Korfker Luna Shoulder Rest

Edited: March 17, 2023, 5:19 PM · I saw a post on Facebook about this new version of the Korfker rest (I'm a huge fan of previous model) and I wondered if anyone here has tried it yet?

Replies (67)

Edited: March 19, 2023, 3:13 AM · I am also a fan of the Korfker and use 2 of them on my violins. Once it's adjusted correctly, any other rest feels inferior to me. It comes from Pirastro so it has to be a good product, at least as good as the wooden one. Being collapsible is a plus and I also think, will be easier to adjust to individual requirements. In my orchestra, a lot of people play on Korfker rests and from time to time they ask me to adjust them as they find it a bit difficult which I gladly do. Maybe the new one can be adjusted more easily. This question however only Berent Korfker can answer right now.
March 19, 2023, 5:23 AM · Price is absurd.
Edited: March 19, 2023, 5:55 AM · It's cheaper than the wooden Korfker.
Edited: March 19, 2023, 10:22 AM · I am such a fan of the model 2, which was worth every penny. I’m glad they have made a more accessible option. If my model 2 ever breaks I’d try the Luna.

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.

Edited: March 19, 2023, 4:43 PM · I have ordered one to try and will report back - my luthier has them in stock in the UK (it's not my story to tell but suffice it to say the luthier has a personal connection to Berent Korfker which is why they are available). As much as I love the Model 2, it is *very* difficult to adjust so I am intrigued by the claims for the new one.
March 19, 2023, 7:18 PM · Yes please do report back, thank you! My backup instrument had a Kun in the case that I hate. This might a good option.
Edited: March 20, 2023, 8:15 AM · I'm getting one soon and I will also report with a comparison between the original and the Luna. I'm sure one of the parameters while designing the Luna was with the ease of adjustment in mind. One other comment that I feel needs addressing is the cost. The way I see it is that it's a higher price SR but it's a quality product designed by engineers at Pirastro with almost unlimited resources at their disposal. It will last a lifetime and if one considers it costs about the same as two sets of premium strings that will only last a few months, the investment in the Kofker, seems cheap by comparison.
March 20, 2023, 8:48 AM · Nothing lasts a lifetime.

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.... :)

Edited: March 20, 2023, 2:56 PM · Marco, it all depends on how much you value comfort in your playing. In my case, comfort interprets into being able to practise longer and feel a lot more comfortable and secure on stage resulting in a better performance. In all my professional life I have tried and still try SR's but the Korfker is the only one that allowed me the freedom of movement while being and feeling secure. As far as durability is concerned, I still have the original feet on and they are as good as new while on other SR's I had to replace the feet or put new rubbers on them often. The wooden part of the Korfker I believe is made of maple which is also very durable and I have yet to hear of anyone snapping one in two.
Edited: March 20, 2023, 12:30 PM · To amplify Kypros's statement, I can easily justify playing with comfort, ease, and lack of injury. I can move my shoulder and instrument freely and mine has been going strong for 5 years without even having the change out the pads. Everyone's anatomy is different, and this rest is best for me.

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.

March 20, 2023, 9:39 AM · Since several posters here mention having multiple Korker rests, I wanted to weigh in with a word of caution about another Korfker rest model, the Korfker Cradle.

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.

March 20, 2023, 1:06 PM · Dear Dimitri, in my two Musafia cases, the Enigma and the Aeternum the Korfker fits nicely in the compartments as long as the feet are in the horizontal position when resting on its side in the case. I don't think there are players who leave the SR, any SR attached to the violin when they close the case. It's axiomatic it will get severely damaged.
March 20, 2023, 1:50 PM · Version 1: this shoulder rest is expensive because it's made of wood

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.

