What rosin do you prefer?

October 24, 2016 at 07:44 PM · Good morning or evening, when ever in time you may be reading this. The rosin that my violin came with is finally running out and I need a new one. I am sure this topic has been discussed before but I will just bring it up again. What rosin do you prefer? So far I have only tried D'Abbario Kaplan, but I would like to know what other players use and if I should switch to a different brand.

Replies (20)

October 24, 2016 at 07:48 PM · I like Andreas Solo. I remember when I first got it, the work on my left hand instant seemed easier. But of course, after a little while, I just seemed immune to it, and can't see the benefits of it.

I also have a Baker's Rosin. It's just okay, I switched back to Andreas on my main violin.

October 24, 2016 at 09:36 PM · Julio - your question will likely provide you with at least one vote for almost every existing rosin. In other words, you are not likely to get an answer that will advance your inquiry. Your best bet is probably to ask your luthier for advice. There are a number of fairly standard rosins, and for most players, your particular choice is not likely to matter a great deal.

October 24, 2016 at 10:15 PM · Good afternoon Mr. Holzman, I am actually not looking for a direct answer. More like crowd sourcing, so far with the answers that I was already given by Yinmui Chan, I have researched and looked into these brands. As to the luthier I do not currently have one that I frequent for check ups on my instrument. Not because I wouldn't like one, I just don't have the time to go and find one that I feel comfortable with. Also Yinmui Chan thank you so much for your answer.

October 24, 2016 at 11:13 PM · I've been using D'Addario Kaplan Artcraft light for the longest time. Never felt a reason to change, though I might someday give a try with the 'high end' rosins. Might give Vienna's Best a try for no reason other than because our dear Lydia Leong gave a relatively in-depth review of it.

October 25, 2016 at 01:05 AM · Rosin thread!!


October 25, 2016 at 07:01 AM · Ok, talking to numerous bow makers, and trying out many for myself, I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't really matter that much, there is a range of "feel" from smoother to stickier to grainier, but the biggest change for me is whether rosin is fresh or not, I try to change it every year or so, because it might look the same, but a fresh cake of the same rosin always will sound and feel better when changing. I've used everything from Liebenzeller/Larica to Andrea to Bernardel. Just try and not mix rosins on the same rehair, if you can avoid it.

October 25, 2016 at 11:15 AM · Yay! Rosin again! Why do we never tire of this subject? And though we often differ, why do we not get heated-up about it as we sometimes do with other subjects? I have a theory a little later...

My favorite for the past couple of years - and I've tried many - is Hidersine "Deluxe" - and I was just about to go online and look for more. In my experience, rosins have a very long shelf life and can be used well for years - though shelf and use life may vary with brand and type.

Now, my theory: There are just as many threads (maybe more?) about strings. In both cases there are a bewildering array of brands and formulations within each brand. But there is something different about rosin somehow. Its nature is such that there feels like there's a bit of mystery to it. It begins with the sap of a tree - the tree's life's blood, if you will. Then different companies use different secret processes and ingredients to add to the mystery - almost like varnish on the instrument. But unlike varnish, we players may easily experiment with almost no possibility of any permanent problems. There seems to be something almost a bit magical and alchemical to this humble cake! Is rosin our Philosophers Stone?

October 25, 2016 at 11:19 AM · Melos Dark in colder conditions, Melos Light in warmer conditions.

October 25, 2016 at 11:49 AM · Melos dark year round, as it has very good grab (needed for plain gut), but almost zero dust.

October 25, 2016 at 12:45 PM · I started out with Bernardel, which I still like. However, my luthier suggested I switch to Salchow, which I like equally well.

October 25, 2016 at 03:29 PM · My birthday coming up in a week will mark the 78th anniversary of receiving my first violin and the beginning of my playing and rosining experiences. I have used many different brands of rosin during those years (I also now play cello and viola and use different rosins for each).

For many years I "subscribed" to the legend that "rosin is rosin." But I no longer believe that.

