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Rosin up yer bow . . .

Posted by bj on Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My favorite rosin cake, the Pirastro Schwartz, went dead. I find this seems to happen when the heat kicks on. I have a feeling the essential oils evaporate out of rosin more quickly if the block is getting old, and it's subjected to the drier conditions that prevail during heating season, even with a vaporizer running. I went from rosining a couple times a week to rosining three or four times a session!

So I needed rosin. Prodigy online had some problem with their secure ordering, so I couldn't order from them, and it was getting critical, I could WATCH the rosin just FALLING off the dang bow. And though when it's new the Pirastro Schwartz is nearly powderless, it had turned into a dusty mess.

It seems stupid to pay shipping for one five dollar cake of rosin, so off to the local shops I went to buy rosin. None of the local shops had Pirastro Schwartz. So I first bought a cake of D'Addario Dark from one of my fave shops in Allentown, Doc's, aka West End Music on Tilghman. UGH! Talk about a sticky screetchyscratchy mess! That stuff is useless! No wonder so many beginners quit! I remember my other local shop, Twin Rivers, said they give out a cake of this D'Addario crap with every rental.

So I stopped in Twin Rivers, aka the Classical Weenie Shop, and ended up buying a SuperSensitive Dark Mini, since that was one of the few dark rosins they had, and I prefer dark. I paid under three bucks. I figured I'd try it and end up ordering Pirastro Schwartz online anyway, eventually, but hell, I needed rosin.

I like it.

I don't like it better than the Pirastro Schwartz, maybe just a hair less. Having said that, it's a good combination of grab and smooth, with no stickiness, and very little dust. And it does have the advantage of being available 8 blocks from home. The owner said they sell a lot of it since the kids lose their rosin, and the wood frame makes these fairly unbreakable, another issue with the kids. So chances are it's fairly fresh, and it's certainly behaving like fresh rosin.

Funny. He kept pointing out that this is the rosin they sell to parents who have kids who play. Over and over. The inference being that I'm an adult and should be looking for something more  . . . refined. In fact I looked to see if his pinkie was sticking up when he said this, as he recommended three different types of rosin, all priced at well over ten bucks a cake.

I also like the size. It's just big enough. Especially since I prefer to replace my rosin cake periodically anyway, and NEVER use but a fraction of the cake before it goes dead.

The only thing I like less is the packaging. It's the wood framed rosin with just a cardboard sleeve after you remove the cellophane. I don't think that sleeve will keep it very fresh. I may wrap it in plastic wrap or foil.

Anyway, if you need rosin in a hurry, and this is what's available locally, don't be afraid to pick up a cake of this. It's good enough. And it's cheap enough to throw one of these in every case, and maybe even give a complimentary block out with a fiddle sale for goodwill.



7 comments on “Rosin up yer bow . . .”

ChickenMan Says:
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 @10:53:09 AM

"Funny. He kept pointing out that this is the rosin they sell to parents who have kids who play. Over and over. The inference being that I'm an adult and should be looking for something more . . . refined. In fact I looked to see if his pinkie was sticking up when he said this, as he recommended three different types of rosin, all priced at well over ten bucks a cake."

ROLF!!!

bj Says:
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 @11:09:28 AM

Yeah, I swear, even though they're basically all nice people who work there, that shop's male owner brings out the bad in me. I automagically end up reverting to my Joisy Goil working class slang, which has a four letter word featured loudly in every sentence.

mudbug Says:
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 @1:58:38 PM

Running through his mind- "Here I've spent ten WHOLE miniutes of my time with this &*^$% "fiddler", and can only get her to fork over 3 measley bucks. How am I gonna pay my rent like this?

bj Says:
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 @2:18:00 PM

He's got all those PARENTS. Actually I believe he's enslaved his daughter, and made her give suzuki lessons to kids in one of the back rooms. They also rent and sell the instruments to said parents. During the school year if you go in there after school hours the place is HOPPING.

FiddleJammer Says:
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 @2:56:51 PM

I bought some Pirastro Goldflex 5 years ago in Tasmania, treating myself to an expensive cake for a change. It is still going strong and has a few centimeters left. So, I feel like I got my money's worth. I'm just happy when I don't drop the rosin cake and smash it to smithereens.

Humbled by this instrument Says:
Tuesday, December 21, 2010 @6:34:25 PM

I must be in trouble, for everyone else talks about rosin goin' dead. I still use the same tree sap from Pinus horribilus which I've been using for eight years and can't tell difference. Suzuki lessons? They sell rosin and give motorcycle lessons out back, his enslaved daughter teaching all this motorcycle stuff. Wow. What a shop.

Tennessee Tom Says:
Thursday, December 23, 2010 @1:56:30 AM

Are you talking about the D'Addario VR300 dark rosin? I think it's pretty good stuff myself. Actually, I've been using it instead of my Hill dark for several months. Funny how you seem to dislike the rosins I think are good. I guess that's why they give us so many choices. Vive la diffrence!

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