As far as trying it yet, I didn’t see it available for purchase yet. The US vendors are taking preorders for a late march shipment.
By the way, it's almost the same politics that Apple uses........
"It costs more, it's better".
The SRs that i use cost about 80 euro and i feel already guilty enough for spending so much money for something of this kind, so i can't believe that someone can spend money this way and for their reasons.
Evidently people needs something to believe in.... :)
It costs less than two sets of my favorite strings and lasts much longer. The way I see it, it has paid for itself years ago (I use a Model 2). Marco, we all prioritize our money differently and that's totally cool. I put mine on playing as comfortably as possible for me. I'm not as young and indestructible as I used to be.
As stated on the Pirastro website, "To avoid damage you must not put the violin in the violin case while the PIRASTRO KorfkerCradle® is attached."
The reason for this is that the cradle adds thickness to the violin back, resulting in bringing the bridge of the instrument closer to the inside of the lid of the case. In those cases where there is already minimal clearance, this is a very serious issue. I'm personally happy that Pirastro points this out, but I just wanted to repeat it to the benefit of those who use the product and are unaware of this recommendation.
Version 2: this shoulder rest is expensive because it's slightly bigger, made of wood, and also has this dental neck brack looking thing that goes around the instrument
Version 3: it's a $400 foldable Kun.
Come on, now! Don't get taken for a loop. This is the iPhone for violin players.
I'd consider getting it -- I like having foldable feet -- but I have managed to get my Korfker (model 1, with some stuff taken from a model 2, courtesy of Pirastro) adjusted nicely. But it took forever to get it right.
(I imagine I could sell my used version 1 at a reasonable price, since it's in looks-new shape.)
So it can well happen that someone removes the rest but leaves the cradle in place; reason for which Pirastro posts their warning. Cheers!
That said, if the Korfker weighs less than other SRs, I believe then there should be an improvement when using the Korfker compared to heavier ones, which would tend to absorb more of the vibrations which produce the instrument's tone.
But I'll let some of the more learned members chime in pro or against my theory.
@Dimitri: i saw myself the importance of the SR for freedom in vibrations in the violin. Some years ago i got myself a couple of Pedi Elegante SRs, because i really play better with them, mechanically, and sound comes out better (i made recordings and analysis).
But it costs in the range 70-80 euro. It's made of carbon fiber with titanium feet.
So, i can't imagine a SR that costs more than that !!! :D :D
And i can't imagine how "soft wood" can resist to the test of time and usage......
And then, further, Pirastro some years ago cancelled all light and strong production lines of strings, and so also the best strings i ever had, the Tonica Stark.
This idiotic decision will never be forgotten, so when they say bla bla bla regarding some new product I see this in perspective :D
I suspect that a change in angle right under the ear can make as much tonal difference as the presence of a not-too-tight shoulder rest.
With a Kun Bravo, my violin (early French G-model Strad copy) sounds great but has a bad C wolf on my G string no matter which strings I use. The wolf disappears without a shoulder rest, but I'm not comfortable that way (I have a long neck). The wolf also almost disappears with the Performa (Padauk wood) shoulder rest, but that particular design didn't do it for me. So I'm interested in the Korfker to see if I can improve my violin's sound while taming the wolf as much as possible.
All of my three "best" shoulder rests change the sound, either by virtue of slightly positioning the instrument a bit differently, or the way they are attached to the body, weight, contact with body, etc. Lots of variables, and I do try to set them up very similarly.
Always have been curious about the Korfker rest, though never at all about the optional cradle system. Never purchased due to being content with my current shoulder rests, but cannot say they are bad (doubt it.) However, I see Pirastro as a string company first and foremost, so I won't blindly purchase any item they put out. Not even all of their strings work for me. Love their wound gut strings in general, and the Perpetual Cadenza are actually a great addition to their synthetic lines.
Lots of R&D + artist involvement means a higher price. I think it's fine, though a but of a luxury compared to many good, "lesser" models that may already work for scores of musicians.
I likely would try the wooden one first if money was of no concern, but alas it is, and combined with the comfort and playing ease provided while using my more "humble" SRs, it is no priority for me.
Because I have used the wooden Kun and the Voce (I still have both), I can vouch for the differences you will hear-at least the experience "should be" just as Mr. Kypros stated above. Which means the wooden, pricier method should look better, but may not be "the best sound" for a particular musician/violinist combination that may prefer the "brighter" tone of the plastic version. The Kun Voce, now discontinued as far as I am aware of, changes-or gives the impression-of a brighter, edgier tone. Unique, but must be tried first to see if it would fit you, as it does not go lower than moderately low.
