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Oak Rosin

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by BGreaney, Dec 8, 2006.

  1. BGreaney

    BGreaney Guest

    Mar 7, 2005
    So, I've been wondering about this oak rosin being sold on gregorianstrings.com. Is this the same recipe that I hear the bass players of the 60's and beyond swore by. Are there other recipes that are/were probably as good? And finally, if it's so great (which personally I think it is) how did oak rosin sort of fall off the face of the earth only to resurface in the past few years? Thanks for the input everyone.
  2. To Answer the first one, that is strictly a matter of opinion. A lot of players swear by Pop's, Carlssons, Nyman's, Kolstein's etc. and YMMV depening on the Bass, Bow, Strings, Technique and other variables. Now the second part, IMO that is a marketing issue. I don't think there was enough demand in the market to justify marketing a new (old) rosin until recent years, when all kinds of new developements are being made for the DB, and interest is on the upswing.And players for the most part,are more open now to trying new products.Personally, I've been using it for almost a year now, and I like it a lot .It is very similar to the Carlsson's that I used for years, but doesn't powder up as much, but still has the same type of grab that I like.
  3. This might be partially true. You'd have to talk to Arnold Gregorian to get more specifics. Basically what happened is that the rosin was made by Gaston Brohan(former principal of the Detroit Symphony) in the 60s and when he died there was nobody to keep producing it. The recipe was passed on to Brohan's student John Matthews (former principal of the Baltimore Symphony). John didn't do much with the recipe. I think he might have made small batches but I'm not certain of this. John passed the recipe down to his student Arnold Gregorian who decided to put it back on the market.

    I think there would have been a market for this rosin if it had been brought back earlier. There are plenty of orchestra musicians that remember this rosin and would have bought it. With it being so expensive most people are not going to buy it on a whim just to try some random rosin. They will have tried it or have been recommended it. Since it isn't sold by any big name retailers most people aren't going to come across it by accident.
  4. dragonetti11


    Jun 20, 2002
    I have tried it and I liked it...until it got hard and grainy...it about 8-12 months for that to happen...better than pops because you can play in the upper registers with a lot of it on...I"'m using pops curretly...but I like both...I will be getting a kolstein cake soon too
  5. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    I have both the Oak and Kolstein Soft (and AW too). I remember using Kolstein back in the 70s and 80s. Although Pops was and still is known for its stickness, it does dry up and powder alot.

    I think the Kolstein rosin is very similar to the Oak and with the choices or grades, is my preferred choice. I have a cake of Oak now in my bag as my main rosin and will last quite some time but when it's done, I think Kolstein's is just about as good and about half the price.
  6. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    I find Kolstein produces a lot more dust and gunk than the Oak. I used Kolstein before and now I use Oak. Although that said, I do think the Kolstein grabs better. I also found that the Kolstein produced a lot more "noise" (sizzle sound).
  7. Basso03


    Oct 26, 2006
    I head that once the Oak rosin dust gets onto the bass it doesn't come off. Mark Morton use to use it but because of it damaging the varnish he stopped.
  8. Yeah, and I heard sheep! Baah-baah... First you just don't get near as much dust and it definitely doesn't goof up on the finish. I've been using Oak for over a year now and the stuff is great and I got no boogers on my bass. My teacher, who remembers the old Oak says that the new stuff is not exactly the same. Perhaps not, but it is still a bit better for most of my playing than my other favorites. I haven't noticed any change in my cakes, but I keep the boxes closed when I'm not using it.

    My experience with it is very close to what reedo35 reports.

    On the question of marketability, the introduction of the internet has made it possible for many niche products to reach a larger market at greatly reduced advertising costs. Back when Gaston first made this stuff, it would have cost a small fortune to buy ad space in magazines, etc. just to let people know it was there. Now with the internet, the whole international bass community knows and it costs the maker nothing, because we report our experience in our posts. The internet is a powerful tool for small business and Oak Rosin is more marketable now because of this.
  9. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    +1 on all that. A lot less dust and gunk that say Kolstein and definitely no problems on the finish. I don't understand how that rumour got started.
  10. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    New Mexico. USA
    I really like the soft Oak rosin. Two swipes and I'm in business. I find it works well in all seasons. I'm using first-batch stuff Mr. Gregorian gave me nearly two years ago, and I have not noticed any degradation. Of course where I keep it in my workshop the climate does not vary all that much.
  11. Hi! I know this sounds anal, but I use different rosins depending on what I am playing. If I am playing chamber music then I use the oak rosin and if I have to play in an orchestra/movie/commercial then i use pops. I always keep the oak in a small ziplock to keep the moisture in. Whenever any of my rosisns get old and dry I just add a few drops of water to the case or ziplock they r in (I try not to get the water directly on the rosin) and keep doing that as they soak up the water. Then wow back to normal in a few days. I like pops softer than how it arrives originally.
  12. jdapodaca


    May 25, 2006
    El Paso, Texas

    If, for an audition or some other reason, you would have to play a chamber exerpt or/and a solo piece, and right after you would have to play shostakovich and strauss exerpts, how would you execute this, rosin wise? I ask because I also like using a harder rosin for chamber/solo and a stickier rosin for orchestra but sometimes I have to play in different settings at school within a short period of time.
  13. hey, here i go again being picky... heh... well I've used carlsson in the past with good results and would use oak rosin in the future if i ever decide to take another audition, but I think that whichever rosin gives the best overall impression of sound and clarity bassed on the instrument and bow and the weather. honestly the best rosin i have ever tried was made by a ny bassist John Beal.

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