Leatherwood bespoke rosin
I've decided to treat myself, andjust ordered a supple and a crisp rosin from leatherwood bespoke.
Does anybody have any experience with this particular brand of rosin? What are your thoughts about it?
I've used these rosins since before they were sold in the US and had to be shipped to me directly from Australia. They were for sale at half price when I bought them so I ordered a pair (supple/crisp) for each of my instruments (violin, viola & cello).
I haven't tried it but it seems awfully expensive. I use Bernardel and I like it.
I too shouldn't talk, as I've never bought Leatherwood, but, like Andrew and Paul, I wonder what bespoke means. I combine Hill dark and Hill light. That's bespoke enough for me.
The word "bespoke" is applied to items made to order for a specific client or use. I never heard it before its application to this rosin - but you can find it all over BBC shows (even as they are replayed on PBS).
I'm still using on my violin bows a cake of Kaplan "Art" dark cello rosin that I bought some 35 years ago in my cellist days. I think it was only the second or third cake of rosin I had ever purchased. It's still intact but now getting rather thin, so I have in reserve for when the inevitable happens, as it surely will, a cake of Pirastro Gold which I expect will last for another 35 years.
Good enough, although I hate the leather wrapper. Like Andrew, I find that crisp is usually better for my taste. Baker's, Deja Rosin, and the Tartini Solo are also just fine for my use, and I've had luck with others as well.
"Bespoke" in this case
Wow, and I thought it was a big deal that I have decided on summer and winter rosins. I better get with it.
The "bespoke" aspect of Leatherwood may be that you can specifically request a custom blend other than their standard blends. Granted, I'm not sure how often they receive such requests or fulfill them, since it would be much easier for both them and the buyer to just pick one of their existing stocks and avoid the Baker's waiting list.
Back in middle school I took up the trombone so that I would not have to take "home economics." The boy who led our section had played already for a couple of years and I was eager to catch up to him. I remember that we debated different "slide oil" brands at great length, and that he had five or six different brands of slide oil. Not to be outdone, pretty soon I had a few, too. Whenever I entered a music store I would immediately go to the band-instruments section to see if they had a brand of slide oil that this other boy didn't have.
I wonder if any of the slide-oil or valve-oil manufacturers have researched the properties of their lubricants as thoroughly as companies like General Motors or Mobil? Or do they just repackage lubricants designed for other purposes?
LOL David. At the time the best slide oils were the kind where you spread some cream on the slide and then spray it with water. It's all just nonsense of course. Mobil 1 would probably be just fine. Eventually it all winds up on the floor when you blow out your spit valve.
I am currently using the 100% crisp (VNC) and 75% supple (VNSBE). I like them and they do what they are specified to do. They generate very little dust and require very little for each application (compared to other rosin I use previously). The straight wooden casing makes application really easy and the leather wrap gives a touch of luxury, although I think the wrap can do with a better way of securing the rosin to the wrap. They are pricy yes, but in a grand scheme of all things violin, I cannot complain.
Paul - I'm not sure you want to inhale the anti-knock compounds (etc) in Mobil. How about a nice extra-virgin, first cold-pressed Italian olive oil? You could have the bespoke Greek option too...
Well - as long as this thread has opened up into the rosin world this much I will now unload a couple of things I have learned as an unashamed "rosin collector."
If I'd had the foresight to package some sort of rosin in a brassiere-shaped container, I would have been rich by now.
The concept of "Hidersine Reserve" makes me think of a $400 bottle of wine offered by Gallo or Black Box. Now someone will show me a link where such things exist.
"David, Have you checked the prices of brassiere's lately?"
I prefer the 75/25 blends to the 100% crisp or supple.
Crisp makes a big difference on my violin. (As opposed to a middle ground rosin.) While the voice on my violin carries well, it's not that big of a sound. Crisp rosin gives it the extra oomph that it needs. Great rosin for me.
I tried the 100% supple and felt that it was a little too much like bowing with molasses on my bow. If I got another cake I’d probably try one of the 75/25 blends or even the 50/50 blends but they are definitely expensive. Of course your mileage may vary but that’s just my experience. I’ve been using Cecilia signature lately and have been liking it quite a bit. I’ve even been using that rosin spreader that the maker of the rosin started selling with his cakes. I think it basically does the same thing as a toothbrush to help settle the rosin in the hair and reduce bow noise.
Stephen reckons crisp is better for his taste, but how does it smell? I'm thinking Sauvage.
I have never used Leatherwood, or any other expensive rosin, more than $20. I suspect that finding the perfect rosin would be an expensive, impossible project. The 4 strings have very different composition and flexibility. On another article Mr. Burgess suggested that rosin adheres better on Aluminum (actually aluminum oxide) wrapped strings than on Silver (Silver sulfide). Much of the real world at a fundamental level is electro-chemical reactions. I remember from junior high science that if an amber rod (dried, aged, rosin) is rubbed with a silk cloth it picks up a high static electric charge. The strings can be made or coated with: Aluminum, carbon steel, chrome steel, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Tin, or even plain gut. Perhaps just find an affordable rosin that works well on the E string? I use the cheap Hidersine Cello-grade rosin.
I've only read the legends that they are the bee's knees :)
Is it that much better than Melos and Cecilia? What gives it that 'next' level?
Nothing beats baker's, in my opinion. Never tried Leatherwood, as I didn't want to be disappointed.
I’ve never tried Bakers. Maybe I’ll get on the list so I can get some in 10 years.
I'll bet the consultation made her feel much more "validated" than had she just bought some rosin off the shelf. Powerful stuff! :-)
Ha ha, I love the trombone slide oil anecdote. Very instructive. You can also try sewing machine oil and hair clipper oil. (P.S. I love sackbuts, HATE trombones!)
I've never been able to justify the price. Leatherwood might feel different from a player's perspective but I doubt that a blindfolded listener could tell the difference between Leatherwood and any other decent rosin.
Consultation?? Really? Will tarot cards be involved?
The consultation is just so you can tell the maker what kind of blend you want. It’s different ratios of the supple and crisp blends. For example you could end up with a 35 supple 65 crisp blend or a 20 crisp 80 supple blend. It’s just more customization.