Reply To: Moeck or Mollenhauer?

Jonathan Dodd

An old thread I know – But somebody might well come across it on a Google search as I did. That led to me registering for the group, which I didn’t know about! Anyway: I own three descents of similar price band, a Moeck Rottenburgh (new model) in maple, a Mollenhauer denner (new) in pearwood, and an older Dolmetsch in rosewood. I can’t compare Moeck and Mollenhauer in the same wood, but I can make some observations. The Moeck is of course more strident than the others, but is a very musical instrument. Not harsh at all, merely capable of asserting itself when needed, although the lowest notes are weak in comparison to the overall scale of the instrument. It has impeccable intonation. I think it less capable of subtlety and variation in tone than the others. It’s like an actor who can only play one type of character, but does it very well! The Mollenhauer strangely feels smaller somehow in the hands than the others, although the stretch is actually a little longer! It has a lovely purity of sound and is capable of a lot of variation. You need to feel it out carefully to find what it can do. It needs coaxing; simply, you have to work in tandem with it. A very complex instrument in the price bracket. The overall sound is less bold than the Moeck, but it is still a highly capable solo instrument. It also has a strong low range. Intonation is good but occasionally requires adjustment from the player. Not as good as the Moeck. Also I think it ugly aesthetically; a dull brown, like cheap plastic, almost without grain. A shame! The Dolmetsch is of course no longer in production but second-hand examples are fairly common and cost around the same as the others new. It has a sweet tone which is very even across the registers. It doesn’t assert itself but does everything reliably and without fuss. Well worth a look as an alternative if you can find one. Hope this might help people researching the Moeck/Mollenhauer choice thing!