New: Pirastro shoulder rests

May 29, 2014 at 01:32 PM · I have just seen them as display items in our local store - no price tags yet, but here is one site that sells them:

Pirastro Korfker Rest (115 EUR)

Pirastro Korfker Cradle (625 EUR)

( see under: product/ shoulder rests)

Replies (52)

May 29, 2014 at 08:58 PM · For those prices, . . . .

May 29, 2014 at 09:06 PM · "A shoulder rest by any other name would smell as ...."

May 29, 2014 at 10:35 PM · Looks awkward >.<

May 30, 2014 at 03:43 AM · The design looks elegant but as already mentioned the prices are quite excessive. Does it offer anything new to justify this high price ?

I would wait 12 months until cheaper copies are available.

May 30, 2014 at 11:16 AM · The new Pirastro SR, although expensive, is nevertheless in the same price range as several products already on the market. I am excluding the Pirastro "Cradle" from the general category of SRs, as a special case.

I've carried out a quick survey of about 30 SRs currently available on - and they are certainly not all those that are available out there. The average price of the listed SRs was £36 (standard deviation £21, if you're interested), with 7 above £36. The most expensive listed was one of the Kun models at £92.40. The least expensive were £9.60 and £14.40 by Resonans and Artino respectively.

The prices of the top range of established SRs can be accounted for in part by materials such as high quality wood and titanium, design and craftsmanship, and marketing (possibly including the occasional drop of snake oil lubricant); and, in the case of a new product, R&D and the not inconsiderable cost of intellectual property protection.

I note that the well-known "Invisible" shoulder rest, which is absolutely priceless, is not sold by Thestringzone, or by any other retailer as far as I know.

May 30, 2014 at 01:33 PM · Thank you Trevor!

I agree that these things can not be cheap for the reasons you mentioned. What strikes me is the price ratio between the Rest and the Cradle - 1:5 !

A brief observation will show that the "Cradle" is basically the same rest mounted on a u-shaped foundation. Yes, there are special screws to provide adjustment along the horizontal line, but this does not justify discrepancy in price. I think that Pirasto could have done a better job by promoting the rest and providing an "upgrade" to Cradle on a later date with less punishing price tag. If the sound quality improvement is substantial, I would be willing to pay 1x or 2x the price of the rest for upgrade, but not 4 times more.

As always, the market will be the ultimate judge.

I did not have my violin, so could not really test the rests for comfort and sound quality, but the first impression, apart from fragility was also nice visual appeal.

May 30, 2014 at 01:51 PM · I read the manual for the 'rest' (the cradle is another beast altogether). What makes this rest different is that the wooden part is flexible and can be reshaped. When you get the shape desired--and only then--you harden the wood, and the shape becomes permanent. As a person who needs a much flatter and lower curve than the majority of rests offer, the prospect is appealing for that reason, as well s the lightness and other forms of its adjustability; the price and irreversibility of shaping once the wood is hardened, however are off-putting.

May 30, 2014 at 07:15 PM · The Cradle is a long way around way to attain a four point connection for your shoulder rest to your violin, that is more elegantly, and MUCH more inexpensively accomplished by this little $8 gem at Shar:

July 14, 2015 at 12:48 AM · Besides comfort and sound, are the feet collapsible like the Kun Bravo?

July 14, 2015 at 09:19 AM · From the images of the website it seems quite good. You can find more information in the manual which can be downloaded from this link :

If I have no luck getting better comfort from the forte secondo that I ordered I might consider to give this one a try. It seems very similar to a forte secondo ( quite bendable and a lot of fancy adjustments ). But seems to be more solid and definitely looks very elegant.

July 17, 2015 at 02:09 AM · I have one that I'm testing.

A few thoughts:

- It is extremely lightweight

- The basic curve fits quite well without much adjustment (for me)

- It holds onto the instrument well without slipping off

- The feet are not collapsable

- Adjustment requires an included Torx wrench

On the sound front, it allows more resonance from my violin than any other rest I have experimented with. It's interesting that it is bendable / adjustable, but I found that I actually didn't mess with it much.

July 17, 2015 at 04:28 PM · How do you fit it into your case if it's not collapsible? Any inputs?

July 18, 2015 at 01:39 PM · Well, after one year and only 13 posts, with a single owner, it appears that market has spoken.

July 18, 2015 at 11:13 PM · Allen -- I have an oblong case, and it fits in the end compartment on its side quite well.

