Seeking Technical Information On Three Chinrests (comfort is relative to the user)
I have a question about chinrests. I know preference is personal to each person, I am asking more about shape and quality. It is hard to tell, when looking at photos, how deep the cup is and how the edge of the part that grips the jaw is, and the height.
I always end out with a chinrest that grips too aggressively under my jaw. I am looking for a flat or flatter chinrest. I also usually end out with my jaw or chin over the tailpiece. When I had the Guarneri my jaw started in the side in the cup, but ended out over the tailpiece, so center mount, or one with the jaw piece over the tailpiece, even thought it attaches to the side, SAS chinrest does that.
The other issue with them is the height. Being over the tailpiece is an obstacle, but the ones I keep getting are too high. I actually think that issue is because the edge that grips under the jaw is so tall and the cup part is actually lower.
I have been looking at the Flesch wood center mount, Wittner Hypo-Allergenic Plastic Center Mount, and SAS wood side mount with one post and the cup goes over the tailpiece or the side.
The Flesch was recommended by a person at an online store I emailed a question to. She said the reason she uses the Flesch is because she, too, has issues with the edges gripping the jaw too aggressively. She also prefers center mount.
Then, on the same site while checking on the Flesch, I saw the Wittner Hypo-Allergenic Center Mount. It was actually a couple dollars more than the Flesch, so the contact person did not mention Flesch over the Wittner to try to sell the more expensive one because the Flesch was less money.
Then, again on that site, I saw the SAS chinrest. This one actually looks promising because I can order the short 24mm. It is side mount, but actually goes right over the tailpiece too. If my positioning changes over time, I will still be able to still use this. I will start lessons soon, and who knows, maybe my position of my jaw will change as my posture and hold is tweaked. Maybe then I will be more comfortable with the side, who knows? I will have that option with this chinrest.
Has anyone any experience with any or all of these chinrests? How much do the edges dig into the jaw? Is the edge high? Are they really high in general (bottom of the cup part)?
I have read where people sanded the edges down, but that would create a very thin section of wood over the tailpiece section on the center mount. The Flesch is wood and the Wittner is plastic, so the Wittner could not be sanded anyway. The SAS is side mount, but looking at it, it looks like the wood would be weakened by being made too thin if it had its edge sanded. So, I do not really have much faith in altering these by sanding the edge down.
I use a Bon Musica Shoulder Rest and have it as low as I can go without risking the back of my violin being damaged by those hard parts on the Bon Musica. It makes me very nervous using it, but it cups my shoulder and supports the violin nicely on the upper chest. Have not found another that will do that.
Does anyone have any experience with the Flesch flat center mount chinrest, Wittner Hypo-Allergenic Center Mount chinrest, or the SAS side mount single post chinrest? Quality, description of the edge that grips the jaw, height? Comfort is relative to the user. I don’t know why they do not have profile photos of the chinrests attached to violins so you can actually see the profiles and edge depths. I have not found any info with photos like that.
I hope you'll forgive me for going outside of the three chinrests you're asking about, but the Wittner Augsburg center mount model is an upgrade from the standard model. It's adjustable in height and inclination, and has a similar but larger and more comfortable cup. The edge is beautifully formed. (My opinion, obviously.) The hypo allergenic quality of the material is a valuable feature, as is the comfortable texture. And they're lighter than wood chinrests too. I have them on all three of my violins, two acoustics and an electric, and I wouldn't hesitate to highly recommend them.
My advice, go to a shop that has a good selection and try them all. Any one of those you mentioned may or may not work for me, but I am not you,so what I feel won't be what you feel, so anything I say doesn't matter. Chinrests are very personal, and also dependent of your SR situation, but you know already that you personally favour fairly flat designs, so try those first.
Hi Cynthia (from a fellow beginner and kindred soul in search of comfort and stability :-)
Roger, I forgot to mention, the option to go to a shop with a selection is not an option for me. I have stated in other posts that I am in a violin shop desert. So, I can’t do that. I am hoping to be able to limit a number of purchases and returns.
Holly, I just watched a couple YouTube videos on the Kreddle. It really sounds like another good option and is vary adjustable. Thank you very much for the info. I read about it a while ago but couldn’t find much info on it from someone who actually used it and used others, good comparison info. I didn’t bother looking for YouTube back then because I wasn’t finding enough info from users. Thank you.
