Viva la Musica Shoulder Rest Features Questions

Edited: February 2, 2021, 9:14 PM · Hey everyone,

This is sort of a private message for Nuuska :p (I'd definitely send a private message if that was an option lol), but I have a few questions about the viva la musica shoulder rests.

So a bit of background (sorry this is super long, you can feel free to skip but if you're interested you may read :p): I am a very happy Kun user on violin and am very happy with my chinrests on both violin and viola, however, right now on viola I'm using a $10 cheapo knockoff Kun my Mom randomly bought me on Amazon when I was first starting to play the viola, and while it's pretty comfortable, one problem is that it overswivels, which causes it to crash into the back of the instrument and thus doesn't seat fully on my shoulder anymore so I stacked four pieces of sticky foam to remedy the problem. The foam does require replacing periodically so in the future I will very likely replace this shoulder rest, particularly if I get a new viola with different lower bout dimensions. I already know I need something that can go very low and sit close to my neck and not lock up my shoulder joint, so I've already ruled out shoulder rests like the Wolf and Bon Musica because they'll be too high and not offer the types of adjustments I need for my unique situation. Don't get my wrong, Wolf and Bon are great for those who need shape adjustability and height, but those aren't the things I need as much. I am thinking of getting a regular Kun but fear it may be too high and especially if I get a new viola (my current one is a loaner), I might have difficulty getting the Kun to sit close enough to my neck. I remedy this by placing the shoulder rest diagonally on violin (and also viola), and on violin because the lower bout dimensions are more uniform and I need a higher shoulder rest anyway Kun is perfect. However on viola I could have issues with both height and getting it close enough to my neck. Currently on my cheapo knockoff I have the width on an in between setting and because it swivels more than typical it feels lower than normal which is great in a way, but the fact that a real Kun swivels less than this rando and the varying widths of violas means I could have more problems. I could get a Kun super which offers infinite width adjustment and thus that could solve the angle issue, so the shoulder rest I've been considering based on previous comments on this site is the Viva La Musica, and I have a few questions about it. BTW yes I am definitely considering sponges and foam as well, and I've thought about playing restless as well but know that it's not quite right for my anatomy.

1. Does VLM actually go lower than a Kun? I heard somewhere that it does but I could be wrong.

2. Is the Diamond the only model that offers the angular adjustment that lets you bring it closer to your neck and collarbone? I know there are other variants such as the Artist and Professional and know they're similar to the Diamond, but I read somewhere one of them doesn't offer the angular adjustment so I need to watch out for that.

Also, aesthetics is not an issue for me. I'm also well aware I won't be 100% sure until I actually try all those options, but I know my local store probably doesn't carry Viva la Musicas to try hence why I'm asking.

Thanks for any help.

Replies (8)

February 2, 2021, 10:26 PM · I would suggest solving some of these issues via a different chinrest.
Edited: February 3, 2021, 5:47 AM · The VLM does go lower than the Kun, I use it with my jacked shoulder/neck. For me, it helps. I use a Wave CR, custom height.
Edited: February 3, 2021, 12:32 AM · Thanks guys. Glad to know I'm correct. I'll just quickly mention that for reference what I currently have is comfortable, it's just that the cheapo shoulder rest itself and the excess swiveling is truly the only issue hence asking about the VLM stuff. Using an in between width setting for comfort is also something I don't have issue with, so I'm not complaining about that. I'm using a Flesch flat chinrest right now and love it, and I know I need need a center mount on viola, the Wittner center mount also being an equally good choice for me in this regard. I am definitely considering experimenting with some other chinrests on violin but that's a completely different, unrelated story, given that my setup needs are different between violin and viola. I know what I want, I just like to make 200% sure about the features of the VLM stuff before I consider purchasing it (despite suggesting it to others :p).
February 3, 2021, 7:48 AM · If you want a low, but adjustable, violin shoulder rest check out the PERFORMA at SHAR.

For me it is the best SR ever (and SHAR also sells the VLM). I think they have been having a sale on the PERFORMAs.

SHAR had expected to have a PERFORMA for viola sometime in 2020, but that did not happen.

Edited: February 3, 2021, 4:41 PM · I'm late to the party and apologize.

It has been mentioned that the VLM is lower than the Kuhn, and I agree. In fact, it can go low enough to almost touch the back of my well arched Amati model, if fitted "the ordinary way". To avoid this, and to bring it closer to your collarbone, you can tilt the feet away from your body. For this maneuver you will have to enlarge the feet distance, which will make the whole construction a bit more elastic and less stable, but still good enough. I think you might like it.
While the "Diamond" and "VivaFlex" models offer that rotational option for the feet, the "Professional" features a fixed feet angle.

Really, my PM doesn't work? I'll have to fix this immediately! (Edit: But it works, doesn't it?!)

Ella, thanks for your good advice in the past, about the use of a centered chin rest on viola. I tried, abandoned the idea, and then gradually reapproached it, leading to my current almost-centered preference. What I'm missing in these models is an angled option, but since I've started making my own chin rests, this isn't an issue anymore.

Good luck and all the best!

Edited: February 3, 2021, 4:57 PM · Thanks Nuuska :) Glad to know I'm right. I also just checked your profile and yes your pm does work now :) Does the Artist and Original/Standard also have fixed foot angle or is this just a thing with the professional? The flex isn't an option as I don't think it's available for viola and that's specifically what I'm looking for here (I love Kun on violin and will stick with that even if I switch out my chinrest).
Edited: February 3, 2021, 11:37 PM · There is a VivaFlex for viola, a bit funny looking, but you can find it at l on the official VLM homepage.

https://www.vlm-augustin.com/en/product/viva-flex-viola

The Artist and Standard feature a fixed feet angle, the Original seems to be rotational if I'm judging it right from the pictures.

February 4, 2021, 10:42 AM · Thanks :)

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