Invitation to purchase Bakers rosin. Should I? Worth it? Which formulation?

September 27, 2018, 6:33 AM · I received an email this morning from Bakers offering me an opportunity to purchase up to two cakes of Bakers Rosin. I have 48 hours to respond. I barely recall signing up on the waiting list years ago. I currently use Oliv Evah and Obligato strings. My rosin cake is four years old and appears to be hardly worn. I need to apply Rosin maybe every week or so. I play (practice) 2-3 hours a day.

From the email: Because our production is limited, and in hopes to get rosin to everyone waiting, we restrict member orders to a maximum of two units per member, per season.
This can be one of each Baker's blend (Baker's Original and Baker's Vuillaume Citron), one of either, or two of either blend.

3. Baker’s Rosin currently sells for $24.50 USD per unit.
The total cost including shipping within the U.S. are; 1 unit: $29.90 USD or 2 units: $54.90 USD.”

Replies (35)

September 27, 2018, 6:39 AM · First and foremost - make absolutely sure the email is from Bakers! Contact them directly, not via links in emails or elsewhere.

Spam email is increasing by the day. Some of it can be very convincing and is often directed at getting access to the recipient's bank account.

September 27, 2018, 7:00 AM · If it's legit then just remember you can scalp it.
September 27, 2018, 8:38 AM · Trevor. I agree that one needs to be vigilant about spam. The email comes from a address which matches the address given on the website. The way to complete the order is to reply to the email and they will invoice once the order is ready to ship. They only take PayPal which I think helps with the security of the offer.

Can anyone who has made this purchase before confirm the process I have been asked to use is legitimate?

September 27, 2018, 9:08 AM · I've bought from them before. I like the regular formulation a lot. The other one (the Vuillaume-derived one), I did not like.

These days I've switched to Leatherwood.

Edited: September 27, 2018, 10:10 AM · I'm new to Baker's rosin but I'm grateful to have finally discovered what I've been missing out on all these years

I thought colophony was the sound of digestion until I discovered Baker's. Quite hilarious

September 27, 2018, 10:51 AM · 24 dollars seems very cheap for something so exclusive
September 27, 2018, 12:45 PM · I have used it before and liked it a lot (regular). Sadly they will no longer ship outside of the US.
September 27, 2018, 2:05 PM · paypal offers a certain amount of buyer protection against fraud, I got a rebate from paypal on a purchase from India that never came.
September 27, 2018, 4:37 PM · "24 dollars seems very cheap for something so exclusive"

I've told them they need to raise their prices before, but they feel bad about it.

September 27, 2018, 5:26 PM · "24 dollars seems very cheap for something so exclusive." P.T. Barnum.
September 27, 2018, 11:39 PM · You could just get it, and if you don't like it swap it over to Bo. :-) Or to me, and I could add it to my growing collection. (Collecting rosins seems to be much more affordable than collecting fine violins or bows, lol!)
September 27, 2018, 11:53 PM · I love rosin threads.
September 28, 2018, 1:55 AM · If someone could guarantee their product wouldn't shatter when it hit the floor, that would be the colophony for me (I'll be using that word a lot from now on). Apparently the technology does exist but of course...
September 28, 2018, 5:56 AM · It's worth noting that if a cake of rosin is dropped and breaks cleanly, into two pieces for example, then an effective and permanent repair can be done with super glue. Been there, done it.
September 28, 2018, 6:11 AM · Is it too difficult to melt rosin and reform it?
September 28, 2018, 6:38 AM · not if you're willing to burn the house down!!
Edited: September 28, 2018, 7:18 AM · You can easily melt and reform rosin. The lowest setting on your smoothtop (low or 2) will nelt it. Do this in a small steel measuring cup. Then pour into one of the wells of a silicone mini cupcake tray and cool overnight. In the morning you can peel the tray away and reaffix your rosin to the cloth with mounting tape or a touch of your steam iron. Your rosin will work the same as before. My mini cupcake mold is heart shaped. The rosins I have recovered I call "rosins of love," a term inspired partly by "violins of hope".
September 28, 2018, 11:45 AM · In view of Paul's qualifications I think we can safely take on board the method he describes. At the least, we can guess what he gets up to in his uni chemistry department when no-one's looking ;)
September 28, 2018, 11:52 AM · I have melted and reformed a number of broken rosin cakes.

I form a mold of aluminum foil around a bottle lid of appropriate diameter. I put the broken rosin bits in it and heat it in a toaster oven at an appropriate temperature fairly well below the boiling point of water. Voila - "new" rosin cake!

I can glue it to the cloth from the old cake, or to the base of the rosin holder.

September 28, 2018, 11:59 AM · You can create your own blends!
Edited: September 28, 2018, 12:04 PM · Regarding Baker's rosin. I would recommend the original blend. I purchased Baker's rosin on two occasions and used it for both violin and cello at the time.

What I noticed that I felt was unique about Baker's was the way it allowed me to vary tonal characteristics of my sound more readily than other rosins I have used (and I have used dozens). I felt that this unique quality degraded while playing and would resume when refreshed. But now I am probably 10 years older and my right arm no longer has the subtlety to play that well - I'm lucky to play at all.

If you have a right arm you can control well this may well be a great rosin for you. I think it is worth a try.

