Black Hidersine Rosin

December 15, 2005 at 07:20 AM · I have a question with regards to rosin. My teacher uses a rosin by Hidersine which is black in color. Mind you she told me her rosin is prob up to 10 years old (I don't know if color changed over time).

From what I can gather, darker rosin is softer and meant for larger instruments (as a rule of thumb). So black rosins are generally for cellos.

I tried to purchase a black colored Hidersine rosin for my violin, and the music store person was very confused. Being a beginer and not knowing enough, I caved and bought the Hidersine 3V Violin rosin.

I'm getting mixed messages everywhere here. Can someone speak to this and clarify the rosin issue for me?

Replies (24)

December 15, 2005 at 09:10 AM · Greetings,

you have got a lot mixed up. Colr does not relate to instrument. Darker rosins tend to be softer and a little stickier. I woul;d npot recommend eithe rof the Hidersine rosins.Even if you don't want to up your budget too much the Pirastro dark rosins are excellent. There is a good one by Guillaume and a very nice amber one that comes in a blue velvet envelope that I can't remeber the name of ....

Pirsatro have a range of rosins to match the strings anyway...

Hidersine rosins are scratchy and unpleasnt. Even if that is okay for now in a year or two you might be pickier and then have to spend money again. Incidentally a ten year old rosin is probaly way past sell by date. Pirastro recomends buying a new one once a year.



December 15, 2005 at 12:21 PM · Thanks Buri,

I don't mind spending some money to get a good quality rosin. If the Hidersine 3V rosin I've been using for the last couple of weeks isn't generally accepted as a good rosin, I'd rather get rid of it and use a good one.

I just bought the violin (Kato 500 from Remenyi - Toronto, CA) and completely forgot to ask what strings were on it. In the next 6 months or less, I plan to switch to Evah Pirazzi strings (since they seem to be recommended by a large number of people here and elsewhere). That being the case, which Pirastro rosins would "match" the strings? Thanks for your help.

December 15, 2005 at 03:07 PM · Rosin goes bad? It's not like it smells rancid or anything...

My rosin is a good fifteen years old by now, and it still seems to work. The cloth is off it and it's worn down enough that it's starting to chip off in my case, but that's the only reason I was thinking I should replace it.

You can barely wear a good bow groove in the rosin in a year! :)

December 15, 2005 at 03:14 PM · It does seem to dry out and lose tack.

December 16, 2005 at 10:39 PM · Greetings,

Bruno, if you are goping to change to Pirazzi then you can buy 'Pirazzi' rosin designed to go with them.

I tried pirazzi for avbout a year and gradually realized that although they are a very powerful string indeed ( as well as reliable) they are for meanyway, rather crude sounding and cold at long distance. I videoed a numbe rof recitals to confirm this impression. I also found that you need to alter your bowing tehcnique to using a lot more pressure/strength or whatever and i am not convinced it is a good thing in the long run.

There are a couple of good discussions of strings floating aorund at the moment. Personally I have foiund that if you are going for synthetic then Dominat are still the one to beat.

The bets sll purpose rosin I have ever tried is a French one called Colophone (or something like that...) which has flecks of gold and silver.

Anyway, all this stuff is basically a question of evolving personal taste. Its just brutally expensive finding out wehat you like...

And yes, if your rosin is fifteen years old you need to start smoking somethin else,



December 18, 2005 at 04:46 AM · All rosin is different - and definitly a matter of personal taste. I loved the Hindersine rosin when I used it, and Colophane before that. Don't buy really cheap rosin (it's often nasty).

Some violin store web-sites have all about rosin; one that briefly describes some of the more common brands (at least in Aussie Land) is

December 19, 2005 at 02:07 AM · I just got the Larsen rosin and it works well

and It doesnt irritate my eyes like other rosin.

I use sandpaper to roughen the rosin surface when I get a new cake. God bless.

December 19, 2005 at 02:30 AM · Buri,

Thanks again for the advice. As a late beginner, I appreciate any guidance. I do have one question leftover with regards to rosin: Is it normal to use a really dark rosin (poss cello rosin) on a violin? My teacher uses it. She was trained in Europe and came to Canada with it and her 200-300 year old violin a long time a ago (exact time unk). She has a few interesting particularities which I find contradictory to most of the things I read - the rosin, for example. She also never cleans the rosin off her strings- ever. She cleans her violin, but leaves the rosin on the strings. Anyway, thanks again for your help and guidance.

December 19, 2005 at 04:19 AM · Greetings,

Bruno, rosin really is a question of taste. Some people like the stickier ones (which tend to be the dark ones) and others not. Cello rosin is cello rosin period. Dont get too bogged down on the color/instrument issue- its a red herring. It can depend on the kind of string you use. The brand I use, Collophane 2000 works really well with Dominant. Would it work as well with plain gut strings? I doubt it but I have never tried.. There is now a lot more choice out there so it has become rather cnfusing. Top brands for me are:

Tartini (still available?)

Ab (or and B?)



That damn French one in a blue velvet pouch whose name I can`t remember

but there are lots of other good ones and unlike strings you can never get aorund to trying them all. Given that Pirastro manufacture matching strings and rosin (masybe even underpants) you might consider selecting the string first and going for the combo or if you use dominats try my suggestion.

