Comfortable shoulder rests?

Edited: April 13, 2021, 5:50 PM · Hello,I wanted to ask you all what shoulder rests you use.In my life I've only ever used 2 which was by wolf (my first and previous shoulder rest) and my current shoulder rest which is by fom - by the way these are full sized shoulder rests. Anyways, I wanted to ask what shoulder rests you have found most comfortable and not superbly pricey, thank you.

Replies (34)

April 13, 2021, 6:02 PM · I've used the Wolfe secundo and now I'm using an Everest with an extra long Kuhn leg on the front side. I'm still not really comfy but I never will be. It's good enough. The Wolfe 2 was okay but I was bothered by the fact that if it comes off when you're playing that adjuster wire on the back can gouge the instrument back.
April 13, 2021, 6:04 PM · SR fit is quite personal. I currently favor the VLM Diamond. But I’ve got a collection so I can change it up when feel like something different. I also like the Wolf Forte Secondo and the KUN Bravo.
April 13, 2021, 6:07 PM · I use either a Kun Bravo (might be too pricey) with longer legs or a piece of cloth folded up to mimic a sponge. I only use the "sponge" when I'm asked to play on the spot and I don't feel like grabbing the shoulder rest out from the velcro strap. The Kun works fine and the legs are very adjustable and smooth. The sound on my violin is barely affected by the Kun Bravo. Of course, no shoulder rest people are going to be here any second now.
April 13, 2021, 6:08 PM · The most comfortable shoulder rest for the lowest price? None at all!

Try using a tall chinrest and no shoulder rest. I like it this way, at least.

April 13, 2021, 6:36 PM · I have several, and my humble conclusion is that it is not so much the shoulder rest, but how you use it. Still, there is a range that will be more useful for some players depending on violin playing philosophy and location.

Viva La Musica Diamond is comfy if you do not need much height. I began misusing it last year, so I started testing other models. After all my tests, I am sure I could now go back the the VLM if I wanted, after finding a "proper" position for more or less all the SRs I have.

I have not tried the famous (infamous due to pricing?) Korfker SR yet. It may also be good/comfortable; and I have heard good things about the wooden one that Mr. Victor likes (forgot the name), though I am right now more or less set with SRs.

A basic Kun can work well if used correctly and granted it fits your anatomy, playing, and chinrest type.

(If you can play effortlessly without one, then of course that is more comfortable. )

April 13, 2021, 7:42 PM · I have only used Kun and Everest. I like the Everest for comfort on my violin but the Kun works better on my viola.
April 14, 2021, 12:47 AM · I have a Wolf secondo on both violin and viola with a Wittner centre mount chinrest. They both work well for me
April 14, 2021, 7:25 AM · It’s pricey, but I love my Korfkerrest from Pirastro. Lydia recommended it and I bought one and it changed my setup immensely. Playing has never been more comfortable for me.

In the end, you need to try a few and feel for yourself. Playing setup is such a personalized thing. For me, I’ve never regretted dropping the cash on mine, but your mileage may vary.

Edited: April 14, 2021, 7:42 AM · It's 100% personal (and it also depends on your chinrest).
I get on perfectly well with one of these: -
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B01ELL1TK8
April 14, 2021, 8:16 AM · Another vote for the Everest - if you are going to use one at all (it was the last one I had). However, like Cotton, for me the most comfortable and flexible - is none at all.
April 14, 2021, 8:21 AM · Bon Musica makes a comfortable, fully adjustable shoulder rest at a reasonable price (~$50USD).
April 14, 2021, 11:10 AM · As a student, long ago, like almost everyone else, I was using one of the Resonans shoulder rests. I also used the Kun for a long time. More recently, after some shoulder and elbow problems I did a lot of experimenting with both chinrests and SR. I am now using the most affordable Everest SR.
I have tried going without a SR, several times, can't do it. It messes up my shifting mechanism and causes more physical problems.
April 14, 2021, 11:18 AM · When I was starting out I used a Kolitsch but they don't make them any more. They had to be replaced when the foam inside got crispy.
April 14, 2021, 11:36 AM · I have a sheet of under-matting-anti-slip rubber. I line my shoulder rests with it to increase the friction between them and my shoulder. But Bon Musica's is the best rubber.
Edited: April 14, 2021, 11:58 AM · I like the lowest profile Resonans rest with a Kaufmann style chin rest; it seems to be the most ergonomic set up for me.

