Guillaume rosin!

Edited: September 6, 2019, 3:17 PM · So, yeah... I did end up spending $35 on rosin. Still kicking myself over it, but this stuff is certainly the best rosin I've ever used. Smooth, grippy, articulate...

I think the actual price of $15 US is very fair for the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your rosin is excellent, but I must, sadly, ship all of my violin stuff over the border, which doubled the price.

Anyways. If you want a one-time, be-all-end-all purchase, try the Guillaume rosin. It's basically the perfect violin rosin.

Replies (45)

September 6, 2019, 5:52 PM · I've been saying that for years! Here's an article I did on rosin: https://adbowsllc.com/2018/09/25/all-things-rosin/
September 6, 2019, 9:23 PM · I liked it with Thomastik Dominants on violin and Viola Spirocore/Larsen
Edited: September 7, 2019, 7:35 AM · I have four different brands of string on my violin. Any advice for how to apply the four different kinds of rosin I'll need to match them all? I can't seem to figure it out.
Edited: September 7, 2019, 7:46 AM · You need a milligram scale so you can powderize them and then measure them out into an ideal mix in descending proportions based on the golden ratio (since the e string is the thinnest, it, of course, requires the least of its rosin). Then you can simply melt it back into a cake!
September 7, 2019, 8:14 AM · how is this compare to hills rosin, i don't think my pirastro rosin is giving me the grip i want, so i'm looking for alt.
September 7, 2019, 9:39 AM · If you have the money and your current rosin really isn't satisfying your needs, go for it. I do not think a better rosin exists.

Just don't expect a miracle—it's only pine sap, after all.

Edited: September 7, 2019, 10:19 AM · Cotton, you got the tin box one (don't know if there are any other mixes)?

I have that as well, very good rosin.

September 7, 2019, 10:21 AM · There is only one variety and it comes in a tin. The wooden box was discontinued, sadly.
September 7, 2019, 10:34 AM · I assume it's a metal box, and not really made of tin. Too bad, because a genuine tin box for one's rosin is really the best when using a pernambuco bow. With a CF bow your rosin can come in a wooden or pot-metal box.
September 7, 2019, 11:14 AM · I think I feel a genuine aura of stannum when I play with this rosin. However, you're welcome to buy one and test it yourself.
September 7, 2019, 12:22 PM · My bow maker recommended this rosin when I met him last time... I opted for Andrea A Piacere instead and am a very happy camper. It works equally well with my baroque and viola bows.
September 7, 2019, 12:35 PM · OK guys! You've convinced me to get my old cake (round wood box) out of the "OLD ROSINS DRAWER." I'll try it later
September 7, 2019, 1:36 PM · How about an all nite rosin tasting party at my house. I have 7 cakes and you are welcome to bring some of your own to share.
September 7, 2019, 2:06 PM · My favorite rosin, though what works for me may not work for all. Beautiful tone and grip, powerful, very low dust, and supposedly not prone to aggravate allergies (I am not allergic to rosin myself, however.) While I have two old cakes of the classic Bernardel and Andrea Solo, I love the Guillaume so much, it's the only one I use regardless the seasons. I have grown accustomed to its feel and sound, though there are other good rosins out there.

I still have my wooden box, and also agree it's a pity it was discontinued, but I shall just buy the refill as needed. Crossing my fingers so this wonderful rosin keeps being manufactured in the exact same way after Mr. Guillaune's passing.

Bonus: not that expensive, as the only "pricey" option was that with the wooden box. More than great value.

September 7, 2019, 4:10 PM · Guillaume rosin is truly a great all-around in all seasons, I have one in tin and the other in wooden box.

However, like all rosins, it depends on individual taste, and instrument, especially the bow being applied. For instance, I applied it on two bows of similar playing characteristics with very different results, perfect on Leon Pique, but not suitable for George Hoyer (too bright).

