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New violin is here
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MrYikes
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December 31, 2016 - 8:03 pm
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My wife is ruining my violin playing.  She really is.  And she is doing it without even asking or talking about it.  She retired.
I practice for long stretches on the same thing.  Over and over and over.  And while she was working, I was simply driving the cats crazy (I think I succeeded in that).  But now that she's here ALL THE TIME I try to play quietly and yell to her, "can you hear that", to which she always responds, "it doesn't bother me".  Yesterday she was painting flowers, yet when I walked by, I noticed big red and black slashes (it looked like a bomb had gone off) on her canvas.  I think it does bother her.
Today my new Irin electric violin came in.  I can now play without bothering her, unless I want to plug it into the amp and effects box, then I can REALLY get to her, heh, heh, heeh.  This violin cost $67.  It has a 61 gram bow that feels really good, the pegs work well and it sounds good.  I spent 4 hours working on it so it feels the way I want and I have more to do in the future, but I am happy with it.  And tomorrow, my wife will be also.irin-012.JPGImage Enlarger

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MACJR
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December 31, 2016 - 8:52 pm
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My Cecilio CEVN-1BK arrives in a couple more days. I do not have a wife to contend with, but I do want to keep from annoying neighbors.

I have read that these electric/silent violins are supposed to be quieter than an acoustic violin with a mute on, at least when you have the headphones plugged in.

I am hoping that is true. Although using a mute helps, I would like to make even less noise, if possible.

MACJR

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MrYikes
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January 1, 2017 - 7:55 am
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Yes Mac, you can not hear it on the other side of a door, so you will not upset anyone with your playing except yourself (ha).  I do not know how long a 9v battery will last in this violin and having to repeatedly buying them, I would like to find a rechargeable battery that will fit.  The battery compartment is a very tight fit for the battery and I have learned that most rechargeables are slightly larger, so I will be searching for that.  This violin weighs 500 grams (545 with the battery).  Three of my violins are in the 300 area and one is 400 something, so I thought weight would be an issue, but that doesn't seem to be the case.  It feels very comfortable.  I'll see how that goes after a couple of long practice days.  I like necks to be narrow and thin, so I took off 2 mm on the sides and 2 off the bottom to give me 21 across and 18 deep, then painted the fingerboard sides with a sharpie and oiled the neck with boiled linseed oil.  I also oiled the fingerboard, but don't know how much good that did since its a painted board, but at least I tried.  I tightened the tailpiece strap to put the tailpiece where I wanted it.  I haven't had to work with the pegs, they seem to work and hold well enough.  I did make a new bridge to lower the action, then painted it with a sharpie and microwaved it.  The ad said that the bow had synthetic hair.  I can't tell by looking but I have applied FM rosin a lot, yet the bow seems slippery.  I need to play around with it some more to understand it better.  Oh and one of the rosins they sent (they sent two) was pulverized and poured out onto the couch when I opened it.  I had to laugh at that.  The other rosin was deformed.  Both are valuable to me as talking points, but will not be used on a violin.

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MACJR
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January 1, 2017 - 1:37 pm
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Good to hear that your electric violin is that quiet. Now I just hope mine will be as quiet as yours.

And yes, sometimes my playing skill level does bother me. It seems to me that I should already be better than I am, but then, I am still less than four months in, so maybe I should not be so hard on myself. At least I do keep getting better the more I practice.

It did not occur to me to think about battery life. I better stock up on 9v batteries then. I will buy a rechargeable and see if it fits as well. That would be more cost effective.

MACJR

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coolpinkone
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January 1, 2017 - 9:48 pm
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Mr. Yikes. 

Congrats on your new violin.  And congrats to your wife on retirement.

I hope she continues to bake cookies for you while you play. 🙂

How thoughtful to get a quiet violin.  It looks very nice.

Cheers,

Toni

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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BillyG
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January 2, 2017 - 3:57 am
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Congrats on the new fiddle @MrYikes !

My own EV was slightly (but not by much) more expensive - I forget the actual exchange rate, but it was around the $100 mark - oh - and that included shipping from Germany to the UK.   When I first got it, it was played daily, maybe 2 to 3 hours and with headphones plugged in.  The battery lasted about 2 months.   Give or take.  So that's my experience on battery-life.

