40 rosins, but which one won?
As you are no doubt aware, rosin is one of the most important factors in ensuring a good tone quality. It has much in common with strings in that it can immediately change the tone of your instrument. It also significantly affects the response.
Most string makers outsource rosin from a rosin manufacturer and sell it under their own brand. We decided instead to offer you three different kinds of rosin under their own brand names.
We receive almost daily requests from our customers asking which rosin works best with Warchal strings. Since we always aim to provide the highest levels of support and technical advice, we decided to conduct a rosin test. We aimed to be as stringent as possible and decided to test almost all of the rosins that are available on the market. We put 40 different types of violin rosin through a comprehensive testing process.
About the testing method:
We used 40 carbon violin bows of identical type and weight. We chose traditional style carbon bows because it isn't possible to get 40 wooden bows with the same characteristics and of the same quality. The bows were rehaired with the same hair. The test was anonymous as each bow was marked only with a number. Only one type of rosin was applied on each bow. All testers were asked to clean the strings with every bow change to avoid mixing and contamination. The rosins were tested by Mr. Warchal and several other professional players who we use to test our strings.
In the first round 11 rosins were chosen. These rosins were tested in the second round in two ways. We used both live sound and also recordings.
Because the characters of the rosins were quite different, we decided to split the results into two categories which are:
A) Maximum sound projection
B) Maximum scratch resistance
Originally, we were going to publish the complete results. But in the end we decided only to reveal the winners because we did not wish to harm the rosins that did not win.
The winners are:
A) Andrea Solo – Cremona in America
B) Vienna's Best – Petz Kolophonium
Both rosins provide an unmatched sound/noise ratio. They provide the best level of performance . Despite the rosin manufacturer's recommendations, they can be mixed in order to achieve the desired sound and response.
Andrea Solo: This rosin allows you to achieve a really great tone with almost no effort. It has the highest dynamic range and it is ideal for solo playing, especially in large halls. Highly recommended for applying to new hair after rehairing.
Vienna's Best: The most “forgiving” rosin. It allows you to create a really Viennese sound. Ideal for recordings, and bright instruments. It can be applied after changing strings in order to avoid the initial brightness of the strings during the break-in time.
Andrea A Piacere: Additionally, we have also decided to offer you a product which can be described as the most universal. It provides less dynamic range than the Andrea Solo, however the tone is warmer close to the ears. It is ideal for players who want to use just one rosin for every occasion. Especially suitable for playing in smaller halls or studios.
About mixing the rosins:
These rosins can be mixed. We recommend using Andrea Solo first after every rehair. Vienna's Best can be applied whenever you need to soften your sound and response. You won't be able to achieve the pure sound character of each rosin that we achieved with different bows under test conditions. However you will be able to adjust the character of your bow effectively.
For example, if you are playing Mozart in the first half of your recital and Prokofiev in the second, you can sparingly use Vienna's Best before the concert and Andrea Solo after the interval.
Rosin Test Results Chart >>
(the data applies when using Warchal strings only)