Shoulder Rest and Sound Clarity
So I was generously gifted a Pirastro Korfkerrest for my birthday this year. The sound quality difference was amazing. It gave new life to my violin and really made it sing. Unfortunately, despite my efforts, watching instructional videos, and the many adjustments, it's just not comfortable on my neck and ends up hurting me within moments of use.
The customer service has been really good though. They are going to send more ergo adjustments for me to try. In the meantime, I found a good hack. One thing Pirastro really knows is sound. So I moved the Korfkerrest feet onto my VLM Artist shoulder rest and wow was it an improvement. The sound is not as vibrant with the VLM shoulder rest as it is with the Pirastro model. But, with the Pirastro feet on the VLM model it is a welcome compromise and a significant improvement from the VLM original feet.
I recommend trying out the Korfkerrest replacement feet on any shoulder rest that they will fit into, if you don't want to change rests. It's a beautiful difference that's easy to create. Here's a link to the replacement feet if you want to give it a try. I don't work for them (or any music company) I just stumbled into this lucky hack.
279€ for a shoulder rest. Generous gift indeed!
Interesting, and I'm starting to have problems with the feet slipping on my VLM Artist...I just might try this as replacement for the feet.
Yes David Duarte it was a birthday/Solstice gift. This is the Model 2 Korfkerrest so the oven warming is no longer needed. The wood can be carefully molded into a slightly different curvature. But the height is too tall for my neck and the length too far across my should and chest. It's just too big for my body. The Pirastro feet are more rigid than the VLM style feet so they have to be at the same exact tilt angle on both sides, to stay gripped on the violin body. That's the only tricky part I've noticed.
The feet of my Diamond don't give me any trouble. Are you sure that the Pirastro's feet on the VLM Artist makes it sound better? Better how, louder? Resonance? Brighter, darker?
Shoulder rests do change tone, but it may not be that noticeable by your audience. Cannot say scientifically, but I feel ot may be related to combination of factors, violin to ear position, ttpe of feet, and materials involved.
I'm absolutely sure that shoulder rests affect the tone in many different subtle ways and also that it is potentially perceivable by an audience, but probably not in a concert hall, just as Adalberto said. Before I ended up with my current setup I had ordered the Korfker, a Mach One and a Viva la Musica to test against my Wolf Forte Primo. Playing on all of them in a mid-sized living room, my parents a few metres away definitely noticed the differences in tone between all of them, though I'd be cautious calling it "improvement", necessarily. As far as I remember, the VLM barely made a difference, while the MO and Korfker both made the sound less muffled, but the MO gave a boost to the low end (?), distorting the overall sound of the instrument. The Korfker was the only one that felt like giving my violin the necessary space to sound like itself, if only it were more comfortable... :)
I just heard of these for the first time. Why are they so expensive ? What is the advantage of the cradle over the shoulder rest ?
Brian, to answer your first question, it's because they're made by Pirastro.
It's like restaurants. One business model that seems to be pretty successful is to just be the most expensive place in town.
I believe it is expensive because it can be, and because of R&D and Mr. Korfker's collaboration. I think it is the cradle section that is absurdly priced-doubt many will try it-even if they could afford it-because the price just doesn't sound right. But the rest itself has good reputation.
I don't use a shoulder rest, and haven't done a ton of research and testing specifically on the shoulder rest, but:
I use a Kun Bravo, which is relatively heavy and rigid.