Kun Bravo Collapsible Violin Shoulder Rest
I just ordered the Kun Bravo Collapsible yesterday, but I was just wondering if anyone has any experience with it (i.e. height, curvature, comfort [the regular black Kun, not collapsible, was quite comfortable for me], how it affects sound production, etc.)
I'm using a lime green Everest (yuck, it's a monstrosity...) that I had traded my black Kun for to my student. He is a scrawny little thing and the Everest was far too big for him, so he was having severe issues holding up his instrument. His family isn't super affluent, so instead of having them buy one, I just gave mine to him.
Anyway, I need a pretty high set up despite being small because (as I have mentioned before in previous posts) my violin is exceptionally large and heavy, and a low setup causes my shoulder to overcompensate, causing a lot of muscle tension and pain for days afterward. I use a Guarneri chin rest with a Strad pad to help boost the height (and prevent the dreaded violin hickey).
Any general or specific comments are appreciated! :)
Not this particular rest, but I don't think the original Kun Collapsible is nearly as secure as the regular Kun.
Hmm, interesting. I wonder if it would be okay with my isntrument; it's pretty wide on the lower bout. If not, I can always exchange it. I bought it because it would fit better in my double vln/vla case (Concord brand) than a normal one. I'll have to try to fit a viola shoulder rest in there too.
I have used a Bravo Collapsible (that's the wooden one with the brass hardware, right?) for about two years now, and it's never come off while I was playing. I did sometimes have that problem with the original (plastic) Kun collapsible, but the wood/brass design is maybe more rigid. The feet on the Bravo are different from the feet on my old rest, and I think they hang onto the edge of the violin better.
I "have"-but haven't used in years-a rather worn Bravo rest, though I did forget whether it was collapsible or otherwise. I found it fine, but a bit "stiff", in that it didn't fit me perfectly, and also would occasionally slip off the violin-but still used it many, many years until I found...
A bit off topic - I believe it is much better to have a high chin rest and a low shoulder rest than the reverse. When you have a high chin rest and low shoulder rest the violin sits lower making bowing easier and it makes the violin more stable. With a high shoulder rest any force on the shoulder plate is magnified on the violin grips by the long lever arm, making it inherently less stable. These chin rests might be helpful - Kreddle, SAS, Wittner Augsburg, and Messiah style.
My kun collapsable is unstable sometimes, but that's only when I stop paying attention and clamp down too hard. Thus the instability. The shoulder rests that are very unmovable and designed to immobilize the violin are extremely uncomfortable for me. Not a fan of the super high chin rests either, unless of course you have a really long neck. If your head is down and forward (Alexander terms), the space to fill between the collarbone and jaw isn't actually that big.
Cary, I looked those chin rests up and they're super interesting! I use my Strad pad for height and for comfort, since the Guarneri I have cuts into my jaw and isn't particularly comfortable. I may try that though, with a lower shoulder rest. I am pretty small (5ft. 1), and have short fingers (especially my pinky, which makes things super fun up in 6th position on an already larger-than-average instrument...), so I might play around with lower violin, higher chin rest...
I confess I'm not sure how the height of the shoulder rest works in conjunction with the height of the chin rest. The gap is from the collar bone to the jaw, right? You fill that gap with the violin and the chin rest, and the height of the shoulder rest doesn't change the size of the gap between your collar bone and jaw, it just changes the angles at which the fiddle rests on your collar bone.
I use a Kun Bravo collapsible shoulder rest, and it's awesome. When I got this, my luthier had me and my companion listened to the sound, and it sounded better than anything else. The luthier pointed out that he thought the collapsible one sounded better, perhaps because it has more brass (?). We pondered the mysteries, but, it did sound better. Then years later it was stepped on and because I wasn't paying attention, I ordered the one that doesn't fold up. It was a pain to deal with the clunky thing...and...it didn't sound as good. The Kun people eventually sent me a replacement foot for my broken one, and all is right in the world. They had extremely good customer service, I should say. And the thing is completely solid and comfortable for me. I am a long-necked guy, for what that's worth, and I have a tall chinrest too.
Is the Kreddle worth the $89 plus $12 for stainless steel? I can't do nickel. I think I will try th Kun first and then see if I need a different chin rest... I'd like to not have to use the strad pad, since it's not super attractive, but it's functional...
I got this one a few days ago. Kun Solo. It's awesome. Same price as a standard Kun. Feels great. Could hear a huge sound change from my violin. The sound really opened up more.
The Kun Bravo is a nice rest. It will effect the sound, for better or worse, as anything attached to the violin tends to do.
WAVE is another chinrest you might look at.
You might want to try a center mounted chin rest if you have shorter arms.
Scott - I don't fill the gap from chin to collar bone. I try to hold the violin with my left hand and shoulder. At times I use the chin rest to help.
@Laura McDermott: Right, that's what I think, so I am not sure I understand Cary's advice. If the violin sits on the collarbone, it should remain at that height no matter what the shoulder rest is. The height of the shoulder rest shouldn't be determined by the length of one's neck, right?
@Cary, that's interesting. I don't use my shoulder to support the violin. That sounds uncomfortable, but everyone is physically different. Do you have high shoulders, or do you lift your shoulder up to the back of the violin?
The shoulder rest lifts the violin off your collarbone by the amount of the height of the shoulder rest, thus making the chin rest closer to your jaw.
Julie, I mean the collarbone by the throat, not where it sits atop the humerus. I forget that the collarbone actually goes all the way from the sternum to the shoulder joint, and think of the collarbone as the shelf on either side of my trachea. So huh, I'll have to read these comments again with that in mind.
I've watched a lot a fiddlers (I fiddle for dances), many ex-violinists, many native fiddlers. What impressed me the most is how many different ways there are to hold a violin. Everyone has to figure out what works best for their own body.
I will heartily endorse the Wittner Augburg adjustable chin rest! It's like $26 and you can play with height and tilt depending on which spacers you use. It's designed as a center mount, but I use it side mounted, no problem.
Hm, I'll give that one a try. You guys think a smaller person should use a center chin rest? I've never tried that; I had a generic side chin rest on my old instrument, and the Guarneri on my good one.
I prefer the VLM Diamond over the Kun Bravo. However, these days I use a Korfker.
It should be coming Thursday or Friday, so we'll see how I like it.
Hi! FULL DISCLOSURE, I work for Kun, but I'm writing with a personal comment:
Great, thank you Emily! I'm looking forward to getting rid of this green monstrosity!
I have had a Kun collapsible as well as 2 other Kun shoulder rests. But Emily brings up a very important point when she writes "if you found the Original comfortable." I never found the Kun shoulder rests a perfect fit for any extended length of time. For me a Wolf Secundo was a perfect fit for a number of decades - but then even that faded as I needed to be able to move the violin around more than any conventional shoulder rest permitted and I used an Acoustifoam for a while and am now using Acoustagrip - or no rest at all.