Pirastro Korfkerrest review (not a discussion or SRs!)
First, if you are tempted to comment about how shoulder rests are crutches, or the "invisi-rest" is so much better, etc., please don't. I am simply writing a short review of the Korfkerrest. There is not much useful discussion on v.com about this rest, and I wanted to share my experience to help others.
If you want to talk about how much better your life is without a shoulder rest, start a new thread. If you want to know more about this technological wonder, post away! :)
I got the Korfkerrest (KR) for my birthday a few weeks ago. It's pricey for sure. I am talking about the rest, not the cradle.
1. It's the lightest rest I've ever come across. It almost feels like it's weightless, I like this feature.
2. The wood is bendable. I did not bend the wood, it conforms very nicely to my body. You don't need to harden the new version.
3. It is infinitely adjustable. I adjusted the width and tilt, which took all of five minutes, and then I was all set. Others have had to spend more time. No two bodies are the same, but the KR can match your body with a little adjustment. The Ergo pack adds a lot to the adjustment degrees of freedom.
4. It's beautiful to look at. Yes, this is the least important, but it's worth mentioning.
5. It's comfortable. I have never been more comfortable playing. I am 6'2" and have a long neck and broad shoulders. The KR has a nice "hook" to the shoulder, while allowing me to move freely. My violin is stable under my chin with zero effort. I liken it to playing on a cloud, if that makes any sense.
I thought about the price as follows: I use expensive (for me) strings, and this is worth 2-3 sets of really good strings, so you can decide if it's worth it; it will last a lot longer than Evah golds or Timbres.
Everyone is different. Some use a SR, some don't. I don't get a feeling of moral superiority for my violin choices, so use what works for you. I looked into this because I was not comfortable playing without a SR or with other SRs. If I lost it, I'd buy another KR in a heartbeat. I got mine during Shar's black Friday sale so it was $222 USD with free shipping.
Thanks to Lydia L. for answering some of my questions by email!
Shoulder rests are crutches, and the invisi-rest is so much better.
It's awesome. I have two. (2nd was on clearance for $195, so why not? Version 1 though.) Only down side is that the sponge on the hook side wears out after about 6 months. Peels off, breaks off a bit, ...etc. I wrapped it in silicone tape just to prevent it from deteriorating more. It comes with replacement pads, but still...
I, too, use the korfker. Made a significant difference in the response/resonance of my violin.
Tom, the version 2 pads are supposed to be more durable. We’ll see.
I've been debating whether to buy one. My concern is: I need a very low shoulder rest when playing viola (I have almost no neck), and need to know if it can be lowered to the level I need. I don't want to spend $300 on it if the minimum height is too tall for me. So... does anyone know what the minimum possible height of the Korfker is at the shoulder foot?
With the Ergonpack you can get the shoulder side pretty low. I don’t have it in front of me. You can order from somewhere with a return policy. Shar told me they’d accept a return if the wood was not bent.
@AndrewH is the Fiddlershop gelrest no good for you?
Thanks for posting this. I've been wondering how people were getting along with the new version.
I have the new version Korfkerrest. I have not had the patience to sit down with the tools to adjust it. I find that the rest does bend BUT you can't bend it very much at one time; you have to bend a little bit at a time. So I just play with it as it came, which is sort of a miracle as I play left-handed and have a long neck... I bought the Korfker because it was reputed to be the least muting shoulder rest. I have five other SR's and none of them fits me or sounds as good as the Korfker on my new violin, so it is definitely a keeper. I was surprised at how much my old regular rest (Bon Musica) muted my new violin. The Korfker does cost more than other rests, but you won't have to keep buying more rests once you get this one!
Andrew Fryer, there are two reasons the Gelrest is not suitable. 1) Anything that attaches in the middle of the bottom plate will mute the instrument too much for my liking, and 2) I need not only a low shoulder rest, but one that provides a significant tilt, or I won't be able to reach the C string easily. The main thing that keeps me from playing without a shoulder rest is short fingers.
I have been using the Korfker rest on my violin for a couple of years. I got it right after the changed to not having to bake it but before changing to thicker pads. I wanted the bend in a different place than what is delivered, and it took some work to achieve that. I had to clamp it flat to a bench to straighten it out and then make the bend in the new position. This adjustability is brilliant. The legs can be set at different angles and adjusted so that the springiness of the wood helps secure the rest to the instrument. I have never had it drop off in action.
How do these compare to VLM diamond? I just bought one and it was a nice step up from the basic kun model
The VLM is great and the legs are adjustable in many ways - but it is preformed and cannot be bent.
I want the korfker but the price is so high, I can’t afford it. I think the markup is astronomical on it. I don’t understand what could make it cost so much.
Christopher, I think the bendable wood and the complicated adjustment mechanism justify the high price.
The Korfkerrest is the result of a long, ongoing and hence expensive R & D process which explains much of its cost. Someone on this thread was able to score one for $199 which is a good 15% less than what it costs a local retailer under normal circumstances.
Wood can always be bent when it's heated. The microwave trick works once, I suppose because the microwave dries out the wood. So perhaps if you heat it without causing it to dry out, you may be able to bend it multiple times. How do you do this? You steam it.
The Korfkerrest is made of bendable maple. It’s treated to be flexible forever unless you bake it. It’s a unique design with a lot of R&D in it. It’s expensive, I won’t sugar coat that aspect of it. But for me, it has been worth it.
Tom, I assume you mean Mach One? I don't have a Korfker and I've been avoiding buying one because I don't know if it can be adjusted lower.
@Tom Supakorndej wrote:
About this dampening business: Markov and Chen use shoulder rests which attach to the back plate, see Ray's here: https://www.facebook.com/raychenviolinist/photos/a.603751003021658/1022782797785141/?type=1&theater
I am another one belonging to the Korfkerrest camp. It is so light that I don't feel I'm using a rest at all. In fact I came back from restless to use this one after trying a colleague's at a rehearsal. I also would buy another in a heartbeat if I had to.
I never much liked shoulder rests, and finally decided they are a crutch and threw mine away. My life has been so much better ever since!
I don't have a Mach One, but looking at pictures of it shows that it also does not go very low at the very edge of the instrument. I would guess that the Korfker could be adjusted to a similar shape. At the edge of the instrument it has significant height, but it can be formed and adjusted to almost touch the back of the violin.
Bo, please note that my Mach One is modified by replacing the feet with much shorter ones, so it is adjusted well below the normal minimum height. My shoulder is 28 mm from the viola at the edge of the instrument, and I would prefer for it to be a few millimeters lower. I need to know whether the Korfker can do that.
Looking at my Korfkerrest today, I think you can get the shoulder side to be about 24-25 mm with the ergo pack. This is an estimate, mind you.
Thanks, that's what I needed to know. I'll think about getting a Korfker the next time I see a good deal on one.
I got mine earlier this year for $237 at SHAR. Shop after Christmas is my advice...
@Andrew Hsieh and others who favor low shoulder rests, this thread got me corresponding with Berent Korfker about the shoulder side height problem I experienced when I first tried the Korfkerrest.
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