I saw someone on telly using one, so I bought myself one with a brass insert for Christmas. It's probably not worth the money, but the only thing that might really matter is that maybe there's a risk of pushing the bridge over? Anyone seen that happen? Is it just a matter of being aware at all times? But often there's a scramble to put the mute on and off repeatedly in rehearsals.
I like the Spector mute for easy "on-off" in ensemble playing. It has the ease of use of the "wire" slide mutes without the damage to the string afterlengths. I did not find any advantage of the Menuhin Shield mute.
This is perhaps less critical for orchestral playing, but I prefer mutes that not only don't chew up afterlengths, but also don't block resonances. Apart from leather mutes from a few different shops, my favorites these days come from https://www.concordmusic.com/collections/3d-sound-mutes .
I had a leather mute, but it squeaked when being put on or removed.
I was a longtime Menuhin Shield fan. They're not at all dangerous. Your bridge can withstand some lateral pressure without moving at all (or at least it should, if properly fit).
I use a Menuhin Shield type mute, having switched from a Tourte mute in late 2019. It doesn't take much force at all to put it onto the bridge; I think one might actually put more lateral pressure on the bridge when pressing a folded dollar bill against it.
You can apply your Menuhin shield mute by pinching it onto the bridge, with your thumb on the mute and your index finger on the bridge between the d and a-strings. Then there’s no tipping force on the bridge.
Yes, I'm pinching it currently, just to be on the safe side.
I like the sound of the original Menuhin Shield mute, and have kept a few in reserve just in case.
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