The Impressionist Chinrest Cover - another chinrest modification approach

Edited: March 6, 2019, 5:27 PM · I have just installed the Impressionist Chinrest Cover on 2 viola chinrests and achieved my desired result - 2 "Original Stuber chinrests."

I need a low chinrest, but I like the "inside the jawbone" bump that an original Stuber or Edu chinrest gives - but they are too high on a viola for my neck length.

The Impressionist ( ) allows one to shape the top of a low chinrest to such a contour, which may be helpful for downshifting and vibrato - at least it is for me

In addition to the archived 2008 discussion I've linked to in the previous paragraph there was also a very informative discussion in 2012

You can find the Impressionist Chinrest Cover for sale at Amazon, many on-line dealers and ebay for around $15 including shipping - for example:

I've recently been trying to find a substitute for the 2 original Stuber violin chinrests I donated to a youth orchestra and decided to try the Impressionist that is designed for permanently self-impressing your very own jaw/chin shape into the pad that sticks to the top of your chinrest. I tried that on a violin chinrest and found that was not a good substitute for the Stuber I was trying to copy - not enough freedom of motion with an exact match to my jaw. Then I had the BRIGHT idea that I could impress the top of my one remaining Stuber chinrest into the Impressionist and use that as a mold to create an exact copy in another Impressionist - so I made the mold (and refrigerated it so it would not be deformed by the heated material of the 2nd Impressionist I would use to cover my chinrest.

Well the 2nd Impressionist arrived this morning and I realized it was too large for my viola chinrest - so I cut it in half and had enough material to cover the two viola chinrests I wanted to modify.

These chinrests also have the rubber lining I have substituted for cork on all my chinrests. Even though an Impressionist weighs 42 grams, and thus my modification has resulted in 2 viola chinrests weighing 62 and 66 grams respectively with the additon of about 20 grams each, the instruments sound just as they did before the modification.


I still have another Impressionist coming - but I have since substituted my missing violin Stuber chinrests with a couple of very moderate price Edu chinrests that are practically the same.

If you try this, follow the instructions to the letter - it does not require "hot water" as the ads state, it requires 3 + 3 minutes of BOILING TEMPERATURE water - and 5 seconds of cooling under cool water if you are going to use your jaw for the impression, but if you are going to use a non-living mold for the impression, you do not have to cool the material. It can also be molded to shape with your fingers. and it does stick to the top of a chinrest, but it can be pried off with some effort (and remolded).

Replies (7)

March 6, 2019, 7:34 PM · Wow, adding mass to the chinrest had absolutely no effect on the sound? What a revelation!

Ok, I'll let it go.
I always wanted to try the impressionist, but my strad pad being "just good enough" keeps me from dropping the 25 bucks to get one. It looks comfy.
Is it still a little rubbery when cool, or is it totally solid?

Edited: March 6, 2019, 10:06 PM · It's totally solid, but not hard. Of course the one I refrigerated to harden more to use as a mold was harder - and then I put it in the freezer for 10 minutes before doing the molding.

Remember, Cotton, I am using the rubber lining on my chinrests for "shock"(or vibration) absorption.

60+ grams is withing the mass range of some ebony chinrests.

March 7, 2019, 10:44 AM · Indeed, not hearing changes that others of us hear reminds me of a recent contributor concerning his intonation....
March 8, 2019, 10:20 PM · Out of curiosity, how much height does the Impressionist add to a chinrest?
Edited: March 9, 2019, 6:25 AM · The oblong pad is 2x3x1/2 inch. It can be cut to make it smaller. Its height on your chinrest depends on how you shape its less than 3 cubic inch volume. You do not have to cover the entire chinrest with it.

Before adding Impressionist material to my chinrests I removed the chinrests from the instruments - just a safety precaution.

Edited: March 9, 2019, 6:42 PM · Sounds like the perfect chinrest cover to use for Debussy and Ravel. :)
March 19, 2019, 4:10 PM · I used the impressionist for years. I remolded it so many times that it's all flat now and pretty much unusable. That's a lot of use for something that was around $10-$15.

I stopped using it because my teacher said it was too custom fit and locked my chin into an exact spot. She said it's better to be more flexible with where you put your chin.

I haven't put it back on because my new teacher told me I was putting way too much pressure on the chinrest with my chin. He said I only need light pressure when downshifting. So now I play with very little pressure and my chinrest is ok.

The impressionist is good to add a little bit of height, but you can also do it with some cork.

Overall I think it's a very good product, but see if you really need it.

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