Korfkerrest Luna Impressions

Edited: June 3, 2023, 11:16 AM · Hello all,

Just wanted to summarize my-first-impressions on this nice little accessory, yet another shoulder rest, based on the original, the wooden Korfkerrest (which sadly I do not have and cannot compare to.) Another similar thread was created, but closed-I felt that perhaps some more players may have tried the Luna at this point, given that it's out of stock at some online retailers.

I will add on more thoughts later, as I'll be able to use it for hours during the weekend. Right now, these are very much 1st impressions without a doubt.

Positive observations:

-weight and the collapsible storage option are a superb plus

-presentation is top notch, extra accessories included, physical manual, box was well designed, truly made in Germany and not "imported" (not necessarily bad, but would be annoying for a pricey item)

-sound "is good"-wasn't able to compare it to my other shoulder rests, but I can definitely state it "doesn't sound" worse (quotes because shoulder rests do not "sound" per se). It felt really great under the ear, nice brilliance without losing the lower registers' depth. I have read comments on it being both warm and brilliant, but I personally can just state for now that it's a beautiful sound under the ear while retaining upper end clarity. Chimey yet not harsh. Violin position in relation to your ear will always be a factor, but I ended up in a position similar to my other rests. Will add more later.

-easy adjustments-compared to *all* my other shoulder rests, this was the easiest to find a feet and placement position that worked for what I do-will elaborate later

-feels super stable, feet are secure while also not clamping down on the instrument. The feet are indeed the best I have ever used on any rest-at least based on 1st impressions.

Possible cons:

-the easy adjustments are various, but it won't go super wide as I am able to in many other rests. Or, I *can* go wide, but I play more toward the chest than over the shoulder, and prefer the shorter feet to be in the "narrow" position so the violin is more to the right (the longer feet is 6, at the "wide" position). This frankly isn't too much of a problem, just meaning that it will lie lower in the bouts for me-most violinists would have no problem mixing-in two feet in the "wide" configuration. Such configuration adds slightly more height, but it is by no means a super tall chinrest. It is a "problem" only due to the way I place shoulder rests on my violin. But I would design a "v2" version with more width capabilities when used in the "towards the chest" positions.

-It seems it cannot go super, duper low, but does indeed go lower than many, including the Kun Voce which cannot go beyond medium-low on the left (chin) side.

-the snap on-off leg system is pretty nifty and easy to use, but makes me nervous the base (feet holder) may snap! Unlikely to happen, but in my head nonetheless. However, once on the violin I have no such misgivings.

-for "hook" lovers, here it is minimal-I do not need it, but you may be used to it.

Will keep you updated as I use it later today and Sunday. As it stands now, even the cons mentioned above do not amount to me not being comfortable or being unable to use it resting on the collarbone, as if I did not have any rest, while still retaining a great bowing angle without inhibiting free movement. This I also achieve with the Bonmusica, placed slightly higher on the bouts, but required ample modification time. Haven't compared how "they sound" vs each other yet.

Was almost going to buy the original (it looks more beautiful, being wood, though indeed the Luna is more elegant than, say, the Bonmusica), but my curiosity pulled me towards the newer model, combined with a Memorial Day weekend sale ("only" $200.33.) Given its manufacture and obvious research costs, I do not find it extremely "overpriced" vs something like the Dolfinos system, which of course is something else as well. Also the sound is fine, no muting as I was fearing when people mentioned it having a "warm" sound.

If anyone else likes/hates the Luna, feel free to comment on why that is.

Current feet position: 1N, 6W, back of violin face up, 8, 4.5 (so violin bowing angle is closer to chest rather than over the shoulder.)

Replies (14)

June 3, 2023, 9:06 AM · Mr. Adalberto, I purchased a Luna rest for one of my violins a few weeks ago and quite liked it enough to go ahead and buy another for my second violin. Since the lower bouts are different sizes on the two instruments it was easier to just have two separate rests. I have a rather large collection of SRs and have tried just about everything out there including pads, sponges, and home-made devices. I have also played sans SR for a while which I found to have the best sound and most freedom. Ultimately, it was too insecure and slipping was always a problem. The pads and sponges gave me freedom and flexibility but at the sacrifice of sound dampening. The original KorferRest was great once I finally got the shape molded and leg extensions set just right. I still use the original KorfkerRests on my 2 violas. I have found the Luna to be easier to use and store due to the collapsible and interchangeable legs. According to my measurements the new Luna is slightly lighter that the original. It is just as comfortable and provides very reliable security. I agree with you that the Luna does not detract from the resonance or quality of sound in any perceptible way. In my opinion the cost is reasonable for the superior design and material quality. I am thankful to Pirastro for their fantastic product offerings and service. Thus far I am quite satisfied.
Edited: June 3, 2023, 10:42 PM · Mr. Alexander,