I am most comfortable, ironically enough, with the relatively heavier Bonmusica, heavily modified and bent to my own needs (few if anyone should use it as-is out of the box-remember that a badly fit SR can cause problems, and even the most ergonomic models can harm you in some way if misused.) The Bonmusica is super comfortable, but only after customizing it after long periods of experimentation-I remember thinking it was "dangerous" at first. Now it rides relatively low and doesn't ever get in the way, without locking my neck in place (I like using shoulder rests as if they were not there.)
If I ever have a surplus of $ I may give either of these models a try. $200+ is pricey, even though I realize the product should be high quality, and likely not "imported" (can anyone confirm these Korfker models are made by Pirastro themselves?)
My Luna rest arrived nearly a week ago but unlike the Korfker 2, it doesn't come with long legs and as I have an ostrich neck, this meant I couldn't really use it until I'd acquired some long legs which I got a couple of days ago.
On trying it, I was instantly struck by a subtle change in the sound of my violin. It has acquired a slightly sweeter, warmer sound. I was pretty astounded by this as I really didn't think there would be any noticeable difference from my Korfker 2. But there is. And I like it.
The new shape is subtly different too - and I found that I need to position the rest on the violin slightly differently to get it in the correct place for my shoulder.
Once I'd located that sweet spot, I found the rest to be incrementally more stable than the Korfker 2. It is contoured to my shoulder better, which helps.
Also, as I hoped, the Luna is tremendously easy to adjust - so much better than the Korfker 2.
The fact that it's foldable is a bonus so overall, I'd say for me, it represents a valuable improvement to the best shoulder rest I've ever owned
In your experience since you own both Korfker models as well as a regular kun, can the Korfker or LUNA go lower than or at least the same height as a regular kun on its lowest setting? I've found that if I can get the regular kun to a position where the curve fits my shoulder then it can actually be quite comfortable. However, with the limited adjustability of the kun I can't get the rest over my shoulder enough without the whole violin being too far over my shoulder which creates strain in my arm. I'm certain the Korfker can be adjusted to fit more over my shoulder, but I'm not sure if the Korfker can achieve a height that is at least the same or perhaps even lower than the regular kun on its lowest setting.
But the main reason is due to confirmation bias. That is, if you believe something to be good or worthy or of high quality, you will genuinely experience it as such, even if it isn't. This has been known by scientists and psychologists for many decades and is for example, why the gold-standard for medicine trials involve double-blind studies, i.e. neither the doctor or the patient know whether they are taking a drug or placebo.
This is not to criticise anybody about their experience of things. They are not being disingenuous or lacking in expertise, rather it is a consequence of having a human brain. We all do it all the time. Which is why the only objective test about whether a shoulder rest affects sound is the auditory equivalent of a double-blind test.
I should also say of course that confirmation bias applies equally to the allegedly superior sound qualities of Stradivari and Guarneri violins over other modern high quality violins.
As an extreme example, imagine taking a clamp or vise, and applying 30 lbs of clamping force to the outside of the violin, where the shoulder rest would normally touch. Would one still claim that this would have no impact on the sound, since that part of the violin doesn't vibrate? Of course not.
Now, there are no SRs that would clamp with that much force, but if you take an Everest, for example, and push it on very firmly, it could easily clamp with 5-10 lbs of force. A Kun would be less, but still significant. A Wolf Secondo would be very low clamping force, but then it loses security (anyone who has used a Wolf Secondo will likely have noticed this).
My invention will solve this problem, since it will allow any SR to be put on very lightly, while remaining totally secure.
Most shoulder rests have big feet covered in rubber that impinges on the resonant surface at the back of the violin and so will affect the sound. Some rests have mechanical elements that touch the back - others stick a lump of foam directly on the back. All of these are like to affect the sound.
The Korfker does not - its feet touch entirely outside the purfling towards the outer edge of the instrument. So there are solid reasons that an instrument may sound different with and without a rest, and between rests and trying to pretend that the result of comparisons is "confirmation bias" adds nothing valuable to the discussion.
Erik....we can all come up with thought experiments but they are just opinions and might be wrong. Tests in the real world would resolve this one.