I have also used the Super Kun rest for many years and I've found that comfortable too.

April 14, 2021, 3:56 PM · I have been through a number. Wolf many years ago, Play-on-air for a while. Kun for many years but replaced with VLM Diamond until I got the Korfker. Much more comfortable for me. And very light. Especially on the viola it was a game changer for me.
VLM Diamond and Korfker are the two rests that never fall off my instruments. The Kun is notorius for falling off.
Don't use the shoulder rest to build height - that should be done with the chin rest. I really like the wave chinrest.
April 14, 2021, 4:31 PM · I looked at the Korfker one and I am still looking for a justification for its price. Classical musicians aren't known for rolling in Walter White figures.
April 14, 2021, 4:36 PM · The Korfkerrest is expensive. Not as expensive as its older sibling, the Korfker cradle.

It’s the same cost as 3 sets of my favorite string, or 5 sets of Dominants (the originals). Not bad since it doesn’t get replaced like strings do. Wait until shar has their 30% off sale around thanksgiving.

Edited: April 15, 2021, 3:24 PM · I used no shoulder rest for the first 30 years and mostly a Wolf Secundo (the style without height adjustment) for the next 30 or 35 years. But I also toyed with many other brands and styles - all of which were finally put in a box and donated to a local youth orchestra.
many. I have finally ended up with a PERMFORMA shoulder rest that SHAR sells. I have 2 of them both the wood one and the plastic one (for about half the price). They both seem to have no negative effect on the sound of my violins (maybe even a positive effect heard from under the chin and away from my body). The plastic model weighs about one ounce (~30 grams) more than the wood.

People use shoulder rest s for different reasons (aside from teacher demands that they get one). And they seem to use them in different ways: some use them to compensate for having the wrong chinrest (too low, or a poor match to chin or jaw shape) others (like myself) use them to get a better contact of the violin with their shoulder.

I am one of the latter class of people. Once I discovered my perfect chinrest model - an Original Stuber** (at about age 35) I found that a shoulder rest improved my arm vibrato so I started to use one.

A neck injury when was 55 destroyed my arm vibrato and I have worked on my hand vibrato ever since. I do not really need a shoulder rest to do a hand vibrato but it keeps me from getting sloppy and letting the violin droop.

For the past 10 years (or so) I've been using chinrest covers on my violins and violas of the style sold by Amazon.com under this name:
"M.E String Chinrest Cover for Violin and Viola-Preventing Clamp Contact with Neck "

And that's about it for my input on chin, neck and shoulder comfort

** The "Original Stuber (made in Germany)" IS NOT the model all the dealers now sell. The only way to get one now is to buy it from a specialist shop that actually makes them. The last one I bought came from England. The last time I checked they wanted $160 for the same model. To acquire a new one I used one of my existing ones to make a mold from an "IMPRESSIONIST" to use that mold to create the top of a Stuber chinrest and atttadh it to a nice low, flat cinrest and make my own Stuber.
Most people I have encountered do not have jaws that match the "original Stuber" surface so don't go through the troubles I described above. It is also possible to create s chinrest to better fit your own jaw by attaching soft rubber-like material to contour the surface of an existing chinrest. Amazon sells an adhesive-backed rubber tape that works for this purpose.

April 14, 2021, 6:23 PM · For myself, I went to taller chin rests and less-restrictive shoulder pads. Flesch center-mounted for one, and AcoustiFoam (more or less middle thickness) for the other. I get enough grip, and the violin is free enough to vibrate quite beautifully.
April 14, 2021, 6:49 PM · I converted to a Korfkerrest quite awhile ago. It’s very comfortable.

I still keep Mach 1 rests in with my other violins.

Edited: April 14, 2021, 6:57 PM · As others have said and by the variety in responses it's a really individual thing because what works for one person will not work for another. Finding a comfortable combination that really works can take a lot of trying different things and then your body changes after a few years and you have to re adjust again... And also, don't forget to examine and consider your chinrest choice.