March 20, 2023, 2:12 PM · One of my kids uses the impossible-to-adjust Korfker and swears by it, but it took him a YEAR to get it adjusted properly. If this one is as good as the original but easily adjustable, I would definitely buy it despite the price.
Edited: March 20, 2023, 11:53 PM · The material the Luna is made of is specifically designed to enhance the tone of the violin while being durable, while the Kun is made I think of plastic and the premium model of layered wood. (No offence to the Kun meant). Comparing the materials both are made of, I respectfully submit that it does make injustice to the Luna. Pirastro is a premium brand using premium materials and I think in this case a lot of research had been put into developing a material comparable to wood sonic qualities to incorporate into the Luna. I've been using Pirastro products for decades and my experience has been that if Pirastro changes something, they do it for a reason and the reason for Making the Luna, I think is to make it simpler to adjust SR with collapsible feet that will fit in any case however slim while retaining the qualities of the Korfker.
Susan, indeed some players find it difficult to adjust. It happens in my orchestra all the time. I took the time to study it and found out how to adjust it, so I do it for all the members of the orchestra. Once the Korfker is properly adjusted, it cannot be beaten for comfort and support because of its infinite adjustability. This is exactly the reason for the simplification of adjustment on the new Luna and I think because of the provision of several height feet, they solved this adjustability for some, difficulty.
Edited: March 20, 2023, 3:08 PM · " The material the Luna is made of is specifically designed to enhance the tone of the violin"

Come on, now! Don't get taken for a loop. This is the iPhone for violin players.

Edited: March 20, 2023, 3:41 PM · I don't think Pirastro would make empty claims. The I-phone is designed for billions of people while the Luna has been designed with a specific group of highly trained professionals and amateur players in mind. As such, I don't think they would make empty claims because these users would realise it in a second.
March 20, 2023, 3:49 PM · Southwest Strings website says $235 for the new Luna.

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.)

March 20, 2023, 7:56 PM · Susan the best way we found to adjust the impossible-to-adjust one is to have a teacher that also uses one :-). I still remember my son's viola teacher saying "the last thing I want to do is tell you to buy a $350 shoulder rest but this is the best thing I have ever used". Good enough for us. And especially good for a viola with an extra-wide lower bout.
March 21, 2023, 1:59 AM · Dear Kypros, it's true that everyone removes the shoulder rest before putting the violin in the case. But if you're not familiar with the Korfker Cradle, it is in two parts: one that you attach to the violin through a somewhat complicated operation with Torx screws, and the rest itself which then fits into the cradle.

So it can well happen that someone removes the rest but leaves the cradle in place; reason for which Pirastro posts their warning. Cheers!

March 21, 2023, 6:23 AM · Stan -- we later found out his violin maker is an expert at adjusting them! It still takes him a good hour, though.
March 21, 2023, 7:37 AM · Is there an undeniable evidence, not reported by Pirastro itself, that the tone emitted by the violin is enhanced?
Some recordings with a comparison?
Edited: March 21, 2023, 9:18 AM · Marco, it's still early days, but I will report back when I receive the LUNA on Thursday. It will not be a recording, but my very honest assessment which you are free to take or leave. I'll be testing the Korfker, the LUNA and the Kun bravo on 2 violins. An 1857 Guarneri copy J.B.Vuillaume and an unnamed 1830 French violin. If you like I can also test them on a great-sounding modern violin I also own made by Stepan Soultanian in 2002.
Edited: March 21, 2023, 9:47 AM · Marco, I'm no sound expert but as a trained violin maker and violinist I would say that adding mass to the instrument cannot improve the sound. Think of how mutes work.

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.

March 21, 2023, 10:33 AM · @kypros:
eh no! :) Subjective opinions are out of question :)
We need a recording of short clips of notes, made with the new SR and the same material with other SRs.... :)