Rocky -- I think there is a shortage of these, and I'm not sure if it is because of production or that they are selling a lot. I was on a wait list for 6 months from a well-known online violin shop, but the wait list was long everywhere I checked.

I quite like it. It's comfortable, adjustable, stays on the violin, is lightweight, and allows the violin to resonate well. Previously I was using a Kun Bravo.

Cons so far -- requires a Torx key to adjust, which means if something comes loose during a rehearsal / concert, you've got problems. This hasn't happened to me yet, but it's a concern.

July 19, 2015 at 06:06 AM · Douglas,

it does come lose quite often. so what I did was to tighten it every few days to make sure it does not come off. If it does, it will scratch the violin quite deeply.

This is my experience with it.

Now I'm using the Kun bravo as before.

July 19, 2015 at 01:50 PM · Kypros,

Srsly?! Might have to use some thread locker....

July 22, 2015 at 10:00 AM · I think I have done some injustice to the Korfker rest by not mentioning what others already have.

In my opinion, it is by far the lightest rest I have ever used,

it also enhances the tone of the violin, or interferes less with it.

The most important attribute however is that the user can mould it on their shoulder to have exactly the shape that fits them. It's like having your measurements taken to have a personalised rest crafted on your personal anatomy. I think this is the reason the Korfker is more expensive than other rests.

The Korfker I used was already moulded by a friend who gave it to me, but the shape fitted my shoulder perfectly.

I was using it exclusively as I found it to be the most comfortable and least intrusive rest I have ever tried and believe me I've tried most of them already looking for the perfect one, which I found the Korfker is.

Since my last post, I have been contacted by the designer, none other than Mr. Korfker himself, wishing to investigate why this problem happened to me and no other user in their knowledge.

After a few e-mails, my Korfker rest is in the mail back to them for investigation and a new one is on its way to me.

I have to admit,I was surprised at the intense interest Mr. Korfker has shown and how they stand behind their products to have every single user satisfied.

July 25, 2015 at 02:15 AM · Hi to those that already own the rest, is it quite a tall rest compared to the Kun Bravo? (I had the Kun Voce and it was bit too high for me even at the lowest setting)

Anyone else experiencing the rest parts coming loose?

February 9, 2016 at 11:26 AM · Having read these reviews and opinions, I visited the Pirastro website to look at both models of the Korfker shoulder rests in more detail, where there are links to reviews from some of today's outstanding soloists. I immediately ordered the more conventional design from the USA, where it was cheapest (but had to pay £16 import tax!). About a week later, I revisited the Pirastro website, and decided to also order the model with the cradle. This has a recommended retail price in the UK of £899, but was much cheaper in Germany, so I ordered one from Thomann. Two days later, it had arrived! It was extremely easy to attach to my instrument and I only had to adjust one of the mounting clips slightly on the cradle itself to fit the shape of my violin tightly enough. I experimented over several days with its height but was able, from the beginning, to adopt my preferred angle. I have to say, this is the best shoulder rest I have ever used. It is so comfortable (the only one I have known to not cause pain or discomfort), and I have complete support, with no fear of it ever becoming detached or slipping (this is just not possible with this particular model if correctly fitted). The rest and cradle are smaller than I was led to believe from the slightly magnified illustrations online, but this is in their favour. The lightness, and minimal contact of parts touching the instrument have reduced the dampening effect that every traditional shoulder rest has by at least fifty per cent - probably much more. This is immediately noticeable from the sudden clarity of tone, even on an exceptional instrument. Additionally (and this is not mentioned elsewhere), the cradle keeps both body and clothing well away from the instrument, so that they cannot mute it in any way (taken note, those of you who say that the best sound comes from not using a shoulder rest at all!) because it ensures a clear gap of about 4 mm right round the lower bout of the instrument. There is no danger of damaging the instrument in any way, and in case anyone is concerned about having to carry the cradle separately (in its special bag, which is provided), you may be pleased to know that it may remain attached to the instrument while storing it in its case. There is plenty of room in most cases, and no danger of damage when closing them. On instruments like mine, with its soft oil varnish, no marking occurs from the cradle and this is the only rest available, which does not leave an imprint. I had totally forgotten that I had already ordered the more conventional of the two designs, and that one did not arrive until two weeks later. I have not tried it, but can say that the rubber feet are very well designed to give maximum grip, with the least amount of contact, and that the weight of the rest is substantially less than the Pedi carbon fibre rest. I would not normally have dared spending hundreds of pounds on a shoulder rest, but I have absolutely no regrets. For comfort and sound, there is absolutely nothing better on the market, and believe me, I have every shoulder rest that has appeared on the market in the last 37 years in my collection. The Pedi carbon fibre rest is, in my opinion, the next best, with the Mach One perhaps in third position. The Mach One is rather heavy, and although in my case comfortable, it has a tendency to slip on my shoulder owing to its leather pad instead of foam or rubber. I look at the frightening price of the Korfker Cradle shoulder rest as being equivalent to a lifetime's lessons for the price of a year's. This review follows approximately six weeks of daily use of the rest, in practice and performance.