For my research I did a blind test with friends of mine who judge tone competitions regularly for the VSA and other professional organizations. We used a few different violins and I think 5-6 shoulder rests made from different materials (metal, wood, plastic, etc.). It's been a while now, but the result was really clear at the time: the wood shoulder rest made for a serious, marked improvement in tone on all of the violins we tried them on, but the range of improvement differed slightly from one violin to the next.
At that time, the best sounding shoulder rest, based on our test, was a walnut thing made by Viva La Musica (though I couldn't name it in the article). It was never very comfortable, but it sounded so good I used it for years, until the Korfker came around and blew it away in all regards. More comfortable and much clearer, truer sound.
Whether this is because of the difference in the weight or the style of the feet and the ways they clamp onto the back plate or because of something to do with sympathetic vibrations between the wood rest and the back plate, I couldn't tell you. All I can tell you is that in a blind test, wood beat out everything else. And later, the Korfker rest changed the game again. It even eliminated wolf tones for some players who I introduced to it.
Now I'm highly intrigued by the Luna and this new material and will probably eventually have to try it. Why not? The descriptions here definitely pique my interest!
Across the spectrum, the model 2 increased my instrument output, except 2600-3200 Hz, which were identical. This was with a side mounted chinrest. With a center mounted chinrest, the Korfker was nearly the same in output excerpt for 2600-3500, which was lower with the rest that without.
Oddly enough my instrument was closer to the “no shoulder rest, no chinrest” spectrum with a center mounted chinrest than side, which defies most experiences.
I did the Joseph Curtin bridge tapping method to eliminate bowing and other factors, the strings were dampened, and I averaged 5 spectra for each condition.
The result: the korfker model 2 enhanced some frequencies and suppressed others, but the chinrest mattered more and actually coupled with the Korfker differently. Your instruments may produce differing results.
both the Korfker and the luna attach to the violin using minimal contact points. Feet covered in rubber impinge on the resonant surface at the back of the violin subsequently affecting the sound. Not only do these two SR's touch on the overhang of the violin, but the feet also have raised points of contact that minimise contact without compromising the security of hold.
Kypros, yes it can work both ways, hence the need for double blind tests. But generally, if you've spent a lot of money on something, you damn well want it to be better than a cheap SR.
On a side note: an interesting finding regarding the placebo-effect (the apparent improvement of the condition in question even in the group receiving non-active substance) is that it exists even when the subjects knows that they are receiving placebo!
VLM Diamond is another one that is great, but I still feel even better *while playing* with the Bonmusica-obviously after heavily modifying it from stock.
It would make sense for your colleague/friend to buy the original wooden model, Mr. Kypros. They are both expensive enough, that one may as well go for the "homerun" version at that point. Just for the looks themselves, if I had the spare money would do it myself! Especially with my positive experiences with wooden rests-scientific or otherwise.
However, the point is that without such objective evidence, we can never truly know how good anything is. Does this matter? If we like/enjoy anything then surely that would be enough? I would argue it isn't as subjectivity allows for manipulation of players by a number of different ways and extraction of what can be large sums of cash on what at best may be on a spurious basis and at worst, fraudulently. So, I do think this matters.
Reading your last but one post, it could be interpreted as an accusation of fraud against Berent Korfker and Pirastro. I assume that isn't what you want? If you are making that accusation, I think you better have some pretty conclusive evidence and expert testimony that Korfker and Pirastro are setting out to defraud people. I for one do not believe for a moment that is the case and I am sure there will be an army of players arrayed against you should this come to court, me included.
I don't advocate the use of any Korfker based on what it does to the sound I make. I advocate it because it is the most comfortable and stable rest I have ever used. It materially helps me play repertoire that I find challenging. So I'm not sure why you focus on the sound only.
As far as costs go, it's a lot cheaper than the Dolfinos and people will make a value judgement (as I did) about whether or not it is worth the money. I know my luthier would have let me try a Luna for some time before committing to a purchase so it is hard to see how Pirastro is defrauding people when you are not forced to buy an expensive item without the ability to return it if it doesn't suit. Even in the event of a particularly greedy luthier whose instinct is not to refund, most developed countries have consumer legislation that allows buyers a cooling-off period during which they can return an item for a full refund.
I think you are guilty of your own "confirmation bias" - you seem to have a major problem with the Korfker rest and it colours your judgement almost to the exclusion of reason.
Have you tried it yourself? If not, I suggested you make the clear here - that your comments are subjective opinions only and have no experiential basis.
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