise: did the fine folks at Baker's send a social worker over to do a home visit to make sure you could properly care for their rosin? Does it have to spend the night in a pyramid to keep its powers intact? Did you have to submit character references? Send photos of how its settling into its new home?
I guess the title of this thread raises these questions. At least in American slang, the phrase "has one in the oven" has, shall we say, interesting connotations!
Now now, Lisa. We shouldn't be teasing poor Elise at this moment of unprecedented rapture.
Actually, I went to a lesson today and DIDN'T tell the teacher about the rosin.
Result? I got 100A+ for progress. Hehehehe.
So, I can take it Paul, the last laugh and all that. The only issue now is what do I do for next week? I mean elevated expectations and all that...
Like I said, never underestimate the power of a placebo. I'm certain that if I heard Elise now, she would sound dramatically better than before. But first I would need to take a sugar pill :-)
Smiley - Why do you think it is a placebo? Have you ever tried different rosins?
tricky proposition. a 'true' placebo necessitates both, true ignorance and false knowledge. but Smiley, you know that its a placebo while embracing it...so you compromised this with specks of true knowledge and false ignorance.
anyway, i didn't say that my impression was that the quality of rosins doesn't matter. i'm just saying that it might not matter that much in my case (in both senses of the word) provided i get something commonly acceptable.
aside, has there been good tests to qualify the different brands of rosins including the baker's cake? or does the news only spread through a common pool of experience and word of mouth? or good publicity?
Is there a placebo effect here? I don't think so as I was expecting it to be just another rosin. The placebo effect requires a strong expectation (of good or bad).
Whats interesting is that virtually everyone who has used it states that it is the best they have tried - I've only seen one not so favorable comment (I think its above) but that was not about the quality of the rosin but the need to apply it more frequently than other kinds.
I think that is its only 'flaw'. With Andrea P I could put it on about once every 4 days whereas Baker's needs to be applied almost daily. That also means a bit more accumulation on the strings. I was thinking of combining it with an undercoat of AP to see if that improves longevity...
Baker's does not need to be applied every day - if anything, you don't need to apply it as much as other rosins; I apply it once or twice a week at the very most; I usually don't apply it more than once every couple weeks.
However, it does not seem to mix well with other rosins - it doesn't take well to the hair if there's another rosin already on there (and vice versa).
The first time I ever tried Baker's, I also thought it would be quite an ordinary rosin; I used it only because I needed rosin and I didn't feel like taking my cake of Andrea Solo out of my case, so I borrowed my friend's Baker's - and as soon as I pulled a single note, I felt like my sound had doubled, and articulation came much more naturally.
Maybe thats the reason I'm using more - that the bow has old rosin on it. I hope so...
I kind of feel like I'm missing out on something. My only rosin has been Millant deroux, which no one on v.com ever mentions, but it seems to be the standard rosin in the SF Bay area. Doesn't clog the strings, doesn't powder, and seems to last.
I have tried a number of different rosins; they all seem about the same to me. I currently use Oliv Evah rosin, which is the rosin everyone was raving about on a previous v.com thread. I have noticed it leaves a little less dust than Bernadel. But Bernadel works fine also.
If the only downside to Baker's is that you need to apply it every day, then I don't really see that as a problem. I rosin every day. It's not a big deal.
As long as Elise is happy, then more power to her and all the other Baker lovers. One day, I might get on the waiting list so I can try it for myself. For now, I'm happy with the Oliv. As they say, ignorance is bliss. Placebos are great too :-)
Elise wrote, "Is there a placebo effect here? I don't think so as I was expecting it to be just another rosin. The placebo effect requires a strong expectation (of good or bad)."
After waiting over a year or whatever for this rosin everyone else says is to die for, you don't have any expectation other than "just another rosin"? Now you're putting us on!
I suppose you are right - but it was so long that I started to get cynical about it. If it had been the same as my standard one I would have written an appropriately sarcastic post.
Jumping in a little late, I know, but I've disproven the placebo effect once and for all. I took to removing the rosin from my students' bows, from ages four to twenty-four, beginner to advanced, and after applying Baker's, it undeniably removed the crackles and scuffles from every single bow stroke. The sound of it is so signature that I could recognize it in a crowd like a familiar face. Baker's rosin is the real deal. It won't correct your stiff bow hold, but everything short of that. I stand my ground. All other rosins are slothful money-grubbers in comparison.
OK, if you can't beat them, join them. I just sent an email to Baker's. I'll let you know what I think when I get the rosin .... that is, assuming I'm still alive.
BTW, isn't it remarkable that we can max out a thread on rosin? Orch Dorks unite!!
anything between your chin and shoulder is PRIME fiddle-diddle...
Smiley I was thinking exactly the same thing. It's not just a thread on rosin, it's a thread on one person's purchase of one brand of rosin. LOL!!
It's actually better than I thought - I was betting on this thread reaching the magic number before Elise even got the rosin... ;)
Ode to a rosin.
Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, Baker's man.
Bake me a cake as fast as you can;
Pat it and prick it and mark it with ee,
Put it in the oven for Gravitas and me!
ee (with thanks to Anon)
Emily: I was wondering if Baker's rosin would help students not to play so scratchy; glad that you actually have found that to be the case.
Baker's is my favourite rosin as well for all the reasons Elise mentions. Granted my experience is limited; have only ever tried 3 or 4 other kinds of rosin.
Yes it takes a while to get but it's worth the wait.
Joyce, you can bet the farm that this thread will max out before I get my hands on some Bakers. I wonder if Elise will send me her extra cake for $100 bucks. I hate waiting in line :-)
We have $100. Any takers at $120? :)
Swish, swish... hmmmmm, hmmmm, spiccato, spiccato, hmmmmmmmmm
You should ask $10 just for someone to rosin their bow once with your rosin, just to try it. That would make you a tidy profit.
And I loved your rhyme, it was Buri-quality.
Actually, I thought about melting it and making wafer thin squares on a ribbon - that way I could send a sample to anyone that wanted it.
However, I should probably get the head Baker's permission first...
And thanks for the poem appreciation (I assume you mean the last one - in which I only had to change two words from the original! - we have to suspect Anon had this Baker in mind...
...so what do Emily's poor students do when their bow-full of Baker's is off the bow and on the strings? I'm still gonna work for the sound I want with other rosins, from money-grubbing sales folk or not! I would hate to think my sound depended on a cake of tree-sap-powder... too easy to hold me to ransom that way.
They are forever in Emily's grasp (dark laughter)...
Its an interesting question - will I feel 'off' if I use another kind now? I suppose I surely will - but I doubt it would take long to adapt.
This has been a delightful topic - interesting and light - and creative. The best of rosins meets the best of V.com.
:) to all...
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July 24, 2012 at 10:08 AM · Elise, did you contact them again in the meantime, or just make the first contact on their website and leave it at that?