A New Chinrest in the Making, and You Can Help!!!

December 16, 2012 at 07:20 AM · My good friend Jordan Hayes has been working on developing a new chinrest. I believe that his work has produced some amazing results - a chinrest that is fully adjustable. In order for him to start mass production, he needs to raise $18,000 dollars. He has started a kickstarter effort, to help raise the money. I would highly recommend everyone here to check it out - he has a prototype that he demonstrates. I think that it has the possibility to create individual set-ups for each student so as to help them be as comfortable as possible.

Here is the link to his kickstarter:


He really needs all the help he can get, so I highly recommend checking out the site and watching the video he has made demonstrating it.

Replies (44)

December 16, 2012 at 08:00 AM · It's already been done. It's called the Menuhin Chinrest - my dad has a picture of Menuhin endorsing it. It was invented by a London based violin teacher called Tony, can't remember his last name, I don't know what happened to the guy's manufacturing base.

December 16, 2012 at 06:10 PM · Tristan Bayer was right.

December 16, 2012 at 06:15 PM · Looks a lot like an SAS, with more of the Ohrenform profile to the top. That's a lot of bucks to raise at kickstarter, from what I know of it. Considering that it looks a lot like other rests, as likely would any "new" chinrest, it's an uphill battle.

December 16, 2012 at 09:01 PM · Tristan Bayer's comment disappeared for some reason...

December 16, 2012 at 09:17 PM · I like it!

December 16, 2012 at 11:13 PM · well, I've just noticed: he ships to US ONLY!

I mean....why??? in this day and age?

I am totally lost as to why one would do that.

December 17, 2012 at 12:24 AM · As far as I can see it is either very tall or extremely tall. I've had only two customers who needed one as tall as the lower setting and those were easy to make. Maybe he should try adding a shoulder rest. From my experience making custom rests, I can assure him that his design will NOT satisfy most critical users. I predict that his sales will not cover patent costs.

December 17, 2012 at 01:09 AM · The range of positions that this chin rest can be placed in is really impressive. The only concern I would have is the height...how about having a feature to clip pads of various thicknesses to the bottom of the chin rest?

December 17, 2012 at 01:35 AM · The Menuhin Chin rest doesn't seem like it is being produced anymore. One of the issues that it had was that players felt it was too loose - even though you tighten it to lock it into position, it still ended up moving. The height of the final product is going to be much lower than the model he has now. In the video I believe he mentions that, but I could be wrong. Sue, I don't think the purpose of this is to redesign the shape of the actual space where the chin rests, but rather to allow it to be molded by students and players to fit their exact body needs. I've invited the inventor of this to join this site so that he may be able to address many of your concerns directly, and I hope that a healthy dialogue may emerge!

December 17, 2012 at 02:49 AM · Tristan Bayer forgot what thread Tristan Bayer's comment was made in.

December 17, 2012 at 05:50 AM · > I mean....why??? in this day and age?

Because international shipping can be very difficult to manage. Not everyone has a fully staffed front office capable to processing hundreds of shipments in a single day.

Ever wonder why companies use local distributors for various regions of the world, instead of just selling/shipping their products directly?

December 17, 2012 at 06:24 AM ·

December 17, 2012 at 06:25 AM · The height is adjustable - watch the video.

Too bad there's only three preset settings for it, although you could probably fine tune it using cork.

December 17, 2012 at 08:54 AM · Ok Gene, but now that he is trying to sell them to raise the money for his 'project' surely he can make the effort, it's not going to cost him thousands of dollars and a fully staffed front office to deal with it at this stage. He can go himself to the post office like I would, with a bag full of packets and send them all off at once. He can do this once a week, tell international supporters that shipment to outside US takes on average a week longer to be sent than US shipments.

No problem at this stage I am sure!

I know people who have thriving businesses on eBay and they sell hundreds of items per day, yet they do this, they walk themselves to the post office to post them all each day, it's not that difficult, you still go to the post office to ship within the US too what is the difference apart from how much it costs to ship? if he's not giving free shipping and calculates the cost of this in the price then it's simple and not costly to him at all.

>> I mean....why??? in this day and age?

>Because international shipping can be very difficult to >manage. Not everyone has a fully staffed front office >capable to processing hundreds of shipments in a single >day.