February 25, 2016 at 04:38 AM · I went hunting to find replacement rubbers for my korfkerrest and stumbled on this discussion. I am a professional orchestral violinist and bought my rest quite some time ago..... Not even sure how long I've had it, but must be at least 18 months. Since trying mine, at least 9 other violinists in my orchestra have bought one. We, of course, did plenty of our own acoustic tests! I've always enjoyed experimenting with new products but since finding this shoulder rest and combining it with a kreddle chin rest, I've had no further need. It is truly an excellent shoulder rest. It allows the instrument to vibrate more freely (light weight, timber, flexible), weighs next to nothing, fits (me) perfectly - I never found the need to 'bake' it, and neither I nor my colleagues have ever had any issues with the screws slipping. I'd love to try the cradle, but I'm afraid our wages don't quite stretch that far. In saying that, one of our violin soloists last year used one and said it was brilliant. As far as the price of the shoulder rest is concerned, in my opinion, for someone who plays at least 3-5 hours every day, the advantages far outweigh the cost!

February 25, 2016 at 07:24 PM · Well, the price is even higher today @ the same seller I cited 2 years ago... 164 Euros.

February 25, 2016 at 09:46 PM · 164 Euros is about two sets of Evah Pirazzi Gold. Not too bad.

October 26, 2016 at 02:44 AM · I second everything Gail wrote above. This shoulder rest (without the cradle) is well worth the price. Not only is it incredibly light-it weighs less than a slice of bread-but it opens up the sound of every violin I've ever heard it used on when compared to other rests. Dramatically from about 15-20 feet away...less obvious under the ear. The unique shape is very comfortable (it has to do with a horizontal twist in the structure that is hard to describe verbally but that fits the shoulder unlike any of the many rests I have tried over the years) and the wood arch can now be adjusted by slowly bending it with your fingers (no baking necessary with the new model.) I play in 5 professional orchestras and almost everyone who has tried mine has ended up ordering one. (The list is currently at 23 violinists...wish Shar would give me a commission!) After a year of constant playing, I just need new rubber feet. Does anyone know if you can order those somewhere?

October 26, 2016 at 07:44 AM · The invisi-rest is very inexpensive and totally weightless. Have you tried this one yet?

Cheers Carlo

October 26, 2016 at 11:05 AM · I wonder how the invisi-rest compares to this pirastro rest soundwise.

October 26, 2016 at 02:23 PM · Carlo, I've been using the invisi-rest ("I-R") with no problems for many years.

Kevin, soundwise, all I can say is that there is no evidence that the I-R modifies the sound in any way. It also stores very conveniently in any violin case you'd care to name, and I've never known one, belonging to me or anyone else, ever to fall off when playing, which is always an embarrassment when that happens with other rests.

If ever one of my violins passes out of my possession, I'll be happy for its I-R to also pass and give pleasure to the next owner.

October 26, 2016 at 04:25 PM · I thought I spied a violinist just the other day using an Invisarest.

Turned out to just be nothing...



October 26, 2016 at 06:13 PM · I used the invisi-rest throughout my childhood. I've got a big spur on my collarbone to show for it. Now I use the Kun and all aspects of my playing are improved thereby.

But seriously, Rocky, $600 for a shoulder rest? That's rather dear. Okay I guess that's for the whole "cradle" assembly, but still. And MUST every item that we buy in our lives come with a little drawstring bag? That just tells you how much profit margin they have to burn if they can give you a little imprinted cloth bag too. Probably made in a sweat shop somewhere.

October 26, 2016 at 07:26 PM · Paul, if you read my posts, you will see that I agree that this rest is overpriced.

On the other hand, physiotherapy seems to be overpriced too. If this rest is really as ergonomic as people claim, the money spent is less than average set of sessions with physiotherapist.

October 26, 2016 at 07:38 PM ·

October 26, 2016 at 08:36 PM · It can also be argued that physiotherapy should never be required if someone is taught good posture and holds from the outset. I fear that Spohr's invention in 1820 has a lot to answer for, as does the invention of the shoulder rest in the middle of the 20th c.

