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Dec 15, 2019 - 10:32:53 AM
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38 posts since 8/20/2019

Hello! After some decades on the mandolin I started fiddling this year, and I am surprised at how often the answer to one of my questions about fiddles, bows, strings, chin rests, shoulder rests, etc., is either "it depends" or "it's a matter of personal preference". But fair enough, I now own 3 shoulder rests, 3 chin rests, and 5 kinds of rosin. But I am hoping that there is actually some sort of answer to the rosin question. Especially if I specify my conditions. So, I am playing old-time, with a wood bow, on Prim strings, north of the equator and east of the Mississippi. I like the bow to grab the strings. The rosin I like best so far is D'Addario Natural Rosin Dark. I wouldn't mind it if the rosin were even more grabby.
I should mention that the most expensive rosin I purchased is also the one I liked the least, so I am skeptical of spending much money to try out a new rosin. But is there a rosin that is more grabby than the Dark I am using now?

Dec 15, 2019 - 10:56:37 AM

1996 posts since 10/22/2007

Even your favorite rosin won't be as grippy in a dry climate. (Like a furnace does in the winter)

What was the expensive rosin?

Edited by - farmerjones on 12/15/2019 10:57:06

Dec 15, 2019 - 12:07:47 PM

4725 posts since 9/26/2008

Yes, tell us what you've tried.

I recently purchased a cake of Jade brand rosin on recommendation of a friend. I do not like it, but will use it until I feel like spending 20 on the one I do like. That said, I prefer dark as it tends to be grabby. If that is what you like, try a rosin make for the bass - super grabby.

Dec 15, 2019 - 2:55:28 PM

38 posts since 8/20/2019

The first rosin, Eastman brand came with the violin kit. It's dark. I liked the feel alright but it's dusty. I tried D'Addario Natural Rosin Light. It's OK, but the Eastman is better. Then I splurged and got D'Addario Kaplan Premium for $16.50. No traction at all. I tried to pass it off on my wife but she had the same experience--no traction. Then I picked up some Austrian rosin called Leto. It was no bueno, but cheap. Of all the rosins I've tried, I like the D'Addario Natural Dark best, but I have to put it on every hour or so. I keep my room at 45-50% humidity, so I don't think that is a factor.
I was thinking of trying the Jade brand next because the reviews on Amazon are so positive.
My local Thai restaurant asks how hot you want your order, scale of 1-5. Some sort of similar index on rosin would sure be helpful.

Dec 15, 2019 - 3:42:49 PM

177 posts since 1/3/2019

I experimented with a lot of rosins before settling on Gustave Bernadel. I've been using it for a couple years now and haven't had the urge to experiment anymore.

Dec 15, 2019 - 3:45:22 PM
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DougD

USA

9676 posts since 12/2/2007

I don't know anything about D'Addario rosins, but a lot of people used to use Hill (dark in the dry winter and light in the summer).
Fashions come and go.

Dec 15, 2019 - 4:25:02 PM
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Earworm

USA

115 posts since 1/30/2018

I ran across this article recently from Strings Magazine: The Differences Between Dark and Amber Rosin. Maybe it might help you out? I'm not looking for new rosin suggestions, but found this interesting anyway. I use Hill Dark year round, and like it very well. 

Dec 15, 2019 - 5:59:06 PM
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4725 posts since 9/26/2008

Hill dark is very fragile though, so if you buy it, don't drop it smiley

I mentioned Jade before (don't buy it - I like grippy too) but prefer Andreas Solo, "half cake" is 20 bucks, so it's on the pricy side, but it's not overly dusty and lasts a long time (I thought I'd lost mine and got the Jade on a whim, then found it). I don't rosin all that often, maybe right before a 3 hour dance gig, then not again until the next weekend. As you play more, gain skills, you will find you don't need to rosin the bow nearly as often as you do now. 

Edited by - ChickenMan on 12/15/2019 17:59:18

Dec 15, 2019 - 6:27:27 PM

4725 posts since 9/26/2008

quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan

Hill dark is very fragile though, so if you buy it, don't drop it smiley

I mentioned Jade before (don't buy it - I like grippy too) but prefer Andreas Solo, "half cake" is 20 bucks, so it's on the pricy side, but it's not overly dusty and lasts a long time (I thought I'd lost mine and got the Jade on a whim, then found it). I don't rosin all that often, maybe right before a 3 hour dance gig, then not again until the next weekend. As you play more, gain skills, you will find you don't need to rosin the bow nearly as often as you do now. 


I meant to say the half cake last a long time. 