However, since then I have taken to mostly playing it au naturel ( the fiddle that is, not me rofl) meaning it is un-amped and without headphones.   For my purposes - which is largely for intonation and shifting practice it's perfect - in fact - it is I who get bothered by the sound of the click-clack of my retired wife's knitting needles LOL !    Occasionally I will amp it up, and play through my guitar FX box - add some reverb, chorusing, harmonic over-mix (octaves and 5ths) - sounds cool !

And @MACJR - yeah - it's super quiet - way more so than an acoustic with mute (or at least the mutes I have )

Some people refer to the lack of tonal quality from playing the EV "plain" - but I find it 'reassuring' to my ear for intonation checks (no auditory 'confusion' from body resonances and virtually no inter-string resonances) - the sound is largely reduced to (a) what you are doing with the bow and (b) just exactly what your left hand fingers are doing.   It's horses-for-courses as they say !

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MrYikes
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January 2, 2017 - 8:24 am
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Thanks all.  And Bill, thanks for info on battery.  I had read somewhere that the batteries lasted one day.  It is very, very good to know that is not true.  On this Irin violin instead of having the battery connector (the small wired piece that you push onto the battery) this has two coiled springs that you push the battery against while inserting.  I like this method, but that is why the battery is such a tight fit in the compartment.
My fx box is called DeltaLab.  It is pretty good, but they are not made anymore, presumably because others are better(this would be too complicated to use on stage).  There are 11 different effects with up to 4 settings on each (reverb: room, hall, spring, and one other I can't remember) and each of those has three or four settings (timing, delay, power, attack).  It has 48 preset combos and space for 48 of your own.  It has a drummer (and THAT is all I will say about that).  I also have a Nux chorus pedal.  My amp is a 15w tweed covered 6" speaker to which I have attached two speaker cabinets that contain an 8" and a tweeter each.  I have a Cherub ($3 ebay) clip on transducer that I have played with a little, but I get bored with it quickly.  I have zero interest in trying to sound like a guitar or an organ.  When my wife goes shopping, I'll find out how loud this thing will go.  But already the wires are starting to be an irritation.  I like the idea of playing it au natur,,,wait I don't want pictures in your head,,,playing it without wires.
I have used this bow enough now to know that it is like playing with a wet noodle.  Just kinda flops around.  It is wood (arbor) painted black, but since they said it was synthetic hair, I will use it for the time being to get a good sense of the characteristics (had a hard time trying to spell that).

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BillyG
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January 2, 2017 - 9:08 am
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Yes - @MrYikes - on my EV from time to time there was this annoying little rattle - I only heard it under my ear - it was not picked up by the transducer - and the noise was coming the electronics enclosure.    Removed whole enclosure, tracked it down to an unused pin on the (stereo !!!) 1/4" jack socket.   Spot of epoxy.  Fixed.

But - that's not the reason for the post - it's related to my internal inspection of the enclosure.   I'm surprised that folks have reported the battery going flat in a day - it should only be drawing the odd few mA or so (or at least I'd hope so!).  My battery is a PP3 style - and these alkaline varieties have a useful 500mAh, with the Li models probably around 3 times as much.

Sounds like yours (possibly, just from the description of the "coiled-spring-things" ) takes AA cells ?   They are probably around 1500mAh

What IS significant of course is that on my electronics enclosure there is no on-off switch - AND there is no little LED "power indicator" (wasting battery power!) as a reminder - the electronics are supplied with power when either the headphones or jack-plug/cable are inserted.   Perhaps those folks who reported this left the cable plugged in (or they have an EV where the on/off switch is the presence or not of the battery LMAO) ?   I have been guilty of this myself (by accident / forgetfulness facepalm) and although not flat the day I realised what I'd done (in fact my cable was left plugged in over a long-weekend) - that particular battery did have to be replaced earlier than I had expected.

Sounds like you have all the kit you need there to become an EV rock-god !  thumbs-up   When's the first album due ?