Personally I am comfortable with the Kun shoulder rest and a center chin rest but that's just me.

Edited: April 14, 2021, 7:46 PM · I am probably in the minority but I have a Peter Voight shoulder rest and chin rest, I find them a perfect fit but I know others that have used them find them uncomfortable. I don't think they are available any more.
I also have a Performa Padauk form Shar music which also fits well, one slight down side to this is that it can come off the violin from time to time.
April 14, 2021, 8:26 PM · When I use one, I like the line of rests by Canadian luthier Peter Mach on both my violins and violas. They barely affect the resonance and tambre of the instrument, unlike many other heavier SRs. They are very stable. I prefer to use the feet made by Kun on them for more security.
April 15, 2021, 5:19 AM · Sure - the Korfker rest is quite expensive. But I guess that the sum of the others I used before is even higher. I I had the Korfker 30 years ago I would have saved quite a lot.
It is a bit like buying tools - the cheap ones turn out to be more expensive in the end because you still get the expensive one when you get fed upp with the cheap tool.
If you have the possibility to try different rests before you buy you should do that. Try what others are using in your orchestra or if you have a music shop or luthier who would let you try before you buy.
I would advise to stay away from the standard Kun rest - it falls off the instrument too easily. Not just for me; it happens frequently in my orchestra for others.
Edited: April 15, 2021, 12:12 PM · A surmise: perhaps the high price of the Korfker reflects an unusually high level of R&D, and may possibly include the cost of intellectual property protection, such as patent cover, to protect the investment.
April 15, 2021, 1:22 PM · I was using a Korfker, which I loved.

With my shoulder problems, I had to switch to using a fairly thick sponge, because the feel of a hard shoulder-rest biting into my collarbone area caused unbearable pain, and I needed a cushioned support.

Now on a good day I can play using a Performa. The breadth of its support distributes the weight of the violin more, it feels like, whereas the Korfker feels like it's biting into my shoulder. (Months of immobility has caused me to lose most of the musculature in my upper arm and shoulder region.)

April 15, 2021, 2:07 PM · One I would not recommend, on my own experience, is the Wittner one where it clips to the bottom of the chinrest. One of my previous teachers was a massive advocate of it, and I tried it for 2 weeks and I just didn't feel supported by it at all. Always felt like I was going to drop the instrument, plus I feel like it didn't go high enough for me
April 15, 2021, 3:17 PM · While I really liked the looks of my VLM Diamond, the Wolf Forte Secundo is by far the most comfortable of the few I've tried over the last several years and it fits my needs well. The Diamond, Kun, and Everrest just don't have the ability to go tall enough on the chest side (even with extenders), and it sits a bit closer to my neck which is also a good thing. That being said, I wish I could get the chest side of the Wolf Forte just a smidgen taller, but even with that my body is obviously much happier - even if it feels a little short.

One thing is sure, physical height has no relationship with neck length!

Lydia - glad you're starting to get back into things!

Edited: April 15, 2021, 7:58 PM · Jake- second your take on the Wittner. I also did not like the metal bracket against my collarbone. although I do use it on a travel practice stick style electric I built without bouts. The 1/2 size was the only stock thing that fit the instrument.
April 16, 2021, 5:39 AM · Greetings?
just out of interest, does anyone use a Markov? These were invented by per Markov (one of the unheralded greats of the 20c) and I notice his awesome son also uses one. I think they were originally hand made for only a small number of people but then they had became more widely available...
Cheers,
Buri
April 18, 2021, 11:16 AM · I find the Invisi-rest the most comfortable. Super light, completely see-through, fits every case, and is guaranteed to never fall off in a concert! They are available in fractional sizes too.

Cheers Carlo

April 18, 2021, 2:48 PM · Waiting for that one, Carlo. It took 5 days this time... ;)
April 18, 2021, 8:11 PM · @Bo. I think the original Invisi-rest is available on sale now. Two for $99.
I prefer however the new model that you leave on when you put your violin away. This one comes with a lifetime guarantee too!

Cheers Carlo


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