I have just tried my new cake of the original Baker's rosin and am absolutely in love with it! I wanted to make a scientific comparison against my previous rosin (the original Liebenzeller Gold II), so I opted to have my bows professionally washed (by a local violin shop) rather than rehair my bows. Then, with the same hair that I've had for several months, I put on the original Baker's formulation and the results were immediate - and amazing!
I wanted to write this testimonial so that I could share how dramatic were the differences in sound, grip and spiccato after I tried Baker's for the first time! In addition, the price of Baker's rosin is very reasonable compared to the cost of other rosins in the market.
I first tried the rosin on a modern bow from a contemporary Brazilian maker. I had bought the bow earlier this year, but I was unhappy with it and was planning on selling it because it did not have the flexibility I wanted nor the spiccato bounce. I thought that the flexibility was related to the lack of bounce (in contrast, my French and English bows, which are far older, are more flexible than the contemporary Brazilian bow).
I had NO idea that a good spiccato could be achieved by using the right rosin - Baker's original! But once I put on the new rosin, it made a world of difference. My viola had a richer sound and I was able to spiccato easily - it was like my spiccato issues had disappeared!
I believe the spiccato is achieved because of the grip that Baker's original creates. I also believe that the rich sound is created by that same grip from the rosin.
I use Vision Solo D-G-C and Jargar Forte A on my viola, and the Baker's original rosin creates a warmth that I had always wanted in my viola, but had previously believed that I would have to sacrifice because of the strings I used. Mr. Redrobe says it best in his testimonial: "With synthetic strings, it also softened their hard edged sound."
I am certain that both the spiccato and rich sound are caused by Baker's original because the same thing happened with my English bow from the early 20th C. (I had all my bows washed, so I could compare how the Baker's original rosin reacted with each of my bows). I put on the rosin in the early afternoon and was amazingly pleased with the sound it created on my viola for that evening's concert.
Another wonderful aspect of Baker's rosin is that you do not have to use a lot of it. I think that's one of the reasons that it does not dust - because less is more on the bowhair.
I asked my facebook friends what their experiences were with Baker's, and there were very positive replies. One violinist friend in Canada said that she uses the original in the winter and the Vuillaume Citron in the warmer summer weather. Another friend stated that his original Baker's works quite well with his gut cello and da gamba strings.
I have promised to let my friends try the Baker's rosins because I am now a devoted fan of the rosin.
I've tried all of the following listed rosins in the past, and have found them not suitable for my bows because of lack of grip, dusting, or squealing (btw, Baker's does not squeal - it just gives a beautiful, warm sound on my viola, which is a modern instrument by Peter Mach).
The rosins I've tried are: Bernadel, Motrya Gold, Salchow, Jade, Hill, Andrea Solo, Kaplan, Kolstein, Melos Light, and Liebenzeller Gold II (the original Liebenzeller, not the copied formula). The only rosin in the past that I had liked was the Liebenzeller, which I had used since Juilliard. I had tried all the others once the original Liebenzeller had become unavailable, and went back to the Liebenzeller once the original formula was once again being manufactured.
In the past, every rosin I've tried just did not have what I wanted. What I wanted couldn't even be defined - until I discovered Baker's rosin.
Of course, rosin, like strings, are a very personal choice. However, I finally have found the perfect rosin - Baker's original - and I intend to use it always. I've given away all my other rosins. I also am going to try the Vuillaume Citron - I recently bought a cake of it and am eager to see how it compares to the original.
I have my Juilliard violinist friend to thank for introducing me to Baker's rosin. After joining the waiting list, when I received the email that a shipment was available, I was of course excited, but still wondering how the rosin would work out and if I would like the results.
Yes, I LOVE the results and have become a full convert. Mr. Baker has taken the time to explain to me in emails what makes Baker's rosin different and special from other rosins. That information is also on their website. But it was only after I actually tried the rosin that I fully understood just HOW SPECIAL is the process of making Baker's rosin.
The rosins arrived yesterday! We tried the Vuillaume Citron first because my daughter usually likes brighter sound. I heard her start playing the violin, and then she started walking along the hallway and walking into my office while playing the violin, smiling from ear to ear and giggling. I immediately knew that this was Julia's way to say the rosin was so good! Today we tried blending the two rosins, doing two swipes of Vuillaume Citron first and then two swipes of Original Rosin, and the sound became even better. Anyway she said the tone of her violin improved a lot, her playing became smoother and the scratching sound disappeared. Thank you so much! It seems that her violin has been upgraded with your rosin! She is going to perform at Carnegie Hall with your rosins!
We received your rosin (Original) yesterday, and my son (who is the violinist) wanted me to write right away to tell you how much he LOVES this rosin! I am equally impressed with the sound. He has tried any and every brand out there. Nothing comes close in comparison. He says it is incredible for both the fast, bouncy, articulated strokes and a smooth "buttery" legato sound; it gives his violin a new round, earthy sound. Thank you so much for a truly wonderful product!
Dear Mr. Baker,
I really hope this finds you well.
I'm writing you to tell you how amazing your rosin is. It is hard to believe that rosin can make that much of a difference on the sound of an instrument. This rosin gives the player the confidence that the instrument will respond to the slightest inflection of the bow. The playability, the easy and quickness of response is just phenomenal. It brings the best of an instrument. This rosin is magical and it can't be compared to anything on the market. After playing with it for just a few hours all I can think is how much I wish I would have had this rosin from the very beginning of my career!
Thank you so very much. I know that producing this rosin is a labor of love and it shows.
RicardoAssistant Concertmaster John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Definitely the best rosin I've ever used. It has the perfect balance between bite and blend, eliminating all extraneous "bow noise" and allowing the bow to do everything it's supposed to do, without the sticky residue. I ordered one of each, and honestly don't know which one I like better. I've been using the Citron recently and it works beautifully. Every single colleague of mine who has tried this rosin wants some. I hope you never stop making it!"
I'd like to stay on your mailing list, and order more whenever possible. Just let me know when!
Congratulations on an incredible product!
Matthew ThorpeAsst. Principal Second, São Paulo State Orchestra, Brazil
I want you to know that your rosin has made such an incredible difference in my playing that there are no words to express my happiness and appreciation!
I've rehaired my cello bow multiple times trying to improve the tone, and was about to rehair again when I was given one of your cakes the other day. After thoroughly washing the production rosin from my bow, I combed and dried the hair, then applied your rosin. Every possible gap between black & white to a full spectrum of tone color has been more than filled. I appreciate all of your hard work and dedication that such a high quality product must require. I'm using a mix of 70% black hair and 30% white hair. This combination with your violin rosin is an absolute dream. thank you so much!
With warm appreciation and highest regards,
A bit of good news for you - I gave one of the two cakes of Baker's Original rosin that I bought in my last order to my primary teacher, Mikhail Kopelman (former first violinist of the Borodin Quartet and the Tokyo Quartet, and also former concertmaster of the Moscow Philharmonic and former faculty at the Moscow Conservatory and at Yale University, now leader of the Kopelman Quartet and professor of violin at the Eastman School), and he absolutely loved it - he's using it exclusively now and says it's absolutely the best rosin he's ever used.
I have been using your rosin, both the Original and the Villaume. They are far better than anything I have tried to date. I can't find anything negative about your rosins. The bottom line for me is that they make playing that much more enjoyable with either bow and on either violin for the same reasons stated in other testimonials. I am 100% sold! I hope you will retain me on your mailing list for the future and inform me when future rosin is available.
Rosin comparisons are notoriously subjective. So the best I can do in praise of Baker's is to share some experiences of myself and others.
A visiting cellist joined us for our weekly quartet. Before starting she bemoaned her 'good' bow that was in the shop for a rehair. All she had was the 'old battle axe.' I knew Baker's was only advertised as violin rosin, but on a whim I took my viola de gamba bow out of my violin case (don't ask) and suggested she try it with the Bakers. Five swipes of the 'Original Formula' on that viola de gamba bow got her through Shostakovitch's First, Haydn's No. 40, Piazzolla's Libertango, and Dvorak's Cypresses, No 2. She loved it!
At orchestra rehearsal, I was passing around the Citron, which I normally use on my violin, to all those interested. Everyone that tried it noticed a significant difference. They said they could use less bow, get immediate response, and there was very little background string 'fuzz.' Our concertmaster also said she had heard of Baker's and wanted to try as well. She said her bow hair was 'completely played out.' I told her three swipes is all I use. After rehearsal, she told me: ' this is great, it's rejuvinated my bow.'