Great to know it's working so well for you. It's really excellent work by Mr. Korfker and Pirastro, which I am sure took a long time to develop to its current market form. It will fit many violin holds, and I especially like how it can be setup in a very unobtrusive manner.

Still new to me, so far pretty great today. No fatigue ever, everything is easy and seamless, with the violin being held very lightly but still super confident it will never slip off in any way. The sound is tremendous, likely boosted by the extra confidence achieved.

Didn't use the Bonmusica too much today, but to be fair it is very secure. Has an apparent "depth" of sound, but I believe it is because the Fs are closer to my ear. Preferring the Luna-so far-because with it I can hold the violin a bit further towards the chest (shoulder rest towards the shoulder, the aforementioned 1N/6W feet position), making bowing such a (relatively) simple thing. And I am convinced that whichever SR makes you feel utterly relaxed and stress-free during playing, will make you sound your best. I could still use the Bonmusica, but prefer the violin position achieved with the Luna+light weight, "nothing there" feel+very penetrating highs without sounding shrill (I find it is not so warm, but rather a balanced tonal palette-maybe it just doesn't get in the way of your violin sound too much.)

Same strings as usual, regular Oliv 15.5, Gold/Alum D 16.25, Perpetual Cadenza A, Oliv E Mittel (since it really doesn't whistle for me/my violin, I find it among my favorites.)

(All Pirastro setup of sorts-though there are many fantastic non-Pirastro options out there, of course. I do favor the Guillaume rosin over the specialized per string line Pirastro rosins, good enough as they are.)

I will report any negatives as I find them. Only thing to note for players considering it is that the curve is very ergonomic, but if a violinist is used to hook shoulder rests for security, it may not be ideal for them, as its shape is so relaxed, and less strongly curved. But I still believe your violin will stay there, very securely in position no matter what you are playing. For comparison, I relaxed the hook of the Bonmusica as much as possible, and it still has a "baked in" hook shape, just not exaggerated. The Luna is a very "naturally" shaped shoulder rest, for better or worse-in my case, I found I did not miss the hook at all, but every player is different.

Edited: June 4, 2023, 10:19 PM · Sound is good-it is not my imagination/expectation bias. Managed to compare it with the Kun Voce, by using similar positioning (the Voce can go wider, but I am able to place the violin in almost the same playing position.) Voce doesn't sound bad, but there is a mild attenuation in certain frequencies that does not occur on the Luna. The Voce's foam is thicker and sturdier, but also add a bit of bulk, for better or worse. Not a bad rest by any means, but the Luna has lovely tonal qualities paired with my violin-it gives the impression of a much more "open" sound-Voce is clear, but less open, and may be less resonant.

I would only be able to compare with my Bonmusica with another person or recording the frequency response, which I do not plan to arrange. The big Bonmusica is a fine rest despite it's unwieldy appearance. It is weigbty, and hard to carry on many cases, especially if you do not have an external, roomy pocket.

No wolf tones with all of my rests with the Oliv strings and the Perpetual Cadenza A. Do not want to try a new synthetic set just to test shoulder rests, as I already know what I like.

A new con: the two foams are very comfortable and grip even on slippery t-shirts, but the chest foam is already wearing down in the usual position I always wear them down-today is Sunday, have used the Luna only since Friday. Not a major wear, but noticeable. Hopefully they do not need replacing every few months, or at all with proper usage, though glad there were more included in the box.

Love this light, effective rest very much. Luna is a good one, makes me a happy violinist. Every once in a while, online "shops" have 20% discount offers, though the difference is "only" $33 or so right now. Do remember it is very high quality, comes with lots of backup parts, and it is made in Germany when judging its price-they did not cut corners.