Among the rosins I have used, I would think at least 2-3 others are as good. They are, besides Guillaume, Liebenzeller Gold I (the discontinued original), Bogaro & Clemente IHS, and Melos (dark). In addition, I also use Andrea A Piacere year-round.

September 7, 2019, 4:51 PM · Adalberto: Mr. Guillaume's passing? So Pierre Guillaume died recently? Can you really confirm this shocking news?
September 7, 2019, 4:52 PM · Maybe just looking into the future? What some investors call "Bob risk."
September 7, 2019, 6:41 PM · Apologies for worrying you, Mr. Dubuisson-I meant "after he passes away" more than "now that he is no longer among us". He should be alive, hopefully and as far as I know.
September 8, 2019, 4:18 AM · Relieved to learn that I misunderstood!
September 8, 2019, 5:14 AM · Great news. I will add this rosin to my selection of 18 different rosins that I have matched to different styles and performance acoustics.

I have chosen my existing 18 rosins based on close observation of every major violinist who has visited London in the last ten to fifteen years. I have bought tickets for all their performances and then when they were on stage I snuck backstage into their dressing rooms to take photographic evidence of what rosin they were using.

I find that analysing the precise characteristics of rosin and then posting it on the internet is far more useful for performance than practicing the violin. In fact, so extensive has my study of rosin been that I found that I needed to sell off my violin and bows, so I could buy more samples of rosin and better equipment with which to analyse it. If anyone would like a second hand electron microscope, do let me know.

Edited: September 8, 2019, 8:44 AM · Chris, next level is to go into pine forest and hug as many trees as possible. You will then be completely covered in rosin and quite sticky and smelly. Just remember to stay away from sources of heat!
September 8, 2019, 8:32 AM · I tried them all: Guillaume, Baker's, Liebenzeller Gold, Andrea A Piacere, Hill's various concoctions and, for a while Baker's too but Home Depot's 'Loctite 609' beats them all - the grip, the persistence - and absolutely no rosin dust.
Edited: September 8, 2019, 8:45 AM · Well, Rocky...
Tree resin shouldn't be used in its raw form. You have to boil off all the impurities first. So, you have to set the forest on fire before you begin hugging trees.
September 8, 2019, 9:36 AM · Which specific forest should I set fire to for best results? ;)
September 8, 2019, 9:23 PM · Guillaume works great on my current Arcus bow. While my wife likes the wooden box, I much prefer the current metal tin. It's smaller, lighter, takes up less space, and actually stays closed!
September 9, 2019, 12:56 AM · Elise, I didn't realise you also played the viola.
Edited: September 10, 2019, 7:04 AM · Well I have tried my Guillaume again and now know why I did not use it after using Liebenzeller for a number of years and I know why I switched from that to Tartini/Andrea and then to Magic and finally to Leatherwood. I have a special place in my uses for the new Deja. But I have looked back and don't need to any more.

The problem I have had with many rosins that have led me to continue searching for the "ultimate rosin" is that their behavior changes during a playing session. I attribute this to increasing drag/friction during the "slip" phase. I want to get to the end of a 2-hour rehearsal with my bow behaving the same way as when it started.

By the way, there is a reason for not rosining too fast - it is not the time to show of your right-hand virtuosity.

September 10, 2019, 1:05 AM · In response to Kai Lu, Guillaume is dark amber, Hill's dark is obviously dark. The dark is the only Hill rosin I have. I don't know if they do others. I like Royal Oak a lot, and want to try other Larsen rosins, the red perhaps.
September 10, 2019, 7:08 AM · I know that light rosins are supposed to be less grabby than dark rosins, but I have read that this is due to added color, not some intrinsic property of rosin being dark. MAGIC ROSIN products seem to prove this - all their rosins are clear over the whole range of "grabbyness,"
September 10, 2019, 12:53 PM · There is a lot of subjectivity and player/bow preference in the matter. I think the Andrea Solo is quite the "grabber", and thus may produce lots of decibels under the ear, but what I feel happens is that it imposes too much of its character in the sound, for better or worse. This can be a good or great thing, but not always.