@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

March 21, 2023, 11:07 AM · While we are waiting for the Luna to ship (I'll probably order one in a few weeks when I need some other string-related things), I can say that the Model 2 "sounds" better on my violin than a Kun collapsable or regular Kun. I've compared the Model 2 with and without shoulder rests, using recordings, and I can't tell the difference. But I'll add that while I can play without a rest, I'm not as used to playing that way so that could definitely factor into my amateur analysis.
Edited: March 21, 2023, 4:38 PM · @Marco, the ultralight Pedi tips the scales at 59gr. way heavier than the LUNA or Korfker. The Kun bravo, I have lying around 85.3gr is way heavier than both the Korfker and the LUNA put together. Maple has really stood the test of time as the earliest Andrea Amati violin we have, made in 1564 the back of which was made of the same material as the Korfker still works fine. As my respected friend Dimitri Musafia has correctly pointed out, more mass means more muted sound. @Dimitri Papas, playing without a shoulder rest, assuming you rest the back of the instrument on some part of the shoulder and not just the collar bone keeping it up with the left hand, the back which also vibrates is hindered by your shoulder. Now, all SRs we are discussing here, touch on the edge of the violin which does not vibrate that much because vibrations are hindered by the purfling, but even in this scenario, the added, unnecessary mass will have a detrimental effect on free vibrations. I can play without an SR but I hate the sound that comes out compared to the sound I get with an SR. For me, the Korfker helps bring out a lot more of everything. For me, sound, projection and comfort mean a lot. This is why I forked out to buy a Guarneri Vuillaume along with a Sartory and believe me they don't come cheap.
March 21, 2023, 4:48 PM · Kypros, I agree the shoulder can mute as well. My shoulder never touches the instrument when playing restless, hence why my recordings with and without the Korfker model 2 were too close to discern.
March 22, 2023, 11:20 AM · On one of my violas the side to side clamping seems to constrict the tone a little, on the other viola not at all. I do not place the rest on the widest part of the lower bout, and two nice soft brown shoelaces going to the corners prevent slipping. Certainly perfectible, though.
Personally, the tilt (i.e. the C & G higher from the floor than the D & A) allows my stubby hands greater freedom to make those lovely sounds going round in my head!

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.

March 22, 2023, 6:33 PM · If it's called the Luna, surely it's going to be made of moondust?
Edited: March 24, 2023, 11:17 AM · Just received the LUNA late today. I didn't have much time to test it thoroughly, but my first impressions are the following. It does produce a different sound from the Korfker. The Korfker helps produce more overtones, while the Luna is more brilliant, especially on the E string. I position the SR close to my collarbone for my comfort and there it produces the best sound. Moving further towards the centre bouts of the violin, the sound changes but not in a bad way, just a little darker. The permanent curve and tilt angle are very well thought out and I think it will suit most players. I took it to the concert hall tonight and let other players try it out. Not even one complained about the permanent curve. All the players who use a SR other than the Korfker found the increase in sound and quality over their own SRs astonishing. One Korfker user said he preferred the LUNA over the Korfker because it gave his violin more brilliance and also said it can be set up lower than the Korfker. This I'll have to see for myself and he is coming over to see if I can get his Korfker a bit lower. The collapsibility feature is a great plus, it would go into any case with ease while the Korfker could take some fiddling to pack into the case. The adjustability is so much simplified over the Korfker that now anyone could get it to their requirements. I do have to admit that so far I felt more comfortable with my well-set-up Korfker. I also like the sound of the Korfker better. The concertmaster loved it so much and borrowed it to test for a couple of days. I'll report back with more soon. BTW, I used it on the old French violin I was using today. I will see if it behaves differently on the Vuillaume.
March 24, 2023, 2:29 PM · Hi Kypros, I would love to hear more about how the luna compares with the Korfker. I want to buy one of them for my violin to try, but not both.

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.

