Pirastro Korfker Shoulder Rest/Cradle

Edited: July 18, 2020, 2:39 PM · Hello,

I just received a Pirastro Korfker shoulder rest and was under the impression I could retro fit it to Pirastro Korfker Cradle at a later time. Is there any truth to this or is it simply not possible? I made this purchase, with this intent...

That being said I'd love to hear from anyone who has tried the Pirastro Korfker shoulder rest as well as the cradle version. Is it worth the extra $, or do you find the shoulder rest on it's own is just right?

Thank you,

Replies (21)

Edited: July 19, 2020, 11:49 AM · I don’t know, but since you’re talking about so much money, I would ask this question to Pirastro, and only take their word for it. I’ve never seen or heard of them selling the cradle mount without the shoulder pad. And if they do it’s probably sold as a replacement part, which usually means a much higher price.
July 18, 2020, 4:04 PM · For a rest that price it better make you sound like Heifetz!
July 18, 2020, 4:34 PM · I haven't seen the cradle part for sale on its own.
July 18, 2020, 4:35 PM · I'm content to just have the normal-shaped rest. I don't know why I'd choose the larger more complicated rest, given the convenient comfort of the normal one (which is already super expensive).
July 18, 2020, 6:22 PM · @Lydia: From what I've heard it's supposed to sound better by restricting the violin's vibrations less, or something along the lines? And it probably also reduces the risk of the rest falling down. I'm not sure, as I was never interested in the bulky variant, either. I just remember noticing how an acquaintance of mine couldn't fit the cradle variant into her case and that was the moment my interest vanished.
July 19, 2020, 1:17 AM · I can't speak for the cradle, but I do have the korfker shoulder rest and in my experience, that does allow the violin to resonate more freely. I lent it to my teacher who found the same thing - it's a small but noticeable change.

I have a box with fifteen shoulder rests in - the korfker is hands down the best of them all. I know it's expensive, but for me, worth every penny.

July 19, 2020, 2:40 AM · The Korfker Cradle/Rest is a wonderful and revolutionary (o evolutionary?) product. Its fit and finish are likewise superlative, and many of my clients find it to be worth the money in terms of sound improvement over other rests.

Just a word of caution: don't be tempted to leave the cradle on the instrument when you put it away in the case. Doing so in a suspension case will bring the bridge of the violin much closer to the inside of the lid, and a lot of cases have insufficient clearance to begin with. If the case were to fall or even be subjected to a hard bump, the violin could suffer major damage.

Edited: July 19, 2020, 8:03 AM · Dimitri, one of the major drawbacks of the Pirastro cradle (besides its price, eventually complicated looking mount, and looking a bit odd) is that it has to be carried separately. Any ideas from an accomplished case maker for a case model allowing its storage?
And if we're at it... Why aren't there any case designs allowing storage of sheet music in the floor instead of the lid? With lid opened, the cases tend to fall back that way if you're leaving something inside the lid. And it's nigh impossible to fit an iPad or book with solid binding into an arched lid!
July 19, 2020, 8:21 AM · Nothing wrong with a car sponge and a rubber band.
July 19, 2020, 8:31 AM · Gordon, you're 100% right. Although I prefer putting the sponge right under my shirt, without a rubber band. But I'm afraid that's a bit off topic here...
Edited: July 22, 2020, 10:05 PM · I have the Korfker rest along with a slew of other shoulder rests and it is indeed the best. It really does increase the resonance like the others have mentioned and although it’s a total pain in the behind to get the right fit, it’s completely worth it in the end as you will achieve ultimate comfort.

I am intrigued by the cradle I would like to try it at least once!

July 19, 2020, 12:18 PM · Lydian,

.... I don't know what to say..... But it is rather cold here in Budapest.

anyway, sorry for interrupting your conversation, of course, always still about the shoulder rest.

The shoulder rest is indeed a variant of the regular one, but it is more complex, since the shape is unnatural, and the curvature (sistine), is more or less in a more advanced form.

I think this is how people talk here now.

So.... regularly, I think that putting on the shoulder rest is indeed a tremendous task. Not to mention cleaning the violin with a proper solvent, that is lazure..........

Or maybe that is for pinewood. not sure of course if violin are moda of which typo of wood.

But, let's stick to the topic, so, the shoulder rest does decrease resonance.

In case of a shoulder rest, you still have to hold the neck to a certain extent.



Edited: July 20, 2020, 3:50 AM · Nuuska, for years we offered a pouch on the bottom part of the case, specifically for iPads, but the option wasn't at all popular and we finally cancelled it this year.

The main issue seems to be that unless the pouch is very small, it will interfere with the positioning of the back pack attachments, forcing an uncomfortable backpack use. Also almost all our case models by design will remain upright when open and with music in the pouch anyway.

In addition it makes the case imbalanced when carried with the handle as the pouch is offset to one side (if you want the back pack attachments at all).

July 20, 2020, 7:33 AM · Hi,speaking of storage for shoulder-rests,music,etc,I just use a cheap briefcase.Saves my Violin or bows getting damaged.


July 20, 2020, 8:55 AM · I don't know why the huge version of the Korfker would dampen the instrument less than the standard "bar" style version, since there are more points of contact with the violin.

The Korfker is definitely an improvement in terms of resonance under the ear, but if you test shoulder-rests (on good violins, at least) with someone else listening blindly, the listener hears next to no difference vs. a Kun / VLM Diamond / Performa, in my experience.

I had issues with the stability of the screws in the first of my first-generation Korfkers -- they would come untightened, which is of course a disaster since it requires a special tool to fix. I bought a second one (still first-generation), and I do find that the screws on the legs loosen slightly over time. I re-tighten them periodically. I know orchestral freelancers in this area who have had the former issue as well even though they love their Korfkers otherwise.

I wish I'd gotten the extended music pocket on my Musafia. It is HUGE. One of my friends fits an entire legal briefcase worth of documents in it, yet it still has a nice lay-flat look. When I'm toting a bunch of documents, I end up carrying a backpack or messenger bag instead. (Or I put an iPad case and music folder into my Manhasset Voyager bag. Someone needs to make a nice backpack designed to contain a music stand.)

Edited: July 22, 2020, 10:03 PM · I managed to score a used Korfker Cradle and I’ll give my review once it arrives and I test it out.
July 30, 2020, 9:12 PM · Jaime, Any word on the cradle? I actually sent you an email with a question about it...
July 31, 2020, 11:05 AM · FWIW, my teacher has a basic Korfker without cradle on her 15" viola. She seems to love it.
July 31, 2020, 11:44 AM · Hello Demetrius! I did get your email but I have not received it yet. Hopefully customs will let it go soon and it arrives :)
July 31, 2020, 2:03 PM · My experience matches Lydia's.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Silent Violin
Yamaha Silent Violin

Sejong Music Competition
Sejong Music Competition

Find an Online Music Camp
Find an Online Music Camp

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases



Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins


Wangbow Violin Bow Workshop

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine