Review: The New KorfkerRest Luna Shoulder Rest by Pirastro

April 13, 2023, 6:07 PM · Just last month Pirastro came out with its KorfkerRest Luna shoulder rest - a new and less-expensive take on its popular KorfkerRest - and I've been dying to try it out, wondering, is it as good as the original? Does it feel the same? Sound the same? Look the same?

I got my chance to try it on Thursday, when I met with Pirastro Marketing Manager Ed Mingo, who was in town for the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Show this week in Anaheim (I'll be there Friday!). Below is a video of Ed Mingo and me, talking a little bit about the Luna and fitting it for my violin; and below that is my written review of the Luna:

I've been playing with the original KorfkerRest for about four years now. It's a light and thin shoulder rest, made of tonewood maple, and its feet have holding power like none other - it never falls off the fiddle. Once I tried it, there was no going back. As I said in an earlier review of the KorfkerRest, I trust this shoulder rest, and it feels very comfortable to me.

The KorfkerRest Luna has much the same design, with the same grippy feet and weighing exactly the same as the original - 32 grams. There are some important differences, though, and a lot of them, to me, are big positives. Here is a list:

The price: while the original KorfkerRest runs about $385, the Luna costs about $235 - some $150 less!

The materials: The Luna KorfkerRest is made with an acoustically-tested, proprietary composite material created by Pirastro. And when I say it has been tested, "We tested materials for four years," Mingo said. "We went through tons of materials to come up with this." Why? Berent Korfker, the violinist who invented the KorfkerRest, "wanted the rest to vibrate with the instrument," Mingo said. Also, they wanted the Luna to have the same weight has the original. As for its appearance, the entire shoulder rest is concert black. (It looks pretty cool!)

Adjustments: The original KorfkerRest comes with a special "Torx key" tool so that you can adjust the screws and thereby affect the height, tilt, and fit of the rest. It can take some tinkering to get it right. The new Luna takes a different approach to adjustments: it comes with six differently sized and interchangeable legs, and you can just pop one out and pop in another. They have a simple guide that allows you to pick the right legs, based on the width of your violin (in millimeters).

Collapsible feet: the Luna has collapsible feet so that it fits more easily into the violin case - a big plus in my book!

So how did the Luna KorfkerRest feel? I have to say, it felt very good. While testing it, I also compared it with my KorferRest original, playing my violin with one rest and then the other. This is a limited data set, as I had to (sadly) send the Luna away with Ed so he could show it to everyone else at NAMM! But I will give you my first impressions:

• The Luna was like a really good pair of shoes, where you don't feel anything about the shoes, but it feels really good to walk. The Luna seemed even more attached to the violin than the original, like it was just part of the instrument. I absolutely did not need to worry that it would fall off.

• Adjusting it was really simple - to be fair, Ed was there to help me identify which feet to use, but all we needed was the width of my violin and the chart, and then that narrowed it down to just a few possibilities. And frankly, after spending about two minutes putting on the right feet (very simple to remove and replace) - this rest already seemed to fit my fiddle better than the other one. To be fair, I have not put in the time to really truly get the other one properly adjusted. But for people who may not be inclined to tinker, it's nice to have a simple solution, as the Luna does.

• I'm jealous of the collapsible feet.

• For the first time ever, I took note of the difference in sound. My violin sounded just a little bit darker with the Luna than with the original. Ed agreed. While this is a huge deal for a lot of people (including Mr. Korfker himself) - it's frankly an element that I have always ignored, when it comes to shoulder rests.

My biggest takeaway was simply the high level of comfort and trust, something both the original and the Luna KorfkerRest provide. If you play your violin every day and all the time, this is worth the investment.

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April 14, 2023 at 02:31 AM · Thank you for the great review! I’m curious to know what you mean when you say your violin sounds darker with the Luna. Do you feel like it dampens your instrument more? Could you compare it to the sound you get using other shoulder rests?

I’m currently using a Xeros sponge after being a die hard bon musica user for many years. I love the lightness of the sponge, how my instrument sounds and also that it attaches easily without the use of elastics. Both Korfker rests really appeal to me but I’m leaning toward the Luna if the sound is right.

Many thanks!

April 14, 2023 at 02:36 AM · Angela, the fiddle did not seem to have less volume, it just seemed to have a very slightly different quality of tone, which I'd describe as being a very subtle shade darker. I did not try it with other rests, nor did I try it with no rests, so I don't have any data points there! That would certainly be a good experiment.

April 14, 2023 at 07:55 AM · It is also my experience that the LUNA sounds different from the Korfker, but not in a bad way. All my colleagues who tried the LUNA found that it makes their instruments sound better.

April 14, 2023 at 04:37 PM · How does it compare tonally to the vlm diamond rest?

April 15, 2023 at 03:16 PM · The hook effect at the shoulder end seems less than on many photos of the adjusted maple Korfker. Is the Luna going to satisfy as many players?

I await a viola version..

April 17, 2023 at 12:19 AM · Laurie, it's amazing what lengths green jealousy can drive someone like you to! You REALLY wish to be cut into six pieces with two of them wedged between the body of a Korfker rest and the violin!?!?

April 17, 2023 at 03:58 AM · Well I don’t want collapsible feet for mySELF, John, just for my shoulder rest!

April 17, 2023 at 09:20 PM · I wasn't suggesting you wanted collapsible feet for yourself, Laurie - What you wrote was that you were jealous of them, and, therefore, presumably, wanted to take their place.

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