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Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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damfino
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January 2, 2017 - 11:40 am
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Congrats on the new E-violin 🙂 It's nice of you to do that for your wife 🙂

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MrYikes
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crack-002.JPGImage Enlargercrack-003.JPGImage Enlarger crack-005.JPGImage Enlarger

 

Hi Bill,  Here is a pic of the battery compartment, showing the 9v battery.  All morning I played the violin with the battery out and liked it that way.  I think the  headphones will be seldom used.  The second pic is the problem that I noticed today.  A crack at the neck attachment.  I noticed I was having to re-tune much too often for these Opera strings.  I had measured the projection when I first got the violin and after re-measuring saw that it had dropped.  That's when I saw what was happening.  I ordered some hide glue and will fix this when it comes in.  I have wanted to play with that glue so I have been given an opportunity.  I posted this for Mac.  Measure from the tip of the fingerboard to the top of the violin (table), so that you will have a reference point.  This crack happened because of humidity.  The room is sitting at 48% humidity by my gauge.  And that was too much of a difference from where ever this wood had been stored.  To prevent this on your violin, you might want to de-tune after you are done playing for the day by either a whole note or two.  After a week the wood should be stable.

 Thank you Toni and Mandy.  After 45 years I know the after-effects of upsetting this woman.  It ain't pretty.

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MACJR
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January 2, 2017 - 2:27 pm
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Thanks for the advice, MrYikes.

It is has yet to be determined if I would make a better luthier or violinist, but in either case, I will need a lot more research and practice with both of those skills to get good at either one.  😉

I do like to read posts about the luthier side of things, because I am a do it yourself kind of guy.

AS for humidity issues, that is something I am concerned about. I live near Seattle, about 30 miles north of there, actually, and we are known for our rain. It can get humid at times, but that is not as big of an issue as one would expect from all the rain we get. However, in last years apartment renovations, they replaced my old bathroom ceiling fan for a new fangled one that has two settings, high and low. Low is always on, as in, ALWAYS ON. During the  summer, this is not a big issue, because I can open windows. During the winter months though, with closed windows, that bathroom fan is constantly sucking the heat and moister right out of this apartment. Ever since they put that thing in, the humidity levels in this apartment have plummeted to the very dry side.

I have to mist my plants twice a day to keep the humidity levels from dropping below 40% in here. My skin is constantly drying out, and petting my cat often causes static discharges. I so love good intentions that have bad affects... NOT.

Misting the plants jumps the humidity up to about 42% for an few hours, at best. Sometimes more, depending on other factors.

Now the other factor, the easiest place to put my music area is in the dining area, right next to the kitchen, so when I boil water, the humidity can jump up to about 50% or a little higher.

I have been concerned about those humidity shifts, and wondered of possible consequences to my violin. So far, I see no major damage, but there is one or two, very small, seam spots I have been keeping my eye on. One spot is iffy that there is any issue, it could just be how light is reflecting off the varnish. The other is clearly a spot where the varnish has flaked off. The people who do the varnish work for Cecilio do a rather poor job of it though, so this could just be caused from poor workmanship. The spot does not look deep, but more like a surface defect. So it might not be a problem at all... but I will keep watching it.

I have considered moving my music room to my spare bedroom, which is currently my home gym. I may be able to make it work as both a gym and a music room though, with some effort. Things will have to be moved around and rearranged, but it might be worth it. The only problem is that my downstairs neighbor seems to sleep in late. I am not sure just how late, but I have heard yells that seem to be her complaining about my workouts. Not sure, I hear the screams but not sure what they are for. It should be noted that she is often screaming about one thing or another, like her husband or her daughter, but since I can seldom hear more than a coherent word or two in the scream session, I usually have no idea what she is screaming about, or sometimes, just who she is screaming at.

So I try to work out as quietly as I can, but if I make that back bedroom my music room too, there could be problems. It really irritates me that my back bedroom is held hostage during my prime workout hour, and I do not know just when it is safe to work in there.

Sigh.

Well, that ramble went on for a while. Sorry about that.  😉

MACJR

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MACJR
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January 2, 2017 - 4:01 pm
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My e-violin did arrive today, just a bit ago.

First impressions, they did a much better job making and painting this Cecilio CEVN-1BK than they did with my Cecilio CVN-500. I have not spotted any defects in paint or workmanship yet, but I will be doing another, more in-depth, inspection here in a bit.

Even the bow looks a little better than the two that came with the CVN-500... but not greatly better, just a little better.

At least the rosin came un-cracked this time... but I do not use the Cecilio rosin anyway.

Looking forward to getting this black beauty tuned up and playing.

Oh, and MrYikes, this one also has spring like battery connectors for the 9v battery. They look about the same as what you have pictures above.

