PIRASTRO KorflerCradle® – Features and advantages
- Outstanding response and maximum projection through a revolutionary patented attachment system
- Featherlight construction in highest quality maple
- Fast and secure attachment of cradle and rest
- Precise adjustment mechanism and bendable maple offer maximum comfort
- Fits any violin and all popular chin rests
- Included accessory enables very low positions
Freedom of sound
The PIRASTRO KorfkerCradle® represents the ultimate in shoulder rest design. It uses an ingenious maple attachment system and a rest from bendable maple. Enhanced by superior metal connections and refined using the latest computer aided technology, the PIRASTRO KorfkerCradle® allows the player total comfort and the instrument complete freedom of sound and response unparalleled by any other rest system on the market today.
Every violinist knows the violin is a very sensitive instrument and should not be surprised that adding a shoulder rest weighing up to 200 grams manufactured with large amounts of rubber, plastic or metal will have a significant effect on the sound a violin produces. In recent years violinists have become increasingly aware of this problem and together with Berent Korfker, Pirastro decided to address the issue of undisturbed sound production with the design of the PIRASTRO KorfkerCradle®.
The fundamental first step we took during the R&D phase was to leave behind any constraints in manufacturing and choice of materials, allowing the PIRASTRO KorfkerCradle® to evolve without any limitations. At every step of the following process and with zero disturbance of the instrument in mind, our panel listened to each instrument without any shoulder rest before and after every sound test of a prototype, choosing those prototypes that offered least disturbance at best tonal characteristics.
In our research we found there to be four main factors how a shoulder rest can negatively influence the sound of a violin. Although we made many more discoveries, this is what we can share about how we tackled these factors while designing the PIRASTRO KorfkerCradle®.
Close to where a conventional shoulder rest clamps the violin, the wood of the back is extremely thin and sensitive to any added weight. Further sensitive areas are the edge of the violin just inside the purfling and the end block. It was one of our fundamental goals to avoid contact with these areas and it is therefore that our unique and patented attachment system, the cradle, was designed.
It connects with the violin on each side of the end block as well as on the corner blocks, where the violin vibrates minimally. Furthermore the edge of the violin is touched only outside the purfling by hand-made, leather coated attachment points.
Vibrations travel more freely through wood that is in its relaxed state than through wood under compression. This explains why the clamping force exerted on the back of the violin by conventional, “bridge” type shoulder rests has a strong effect on the sound of an instrument. This lead us to another fundamental goal: attaching the cradle without any resulting compression exerted on the instrument.
This was achieved by an ingenuous hook and ball mechanism which allows quick, easy and safe attachment and removal of the cradle without compressing the wood of the back.
The material composition of a shoulder rest has a very significant effect on the sound a violin produces. The use of materials like plastic and rubber and an excessive use of metals lead to particularly unsatisfactory results. After much testing we decided to produce all main parts from high quality tone wood maple and a special alloy aluminium which delivered the most neutral sound and least resistance to vibrations. The wood of the rest was chosen to match the maple of the cradle and made bendable through a purely mechanical process which did not negatively impact on the sound properties of the wood.
The rubber pads on the shoulder rest have been kept as thin and light as possible to avoid sound absorption. After testing various high quality varnishes and observing their significant impact on the sound, we started a long search for a sound-neutral varnish which took us deep into the field of chemistry. The varnish we discovered allows the wood complete freedom and does not colour the resulting sound spectrum.
Various cooperations with specialists of different fields have been made during the development process on most parts to achieve the unmatched innovations.
When the first challenges were met, reducing the weight of the design became our final goal. As most of the rest was made from maple tone wood, we started off with an advantage. To optimise its weight without compromising its stability, we minimised the volume of the cradle through a detailed 3D CAD tweaking of its shape. When we set out to minimise the weight of the shoulder rest we designed the legs to be sleek but extremely stable before choosing the hardened light weight aluminium alloy. Further attention went into the choice of rubber for the rubber pads, which has an ideal ratio between mass and stiffness. So comfort, longevity and minimal weight could be guaranteed.
While it is elegant and streamlined in design, the PIRASTRO KorfkerCradle® stands up to extensive long term use. Tested constantly under rigorous playing conditions by professional violinists over more than four years it has been used during major solo performances with orchestra, full time orchestral playing and in extensive quartet tours. Glue connections have been stress-tested and the wooden and metal parts are exceptionally strong, reflecting that strength and stability during playing were always a first condition during development.
Development and production
Together with violinist Berent Korfker, Pirastro has dedicated several years to the development and testing of the PIRASTRO KorfkerCradle®. During this once in a lifetime collaboration, no stone was left unturned in the quest for the ultimate shoulder rest system. Every part of this unique and patented design has been painstakingly tested for sound properties and stability, resulting in an unmatched freedom of sound, expanded projection, and revolutionary security and comfort during performance.
Pirastro achieved its goal of total freedom for the instrument by using an ingenious attachment system, superior materials, and a shape developed using the latest computer aided technology.
With the use of bendable maple, Pirastro presents yet another innovation to the string world. For the first time, a wooden shoulder rest can be bent to achieve the best possible fit. Combined with an extensive adjustment mechanism, it offers the user an unrivalled level of comfort.
The PIRASTRO KorfkerCradle® is handmade in Germany with precision engineered parts. The wood is hand finished and varnished to the highest standard.
Unlocking the violin's maximum potential of articulation, timbre and projection while offering unparalleled comfort and stability, the PIRASTRO KorfkerCradle® sets a new standard in shoulder rest design.
The patented attachment system is responsible for the unequalled acoustic properties of the PIRASTRO KorfkerCradle® and allows fast handling and total stability.
Top quality maple tone wood is combined with a custom-made sound neutral aluminum alloy resulting in a featherlight rest with exceptional tonal compatibility.