DEJA rosin - a shameless promotion or helpful advice?
I purchased a cake of "DEJA 'soloist' rosin" from Etsy.com last week. I did this in response to a query on Maestronet.com about the stuff and since no one else responded I decided to buy a cake of the stuff and try it.
I have no commercial connection with this product and no connection with any one involved with it. Because of its current position in the market it is unlikely to attract attention from those who might find it useful.
Thus the following:
Apparently I was the first purchaser of Deja “Soloist” rosin (a week ago) and I thought it fair to provide a review. Deja is a neat cylindrical cake, of 3/4" thickness and 1.5" diameter - a substantial size. It is nicely packaged in an aluminum can that holds the rosin and its attached cloth. I find this case particularly nice because the top is threaded: a much better idea (in my experience) than the friction fit aluminum cases that come with several other rosin brands.
(1) The threading makes the cylinder less likely to deform and
(2) Treaded tops go on and off more easily than the friction-fit ones.
The rosin itself is not too soft or too hard (may tend toward the harder end of the usual range). I tested it on 8 bows, 1-violin, 4-viola, and 3-cello (after removing what residual rosin I could with a microfiber cloth) and played on the appropriate instruments. In my initial short trials I did not get enough rosin on the bow hairs and the resulting sound had a bit too much high end. So before starting the subsequent trials I lightly scored** the top of the rosin cake in a square grid. This provided sufficient rosin to get a good idea of what this rosin will do. It provided good, rich tone on violin and viola. It gave me a bit more overtone sound on cello than I am used to but without losing the rich lower quality. On the other hand it also gave a richer and firmer tone from the higher octaves of the C string than I get with my usual rosins. I double-checked this with a second, heavier cello bow that has even more trouble in that “high-C” string cello range – it was improved too. The bows I used were decent, if not spectacular, ranging in retail market value from about $500 up to about $5,000 each.
**(Scoring the surface of a new rosin cake is not something I usually (if ever) do.)
The Deja rosin seems to have “staying power,” keeping its tonal character long enough for a concert and produces very little dust. I think it is a very good deal at its price ($9) both for quality and quantity/size and competes well with rosins that retail for many times its price. (The rosins I have used and favored for the past few years are the costly Leatherwood brands. I have tested several dozen different rosin brands over the past 20 years.)
I have long felt that an ideal rosin would create static friction (that distorts the string and thus initiates the vibration that causes the sound - the bigger the displacement the louder the sound) in proportion to the pressure applied to the string by downward force as well as by the speed of the bow and would have sliding friction (that damps the string vibration during the slip phase) of zero over a wide range of pressure (which would eliminate friction damping). I feel this rosin comes closer to that ideal than any I have tried in the past 20 years (maybe 70 years) - it's not something I am equipped to measure quantitatively.
I think Deja will bring out overtones from any instrument very well and this should promote "projection," but I have not tried it in a large hall. On my cellos (and with the 3 bows I tried) it brings out the upper octaves of the C string like no other rosin I have tried.
I have also tested the DEJA playing qualities for a typical "set" duration of say 2 hours by playing viola in a string trio with the result that DEJA ROSIN seems to be a good deal, especially for the price and size of the cake. It has gotten very hot here in northern CA for a few days (~100°F) during this testing period and we also had days that were in the 70s - so it's had a pretty good test of a temperature range behavior.
Rosin thread! Great to know about this product, Andrew.
I have found it helpful to remove the DEJA rosin cake from its cloth and glue it to the lid of the Al can in the fashion of Baker's, Magic, and Andrea rosins.
Do they have a sticky version? I'd like to try it with gut strings. I ruined my Pop's rosin recently by trying to melt it back into a usable cake...
Well, if it is almost as good as Baker's and has no 2 year waiting list, I'll give it a try for $12.03. (8.99 plus shipping)
Cotton your remolded Pops rosin may harden with time. Don't throw it away.
Where do you find this stuff anyways? I've used a vpn to search as both a Canadian and US user and can't find any trace of it—except your posts about it here and on maestronet.
Ah... Well, shipping to Canada costs more than the rosin itself.
I just bought some Guillaume. I'm not buying any more rosin for 10 years.
Ok, all of you have me curious so I just ordered this as an experiment. The edge of my Piastro Oliv rosin keeps chipping, and I'm careful not to allow my frog to hit it. Probably not careful enough as I can't think of why else this would happen. It's perfectly usable, this thread just has me curious so that's a good excuse to have a second cake... Very curious to see how this rosin might differ.
What I do to prevent the metal ferrule of my bows hit the rosin is have my thumb there and extending 1/8" or less toward the hair. That way my thumb hits the rosin instead of the metal.
I just received cake number 2 yesterday. I like it. So far, so good. I am reluctant compare it yet to my two personal favorites, Baker's & Tartini. What I like may not work for you, or your music.
Thanks for the tip Andrew!
I'm the fourth purchaser--and my initial experience with it on violin and viola has been excellent. It has a good "bite" and goes onto the bow hair relatively easily. The feeling it has when drawing a sound with the bow lasts for several hours, and for some of my private students who tried it, the sound is distinctly fuller compared to Kaplan Artcraft Light which is their regular "inexpensive" rosin choice. I would like to see them secure the cake to the cloth though, I almost dropped the first cake when I opened the container!
I'm organizing a competition to think up the best advertising slogan for a rosin. My own entry would be "Get a grip!", but of course that wouldn't be fair. Friends and relatives of the organizer aren't eligible either. The prize is a real Stradivarius-label violin as advertised on ebay. Entries on a postcard please.
A cake in the mail for me-- and this time I may invest in some sandpaper to get to the good part quickly, rather than waiting a few months of careful rosining to get a flat surface on the top. We shall see.
The only time I've ever felt the need to roughen up the surface of a rosin was my first ever hard as glass, paler than straw, Chinese summer rectangle, free with every VSO and binnable together with the wrapping. Yet I've seen Youtube videos where they can't use the softest rosin without sandpapering it first. A good soft rosin cake with a hollow in the middle doesn't need flattening out - that's wasting money.
I simply gently scored the top of the cake in a 4x4 or 5x5 square grid with the tip of a knife and it produced enough loose rosin to start the hair. Actually almost anything with enough edge to scratch the rosin should do the job.
Why not glue it with rosin? Heat the rosin and it will stick to anything.
I've been wondering the best way to attach my Deja rosin. I didn't think about heating it.
You could heat rosin to make it stick to something, but I never had a lot of luck with that. I use GORILLA Super Glue for almost everything that does not have "rock-climbing risks."**
No violin or bow things? Shame-- it really helps tone when playing deep in the string.
I got mine today. I am the 21st customer!