Mach One HOOK SR Question

November 3, 2018, 9:54 PM · Sorry for another question:

Shoulder Rest Question

I have a SR question. It would be so much easier if these things were within driving distance of me. But, alas, they are not.

I saw a Mache One HOOK SR online. It is not the normal Mach One or the curly Mach One. This one has “HOOK” in the name. It looks like it has more of a hooked curve for over the shoulder, like the Bon Musica. The Mach One is not bendable and made of wood, unlike the Bon Musica.

The Mach One also looks like it comes down the front of your body a decent distance, unlike the shorter SR’s. It looks like it has a nice curve and that it could be adjusted to almost, if not actually, achieve what the Bon Musica does for those of us whole like that security.

My question, am I correct in the way I am interpreting what I am seeing? None of the photos actually show it attached to the violin, or attached and someone actually using it. I saw a YouTube but it was just a salesman talking about it.

It looks like it would be a much safer SR because it does not have all that metal hardware under it, between it and the violin back. I get nervous with mine because it does loosen while being used if I move just right.

Also, with the lower profile it will work much better with my new CR when I get it in the mail.

Has anyone used this? I am not asking about comfort because that is relative to the user. I am wondering about the physical attributes.

Does it have a nicely shaped shoulder hook?

Does it come down the front of the body a little?

Are the legs adjustable? The one review I read had a comment about both legs being the same length and not adjustable. She had to order special higher legs for the front end that is on the front of the body, not the shoulder end. I have never heard of a SR that does not have adjustable legs, so I question this review.

Is it a lower profile than the Bon Musica? In its lowest position at the shoulder end, the Bon Musica is quite high. It looks like it is in line with the Kunn, which would be great.

Does it fall off easily or stay put pretty solidly?

Thank you

Replies (9)

Edited: November 3, 2018, 10:22 PM ·

Mach One maple sounds MUCH better than the plastic one. Problem is, it comes with a leather pad, which is very slippery. I wrapped silicone tape around it for friction.

Left joint has 2 holes to put the feet on. Right joint has 3 holes. You try whatever combo you like best. Feet can go deep or shallow for height.I like left feet high, and R feet low, because it tilts the violin more, making playing up very high on the G string easier.

November 4, 2018, 1:55 AM · I use a Mach One viola shoulder rest (the standard maple Mach One, not the hooked one), with modifications.

I replaced the feet with short Everest feet because the Mach One feet are too tall for me even when screwed all the way in. As it turns out, many Mach One users buy a different brand of feet because the Mach One feet aren't very secure. I know several people who use Mach One shoulder rests with Kun feet; most of the brands that have screw-in feet use the same diameter screw and are interchangeable. Of course, if you're changing out the feet you can always look at the length and get feet that are shorter or taller.

Somewhat similarly to Tom, I need more friction than the leather pad gives, so I attached three small cosmetic sponges to it with rubber bands.

November 4, 2018, 6:38 AM · I used to think it was impossible to play without the SR, but after having to deal with it constantly slide off, bend out of shape, or need to be readjusted during performances, I got frustrated and gave all my SRs away. Looking at other members of my orchestra, they're always frantically playing with their $50 violin jaw braces in between pieces because there's always something wrong with the darned things, and there are so many properties to adjust.

I don't want to start a war by preaching SR-less playing, but I want you to give it a good try before dropping a small fortune on a hundred SRs and being disappointed.

November 4, 2018, 9:59 AM · Re: "constantly slide off, bend out of shape, or need to be readjusted"

I can't say that I share that experience.

November 4, 2018, 10:23 AM · Roger: I had a hard time getting the Bon Musica SR to feel comfortable. Had to keep bending and adjusting it. Probably because even my low CR was really too high. I did finally get it better, but I do notice I bend my head back due to that agressive jaw edge of the CR. Bending the head back is not only bad for the neck, but it causes my violin to angle up. I might have things sorted out. Ordered the flat Flesch and that should be better for the Bon Musica and my Kunn SRs. If it does sort things out, I will just forget about the Mach One Hook. It will all work out, eventually, but all the input here helps.


Edited: November 4, 2018, 11:32 AM · Best playing cheap shoulder rest is the Ammoon from ebay or amazon. Around 10 bucks. Feet dampen the sound a noticeable amount, however. Just the least dampening. The Everest dampens the most.

Best playing medium priced shoulder rest is the Mach One Hook, but you have to overcome the leather pad slip issue. Very minimal dampening. I'd say 95% performance of the Korfker Rest at about $50.

Best playing shoulder rest of all, the Korfker Rest, but you'll have to spend several hundred dollars. The pads don't slip, but they do wear out quite quickly, after about 6 months. I wrapped mine in silicone tape too, to prevent further deterioration.

Shoulder rests are a bitch, but they help position the violin at the correct angle/tilt for certain pieces. The Sibelius Concerto has you play the high Eflat on the G-string. The only way I can go that high is to have the shoulder rest tilt the violin more. It's a physical restriction for me.

November 4, 2018, 1:59 PM · Be very careful with "perfectly" fitting shoulder rests. They allow for zero movement of your violin and may, under certain circumstances, press the nerves or blood vessels. Any sensation of tingling or numbness down your arm is a sign that SR is not a good one for you. If you must use a SR, try those with flatter surface, such as Wolf Forte Primo / Secondo or Viva la musica "Diamond" . Alternatively try using a pad.
November 6, 2018, 7:30 AM · I have a mach one with the hook for my viola. The viola one only comes in wood. It is less of a hook than on the bon musica. For me, it gives the extra support of incorporating the back muscles more without being so constricting. (I used that one for a while too.) Only adjustment is the feet, but the shoulder rest is shaped well for my body.

I love the foot design where they attach to the instrument. They do not fall off. They have a flexible rubber piece between the foot part that clips onto the instrument. That flexible piece then shapes to the instrument.

The legs screw into the shoulder rest the same way they do on a kun. I am not sure how low the rest goes as I have never had to experiment with that end of it.

Another option to get the hook feel with more flexibility would be to attach a sponge bit to your favorite shoulder rest. Cut a sponge maybe 3" long by 1" wide. Use a firm sponge. Attach it with a rubber band to the shoulder end of the shoulder rest so most of it hangs off the shoulder rest in the same direction the shoulder rest goes. The sponge part hangs over your shoulder and gives you some support.

November 6, 2018, 7:32 AM · As a random side note, a student and I were experimenting with using her squishy for a shoulder rest. I hadn't seen squishies before. They are some sort of stress relieving thing that squishes in your hand. It was the most comfortable thing I have ever used as a shoulder rest and to my amazement didn't dampen the sound of the instrument. It gave great support while also allowing movement. I have some ordered and am going to experiment with them.

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