December 17, 2012 at 03:35 PM · To those of you who are interested, I have conveyed many of your ideas to Jordan, and he has taken to heart the suggestion of international shipping. He has decided to ship internationally, so if you read his kickstarter, disregard the "U.S. Only" shipping stuff.

December 18, 2012 at 06:13 PM · To Jo Parker: I added international shipping yesterday! The details are on the kickstarter page.

To All: Keep in mind that the Kréddle shown in the video and photos is NOT the final Kréddle. The finally Kréddle is significantly lower in height--you can see a 3D rendering of it at 1:58 in the kickstarter video.

To Lyle Reedy and Brian Lee: The height issues were the most challenging part of the design process. Trying to fit all of this capability in something lower than 1 inch high, while ensuring that everything is strong enough to deal with any forces that might arise, is a serious challenge. As with anything mechanical, there are trade-offs. For instance, the lower you make the lowest setting, the less able you are to offer fine-tunable height adjustment. This speaks especially to your comment Brian. The first few versions of the Kréddle (including the one shown in the video) do have height adjustment that offers very fine tuning. But as everyone can see, the lowest setting of the one in the photos and video (i.e. the latest prototype) is also fairly high at it's lowest setting. This is not a problem for me, but I knew it would mean many people could not use the Kréddle. So in the interest of making the lowest setting lower, we had to sacrifice some of the fine height adjustment capabilities. In the future, I do have plans to offer another version, which will be even lower and comparable to any other chinrest, however that version will not have height adjustment, and the lateral adjustment would probably have to go as well.

More specifically to Lyle: Before I continue, I just want to say I am perfectly aware that this is MY opinion--that said--I firmly believe, after years of experimentation, that the height needs to come from the top down, NOT the bottom up. In other words, if you need extra help filling in the space between the top of the violin and your chin, it is crucial that this space be filled in by a chinrest, NOT a shoulder rest. It would take me 10 pages worth of writing to go into great detail about all of the reasons that I believe this is true. Suffice for now to say that, anytime you jeopardize the connection between the violin and the collarbone (a violinists most sure source of support, as Menuhin and others have specifically commented on) by lifting the violin up from underneath with a shoulder rest, you open up a door full of potentially detrimental results. However, until now, violinists have not had options for chinrests that adequately fill in this space as per their own individual body. In the absence of options, it's not hard to see why violinists have now gotten into the habit of using shoulder rests for this very function. But I think we need to ask ourselves if using a shoulder rest to deal with neck length is a good thing, or are we doing so simply because we do not currently have any other options? I do not mean to say here that shoulder rests are bad or good or chinrests are bad or good, I'm simply stating that I believe it's important to clearly understand what each tool is good at doing, and what it is not good at doing. I've personally played most of my life with a shoulder rest, now I'm playing without one. The point is, the Kréddle is hopefully the first step of many to provide the violin community with a tool that offers just as much customization as any shoulder rest. Until we have tools on both the top and bottom of the violin, that offer us nearly complete customization, how can we be sure that we've really found just the right setup for our playing?

In designing the Kréddle I've tried to make something that will give as many players as possible, options. As with anything it will not work for everyone--some people may think it's too high, and I've received many messages in the last three days from other people who think it's too low. This is just the first step, and I thought hard for 3 years about all of the different aspects, trying to balance everything. I sincerely hope and believe that the Kréddle will help thousands of violinists. People have cried out to me in the last three days--it's time for the Kréddle.

Please feel free to message me or post with any questions! Thanks for your responses and interest. ~Jordan

December 18, 2012 at 08:18 PM · Jordan, 'thank you'

you are very 'customer focused', a very good ingredient for success :)

I really appreciate you making the effort to ship internationally, I am going to pledge on kickstarter now :)

December 18, 2012 at 10:04 PM · You have an option for a stainless steel bracket. I was wondering what the bracket is made of otherwise. Is it the same composite material, or nickel or something else?

Also, what happens if people pledge and you don't meet your goal in time?

December 18, 2012 at 10:42 PM · Jordan,

I am breaking a six month silence on this forum because of your contribution!