MACJR

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MrYikes
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January 2, 2017 - 4:11 pm
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We are all happy to read anything you want to post, Mac.  That's kinda what we do here.  I have a cool mist humidifier ($30 walmart) but I have not used it this year yet.  When the humidity gets down to the low 40s, I'll kick it on.  It uses 2 gallons a day.  What wood likes is stable levels.  I have not achieved that yet.  In September when I got the gauge, it showed 80%, so next spring I need to do something to keep it down in here.

BTW, the wife went shopping and I got to play with the amp.  Scared the bejeebers outa the cats.

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MrYikes
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It is always an exciting day when a violin is about to arrive.  Happy for you Mac.  Now there are no excuses for less than a 10 hour practice day, right?  hah.  Have fun, it is called playing a violin for a reason.

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MACJR
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MrYikes said
It is always an exciting day when a violin is about to arrive.  Happy for you Mac.  Now there are no excuses for less than a 10 hour practice day, right?  hah.  Have fun, it is called playing a violin for a reason.  

I should be able to get more time in now, yes. 10 hours a day is way more than my back could handle though.  😉

I can lift 100+ lbs up over my heard, even a few in a row, but standing in one place for any length of time beyond a few minutes is a bit painful. Sitting without back support, or no lumbar support, is also less than desirable.

The wear and tear of youth do catch up with you after all. Who knew those old farts knew what they were talking about.

As for the e-violin, I have it mostly ready to play now. Had to stop and make lunch, now I am on a coffee break. I think the 9v battery arrived dead though. Bummer, if so. Either that, or the LED is not working. I will find out after my coffee break which it is.

MACJR

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MACJR
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January 2, 2017 - 6:11 pm
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No, the LED is not broken, nor is the battery dead.

Blasted aging eyes, I did not noticed the clear, tight, cellophane protective wrapping around the battery. It helped a whole lot when I removed that.  😉

Although not silent, it does indeed play at a lower volume than an acoustic violin with a mute on. I also see that it does not need to be turned on to play well enough to practice with that way. I did get a mini amp to go with it, and that will be fun to play with later. It is a good thing I did get that mini amp, too. Without it, it was hard to get my chromatic tuner to hear the notes so I could tune the e-violin. Hooking up the amp made tuning much easier.

I think this will work for me. I am all tuned up and almost ready to go. Although I can hit the write notes at least some of the time without tape, I think I still need my training wheels a bit longer. So, next, tape mark the notes, and then my new EV is ready to play.

MACJR

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MrYikes
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January 2, 2017 - 7:48 pm
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Had me LOL about the battery.  We've all done things like that.
$3 ebay clip on tuner that tunes from vibrations not sound.
When I put on tapes, I cut strips from paper labels from walmart.  I likes them because the adhesive only lasted a month and they would start slipping.  Which meant I had to go through the hassle of putting them back on.  After a time I got really tired of doing it.  Then I put on 3 dots down the center.  I took those off a month ago and then last week put them back on having learned I wasn't ready to give them up.
I made a new center mount chin rest today.  I had a chunk of balsa wood (hobby lobby) that I had drilled a 1" hole and then sliced it in half  through the hole, giving me two opportunities to screw up.  Balsa is very easy to work and is soft on the chin.  It won't last forever, but then neither will I.
Several of us here learned FMs Theme from Godfather.  It was a good challenge and a real sense of accomplishment.  You might like that.  I still play it weekly.

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BillyG
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January 3, 2017 - 2:09 am
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MACJR said ..... 

The wear and tear of youth do catch up with you after all. Who knew those old farts knew what they were talking about......

  Aye, 'tis true !!!!

As for the e-violin, I have it mostly ready to play now. Had to stop and make lunch, now I am on a coffee break. 

  Enjoy !!!!   

  LOL @ your later post re the battery !!!

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes. D'oh - guntohead.JPG

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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Fiddlerman
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January 3, 2017 - 11:52 am
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Congratulations on both the fiddle and your wife's retirement (I think) 🙂

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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MrYikes
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January 7, 2017 - 6:39 pm
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neck2-001.JPGImage Enlargerneck-005.JPGImage Enlarger

I took off the neck to sand away the old glue and saw that the body is plywood.  So I used white glue instead of hide.  I drilled and inserted two dowels to stiffen the area.  I'm giving the glue plenty of time to set.  Tomorrow morning I'll report on how it went.

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