Friday, November 29, 2013

Rosin for your Erhu makes a difference

Few of us realize the impact erhu rosins has on the sound and feel of your erhu.

Some rosins are more sticky than others.  Some offers more grab.  Some gives out more rosin powder.  Some are easier to apply.

Recently we did a blind test on a few types of rosin.

What we did is we took 7 different types of rosins and applied them on 7 new erhu bows.

The rosins that we used were (in order of price):

1) Pirastro Oiv Rosin

2) Pirastro Schwarz Rosin

3) Song Rosin

4) 4 different kinds of Leto Rosin

The bows were attached to 7 Hu Han Rou aged Rosewood erhus.

I did not know which bow is rosined with which brand of rosin and I tested them one by one.

After playing all the 7 erhus with different rosins on the erhu bows, my preference were as follows:

4) 4 different kinds of Leto Rosin

Yes!  Exactly from the most expensive to the least expensive.  

I find that Pirastro Oliv Rosin produces the most satisfying grab on the strings.  As for the 4 Leto rosins, they all feel quite the same to me, although they were sprinkled with bronze, silver and gold dust respectively.

So does that mean the Pirastro Oliv Rosin is the best rosin for the Erhu?

The plot thickens......

I got one of my erhu instructors to do the blind test as well, and guess what he said?

"The one with Leto rosins are the best!  The Pirastro Oliv Rosin and Pirastro Schwarz Rosin is too sticky for my liking."

Thus the conclusion is........different rosins suit different people!

If you like sticky rosins with good grab, the Pirastro Oliv Rosin is good for you.  If you prefer a smoother experience, the Leto rosins are good (coming to our store soon).

So, be adventurous to try out different types of rosin to see what suits you best.

Visit our Rosin store here.


  1. The dark Pirastro rosins are not suitable for erhu, I think, but the amber ones are pretty good. I used Pirastro Obligato for years, and Song rosin for a while. Now I am using Bernardo rosin, and like it best.

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  2. Hi, I am going with the philosophy of choosing a rosin based on the humidity of the place your playing in. I guess it can even be complicated even more by using different types of strings to see what combination of strings and rosin is best.

    But what really amazes me about this post is, how there are 7 Hu Han Rou erhus just sitting there without a home to go to. Thats so sad. I hope they all find good homes.

  3. I think it all depends on where you live, if its very dry then the dark seems to be the right choice, whereas amber for the more moist places. It seems to me that its also a combination of strings and rosin, which two are best suited for one another.

    However what amazed me was how he mentioned he used 7 Hu Han Rou erhus. Omg, that's so sad, all those pretty young erhus just sitting there without a home to go to for Christmas.

    Now I am going to be bummed out all day just thinking about that. :-(

  4. I the the Leto ones are okay, but it suits violin more compare to erhu. The Pirastro ones are sticky, but it's okay for me I heard that there is one of the Pirastro rosin that suits erhu the most though I can't remember which one was it.

    It really depends on personal preference, but normally violin rosins suits violins better. I'm using VF ROSIN and I like it cause it's smooth. I like an erhu rosin from WXD, it's made for erhu and it's good.