Congratulations on a nifty idea which I don't think has been done before, and for which I do believe there is a need. I have been waiting for ages to get more information on the wolf equilibrio rest which seems to be permanently "on the way" and does not seem to be near as versatile and direct as yours.

You and your Kréddle both present very well on the video, although it would have been very nice to see you both in action with you playing a short excerpt!

International shipping is very good news.

Now some specific comments and (not so tough) questions:

What is the height range of the one that would be shipped? (My neck length, collarbone to jaw, is a ridiculous 15cm at full extension, so I have struggled a lot with setup.)

How easy is it, in your experience, to regain your optimal setting and how is it with wear and tear, say being re-adjusted a couple of times a day? (I presume that at the lowest height it will fit in a normal case but probably not while in its optimal playing position...not for me anyway).

How would you (or your mech. engineer father) respond to criticisms that the extra height causes torques that risk damage to the violin top? (this was "raised" with me by a luthier on this site a while back and apparently physics could not compete with babies in high chairs...sorry, you had to be there!)

Have you thought about ultimately making different tops, possibly in wood, for those that want the choice?

For the record, I have raised my own chin rest in the past (by at least 4cm) but eventually found it a nuisance to remove and refit all the time so currently use a very thick sponge atop a teka rest.


PS Christian, read the rules on Kickstarter. You only get charged and rewards sent if the target is met.

December 18, 2012 at 11:40 PM · Thanks Eric. I figured it was probably somewhere on the site.

If I may answer your question with regard to torque, the effects should be negligible. Presumably, you are exerting a purely downward force on the chinrest. Generally, I don't think that there is too much side to side pulling with the head that would generate sideways forces. So it doesn't actually matter how tall a given chinrest is with regard to torques. Because the direction of transmission of force is along the height of the chinrest, a torque would be created by having a force acting sideways against this, and there is really nowhere for for this force to come from.

If the violin was fixed somewhere, then there could be a torque from the force being off-center by having a chinrest which is not center-mounted, but since the violin is fixed in place only through the line of the chinrest to the body, then violin is not bending against itself.

I may have missed something, but I can't imagine that being an issue.

I guess with someone that really pushes with their head in a sideways motion, this could cause a torque, but that seems like a big misuse which should be addressed by the player.

December 18, 2012 at 11:53 PM · Hi Christian,

Yes that was my point too (via the T=rxF equation) but I didn't win that particular argument on another thread months ago....babies in high chairs were too emotive :-).

December 19, 2012 at 12:43 AM · Hi, Jordan Hayes,

Can you please make a video demonstration of you playing with that chinrest?

What is the height of the lowest setting?

I don't have a very long neck, berber center-mounted chinrest is doing alright for me without shoulder rest, but i like the idea of an adjustable chinrest. I'm going, if i may, to share your project link on a dutch violinist forum, hopefully your project will also be sponsored by violinist in balance.



December 19, 2012 at 01:02 AM · To Christian: It is my understanding that "regular" chinrest brackets are made from a brass alloy, and then nickel or chrome plated. I've met some players who allergic to all of these materials.

To Eric: In addition to what Christian said, I could add a few things. In regards to the torque question, it's also important to keep in mind that the torque the top of the violin would feel in terms of potential damage, relates to how rigid the clamping mechanism is. For instance, the SAS, among several other serious design flaws, uses a tube with a tube design for the clamping mechanism. As one tightens the SAS clamp down, eventually the clamping mechanism bends in towards the violin which makes the chinrest roll towards the player. This system is flawed because the clamping mechanism is not rigid enough to keep the clamping force purely vertical (perfectly perpendicular to the top and bottom surfaces of the violin). Mechanics would say it has too much "slop" in it.

With the Kréddle we're using the time tested angle brackets, which are as rigid as you can get. I also made sure the connection between the angle brackets and the Kréddle is as rigid as possible. In the end, I really do not think there is any chance the torque exerted by a violinists jaw could overpower the combined clamping force and rigidity of the clamp that the Kréddle uses. I've certainly never felt this might be a problem with the Kréddle I use now, and if this issue was going to rear it's ugly head, I'm sure I would have encountered by now with one of the 3 prototypes (some of which were taller, and thus had the potential for more torque issues).