Edited: March 24, 2023, 6:59 PM · Geoffrey, because I have tested the Luna against the Kun, Kun Bravo. I can be confident in saying that on all the violins I have tried them on, on account of sound, there is no comparison. With the LUNA more of everything good is enhanced. Putting the Kun back on I feel the violin gets muted somehow. Now the Korfker compared to the LUNA will bring out more overtones, but it's more difficult to adjust. One has to have patience and understand which way one has to go in adjusting it. Some people find it difficult. I have two Korfkers which I have adjusted perfectly on my violins and believe me, I do feel just a little more comfortable than the LUNA. Now the LUNA will make the violin more brilliant on all registers, especially the E-string but will not affect the overall balance. If your violin has a wolf that disappears without an SR, then chances are that the lightest, less intrusive SR will help. In this case, both the Korfker and the LUNA weigh 32gr which amounts to almost nothing. One other thing on my two Korfkers and it's very important, they are not interchangeable on the two violins because I use different chin rests on them. Which type of chin rest you use is in the calculation when you are adjusting the Korfker. I found though that the LUNA can be used on both my violins with equal results with the available adjustment feet which is dead easy to master. If you have any more questions, please post them and I'll do my best to answer them. The assessment of the LUNA is still going on and I will be posting as soon as I discover something new.
Edited: March 24, 2023, 5:42 PM · If Pirastro has taken out patent and/or other intellectual property protection on novel features arising out of research into, and development of, their new shoulder rest then I suggest that the expenses involved in such protection would almost inevitably have to be passed on, at least in part, to the final customer.
March 24, 2023, 6:46 PM · On this, I cannot comment whether Pirastro has patented the design. I'm not a Pirastro lawyer or employed by Pirastro. I'm just a violinist seeking comfort who has found it. With the LUNA and the Korfker being so comfortable while improving the tone of the violin as I have found out by comparing, having the adaptability to become comfortable, could only suggest they did their research and arrived at conclusions that have produced a rest that is superior to what is available.
At the end of the day, if everyone was perfectly comfortable with a given SR, there wouldn't have been so many offerings. It's just my humble opinion after having SR and chin rest problems for all my life and finally coming to being truly comfortable that I dare share my experience to save others the long journey.
March 24, 2023, 8:28 PM · Thanks for the thorough review, Kypros!
March 24, 2023, 10:14 PM · Did you ever find out if the LUNA can go lower than the Korfker? Including the use of the short leg option on the Korfker?
Edited: March 24, 2023, 11:55 PM · Undoubtedly, chin rests always change something in the sound under a violinist's ear, but I do highly doubt it would be enough to change a violin's natural sound character, or that the audience will care that much.

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?)

Edited: March 25, 2023, 8:10 AM · Christian, the Korfker will not go lower than the LUNA on its regular feet, but I see on the Pirastro website they have an option for lower feet which I have never used as I didn't see the need. I do however use the Korfker on its lowest setting. I believe the lower option feet available for the Korfker as I see them in the picture, will go as low or lower than the LUNA. You have to be careful though the wooden part doesn't touch the back of the violin.
Adalberto, undoubtedly any kind of SR and the positioning of it on the back will have an effect on the sound character, positive or negative. On this, we are in complete agreement. What I beg to differ though is that when our concertmaster was trying the LUNA against the Kun (plastic model), I and others were nearby and we all detected the positive effect. Now if this will carry to the audience, has to be tested and I will conduct this test soon as I'm also curious. It is my belief though that if the sound character comes out differently from the violin it will carry differently into the hall.
As far as the Pirastro company goes, I also believe that it's a company that will market products with the balance sheet in mind at the end of the day. It is however a 200-year-old company with a good reputation, respected for its quality products. I myself don't use their strings a lot, preferring the Thomastik brand for synthetics and the Pirastro wound gut when I use them. The Passione solo for me and my violin are the best of both worlds. I see it as a blessing we have so many choices in this free market environment.
I have no idea if the Korfker is made in-house by Pirastro, but what I'm sure of is that it is made under their strict, exacting standards.
Edited: March 28, 2023, 5:38 AM · OK, I started this post and I feel the need to add my findings to it.

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

March 26, 2023, 8:00 AM · Tony thank you for your comments which are also mine from the experience I had with the LUNA. The reason you find the curve better than the Korfker 2 is that the wooden part of the Korfker can be bent to your exact requirements. It seems that like other people you have not adjusted this feature on it.
March 26, 2023, 3:21 PM · Tony that was the clearest info yet, thank you for your comments!
March 26, 2023, 10:40 PM · Kypros,

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.

