Magic Rosin has existed since 2010 and the current formula was made in 2012. In not much time at all Magic Rosin has gone from a tiny company to a major player in the string world. You can find it at many retail stores as well as straight from the Magic Rosin Website. When I first heard of Magic Rosin I was quite skeptical. At the time I was using Andrea Solo rosin which is regarded in the string community as one of the best you can buy. When I first heard of it I felt that Magic Rosin must just be a gimmick and I refused to touch it. The only problem was that it took off and everyone who I met who used it loved it!
The rosin is very clear with an image placed underneath. The images range from colorful designs to company logos and other fun pictures. The rosin is made from only pine rosins with no other ingredients. There are no sparkles or colors in the actual rosin, but on the paper below it. I assumed since it was clear that it had to be some sort of synthetic material, but I was completely wrong.
The images placed behind the rosin looks cool but after a couple uses you will not be able to see it clearly behind the worn rosin (unless you melt the top of it after every time you use it).
The rosin that I used in this demo was the 3G. The other model that Magic Rosin makes is "Ultra" which has more grip. To get a fair test I used three brand new identical bows. One was rosined with a generic wood block "student" rosin, one was rosined with the Andrea Solo, and one with the 3G Magic Rosin.
Initial adhering to the bow
The Andrea rosin began working immediately while the Magic Rosin took a little bit of time to get going. None of them compared to the student block which was a struggle. After awhile I had to resort to scratching the rosin and worked twice as much to get the rosin to initially stick to the bow.
There was barely any grip on the wood block rosin. Even though the block is darker in color which usually means it will be grippier this "student" rosin is an exception to the rule. The Andrea gripped very well but not enough to be too sticky. The Magic rosin was very grippy. I had no problem at all with grabbing the lower strings.
The tone was effected In the same manner as the grip. The rosin in the wood block was thin, and tinny. The Andrea rosin was nice and full, but not overly warm. The Magic rosin created a nice dark tone. This was a good compliment to the synthetic strings currently on my violin.
Rosin dust can be a big factor in choosing rosin. All three rosin had little rosin dust while playing.
UPDATE (9/27/14): I have had the chance to use Ultra Magic Rosin which is a bit grippier than the 3G. I tend to like grippier rosin and use the same for violin and viola. It may be the cold/dry winters in Michigan but softer/darker rosin just seems to work well for me. Ultra worked great for that and I am torn as to which I prefer using. I may trade off 3G in the summer and Ultra in the winter. It may not be for everyone, especially if you like harder rosin. Ultra was able to grip very well without feeling tacky. I decided to also try it on a German bass bow but it feel a little short of being soft enough to use on a Double Bass.
Wow, Magic Rosin surprised me. This rosin can hold it's own, and in my opinion is better in grip and tone than many of the big names out there today. It is grippy, gives a full tone, and looks cool while doing it.
Just like strings every rosin has it's place and purpose. If you are new to playing then a cheap "student" block of rosin is perfectly acceptable. It took me quite a long time to be able to even hear the difference between one rosin and another. Many violinists still will swear by a "student" block either because they like that slicker feel or because they claim the difference is to small to tell. Magic rosin feels comparable to a dark rosin with its grip and works really well with synthetic strings. If you are new to the violin,or have been playing for decades Magic Rosin is worth a look. It unique and works very well.
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