With regard to height adjustment. The Kréddle that will ship will adjust from 25mm at it's lowest, to approximately 38mm at it's highest. Both of these measurements are with the chin plate flat.

In regards to wear and tear. We are putting threaded inserts into the composite material to ensure that the Kréddle can be continually adjusted, as much as you want, without having to worry about anything stripping out. And the composite material is some of the strongest and most durable material available. I cannot imagine you having any problems with durability. In terms of regaining your optimal setting--this is a matter of how well you remember where you like it really. Just like with a shoulder rest, one gets used to seeing where it should go, force of habit and such. There's nothing to make finding your setting over and over again more difficult, it'll move where you put it.

With regard to different tops. I am planning on doing this--offering different woods and such. The trouble with trying to do that initially is simply a matter of cost and quality control. Wood has to be CNC machined, and has to be done so by a master craftsman familiar with the wood being used. It also can crack, and warp, so there are quality control issues. In the end there are too many issues for a small start up like myself to contend with right off the bat with wood. Once I'm up and running however, I'd love to offer ebony, rosewood, boxwood, walnut, etc.

I hope that answers your questions sufficiently! Thanks ~ Jordan

December 19, 2012 at 04:00 AM · How about offering optional titanium fittings to reduce the weight?

December 19, 2012 at 05:08 AM · Thanks for your answers.

Unfortunately, my current rest is already between 55mm and 60mm tall, inclusive of about 30-35mm of foam padding and height wise it is about right. So I am not sure for me.

December 19, 2012 at 07:01 AM · Nice to "hear" from you, Eric!

John Dalley has raised his chinrest by several cm.

Apart from height, and inclination, (I have a long neck and short fingers..) almost all available rests have a raised edge right across their width, which cuts across my (fairly normal) jawbone on the left side. I have always ground this edge away on around half the width of the "plateau". Bliss! It's too late for a patent, but everyone who tries my violin coments on the comfort of my rest (even if they find it too high..)

December 19, 2012 at 10:45 AM · I wouldn't put a chin rest on my violin that wasn't supported by the tailblock.

December 19, 2012 at 08:42 PM · Thanks Adrian.

Just how high is your rest? Does it fit in your case?

December 20, 2012 at 02:49 AM · Jordan,

Fist of all, thank you for attempting to design an ergonomic chin rest.

a few observations:

1. the prototype is only side-mounted; some violins sound better with center-mounted type; some players prefer that position

2. the prototype has only standard fittings; Hill type work better

3. it is not clear how much is the top plate exposed to the adjusting mechanism; you must ensure that no damage can ever happen

4. the impact on sound; what is the total mass of the prototype? On what frequency does the material vibrate? How much muffling is there?

December 20, 2012 at 06:17 AM · Eric, my rest is side mounted, oval, 3.5cm high over the tailpiece, and 1.5cm at its lowestpoint where I ground away the edge. I have (only) 11cm from left jawbone to collar-bone.

My viola is tilted 45° to the right (short fingers) so my right eye looks down the C-string; the button points to the hollow at the base of my neck. I hold the viola well to the left (short fingers again) I had trouble with a very rounded viola case.

A Kun Dravo houlder rest acts as a fulcrum on my broad but sloping shoulder: if I lower my chin, the scroll rises. I have no cramps, and no red mark on my neck (perhaps I should practice more!)

December 20, 2012 at 05:14 PM · To Rocky:

1. Yes the prototype is side mounted. However, in addition to the Kréddle's ability to move laterally, we made some modifications to the base, both of which ensure the top chin plate of the Kréddle can hover over the tailpiece if the player so desires. Jo Parker had the same concern, in the end I sent him a photo of a 3D rapid print of the final Kréddle, to show him how impressive are its capability to satisfy both proponents of left and center chinrest folks. If you'd like, you can email me through kreddle.com, and I'll send you the photo I sent Jo.

Also, I can not think of any reason some "violins" would sound better with a center mounted chinrest. It would seem the violin only sounds as good as the player, and if the player can play properly according to their body and playing style, they will sound better, and by extension the "violin" will sound better. In other words, you seem to be suggesting that their is some sort of interaction between the tail block and the chinrest which produces a "better" sound, I'm suggesting that a player in comfort sounds better. The Kréddle hopefully provides many more players with the option of comfort.