While the Guillaume does have its character, *I* consider its capabilities less intrusive, and thus "easier" on reproducing a more malleable, "individual" tone while still being grippy and powerful (smoother, but not dull at all.) I really am satisfied with it to the point *I* need no other-which of course must not be the same for you. It has become "my sound" over time, even though I am sure I could use a thousand others with good results.

September 10, 2019, 2:37 PM · Hummm, all that discussion makes me want some cake... rosin cake that is of course ;-) This could flare up my RAS (Rosin Acquisition Syndrome).
September 11, 2019, 7:58 AM · has anyone tried liebenzeller Gold II comparing to this?
September 16, 2019, 5:39 PM · Just ordered Larica (new remake of Liebenzeller) iron for my darker instrument and tin for my brighter one. Currently using Millant Silver and Gold for the darker and Andrea Piacere viola for the brighter one. Looking for that Goldilocks range of tambre. Will share when they get here.
Edited: October 5, 2019, 5:34 AM · Anyone for the Bakers here?
Edited: October 5, 2019, 6:15 AM · @Andrew "I know that light rosins are supposed to be less grabby than dark rosins, but I have read that this is due to added color, not some intrinsic property of rosin being dark."

FWIW, I bought some Larsen Red, but I don't like it. It seems to be a pale amber rosin coloured with "dragon's blood" (red sap of a tree from Socotra, which I suppose is an exotic form of rosin!). I'm not yet adept at comparing rosins, but at the moment my favourites are Guillaume and Royal Oak.

October 5, 2019, 6:55 AM · I have used Bakers. Very good. Not sure if their warning about going stale is completely correct, but its virtues do become pretty subtle after a while. Still, a genius bow maker I showed it to was very impressed.
October 5, 2019, 8:11 AM · Leatherwood Supple for me, still. Though for some reason my CF bow does better with the Crisp.
October 5, 2019, 8:31 AM · Leatherwood is still an excellent go-to-- I tend to prefer Crisp, but maybe I'd feel different if I were hearing at a distance.

And now there is this Deja new thing from Chicago, which appears to be extraordinary. If only because it is fresh, new, and different.

Add the Andrea Solo is a perfectly fine backup to all of this.

October 5, 2019, 8:37 AM · One day someone will discover that toffee works better.
October 6, 2019, 3:23 AM · You eat enough, and you can put more weight in the string.
October 6, 2019, 3:23 AM · You eat enough, and you can put more weight in the string.
October 6, 2019, 5:06 AM · Baker's was very nice but I found it tended to wear off the bow too fast. A Pierce is nice and grippy - but I found it built up on the string more than other rosins.

I went back to Hill - but Hill light is not quite grippy enough so currently trying the dark. Love to know if the difference between light and dark is only in the dye - have we really all been fooled all this time? Or is it a different mixture of rosin types?

October 6, 2019, 5:06 AM · Baker's was very nice but I found it tended to wear off the bow too fast. A Pierce is nice and grippy - but I found it built up on the string more than other rosins.

I went back to Hill - but Hill light is not quite grippy enough so currently trying the dark. Love to know if the difference between light and dark is only in the dye - have we really all been fooled all this time? Or is it a different mixture of rosin types?

October 6, 2019, 8:21 AM · Me: "I'm not yet adept at comparing rosins, but at the moment my favourites are Guillaume and Royal Oak."

In fact, the current state of play is that I think I prefer Royal Oak to Guillaume.

October 6, 2019, 9:31 AM · Once again, an open-end discussion with no definite conclusion. Probably, at that level, there is impossibly a rosin to be universally approved true winner.

Guillaume appears to be a more refined and elegant vision of L'Opera Jude. It has such a balance between individuality and malleability as described by Adalberto Valle-Rivera. An all-purpose rosin good enough for the majority of my routine.

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