Dec 15, 2019 - 6:55:47 PM
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1996 posts since 10/22/2007

quote:
Originally posted by ChickenMan

Hill dark is very fragile though, so if you buy it, don't drop it smiley

I mentioned Jade before (don't buy it - I like grippy too) but prefer Andreas Solo, "half cake" is 20 bucks, so it's on the pricy side, but it's not overly dusty and lasts a long time (I thought I'd lost mine and got the Jade on a whim, then found it). I don't rosin all that often, maybe right before a 3 hour dance gig, then not again until the next weekend. As you play more, gain skills, you will find you don't need to rosin the bow nearly as often as you do now. 


Adreas solo is the bomb. Very glad for the half cake for the price too.

If i'm playing hard and daily, i might apply every third day. Several times a day sounds like. . . naw, not for me.  

Dec 16, 2019 - 1:02:17 AM
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Dragonslayer

Mozambique

259 posts since 9/1/2019

I usually rosin once every...... month? Maybe three weeks... I don't really have any grip problems, and it really minimizes the rosin dust on the fiddle. I find that if I'm having bowing, grip, or sound problems, cleaning the excess rosin off the strings makes a bigger difference than adding rosin to the bow.
Also, I only have one rosin cake and the nearest music store is five days drive away in a different country.....

Dec 16, 2019 - 5:25:15 PM
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DougD

USA

9676 posts since 12/2/2007

If you plan to drop your rosin, I can recommend this one: guitarcenter.com/Hidersine/Ros...JqhPD_BwE
It comes in a little tin. I was brushing out a case the other day and forgot it was in there and it fell into a pile of weeds. No damage though. This is a venerable English brand, but I think its overlooked today. Seems to work fine.
Might want to get a carbon fiber bow too, if you're going to drop things.

Dec 19, 2019 - 10:30:39 AM

38 posts since 8/20/2019

I had not heard of Solo, Hill or Bernadel before. I'll put them on my list of rosins to try. Jade is arriving today, so I can give it a go. Thanks for the advice!!

Jan 7, 2020 - 10:05:18 PM

fidlpat

USA

574 posts since 5/11/2009

I like Jade, and Melos is nice, too(the light, not tried the dark). Bernadel is fabulous. Also Obligato, too. If you want grabby, try Liebenzeller Gold I. They say Gold Ii is even grabbier.

Jan 8, 2020 - 6:36:02 AM

Earworm

USA

115 posts since 1/30/2018

So, when you test out new rosin, how long does it take to make a difference (if there is one)? Is it "instant" or does it take a few applications to start to feel the difference?

Jan 8, 2020 - 9:47:15 AM
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fidlpat

USA

574 posts since 5/11/2009

seems to be kinda gradual, but I know pretty soon how something is working. I'll clean the hairs off with a paper towel as best I can to help with this

Jan 8, 2020 - 4:29:20 PM

fidlpat

USA

574 posts since 5/11/2009

you can get Leibenzeller under the name of Larica, also, if you're looking,,,Quinn Violins has that form of it

Mar 11, 2020 - 4:14:52 PM

169 posts since 3/1/2020

I’ve always liked Hill dark rosin especially well. I like Bernardel too, although it doesn’t seem to last as long between applications and doesn’t have as much bite. I used to keep some Pirastro Goldflex around for my outdoor violin and liked it.

Funny that Liebenzeller came up. Back in the 80s when that rosin was the fad, there was a turf war between shops. The one shop had boasted a lot about being the only one that had Liebenzeller, so the other one got it and sold it at a loss just to make them suffer. There were a few other things that contributed to it, but the first shop was out of business pretty fast.

Mar 11, 2020 - 7:31:54 PM

65 posts since 1/19/2018

Hill dark pretty much year round unless it’s really humid then hill light

Mar 11, 2020 - 8:37:40 PM
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Fiddler

USA

4084 posts since 6/22/2007

I used Hill dark up until a few years ago. That's when I got a "trial" cake of Magic Rosin. It has made a major difference in my playing. So, I bought a couple of full cakes. Needless to say, I really like it. Low dust. Good grab. Good tone prodution.

Then there is the "cool" factor. It is crytal clear. It comes in a clear plastic case with a screw off lid. Of course, this provides opportunity for some theatrics to psych out your competition as you go through the ritual of unscrewing the lid, swiping the bow a few times and the replacing the lid. It is just not the same with the cloth or foam coverings used for other rosins.

The cakes have a paper backing with a design. As you would expect, as the surface gets roughed up, the design does not show through as sharply as when new. However, the metallic foil backing gives the rosin a colorful hue.

A cake runs about $16, so is comparable to other quality rosins.

Disclaimer: I do not have any financial stake in this product. I am just a very satisfied customer.

Mar 12, 2020 - 12:43:54 PM
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1601 posts since 12/11/2008

Don't have a cow when you drop your Hill Dark rosin. I dropped mine and it broke into three very useful pieces. When I need some rosin I just reach into my case compartment and grab one of 'em. If the pieces don't have good hair-rubbing surfaces, use an emery board to flatten a section out. If your fingers get a bit rosiny in the process, so be it.

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