October 27, 2016 at 01:41 AM · I purchased this rest a few months ago and really like it. It took a bit of tweaking to bend it the way I wanted but after that its been awesome!

October 27, 2016 at 09:21 AM · I guarantee the invisi-rest will fall off less often and, it weighs less too...

@Craig. The "inviArest" is obviously an imitation trying to get into the market and exploit the brand leader by using a similar name. Beware of imitations. Get the original and the best, invis-rest.

Cheers Carlo

October 27, 2016 at 09:56 AM · I don't really understand the need of people to persuade others about using or not using a SR. Nobody was born with a violin under the neck, with or without shoulder rest under it, so we should let everyone find what works the best for him/ her, especially given so many examples of great players in both sides. That said, for those using a rest, I think in the last 30 years have tried most of the rests available and find the korfkerest to be the best for sound and comfort. I agree the price is high, just about the same as two sets of strings, but it doesn't die after two or three months!

October 27, 2016 at 09:36 PM · I'm sticking with my thumbrest.

October 28, 2016 at 01:00 AM · $300 for a shoulder rest ? Where are they made ?

October 28, 2016 at 01:03 AM · It says handmade in Germany

October 28, 2016 at 01:21 AM · Rocky, you're right about the ounce of prevention. No question about that.

Made in Germany ... hmm ... I wonder if this SR helps your car get better gas mileage ...

October 28, 2016 at 12:07 PM · Are there any notable violinist who uses this shoulder rest?

October 28, 2016 at 03:17 PM · Janine Jansen just started using it.

October 28, 2016 at 06:12 PM · Oh wow. I thought of buying the Pirastro but ordered the Wolf secondo instead.

October 28, 2016 at 09:34 PM · What would it matter if a notable violinist used a particular shoulder rest? Or not? What conclusion could be drawn.

October 29, 2016 at 12:29 AM · If we are talking about famous violinists....Is this the place where someone says that Heifetz DIDN'T use a SR?

October 29, 2016 at 06:14 PM · H used an invisi-rest :-)

Cheers Carlo

October 30, 2016 at 12:59 AM · I wonder if they paid her to use the shoulder rest ? Does that happen in the violin world ?

October 30, 2016 at 03:58 PM · There is always the possibility that an individual might have a contractual arrangement with a sponsor. Am I correct in saying that Menuhin sponsored one of the early models - even if he didn't necessarily use it?

Some anecdotal reminisence . . . In the early '50s, when I was a teenage cellist in the school orchestra a couple of the first violinists turned up with shoulder rests. The conductor, Head of Music, didn't know about SRs (which then were very new) and asked the boys about them. They explained that their violin teacher had told them to use the rests. The conductor didn't take any further action because a private teacher was involved. Within the year, all the violinists in the school orchestra were using SRs, which shows how influential a few teachers can be in pushing a new fashion.

In 1958, when The Academy of St Martin in the Fields started, the conductor Neville Marriner apparently requested (as only a conductor can!) that SRs not be used in his orchestra. I was told this by a retired orchestral colleague who was around at the time and knew Marriner.

October 30, 2016 at 05:05 PM · Wow...would any conductor get away with that now ?

October 31, 2016 at 03:30 AM · In case this helps anyone out there pondering plunking down $207 for a Korfker rest, of the 23 professional orchestral violinists I know who have switched to it and love it, most previously used a Kun, a Bon Musica, or a Viva la musica diamond. 2 previously used small red cosmetic sponges. Most of the violinists who normally use the "invis-rest" (nothing) thought that their sound was improved, but found it uncomfortable. (The wood is some sort of composite that is very light and can be bent without cracking.) If you play with no rest or sponge and hold the violin in such a manner that nothing touches the back except the very edge and your collarbone, the tone is virtually the same the Korfker.

November 1, 2016 at 02:31 AM · I think I paid $138 for mine a few months ago from an online order through a Canadian company.

November 1, 2016 at 07:55 AM · Which Canadian company sells at such a "low" price?

November 1, 2016 at 05:01 PM · Try this one. They ship internationally

November 9, 2016 at 06:45 AM · So, out of curiosity, after my luthier complained that my shoulder-rest (a Viva La Musica Diamond) was dampening the sound of the instrument too much, I decided to order the ("less" expensive) Korfker.

Tried it tonight. Quite comfortable as-is though I need to figure out what tweaks exactly I need to make for it to be ideal. The good news is that the resonance difference is immediately apparent -- a much more free ring.

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