Edited: March 27, 2023, 12:57 AM · Christian, I have the Kun Bravo set up as low as it will go. In fact, so low the feet limit the amount of tilt the rest can achieve. I myself would have liked the bent of the rest to be have been able to go over the shoulder more. There it feels quite comfortable. The limits of the adjustment don't allow this though. The foot closer to the heart will go a little lower than the corresponding one on the Korfker, but not on the opposite side where the Korfker is a little lower. Both rests are on their lowest setting. The curve on my Korfker I have set up steeper than the Kun Bravo so it will wrap the shoulder all along its length. There are lower feet than can be bought that will make the Korfker lower than the Kun, but on my adjustment, the wooden part would touch the back of the violin if it went significantly lower.
Have in mind, that if the curve of the wooden part is steeper, the SR feels lower. As I have said in a previous post above, the Luna will go lower than a Korfker on its regular feet but with the lower available feet, the Korfker will go lower.
Edited: March 28, 2023, 3:43 PM · Claims that any shoulder rest affect the sound of a violin should be taken with a shovel-full of salt. The shoulder rest attaches to the edge of the violin which vibrates very little with consequently less opportunity for damping.

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.

March 28, 2023, 4:03 PM · Different shoulder rests definitely have an impact on sound, but I personally believe this has to do with the clamping action of the rest, more so than its mass. The clamping action essentially stiffens the back plate of the violin.

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.

Edited: March 29, 2023, 2:31 AM · Alun. Yes, confirmation bias is a thing. But it affects us all, so you are going to be equally susceptible to it as the rest of us, which will make you reject the notion that a shoulder rest can influence sound because that's what you believe. It doesn't make you any more right than anyone else.

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.

March 28, 2023, 6:52 PM · Tony.....yes we're all subject to confirmation bias, whichever way we think. So the only definitive answer is to do blind listening trials. The rest is just speculation and opinion.

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.

March 28, 2023, 7:31 PM · To get back to the actual topic, how was comfort while using it?
Edited: March 28, 2023, 8:11 PM · Alun: for what it's worth, when wood shoulder rests first hit the market, I wrote an article for Strings Magazine investigating the claims at the time about how much they affected the tone of an instrument.

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!

March 28, 2023, 9:23 PM · I decided to spend some time recording and looking at the spectra of my violin with and without the Korfker model 2. The results were interesting.

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.

Edited: March 29, 2023, 1:34 AM · Alun Davies,
confirmation bias can work both ways. It is a fact that the Korfker and LUNA are not cheap. Some are reluctant to spend this much on a SR and yet they do. This means once they try it they do see a big enough difference that convinces them to get one.No one knows your violin and its response to different stimuli better than you, so when a parameter is changed you will be the first to notice.

Erik Williams,
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.

Edited: March 29, 2023, 12:41 PM · Kypros forgive my incompetence, but what do you mean by the heart. I can only assume you mean either the bass bar or the sound post since the heart of the bridge makes no sense since the bridge is in the middle.
March 29, 2023, 8:54 AM · Gregory, very interesting and may show that some shoulder rests are indeed better. But in your test, did the player of the instrument know which rest he/she was using when playing? Actually, it's difficult not to know but this knowledge will affect the result.

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.

March 29, 2023, 9:01 AM · Alun, I agree that a double-blind test could be more impartial, but in the case of people borrowing it just to test and see how it feels, maybe with no intention to buy it, it still did had the same result.
Edited: March 29, 2023, 9:16 AM · Is a simple blind test not enough?
March 29, 2023, 12:07 PM · A randomized double-blind placebocontrolled test of shoulder rests - that is a challenge; how do you suggest to arrange that so the player does not know if there is a shoulder rest or not? ;)

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!

Edited: March 29, 2023, 1:09 PM · I really don't think any test is necessary. The feeling a given SR gives to the user is entirely subjective. If a player feels, even wrongly feels the SR enhances the tone, then they will play better even if it's only in their mind. If it feels comfortable to them, again they will be feeling freer. I don't personally think I would choose a SR by recommendation only, or because a double-blind test was conducted on it. I would try it first.
In this very case, some people I lent the LUNA to, went out and ordered it. It was not by recommendation, but they had the chance to evaluate it and reach a conclusion about its merits or demerits. Strange though, a player in the orchestra who tried the LUNA ordered the Korfker although she was very happy with the experience she had with the Luna.
March 29, 2023, 2:04 PM · I agree with Kypros above in the above regard, and this applies to bows and strings as well, regardless of core: shen any accessories help you feel confident about your playing, you *will* play and sound better even if it's "not supposed" to be the case. For instance, I think, I enjoy my utterly relaxed, effortless playing with the Bonmusica, even though it is supposed to sound worse than other alternatives that I have (such as the Kun Voce, which isn't uncomfortable, but not "as relaxed", even though it "sounds better".)