2. Actually the prototype pictured is using the Hill type, it's just hard to see in the photos. Again however, I'm not sure why the Hill type would be "better." Sounds like an opinion to me. I personally prefer the standard brackets, they're much easier to put on, and have a lower profile than the Hill style. I've designed the Kréddle to use either/or.

3. If by "top plate" you mean the top of the violin--the adjusting mechanism does not touch the violin AT ALL!!! I would NEVER consider allowing anything like that to touch the violin. The base of the Kréddle is designed in such a way that the adjusting mechanism will never touch the top of the violin. The only thing touching the violin is cork. And I designed the base of the Kréddle so that it contacts the violin with the same amount and arrangement of surface area as a standard chinrest bracket. In other words it does not touch the top of the violin, just the very edge (barely past the purfling)--just like many standard chinrests.

4. Again a comfortable violinist, is often a good sounding violinist. In all the years I've used the various prototypes, I've never noticed any detriment to the sound due to the Kréddle. Quite the contrary. To elaborate, the Kréddle is very light. In fact I almost never notice it's weight--nor do other violinists I show it too. In this regard it's just like every other chinrest.

In terms of "what frequency does the material vibrate?". To be honest, I have no idea what the resonant frequency of the Kréddle is. Do I think it matters, no. The likely hood of weird frequency interactions or "muffling" is no more or less possible with the Kréddle than with any other chinrest. However, here is my father's (mechanical engineer) response to your question: "The composite material used for the Kréddle is very light and stiff. Hence its fundamental frequency is much higher than the highest frequency of the violin. This would seem to remove any musical interference the Kréddle might have with a violin."

Thanks for your questions! ~ Jordan

December 20, 2012 at 06:04 PM · > I've designed the Kréddle to use either/or.

Does this mean we can use alternate mounting brackets for the Kréddle as long as they are standard size?

December 20, 2012 at 07:36 PM · Hi Gene,

Thanks for your support!

This is a tricky question. Unfortunately I have run into some issues with regards to the brackets. There seems to be a fairly standard size, but not all brackets conform to this standard. Fitting the brackets requires not just the size to be right, but also the type of threading used need to match. Some threads have different rise over run and course-ness measurements. My guess is that most brackets would work. The only way to tell is to try them however.

Hope this helps! ~ Jordan

December 27, 2012 at 05:59 AM · Hello All,

For those of you that would like to hear me play a little bit while using the Kréddle, you can go here. It's an interview a local new channel put together. http://www.krtv.com/news/great-falls-man-raising-money-to-produce-music-helper-/

December 29, 2012 at 01:48 AM · The second update is good, but you really ought to get a better image of the lower-height-possible final version up on the KS page. Make it a static image and the first thing that we see.

Many people that I send to look at it see the prototype, immediately say "it's too high to be useful" and don't bother reading any further. :/

December 29, 2012 at 04:19 AM · I think this is fantastic!! I just pledged and am anxious to get one when available.

I'm sure a tremendous amount of effort has gone into the design. The one thing that is NOT adjustable, and I think needs to be, is the shape of the chin rest. Different people have different jaw bones and not one chin rest shape fits all. It would be cool if the chin rest cup could be removed and replaced with different styles. I am hoping the "default" chin rest cup fits my anatomy.

December 29, 2012 at 07:35 PM · Jordan,

A very nice design my friend. I contacted you through your site with a couple suggestions. Best wishes on your venture!

Christian Bond

December 31, 2012 at 01:00 AM · Hi Gene,

Yes, you are right. I'm going to try to get a static photo that shows the lowest height capabilities and the over-the-tail-piece capabilities up right away. Thanks for your suggestion! I hope it's not too late.

January 4, 2013 at 05:58 PM · Hi all. I posted an update on the kickstarter page that shows a 3D print of the final version of the Kréddle. The photo shows the Kréddle at the lowest setting, as well as the ability to hover over the tailpiece, for those who prefer this. Let me know if there are any more questions I can answer! I've enjoyed being part of the discussion here.