I am not familiar with the SAS chirest, but I have used both the Flesch flat center mount and the Wittner center mount. They are quite similar in shape and I personally like them both equally. The Flesch flat is probably one of the flattest center-mounted chinrests out there. Its cup is very shallow with minimal curvature and a very small edge to hold onto. The Wittner center mount (and the side mount too, by the way, which actually goes slightly over the tailpiece) has a somewhat deeper cup than the Flesch, but the cup is not nearly as deep as many other models. I'd say its cup is neither too shallow or too deep, making it a very neutrally-shaped chinrest. Its edge is quite smooth and is less likely to dig into your chin than many other models. I'm also someone who prefers flatter chinrests for myself due to my chin shape.
Thank you, Ella. That was very helpful. They are both a lot less than the Kreddle, so maybe trying one of those first would be wise.
And one more thing to warn you about: There are two models of center-mounted Flesch chinrests. One is the flat Flesch I mentioned earlier and the other is a Flesch model with a hump. I've never tried it but I had the opportunity to feel one so I know. I wouldn't say its cup is particularly deep, but it has a significant raised bump in the middle. I don't think someone who prefers flatter chinrests would like that. So to sum up: if you are going to choose the Flesch model, choose the Flesch flat model, not the one with the hump.
I am not sure if the Flesch I used was the flat or the hump. It may have been the hump as it was a viola chinrest. I didn't care for it much. I remember it being uncomfortable but like I said it may have had the hump.
I've got a Teka and an all-plastic shoulder rest that cost me about £1 on Amazon, lol. Only last night I realised I could screw the shoulder rest height down to rock bottom, so I did. I've got a Hidersine shoulder rest coming in the mail. I might go back to a Guarneri.
I was chasing this dragon for a while, but what ended up working best for me was changing not the chinrest, but what went on the chinrest. I added a Stad pad, and that made the center-mounted chinrest I settled on feel perfect. It's soft and keeps any edges from digging in anywhere. And it's cheap! I had one back in the 70s and finally remembered how much I liked it and went searching. The only thing I don't like is that it affixes to the chinrest with Velcro instead of an elastic band like my 70s one.
Gel is becoming popular. I've got some thin gel pads, but they are (insanely) sticky on both sides, so I'll have to think about how to make them one-sided.
I have heard of the Flesch with the hump. The customer service rep who replied to my email I submitted to the store said she used the flat one. They had both. I sent the photo and info of the flat one when asking. I couldn’t figure out the purpose of the hump when I saw it.
Cynthia I am just curious. With the CRs that you find uncomfortable, if you change your instrument position, is there a position where the CR will feel comfortable? Often the fit of the CR depends on how you hold the instrument and fit your Shoulder Rest. You do remark that some CR were too high, although you could lower the SR. A slight change of position of the scroll to the Left or to the Right makes a huge difference how the CR feels, especially if you have a bony jaw sructure. Everything about the CR presumes that you positionned the instrument in the optimal position, and finding that optimal position is itself often not that easy, and depends on each individual physionomy. Just saying from my own personal quest for the ideal position and setup combination.
Roger, I always tend to move the jaw or chin to the tailpiece, so the center CR is what I am looking at. I have 2 guarneri(sp?), as they came on the less expensive violins I purchased. The more expensive violin that I bought at a violin shop had a side CR, can’t remember the brand. I migrated to the center when playing it for a while after I decided that was the one. I played with it for a while with the few songs I know, while I was there. They swapped out the side mount for a center mount. I can’t remember what brand or type they said it was. It was better. I know it is not a Flesch by the looks. Also, it is ebony, not plastic. At home I played it more and I am really bothered by that aggressively shaped edge under the jaw. I also end out tilting my head backwards. If I shave it down like was suggested, that section over the tailpiece will be weakened due to the thinner wood, so I don’t want to do that and risk it breaking.
Hi Again Cynthia :-)
It sounds like the Flesch flat or the Wittner are both good choices for your needs. Unfortunately, center mounted chinrests can only go so low or otherwise they won't fit over the tailpiece properly. With the viola, I think you should absolutely get a center mount, as the viola is bigger and it needs to ppoint more in front of you than the violin. Your setup would also have to be lower on the viola than on the violin because of the thicker body. Unless you have a long neck, your shoulder rest would most likely have to be quite low.
Well, I ordered 2 Flesch flat center mounts for 2 of my violins. I am looking for a Flesch flat for my 16” viola. The place I purchased my violin ones did not have viola ones. Another place I looked had Flesch flat center mount CR’s for a viola, but it did not state if they were specifically for a 16” one. I will look elsewhere where they might be described clearly as for a 16” viola. I hate returning things and usually just take the hit and don’t, so I will make sure first.
When looking for viola chinrests, don't worry about the size of your viola. Viola chinrests will fit all sizes of violas.
Thanks, Ella. I did not know that. I know where to order it now.