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.

Edited: March 29, 2023, 2:16 PM · Thank you Adalberto for the comments, my only worry with the colleague is that I'll get to set it up for her. Had she chosen the LUNA, she would have been able to set it up on her own. (Just kidding. I'll gladly do it for a colleague and friend).
March 30, 2023, 10:33 AM · Bo...agreed that a true double blind test would be difficult as the player may be aware of the rest being used by feel, even if they didn't actually see the rest. This could be minimised (though probably not eliminated).

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.

Edited: March 30, 2023, 2:34 PM · Alun,
you make it seem like the LUNA costs a fortune and then some. Indeed it's a more expensive SR than others and even if the perceived benefits are erroneous, I still feel it's worth experimenting with, the same way we all do with strings. No one complains when they try a new set of strings and find them unsuited to their instrument replacing them immediately. We all have to go through this process to find the strings that suit us the best.
Taking into consideration the LUNA costs about the same as a couple of sets of premium strings, to my mind, it's well worth the expenditure if it is perceived as comfortable and tone-enhancing considering, it will surely last way more seasons than 2 sets of strings.
March 30, 2023, 3:42 PM · I have used the Korfker on both violin and viola almost since the were launched. Yes they are expensive, but I have probably spend more over the years on all the shoulder rests I now have no use for. I can't say that I hear a big improvement in sound but I have not noticed a deterioration either. I have not made any test directly comparing the sound with different rest, though. The Korfker is much more comfortable than the others (various Kun, Wolf, VLM Diamond, Play-on-Air etc.) and on the viola it has been a game changer. And a big plus is that it just stays in place - I have never had it fall of the instrument.
March 30, 2023, 3:54 PM · @Bo - rests falling off is certainly a big problem, and any rest that stays on well is a big plus in my book. Especially in the middle of a concert when you are resting your instrument vertically on your leg, and, when you lift, the rest drops to the floor. I have recently gotten a Kun Super for my viola, and it seems to stay on much better than the regular Kun rests I have had for my viola and violin.
March 31, 2023, 2:13 AM · Kypros, the Korfker isn't very expensive in an absolute sense, at least if you are lucky enough to live in the West and aren't poor, and especially if you've spent multiple thousands on your violin and bow. However, it is very expensive compared to its competitors on the market, which begs the question whether it's worth it and behoves us to think and engage our critical faculties. And the Korfker, I believe, is an exemplar of the many other claims for superior performance that permeates the string world.
March 31, 2023, 7:20 AM · Alun. You seem very hung up about Korfker rests.

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.

Edited: April 1, 2023, 4:46 AM · Alun,
I have never suggested that either the Korfker or the LUNA are expensive for what they offer. They are comparatively expensive as you point out compared to what other offerings there are on the market. I'd never risk putting any other SR on my J.B.Vuillaume as the Korfker is so secure I never had it come off or ever had the feeling it might not be secure. It grips the edge lightly without any risk of damage and the feet are very durable. If I ever damaged my violin because of the SR coming off in a critical moment, I'd never have forgiven myself. So the extra money spent on the Korfker or the LUNA is really a security investment. The other benefits of either come for free. I'll relate a funny incident that took place this morning. I was invited to an old violinist friend's house, (85 years old) to see and try his violins. He had a Kun on that kept falling off and felt terrible to me. When he tried my violin, instead of commenting on the sound, he said how secure he felt with the Korfker and he asked where he could get one. I suggested the LUNA because it's as secure and since he lives quite a long distance away from me, I cannot set it up for him if needed. I have heard however of people using it right out of the box without ever doing any adjustments.

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