The Wave chin rest. Any good?

September 15, 2018, 9:33 PM · I keep getting popup ads for chin rests called The Wave. It looks interesting, and they offer to send different sizes and styles to choose. Has anyone bought one of these? If so, what do you think?

Replies (14)

September 15, 2018, 11:04 PM · I went to the website, and everything I saw was center-mounted. A luthier once gave me a fairly detailed lecture about how a center-mounted chinrest acts like a mute, and he gave me a side-mounted chinrest with titanium hardware, and darned if it didn't sound like someone had just taken a mute off my violin. So, that would be an issue for me, and honestly my current setup is pretty comfortable too. But they look very nice.
September 16, 2018, 12:00 AM · I have one. I love it. The maker, Randall Olson, is a pleasure to work with.
September 16, 2018, 4:35 AM · i have a Wave chinrest and it didn't work as a mute on my Violin.i also had other center mounted chinrest such as berber and i never encountered such a problem.on the contrary center mounted chinrests are more beneficial for the ergonomy of the instrument because they distribute the weight more evenly to the body of the instrument.
anyhow;i have a long neck and after getting in touch with Mr.Olson he recommended me to buy a 1.25 inch (wave1) and I'm happy with my choice.regarding wave 1 or 2;it depends on your preferred grip.
September 16, 2018, 7:57 AM · In the last year I have bought and mounted about 12-15 different chinrest. With different clamp system, with different woods...

I haven't been able to find a permanent rule about effects in sound by side or center mounting, heavy or light wood. Depends on the soundpost setup, the strings tension, the tailpiece, etc. It is only one variable in the setup and it is conditional to all the other variables.
The only 100% true thing is that the most comfortable you are with your chinrest, the better sound you, the player, can make.

September 16, 2018, 10:09 AM · I just recently posted a question for help as I am an adult beginner having problems with clenching down and much tension. I have tried countless shoulder and chin rest combinations. I am currently testing out the wave chinrest (you order 1 and you get to try out 4 for up to 30 days) . . . I have found the most comfortable fit ever with one of the waves and using no SR . . . which isn't what I was initially shooting for but it is unreal how much more balanced and comfortable I feel. He has a money back guarantee and 30 days to try them out. It sure doesn't hurt to try and see if the wave works for you!!

Good luck! Rachel

September 16, 2018, 10:52 AM · For those who followed my thread about my documentary project, I bought a lot of popular devices (chinrests / shoulder rests ) for my curiosity and to have a few other violinists try them out.

All this to say, I have a number of the wave chinrests. First of all, I would say that there’s no such thing as a bad chinrest (Assuming it’s well constructed), there’s only a chinrest that feels right for you on one extreme or doesn’t feel right on the other extreme. And assuming you have a basic technique, I would say that if you’re not sure if it feels right or not, then it probably isn’t right.

So for the wave chinrests, I would start with the objective part: I love that they have multiple height options, and I would suggest that they add more taller options for people with taller necks.

The tallest one they have is the right fit for me and I play without SR. Based on your profile pic, you seem to have a similar neck , so that model or the one just after it might be best for you.

There’s a big difference for me between Wave I and II, and I personally prefered the II. Playing without SR though, I felt it still wasn’t quite right for me but I *could* live with it (I have a custom made chinrest that ‘s perfect for me). However, when I put the Kun shoulder rest on, it was suddenly the perfect combination.

My custom made chinrest has a lip at the edge that prevents the violin from moving away too when playing without SR and doing downshifts and vibrato. Something like that would have been great on the Wave. There is a bit of a lip on the Wave I but it wasn’t the right fit for me.

All this to say that the only way you’ll know is if you try it for yourself. As someone mentioned, the owner is great to work with and is willing to let you try multiple models.

I personally could see myself using the 1.25” Wave II with a Kun shoulder rest if I played with SR, but I’m spoiled because I happen to live in the city where a custom chinrest maker lives and he was able to making something specfically for me. People travel from all over the world to get a custom chinrest from him!

September 16, 2018, 11:01 AM · Center chinrests act like mutes because they move your left ear away from the f-hole.
Edited: September 16, 2018, 11:08 AM · Physically it's hard for them to mute anything at all - they're mounted where the top plate is glued to the center block and any vibration is dampened at a maximum anyway.
Paul's definitely right. I double checked this with a guy who also accused centered CRs to act as a mute, on his specific violin. As soon as he didn't play it himself, he wasn't able to tell the difference!
September 16, 2018, 11:38 AM · Chinrests can affect the sound, but only very minimally. This is such a controversial topic, so with regards to chinrests, comfort is the #1 factor.
September 16, 2018, 1:46 PM · "Center chinrests act like mutes because they move your left ear away from the f-hole." ... but only to the player. A listener wouldn't be able to tell the difference, I would have thought.

But a center-mounted chinrest may be heavier than a side-mounted one, and this could conceivably make a difference (muting, perhaps?) to the vibration of the instrument. I know my centre-mounted ebony c/r with sturdy metal pillars is significantly heavier than my side-mounted one.

A feature of some center-mounted c/rests is a "wing" extending to the left (could be on the right for a l/handed player), and I would suggest that if the player's chin/jaw is not in contact with that "wing" the "wing" will be able to vibrate to a certain extent in sync with the vibrations of the violin, thereby contributing to the sound. I can feel that vibration if I touch the "wing" very lightly with my cheek when playing. In fact, if I press harder on the "wing" there is a slight but noticeable muting effect.

September 16, 2018, 3:22 PM · Thanks. I ordered a chin rest, and they will send four so I can try all of them out. I'll see where all of this goes from there.
September 16, 2018, 3:50 PM · There are chinrest that I like, and others that my instrument likes (I.e. less dampening). The difficulty is to find one that we both like! I acknowledge the ear proximity to f hole effect, but to equal mount, I have different chinrests with which the instrument resonates better. It could be overall mass, feet surface, material, whatever, but there is a definite difference regardless of where the mount sits.
September 16, 2018, 8:00 PM · Controlled study would call for a torque wrench to tighten the hardware.
September 17, 2018, 8:42 AM · Perhaps it should be borne in mind that the ideal tone and resonances of a violin are when it leaves the luthier's bench and has been set up by him, and before shoulder rest or chin rest have been attached, either of which will have some effect on the tone and resonances due to their mass and how and where they are attached.

It follows that comparisons of add-ons should best be done with the “naked” violin as the base reference for the clearest assessment of their effects. Comparing one c/r with another without reference to the naked violin sound isn't entirely revealing.

For those who want to try this route, the technique of playing a violin without s/r and c/r (a la Baroque) is well documented here and elsewhere, but for tone and resonance testing purposes there should be no problems provided the instrument is held as lightly as possible with a light stabilising touch of the chin on the tail-piece (you won't drop it!).

With reference to Paul's remark about a torque wrench I think in practice it is easier to fit a chin rest by tightening the retaining screws with the fingers only. There will be little chance then of damaging the structure of the instrument - as some luthiers will doubtless confirm from sad examples brought into their workshops. My rule of thumb is to tighten the chin rest just tight enough so that it won't fall off or rattle, but can be easily slid off just by using the fingers.


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