You should clean the strings off at least a few times a week. Menuhin used a piece of emory paper. You can use after shave on a cloth as well (not on plain gut). The alcohol dissolves the goo. You don`t need to do this every time. There is a good reason for claening strings: caked rosin actually has weight and can create the illusion of `falseness` in the string by unbalancing its natural vibration. Furthermore, if the surface of the string is completely caked then the bow has a tendency to slip. Violin hygene is there for a reason.



December 19, 2005 at 06:04 AM · What can you guys say about Liebenzeller rosin? I saw it while browsing on Shar one day, and I was extremely shocked to see that it was $30/cake.

December 19, 2005 at 05:43 PM · "According to the manufacturers, Liebenzeller Gold Rosin enhances the quality of the tone, giving greater warmth, flexibility and radiance. It increases the capacity for modulation, volume and carrying power in large halls, gives a good, even response and reduces surface noise. It is scarcely affected by variations of temperature or humidity and leaves a minimum of residual dust."

Same thing they all say at twice the price it sounds like.

December 20, 2005 at 09:33 PM · I have tried Liebenzeller as well as a bunch of other rosins (10 to 15) over the years. I don't mean to say anything bad about L. because I know some people who absolutely love it. But...I tried it and didn't notice anything particularly different about it in comparison to other good rosins.

Since reading the huge string discussion I did recently switch back to Dominants with J.F E string. Just for fun I used Dominant rosin and have been extremely pleased with the combination.

When the D's start to sag I am going to switch back to Eva P's and Olive rosin and see if I like that combo as well as I did before.

Cheers to all...and thanks to everyone for all the posts and is fun and extremely helpful to me and my students!

p.s. welcome back buri

December 22, 2005 at 05:41 PM · bet you the one in the blue velvet pouch is Bernardel!

that's my second-favourite rosin, next to Salchow's own brand. Yummy.

December 22, 2005 at 10:37 PM · Greetings,

that"s the one. I always think of it as a 'champagne' rosin as opposed to some which are closer to bourbon in character,



December 23, 2005 at 12:09 AM · Hi,

"That damn French one in a blue velvet pouch whose name I can`t remember."

Actually, it's Bernadel.

I personally like the rosin by William Salchow. It does what I like, it's not too expensive and works in all climates.


December 23, 2005 at 08:31 AM · Greetings,

bet it doesn"t workin mine :<



December 28, 2005 at 07:44 PM · It comes down to taste. What is best is what works best for you (changes with time). Experiment good luck.

December 28, 2005 at 10:18 PM · anybody try the tartini green?

May 24, 2010 at 09:22 PM ·

It's been a while since we talked about rosin... well maybe not that long ago.

I tried Bernadel and It was hollow and a bit scratchy... since I live where the relative humidity ever gets to 20% we call it a monsoon!  Dark rosin's seem to work better for me. The Liebenzeller (Gold) Rosin is back and is sold ot of some outfit in New York, USA.

May 24, 2010 at 10:12 PM ·

The color of rosin has nothing to do with performance unless the manufacturer uses color differences as a marketing tool.  A manufacturer may make a soft and hard grade and decide to make their soft grade dark to distinguish it, but it's likely from simply dying it.

Rosin varies in color from a pale yellow to nearly black and is graded according to a Gardner or USDA Naval Store standard (ASTM D509 -05 Standard Test Methods of Sampling and Grading Rosin).  The color is largely determined by the quality of the process used to make it with lighter rosin being more expensive.   The more heat and impurities, such as iron, the rosin is exposed to during distillation, the darker it gets.  There is no commercial advantage to a dark rosin and everyone strives to make it as light as possible. 


May 24, 2010 at 11:23 PM ·

Several outfits state that dark(er) rosins are softer and work better for people in arid environments.

May 24, 2010 at 11:55 PM ·

With reference to Buri's post about "flecks of gold", I am wondering if the residue from this kind of rosin (with metal) is harmful to the varnish on that portion of the top of the violin directly under the strings.

To re-phrase the question: If one were to take a piece of cloth and wipe off the rosin dust that would have settled/accumulated on the top (between the bridge and the end of the fingerboard), would the action be more abrasive than if the rosin dust did not contain particles of any metal?

I used to use Bernadel, but switched to Tartini. Not that I can tell the difference!

February 13, 2014 at 06:43 AM · Hi! The "rosin in a blue velvet pouch" is Gustave Bernadel rosin. It's great! I really like it. "Colophane or Collophane" means "rosin" in French, as far as I know, so they're all "collophane" if they're made in France.

I use Motrya gold but I have an array of others that I like better. I have a violist friend who says her Guillaume was so "sticky" it messed up her bow hair so I'm afraid to use the Guillaume I have. Tartini and Andrea say not to use theirs on bows that have been rosined with other brands, so I'm afraid to use those until I rehair. I don't even know if I can use both on the same bow. Any ideas on that? Thanks!

February 13, 2014 at 07:43 AM · You don't need to wait for a rehair. Just remove the old rosin with ethanol. I prefer to remove the frog and rinse the hair in a small bowl with alcohol. Others leave the frog attached to the stick and soak a cloth in alcohol and wipe off the rosin. If you do that use a new part of the cloth every time. Be very careful not to get any alcohol on the stick! When the hair is dry I comb it with a toothbrush and it is ready for the rosin of your choise.

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