About 20 years ago I really started trying different rosins - especially new ones (at least new to me) and I have counted over 5 dozen cakes still in my "collection." Most notable for me during these years have been Liebenzeller, Tartini/Andrea, Magic, and finally Leatherwood. Each of those was my favorite during the years I used them (different grades on the different instruments). Right now the Leatherwood rosins (from Australia) are my favorites and I suspect I will stop trying new rosins because I cannot imagine getting better results - also this latest choice is a pretty expensive one.

I think all the rosins that have been suggested in the posts above are good and it is worth starting with the less expensive of these.

I have not found disadvantages in mixing rosins on bow hair, but it does change the way the bow grabs the strings-which is one reason for mixing rosins. Bow hair can be cleaned rather than getting a bow rehaired and continue to be effective for a long time.

Since you can smell rosin, it is obvious that some of the ingredients must be evaporating and others are likely to be oxidizing. Nevertheless, about 15 years ago I found an old cake of Thomastik cello rosin that had been in the bag with my first cello and that I had continued to use for about 20 more years, although I had only had the cello for 55 years by that time there were original indications in the bag that the rosin dated to 1929, making it 75 years old by the time I re-found it and my granddaughter used what little remained while she tried to learn violin for a short time. Unfortunately the rosin disappeared about then so we shall never know if it is still useful at 90 or 100.

October 25, 2016 at 04:11 PM · Andrea a Picare.

But, my new favorite is the kind my dog prefers.

October 25, 2016 at 04:15 PM · I change between Bernardel or Hill Dark depending of the weather. Sometimes I wonder if trying an expensive rosing, like leatherwood, will really make me notice enough difference to justify their price.

October 26, 2016 at 01:02 AM · Some of the rosin brands do seem expensive such as Baker's which cost me about fifty dollars for one cake many years ago. I tried it because of all the praise for it on this site. But then fifty dollars amounts to a dollar a week over the course of a year. This was my favorite rosin for a year and even seven years later the small cake still has twenty years to go. And so with the other rosins that I have paid about thirty dollars a cake for.

The rosin threads do seem trite compared with other more controversial topics but now I want to order some Melos Dark with my next string order after reading the one sentence plug for it from A.O.

October 26, 2016 at 01:30 AM · You can get Melos Dark for $15.50 from Amazon with free Prime shipping, it turns out.

(Dear locals: You are welcome to try my experimental collection of rosins...)

October 26, 2016 at 03:37 AM · I have been using Vienna's Best. It works for me. The cake fell and now is still in one piece but the top is very uneven, like a lava rock. I still use it and in time, it will become flat again. I find it gives me very little dust and seems to sound good (to me) when loaded on the bow. I tend to over load my bow with rosin at times.

October 26, 2016 at 12:34 PM · Yesterday I ordered 3 Hidersine Deluxe rosins. I already have one that I keep out for home practice. So I don't have to remember or forget to take it with me on gigs (I do have extra rosins of different kinds in cases as back ups) 2 new ones will go into 2 of the cases I keep active.

And the 3rd one? Well, I'm selling one of my bows (a Hill). I thought I'd add it as a free gift with the purchase of the bow. Of course, the lucky purchaser should be willing to pay just some separate shipping and handling for the little rosin - let's call that another $5,000 bucks! ;-D

October 28, 2016 at 11:44 AM · Depends on the kind of strings that you use. Pirastro offers a variety of rosin types customized for different types of strings. Overall, I really like the Andrea rosin. They are a bit pricey but really worth it. Pirastro Schwartz rosin is a cheaper option and I have used them on steel strings which sounded great. No idea how they sound on synthetic cores.

October 28, 2016 at 12:50 PM · As Jason indicated, this is a stupid, trivial question. What really counts is: What rosin does your dog prefer (and are the remnants worth licking off the cloth?)?

October 28, 2016 at 06:22 PM · One of each rosin, in continuous rotation. That way, whatever is best, you will always have a small amount on your bow :-D

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