June 5, 2023, 10:55 AM · So a friend (who also already had the traditional Korfker) ordered the Luna and we compared it on both of our violins yesterday. In both cases the Luna opened up the sound, increased the quickness of the response, and created more clarity. It seemed as comfortable as the original. Ordered my own today. The wolf on the "C" up on the G-string on my violin was considerably tamed as well.
June 5, 2023, 1:45 PM · I'm really interested in what it's like compared to the normal wooden Korfker.
Edited: June 6, 2023, 7:07 AM · How can the Luna shoulder rest increase the quickness of the response? Sounds like placebo to me.
Luna is a black, non-wooden version of the Korfker Model 2, $90 cheaper. It's just smart business.
June 6, 2023, 10:10 AM · I do have both - I like the collapsible legs on the Luna, not only does it fit better in the case but I can also leave the angles of the feet where they are, and they stay better. It also seems less likely to fall off the fiddle - not that the old one ever did, but this feel even more stable. And I feel like it really does vibrate with the instrument. I really like it.
Edited: June 6, 2023, 10:12 AM · How can any shoulder rest affect the response? I'm not much for physics and acoustic design, yet different rests have dramatic effects (as does no rest at all). It is perhaps surprising in this case given the similarity of design. But when both the player and the listener (who has the ability to correctly identify which among a half dozen french bows is being used in blind testing, almost always accurately) immediately notice such an effect, in his case with his back turned, if it is a placebo I'll take two of them. I probably was not clear in my previous post, but both of us already own the older Korfker. I'll get my Luna today.
Edited: June 6, 2023, 11:24 AM · I would be the first to state that comfort and complete relaxation trumps any sound properties (you will sound better that way regardless), and that paying more won't make *you* better, nor change your violin into something else. But I am sure many of us can tell the subtle differences under the ear that a shoulder rest can make (or different mutes resting on violin, rosins, strings, etc.
) and if that makes us more confident, we will sound better. I personally enjoy the Luna's "sound" very much, even if it is just the way it interacts-or not that much-with my instrument.

Mr. Korfker could be a marketing charlatan, but I doubt it. I think the different materials they tried to make it work means that weight and sound was different with each of them. It is up to each violinist to like/dislike the change, if any is perceived. But I am definitely *not* lying to anyone, as I hate lying to sell a product, and I am in no shape or manner sponsored by any brand, including Pirastro. I do not think Mr. Korfker was trying to deceive us to sell the Luna if it took a long time to come up with this product-also Pirastro only states that the goal is to maximize the "freedom of expression", liveliness, and openness of the instrument, not that it sounds better than the original (in fact they seem careful in not saying which sounds "better".)

I understand it's hard to believe, and certainly no one needs a Luna (or Korfker V2, Dolfinos system, etc.) to play great music. But if it helps many do just that, I will not step in the way.

It's excellent, in my humble opinion. Does most of the things my other rests do, but the sound is indeed very inspiring-plus it's super secure and comfortable!

(Also the "worn" foam I previously alluded to took back to the original shape, so it was a temporary deformation after playing. It is a very comfy pair of foams indeed.)

If anything, Mr. Weaver is further confirmation that I am not lying to myself by finding positive tonal differences. It is in their interest to state that the original Korfkerrest is the much better rest. It does look better to me! And I was going to buy it too while on sale, but ended up happily with the Luna instead.

The steel E has amazing resonance and brilliance, the lower strings remain clear, yet depth of sound is not sacrificed. That is my humble summation of what I hear on my violin-my other rests "sound good" in different ways, but I do prefer what the Luna does.

I believe in science, but also in my ears-cannot explain why, but changes happen when anything is added or taken away from a violin, for better or worse. I also think that if the Luna is comfortable for a player, it would be a hard to beat option for all the other positives, regardless "sound"-not cheap, but also does not look cheaply made and just "thrown together", despite it not being wooden.

"Objective" negatives that may not matter (do not to me at least):

-no strong hook-this can be a deal breaker for a few, but it still is very secure, so if you can try it first, do so

-no ultra-low setting, though it really isn't a tall/uncomfortable rest (designed on purpose that way)

-not bendable like the original Korfkerrest, Bonmusica, etc.

-width adjustment is finite, though most of the settings will work as they appear carefully researched and well thought-out (the leg adjustment system took me less than ten minutes to find the proper leg and violin position that worked for me-no time compared to *all* my other rests!)

