Korfkerrest Luna Impressions
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.
-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.
-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.)
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.
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.
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.
I'm really interested in what it's like compared to the normal wooden Korfker.
How can the Luna shoulder rest increase the quickness of the response? Sounds like placebo to me.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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