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Based on 7 Reviews
Reviewed On: 09/08/2019
When I first opened the envelope containing the Impressionist, I didn't really know what to expect: it arrives as a small rubber puck, slightly thicker on one side, with a texture somewhat like that of a practice mute. The instruction sheet has a little spiel about how the Impressionist is the best thing since Spohr invented the chinrest, along with bios of the two jolly looking fellows who came up with the thing. Somewhat incredulous, I popped the thing in a cup, poured on the water, set the timer, and proceeded to brew a couple cups of Impressionist tea. After the heating and following cooling process, I placed it on my chinrest, made an "impression," and then let it set in. The whole process took less than 30 minutes. So far so good, but how does it work in practice? Quite well, as I soon discovered. This product does two things: it adds to the height of the chinrest, and serves to fix the chin/jaw into position on the rest itself by virtue of the impression that you make on it. It does both of these things very well. At first I was worried about it potentially falling off (they actually included a bit of double-sided tape in the package), but after the Impressionist had cooled it ended up "sealing" itself to the rest, to the point where taking it off required a bit of prying. So, no worries there: once it's on it's on! However, I did find that once on my case wouldn't close: the extra height ended up being just a little too much. Taking it off obviously necessitates breaking that "seal," though, which I thought was going to be an issue when putting it back on later (as once it cools it doesn't form that seal like it does when it is fresh out of the water, and who has boiling water handy wherever they play?). What I found, though, was that after putting it back on and playing on it for 45 minutes or so, it actually started to heat up a bit: it acts like a body-heat sink in this respect. This caused it to gradually re-seal, and while this seal wasn't as strong as when it had come out of the water, it was still more than enough to hold it on, even when my violin was inverted or moved around (contrast this to when it was cold and first put on, where it would have fallen on the floor). Bottom line is, if you have to take it off and on, as long as you have a chance to warm up (you AND the Impressionist) before performing then you'll be fine (alternatively, I suppose it would also be possible to fix it into position with a rubber band as well, which could then be removed later once the Impressionist had resealed). Now, there are a few more things to mention. First, this thing is a bit of a lint magnet: when I was drying it off after the heating process I noticed that some lint from the towel stuck on it, so it might be advisable to use a microfiber cloth or something similar for that. Likewise, hair is also something that can stick to it, even when it cools (it sort of retains a tacky sort of feel). Depending on how clean your case is, this could be more or less of an issue. Because I take it off after playing, I stow it in the plastic bag it arrived in inside my case. This keeps it from snagging any stray bits of dust or whatnot. Even if it does pick up some stuff over time, though, the instructions say it IS washable, so this isn't a deal breaker for me by any means. Just don't let your cat get a hold of it. The other thing about it is that it does a really good job of locking your chin into place. Like, a really good job. If you're one of those people who likes to move your head around a lot when you play (I'll admit, stuff like that can add a lot of dramatic flair during a performance) then you might be taken aback by the stability that the Impressionist provides. What I'd recommend is it to experiment with multiple impressions when it is cooling: it might be possible to make a "main" impression and then a "secondary" one that you could switch to while playing. Obviously, this is going to be an individual thing and I can't guarantee it'll work for you, but when it was fresh out of the water it was quite malleable. Just something to consider. Overall, I feel this is a great product. It makes your chinrest feel like it was custom fitted to you, at a fraction of the cost. Yes, it might have a tendency to attract lint, but at this price point I consider that a non-issue. As for durability, I can't speak on that yet, but the product is advertised as being "Long lasting," so there is that. The best thing since the chinrest? I don't know, but it works and I'm happy with it. I'll leave that one to the historians.
Yes | 18 people found this review helpful
Reviewed On: 03/25/2016
After futzing with NUMEROUS shoulder rests to find a firm and comfortable way to play, I purchased this. Made all the difference in the world. I highly recommend this maleable product.
Yes | 272 people found this review helpful
Reviewed On: 12/13/2014
Like many players, I have experimented with various chin rests and shoulder rests, and had arrived at what I thought was a pretty good setup. I knew there was still some looseness in it, and while I was playing I often made little adjustments to how I was holding my violin. Now with the Impressionist in place I don't have to adjust at all. I'm amazed at how much it helps my playing - it's easier to play in tune, my left hand is more relaxed, and my tone is better because it's easier to pay attention my bow placement and angle. It's a very substantial difference. I wish I would have found this thing years ago.
Yes | 543 people found this review helpful
Reviewed On: 04/02/2012
I am a small person to play viola, and after long rehearsals, always had a sore neck and shoulder. When I first molded my Impressionist I was very skeptical that it would work, since it didn't seem to change shape very much. It was just what was needed to get a better hold on a large viola. I play for community theater musicals, church gigs and weddings and no longer have any soreness after playing for hours at a time.
Yes | 541 people found this review helpful
Reviewed On: 12/07/2011
I love the functionality of this product and was very happy with the first one until is started falling apart. The material broke down and would stick to my neck. I bought another hoping for better results, but the result has been the same. Maybe it's my body chemistry, but I was very disappointed.
Yes | 555 people found this review helpful
Reviewed On: 08/20/2011
I got it for my uncomfortable chinrest. It never molds right! I keep trying but it is never right!
Yes | 512 people found this review helpful
Reviewed On: 05/05/2008
I have had the pleasure of using a prototype of this device for several months, and it has done wonders for my playing position and comfort. I am pleased to see it finally for sale, so that I can get one for each of my students. It is easy to use and customize for the shape of my jawbone and chin. No more pain when playing, and my physical therapist is pleased to see correct posture now in my neck and spine as I hold the violin. Now I can focus on the music, not the challenge of holding and supporting the instrument.
Yes | 561 people found this review helpful
Asked On: 12/20/2020
The Impressionist is a "firm cushion" after being installed, similar to a rubber practice mute. However, as it warms up, it will naturally become a little cushier (but not enough to ruin the fitting).
Yes | 10 people found this question helpful
Asked On: 08/28/2020
Hi Amanda, thank you for your question. Yes, the item states that it is easily cut with scissors after its heated. Please let us know if you have any further questions.
Yes | 11 people found this question helpful
Asked On: 08/07/2020
Hi Jeong, thanks for your question! Yes, the tackiness will dissipate over time. It is intended to provide extra grip and improve overall comfort. Please let us know if you have any other questions.
Yes | 13 people found this question helpful
Asked On: 09/28/2016
Thanks for your question James! The Impressionist is attached by softening the chinrest comforter with hot water. Once softened, you can mold and attach it to your instruments chinrest by making a firm impression. You can remove The Impressionist by placing your thumbs on the edge and pushing up gentle. This will not damage your chinrest finish. Once removed, it can be re-softened and reshaped indefinitely. Hope this helps!
Yes | 137 people found this question helpful