Peace to all-feel free to disagree with me. Glad some of you are also finding it to be a good or convenient device. Feel free to add more experiences, negative included. Happy practicing/performing.

June 6, 2023, 12:08 PM · Thank you for the more finely detailed analysis, Adalberto. After literally driving around to find our area FedEx Truck (which somehow doesn't understand the difference between a highly marked business front door and an unmarked back door with a "no deliveries here" sign) I was able to intercept the Luna. Simply playing repeated short downbows on a repeated note to hear the after ring and the core sound, the difference is quite large. As large as buying a much better new bow might produce.
I try new equipment (bows, violins, chin rests, shoulder rests, even strings) both by playing in the normal fashion but also by holding instrument at my waist. By removing the excessive volume from being right by my ear I can get a better sense of projection and clarity. Of course I can only stay in position or shift up, but the key is to play very short excerpts in any case. Lydia, I hope you get to try one and let us know what you think if you do.
June 7, 2023, 1:18 AM · Hi Everyone,

I'm a long time lurker on this forum, but I thought I would put my two cents on the Korfker Luna since I have it along with the Wooden Model 2.

As far as sound goes, my experience is that they are very similar, save for a much more rounded sound on the Luna, whereas the Model 2 has a more direct sound. The biggest factors are in comfort, and for me the Luna is far more comfortable because of the curved cross section which lets me adjust as needed without ever digging into my collar bone.

I have two short legs on the Luna right now which are great since my neck is shorter, something that the Model 2 doesn't have unless you buy the short legs.

Overall I'm enjoying the Luna. Now I use the Model 2 with my wedding gig violin and it still works great after using it for the last 6 years.

June 8, 2023, 2:18 PM · So no doubt overkill. But a very sound sensitive violinist (who has the original Kofker) dropped by the compare and contrast the Korfker and Luna. Prior to my playing them, she stated "I am coming in with a skeptical presumption that they will not have any detectable difference in sound". Her first observation was, yes, they were noticeably different, even to the degree of using a different bow. She liked the Luna and thought the sound was much clearer and very pleasing. She didn't have her violin (a fine Michael Fisher from the 1990's) but tomorrow we'll try it on hers as well in a performing setting to see if the rests had the same affect on hers. Sometimes rests, strings, even bows can have a negative effect on one violin and a positive on another.
June 9, 2023, 11:43 AM · I guess I'm in the minority for preferring the sound of the wooden Korfker to the Luna. To my ear, on my main violin (an early 19th century Italian composite), the Luna dampened the overtones especially on the G string. But this could be because my violin is already dark and requires a brighter pull. I wish the wooden Korfker, however, had collapsable feet!
June 9, 2023, 1:25 PM · Mr. Moore,

It is probably a majority that believes the wooden version is better (v1 or v2). I have read several "warm" comments regarding the Luna (in this very thread, Mr. Paolo thinks it has a "round sound"), which made me at first hesitate and consider the original (v2) when it was on sale. But also read other opinions about its clarity/brilliance on the E, which is always something I look for (and why in general I stay away from overly warm E strings.)

It may be violin and violin position dependant, but since the Luna is so light, convenient, and already "sounds better" than my other shoulder rests, I believe I will keep using it for the foreseeable future, even if the Korfkerrest v2 does appeal more to me on aesthetics alone. Luna is beautiful/elegant (especially compared to my Bonmusica!), but a bit understated. It does sound "beautiful" and open under my ear, whereas some of my other rests are either less open, or "more bassy" with "less highs".

Also someone may prefer a "worse" sound for their violin, because it affects the frequency response of their instrument in a way they enjoy and makes their playing more confident.

No right or wrong answers for everyone. Both are likely good sounding in their own way, and are excellent products-definitely love the quality and presentation, where I feel I am not being cheated despite the high asking price.

If I had the original, it is likely I wouldn't have been that curious about the Luna myself, even if it was supposed to sound "better", its convenience, etc. Mr. Korfker and Pirastro seem hesitant to declare a "better sounding" SR between the two, apparently encouraging players to experiment to see which one works best for themselves, as there are so many variables and personal preferences involved.

In short, enjoy your Korfkerrest! Thanks for letting us know about your own experience comparing between the two.

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