Baker's was introduced to me by our quartet's first violinist who is a terrific player and owns several very fine instruments. He uses the Citron exclusively and swears by it. He loves the 'buttery' feel and quick response. I also feel this with both formulas - is this due to the higher fat and sugar content of Bakers? I do get a faster buildup on the strings, but this is easily solved by a few swipes of Gamsol. I do not get significant buildup on the violin body however. On a violin, three strokes per session is an absolute maximum.
I use the Citron for my violin, and the Original Formula on my viola and steel-string fiddle. However, I think some players who use heavier strokes, and violins with a slower response, would prefer the Original Formula. Again, I can only offer these somewhat subjective impressions, but I encourage anyone to try it and come to their own conclusion.
I GOT MY ROSIN!!! I am so incredibly pleased. I was (by influence of many other skeptics around me) very doubtful that a one rosin can have everything I'm looking for. I have, in the last two years, had my bow rehaired and otherwise cleaned MANY times so that I can try many different rosins. I have tried every rosin I could think of and I've spent hundreds of dollars. I've tried everything I could think of including a variety of Pirastro rosins, Hill dark/light, Melos, Bernadel, Salchow, Andrea Bang rosins, Liebenzeller, Guillame, Larsen, Clarity, Kaplan, Jade, Millant Deroux, and Hidersine to (unfortunately) name just a few. Some rosins on that list were of incredibly poor quality and others were close to what I wanted but none were flawless by any stretch of the word. I play more than full time in 6 different orchestras and my schedule is demanding. I am rehearsing, performing, or otherwise playing close to six hours per day and I have done so for many years. To say that I have a high expectation of my rosin is an understatement. I needed rosin that didn't need to be reapplied between movements of major symphonies, I needed rosin that was able to grip my strings well but that wouldn't do so in a way that would sacrifice the clarity in my fast or off the string articulation, and most importantly, I needed rosin that would have little or no string noise. Several months ago, I accepted the fact that no rosin could fit my apparently overly-demanding order until, that is, I was fortunate enough to play with your rosin. I was lucky enough to order your citron rosin and your original rosin BOTH of which are better than any other rosin available. Both of your rosins have more than fulfilled my rosin needs and I have, with high regards, recommended them both to my colleagues. I found that, while either of your rosins is better than the best of another maker's rosin, the Baker's Original rosin suits me best and I hope to be able to order two cakes of it EVERY year for the rest of my life... Please? ;) Baker's rosin has earned another very well pleased and exclusive customer. I cannot imagine playing on another rosin after having used yours. My violin and bow would likely just snark at me. Kudos to you and yours. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.
Alex Donovan Johnson
WOW, the reports were all true. This is a fabulous product. I can't believe how much fuller my tone just got.
Thank You! I love your rosin...you guys are great!
I tried the Baker's Citron just to see what properties it had, and to my amazement, it produced a smooth bow flow over each string with a rich color, and without string hiss. It seemed to focus the instrument, and I felt freer to produce the sound i need. It is a very different experience from the known popular rosins. Kudos to Mr Baker.
Ron OaklandConcertmaster of the American Ballet Theatre
I'm a violinist in the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and have experimented with a variety of rosins that can stand up to the wear and tear of everyday orchestral playing, and by far, Baker's rosin blows everything else away. It doesn't leave a gunky residue that builds up on the fingerboard, strings and instrument, it's durable and long-lasting, so that I never feel that I'm playing on an un-rosined bow in the middle of a Brahms symphony, and most importantly, the cake is enclosed in a metal tin that saves rosin and doesn't force to you create grooves in the cake. I feel as if I'm playing on a freshly rehaired bow! It's amazing the kind of difference Baker's rosin makes. I'm sure I'll be using it for the rest of my career.
Robert Vijay GuptaSection 1st violin, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra
Y'all have a such a fine product. I read what you said about your packaging and cake size decisions. After using the Citron rosin consistently I see that it will last plenty long enough to get me to the next 'crop'. You have my undying loyalty. Your rosin made a huge difference in my sound and in my appreciation of my own instrument. I'm just finishing an intensive week of daily lessons including my first introduction to Puccini's music and new bowing skills that make the music beautiful. Your Citron rosin has played no small part in making the week a joyful experience.