My major objection to Bakers at the time, was the round aluminum case it is used in - I found my first case crushed enough that it got "out of round" and became very difficult to open. Sure - I moved the cake to a "rosin cloth" where it worked very well. I did place a 2nd order when given the opportunity.

September 28, 2018, 12:10 PM · Thanks Trevor, but "Rosins of Love" is strictly a home project. :)

One thing I did notice was that "magic rosin" (the one that is essentially colorless) took much longer to harden upon cooling. Like weeks. Not sure why; I didn't do anything really differently.

I was interested in Andrew's comment about melting well below the boiling point of water (100 C). My experience is that the temperature needs to be higher but not much higher than 100 C. Now, of course, I'll have to measure that from now on. :)

September 28, 2018, 12:15 PM · I actually really like the metal tin that Baker's comes in. It does mean that you can drop the tin without the rosin shattering.
September 28, 2018, 1:44 PM · Follow up - I ordered one of each type. The cost was less than the $65 I spent two weeks ago for Wittner pegs that I installed myself and that have transformed my violin into something that I can easily tune. My sixty year old hands of (someone who has done quite a bit of manual chores over the years) needed some help there.

If this rosin gives me half the satisfaction the new Wittner pegs gave I will be happy. I play often outside in high humidity conditions. The Oliv Evah rosin I’m using gets a bit too tacky under those conditions. If I am not pleased, I’ll have Bakers rosin to offer to members at cost plus shipping.

Edited: September 28, 2018, 2:36 PM · A very famous bow maker who relies on the Andrea Solo told me that the Baker red variety offered a very “organic” sound. (This was my rosin on a bow he made and had just repaired.). I do like it, but don’t have a strong, permanent preference vs Solo, Leatherwood, or some others. If you have the option of getting some, though, you should jump on it. You might like it a lot.
Edited: September 28, 2018, 2:47 PM · That "invitation only" is such brilliant marketing. I was so excited when I received the email, couldn't resist ordering. But when I tried it.... it's a pretty standard light rosin, no better or worse than Colophane or Salchow light or Vienna's Best or any one of many quality brands.

It's not expensive to try Baker's but it's not going to rock your world. I think if it weren't for the marketing method, nobody would be talking about it.

The packaging, while very pretty, is problematic. That little steel canister gets sticky (with rosin, naturally) so you have to twist it to get it off, but the twisting tends to break the rosin off the wooden base.

As others here have noted, it's easy to melt and re-form it. But I haven't bothered -- I prefer Colophane Gold & Silver.

Edited: September 28, 2018, 3:54 PM · I was going to write a para about how pretentious it all was, then decided I wouldn't rock the boat!
I've got some Jade, which I'm not convinced by, and I've got some Hidersine 6V and on order I've got some Hill, some Kaplan and some Royal Oak. Oh well, RAS is cheaper than VAS!
September 28, 2018, 5:01 PM · Well since there are many thousands of different brands of India Pale Ale, I guess having a few dozen different rosins isn't so bad.
Edited: September 29, 2018, 2:28 AM · Of course all the rosins I've got are more or less the same price, so they will probably all be the same rosin. One can also make the mistake of buying a dozen $100 ukuleles hoping one of them will be a stand-out, but they never are (unless they have a certain age and you got lucky). I haven't plucked up the courage to buy a really expensive rosin yet, although I know it's value for money, as it takes an eon to run out.
September 29, 2018, 9:26 AM · Value for money... Not so sure. Since it so strongly depends on your violin plus bow plus individual preference, it may well be that a cheap rosin would do a better for you than an expensive onr. And there isn't any standardized parameter that would allow comparison or pre-purchase orientation, like "stickiness" / "hardness" / melting point or whatever...

From all rosins I've tried yet I know that I prefer the softer versions but still would like one that is even a bit more sticky. But as long as I haven't any clue how to find out about these specifications in advance, I hold myself back from any further investments.

September 29, 2018, 9:32 AM · "Melting", by the way... One cake of rosin broke into two. I only shortly had to heat the broken surfaces with a lighter and so could it together. A short lighter finnishing over the remaining groove, and it was an invisible repair. Rosin tends to burn, but not that easily...
Edited: September 29, 2018, 2:53 PM · Who cares how well the rosin works? Flashing an "invitation only" rosin will impress the heck out of people, and intimidate your competitors, kinda like showing up for an orchestra audition with a Strad. ;-)
September 29, 2018, 3:41 PM · That's true. ;-)
October 2, 2018, 1:24 PM · I play cello and I've used Baker's rosin for about four years. It works fine, but I've never had any interest in comparing rosins, so I can't say how it might stack up against others.

I read about Baker's about seven years ago and emailed to be added to their list. It took three years before I got an invitation. I bought two the first time. I got another invitation the following year, and declined because I'd barely used any of my first tin. I didn't get any invitations for the next three years, but I got another one yesterday. I must be at the end of the list.

October 14, 2018, 8:11 AM · I've switched to the Baker's original about 6 years ago and have never looked back. Before that, I tried every rosin on offer, less the newer offerings since they were not out at the time. The Baker's IMHO is the nes plus ultra of rosins and also guaranteed not to be older than 15 days since its manufacture. I and do not intend to experiment any further with rosins as I'm thrilled with its qualities. It comes with a paper insert inside the metal container that if you break it you put it in there and microwave it for a few seconds and this restored it. It might not look pretty, but it gets the job done.

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