January 4, 2013 at 06:05 PM · Also, here's some recent press coverage, including videos of me playing some Bach with the Kréddle:

Eastman's IML Spotlight: http://www.esm.rochester.edu/iml/spotlight.php

Great Falls Tribune Article: http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20121228/NEWS01/312280024/Violinists-may-love-adjustable-chin-rest-invented-by-musician-raised-Great-Falls

KRTV Interview (not sure why they chose to call it a music "helper", but there you have it): http://www.krtv.com/news/great-falls-man-raising-money-to-produce-music-helper-/

January 5, 2013 at 06:43 PM · Hi, Jordan,

My original (cheap German) chinrest just broke irreparably, and I discovered your new invention while hunting around online for a better replacement. It looks fantastic! But I do have a couple of questions about it.

I have a narrow jaw, narrow shoulders, and long neck. I would need a lot of height. Do you think my viola will still fit in its case with your new chin rest on it, or will I need to take it off and reattach it all the time? Or do you just lower it to put the instrument away, and raise it again to play. Would doing this every day make the hardware wear out faster?

Just wondering -- it does look like a fantastic idea! But I've been chatting with some online friends about it, and the consensus seems to be: More moving parts = more potential breakage.

Please let me know what you think.

Best wishes,


January 8, 2013 at 05:36 PM · Hi Deirdre,

Great question. Sorry for the late response!

The Kréddle will hopefully get you the height you need. As for your concern about it fitting in your case... There is a chance it'll fit--this of course is entirely dependent on your case. It fits in both of my cases, but I can't guarantee it will fit in every case. Most cases have a little piece of covered foam that contacts the bottom of the tailpiece. This piece of foam could prevent the case from closing with the Kréddle at it's highest setting, which means one option is to remove the piece of foam.

The other option is to loosen the screw that operates the clamp for the post and take the chin plate out when you need to put away the instrument. I'd imagine this will take just a little bit more time as taking on and off a shoulder rest. However, this means you do NOT have to take the whole chin rest on and off the instrument every time you want to put away your instrument. That would be both annoying and not good for the instrument.

As for the question about durability, especially in the face of near constant adjustment/removal. This should not be any problem. Typically yes moving parts can complicate matters. For the Kréddle though, we went with a design that includes not just a chemical/material bond between the metal threaded inserts and the composite material, but the threaded inserts also have a mechanical connection with the composite. This means we're not relying on glue or epoxy to hold the inserts into the composite, which would significantly increase the chances of over torquing the screws and the resultant failure of the insert to hold. In short a mechanical connection means that no matter how many times you loosen and tighten the screws, nothing will slip or break. Also, the composite material we're using is super strong and durable. These composites are often said to be on par in strength and durability with steel.

A note on threaded inserts: When designing an apparatus that needs threads, one has a couple options. Either one can drill and tap (cut threads) into the material itself, or one can put a threaded insert into the material. Though more simple, the risk with just drilling and tapping into any material other than strong metals is that the threads might strip out. This risk increases the more often the screws are adjusted, as well as how much torque is being applied. By using a threaded insert, which is a little piece of pre-threaded metal that manufactures mold into composite materials, one can significantly reduce the risk of stripping or over torquing the threads. Even with threaded inserts however, it is possible to apply enough torque to break the connection between the outer surface of the insert and the composite material. This is because this connection relies primarily upon a material bond, in other words an adhesive bond. For this reason, with the Kréddle, we are using a modified insert, which adds into the mix a mechanical connection. A mechanical connection means that the two parts join in such a way that in order to cause the connection to fail, one would have to either put so much torque on the screw that the composite material fails (completely unlikely, the screw would break long before the composite material), or put enough torque on the screw to break the metal insert. Both are highly unlikely. Either way this connection means we're not relying upon an adhesive connection, which can wear out over time.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if there is anything else I can answer. ~Jordan

January 9, 2013 at 08:59 PM · Congratulations Jordan for achieving your 'goal' on Kickstarter, am really pleased for you and I hope your project will be successful :)

January 14, 2013 at 06:31 PM · This is really very exciting! The idea is excellent. Now it is just a matter of marketing and implementation. I am certainly looking forward to getting mine. The question is, will it be light weight, durable, comfortable, etc.. I am sure this product has a place in the market, it is just a matter of using quality materials, and being able to offer it at a price the market will bear.

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