Ravitz
Violin
Shoulder Rest

 



 
 



 
 



 
 



 
  

Introducing the Ravitz Violin Shoulder Rest

This shoulder rest is now for sale via Ebay. The price is $100, which includes Priority Mail shipping. An EVA carrying case is included because it is likely that the shoulder rest will not fit in your violin case. If you have any questions, contact me - Cary Ravitz, 859-263-5087, ravitz_at_ravitz.us (replace _at_ with @).

The Ravitz Violin Shoulder Rest is a new shoulder rest that is, I believe, more configurable than any other current shoulder rest. Adjustment features -

And its attachment to the violin minimizes interference with sound and is quick and secure.
Recent changes

This shoulder rest is still in development, although at this point I am only changing details. These are some recent changes.


Protecting the violin

There are ten silicone tube bumpers on this shoulder rest that prevent hard surfaces from contacting the violin - one at the top of each violin plate grip, one on each violin plate grip bottom stop, three on the base, and an optional one on one of the shoulder plate connector bolts.

For some adjustments, the shoulder plate connector bolt on the fixed end of the base may stick up above the base, potentially contacting the violin during installation of the shoulder rest. The small silicone tube (4mm diameter, 8 mm long) may be slipped over the bolt, with about 3 mm left above the bolt, to provide a soft bumper.


Installing the shoulder rest on the violin

This shoulder rest is attached to the violin similarly to many others, but it does not install like these rests because of the spring loaded violin plate grips.

To install the shoulder rest on the violin, put one of the violin plate grips on the violin, pull the other grip out, position it, and release it. Make sure that the violin plate is held in the middle of the V in both grips.


The parts

The shoulder plate

The shoulder plate is malleable aluminum with 3 mm foam. It may bent repeatedly to form to your shoulder or chest.

Before bending the shoulder plate, loosen the bolts on the ball joint assemblies so that they can slide and so the vertical bolts are free, or remove the plate from the base.

The ball joint assemblies (original)

The ball joint assemblies connect the shoulder plate to the base.

Looking at a ball joint assembly from the end of the shoulder plate - on the left is a bolt that keeps the assembly in place on the plate. Loosen this bolt, slide the assembly along the shoulder plate, squeeze and hold it across the plate, and tighten the bolt.

The middle and right bolts tighten the ball joint. In general, you just need to make small adjustments to one bolt, but it is best to keep the gaps even.

The ball joint assemblies (new)

The ball joint assemblies connect the shoulder plate to the base.

Looking at a ball joint assembly from the end of the shoulder plate - on the left end is a bolt that keeps the assembly in place. Loosen this bolt, slide the assembly along the shoulder plate, and tighten the bolt. This bolt does not need to be very tight to hold in place.

The middle and right bolts tighten the ball joint. In general, you just need to make small adjustments to one bolt, but it is best to keep the gaps even.

The violin plate grips

The violin plate grips only need to be adjusted to set the distance from the base to the violin. Loosen the bolt on the grip and move the spin stop up. Spin the grip to the height that you need. Then move the spin stop back into place and tighten the bolt. The grip moves .5 mm vertically for each full turn.

Keep the gap from the base to the bottom of the grip to less than 9 mm to ensure that the plate grip is stable on the bolt. If you need the grip to be higher than this, the 25 mm bolt that connects the base to the grip can be replaced with a 30 mm bolt. If you replace this bolt, make sure that the top of the bolt does not extend past the top of the grip as the grip can easily hit the bottom of the violin during installation of the shoulder rest (as long as the bolt does not extend above the grip plastic, the silicone bumper at the top of the grip will prevent scratching the violin).

The base

The distance from the base to the shoulder plate can be adjusted on each end. (You might need to loosen the ball joint assemblies first.) Loosen the thumbwheels, shift the base, and tighten the thumbwheels. Make sure that the bolt does not extend above the bottom of the plate grip (check the entire travel length of the sliding plate grip) - you do not want it near the bottom of the violin. You may slip the small silicone tube on the bolt, leaving a few mm above the bolt to act as a soft bumper.

If there is not enough height range, the connector bracket may be changed. Brackets are available that extend 0, 5 mm, 10 mm, 15 mm below the base. If that is not enough, the ball joint bolt can be replaced, 20 mm, 25 mm, 30 mm, 40 mm bolts are available.

The base of the violin plate grip on the fixed side of the base is held on by a bolt that allows for adjustment of the the plate grip bolt angle. Since the base is flexible, it can be twisted slightly, depending on the mounting of the shoulder plate. This can cause one of the two violin plate grips to not fully seat on the plate. This can be adjusted by carefully vertically aligning the two shoulder plate mounting bolts so that the violin plate grips are in the same plane. It can also be compensated for by loosening the bolt at the fixed end of the base, rotating the violin plate grip mount to compensate, and tightening the bolt.

The width of the base is adjustable, but this is unlikely to be needed for full size violins. If the spring loaded slide is too far from the end of the base (when attached to the violin) the width of the base can be adjusted. Remove the base bolt (opposite end from the spring), adjust the width as needed and replace the bolt. One of the two base holes align with the width adjustment slide holes in 2.5 mm increments.

