Plastic, provides clear yet muted sound. Not designed for viola.
"I have enormous enthusiam for the Finissima Artist Mute. Since putting it on my own violin the afternoon it was shown to me, I have not removed it and it will remain a permanent part of my accessories for performance.
It is an extraordinarily wonderful development for all string players, in particular every orchestral string player. The quality of its muted sound is much better than any other that has been developed to this point. And its ease, speed and comfort make it the most natural concomitant to good music making that I have seen.
I heartily endorse this mute for any performer that has respect for his own work."
Issac Stern - New York, 1997
What Should I Look For in a Mute?
All string players should have at least one mute, and there are three important factors to consider. First and foremost, ease of use. How quickly can the mute be put in place or removed? How important is this to you? Orchestral players sometimes only have one measure to install or remove a mute. Secondly, sound quality. The goal of the mute is to lower the volume only, not dampen the good quality of your instrument. Regarding overall sound quality, the degree to which a mute "rattles" when not in use but still on the strings between the bridge and tailpiece is important as well. Third is aesthetics. Truth be told, many players consider the importance of overall look and feel, trying a variety of mutes to find out what works and looks best on their instrument. Fortunately, mutes are not too expensive, so this is a relatively low cost endeavor.
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