The base should not contact the violin in general, but it it is flexible and excess pressure can cause contact. There are three silicone bumpers along the length of the base that help prevent any hard surface from contacting the violin. These are bumpers and should not contact the violin in normal usage.

The slide end of the base should be at the higher end of the shoulder plate as it sits on your shoulder - shoulder side rather than the chest side. This is so that if you pull down on the violin it will not pull against the slide.

The ball bolt

You might want to replace the ball bolt that connects the ball joint assembly to the base if you need a higher rest. Because the ball is small it is hard to grip. It can be useful to remove a ball joint assembly from the shoulder plate, set the bolt to be vertical, and tighten the joint. This lets you more easily loosen and tighten the ball bolt.

Everything in one print


How to set up the shoulder rest.

Do NOT overtighten the nuts - a snug fit is all that is needed.

Adjust the base to the violin

First the base needs to be adjusted to the violin. This can be done with or without the shoulder plate attached. Attach the base to the violin and check for clearance. This can be adjusted up and down by spinning the violin plate grips as needed. Loosen the spin stops on the grips and rotate them out of the way. Then spin the grips as needed to get the right base clearance and rotate and tighten the spin stops. The base is flexible so make sure there are several mm of clearance across the base.

If the spring loaded slide is too far from the end of the base (when attached to the violin) adjust the width of the base. Remove the base exension bolt (opposite end from the spring), slide the base extension in or out to adjust the width as needed, and replace the bolt. One of the two base holes align with the base extension holes in 2.5 mm increments.

Adjust the shoulder plate to yourself

This is easier if the base not attached to the shoulder plate. Or you can just loosen the shoulder plate clamps and ball joint bolts. Then adjust/bend the shoulder plate to fit as you like.

Attach the shoulder plate to the base

The slide end of the base should be at the higher end of the shoulder plate as it sits on your shoulder - shoulder side rather than the chest side. This is so that if you pull down on the violin it will not pull against the slide.

Loosen the shoulder plate clamp and ball joint bolts. Slide the ball joint assemblies onto the shoulder plate with bolts facing the near ends of the plate, to the approximate location needed by the base. Squeeze each assembly to fit the shoulder plate and lightly tighten the clamp bolt. Pivot the ball joint bolts to roughly vertical. Set a square nut on each vertical bolt to set the height of the base. Insert the vertical bolts into the base connectors and set a thumbwheel nut on top of the base connector.



Now the hard part. Adjust the ball joint assembly on the shoulder plate and the bolt orientation to get the plate to base orientation as desired. You will likely have to tighten and loosen the adjustments nuts a few times along the way. When everything is as desired, tighten the bolts snugly, but do NOT overtighten. Try to keep the two shoulder plate mount bolts parallel so that the violin plate grips are in the same plane - otherwise the violin may not seat completely in the grips.

It is important that the shoulder plate sit flat against your shoulder/chest. The aluminum plate should not touch you, as it can rub or dig in and cause pain. You may not notice this until you have played for a while. Loosen either of the right hand bolts on the ball joint assemblies, adjust the angle of the plate, and retighten.


The Design

This shoulder rest is an original design by Cary Ravitz. (Patent pending, US patent application 29568552)

New violin shoulder rest concepts

Other Design Features

After designing this shoulder rest, I was somewhat worried about the claims in a patent from the makers of the Lindd shoulder rest - US 8492629, specifically a support beam between the shoulder plate and the violin and the plate clamps not touching the violin plate beyond the purfling. A patent search showed much earlier prior art utilizing a separate violin attachment beam and shoulder plate. And a quick examination of three common shoulder rests - Wolf, BonMusica, and Mach One show that the first two have violin plate grip bottom stops that extended beyond the purfling but do not touch the violin plate beyond the purfling.

US 4333378 - a 1982 Hrdlicka patent showing a base clamped to the violin with a separate shoulder plate. The violin attachment shows an adjustable width between violin plate grips and shoulder plate attachment only at the middle.

US 4386548 - a 1983 Wolf patent showing a support base clamped to the violin with a separate shoulder plate. The violin attachment shows an adjustable width base between violin plate grips and shoulder plate attachments at each end.

DE 2848610 A1, DE 2848610 C2 - a 1980 Motamedi-Lenjani patent describes a hooked shoulder plate extension. This is the BonMusica patent.


Construction

The shoulder plate is .05 inch 3003-H14 aluminum, either 1.375 in (35 mm) x 9 in or 1.375 in x 10 in.

The bolts are either M3 button head or M2.5 cap head. Both use a 2mm hex wrench. All nuts are thin except where noted.

All of the plastic parts are printed (currently using a Lulzbot Mini) with PLA (polylactic acid). This is a plant based plastic that is biodegradable.

Plastic parts

Standard parts

On request parts


Last modified 9:21 PM, 15 Feb 2017 - File size 22K - Count 3181