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Electro acoustic
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myguitarnow
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September 20, 2011 - 6:20 pm
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Thanks for that link Svento. I'm learning as much as I can about pickups for violins because I do have a goal to take a break from guitar and break out a fiddle for live concerts and want it well recorded as well.

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Svento
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September 21, 2011 - 5:19 am
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The big advantage with magnetic pickups is that they respond well to effects made for electric guitars. Besides they can be plugged into a guitar amp without any kind of preamp. Only adjust the tone. For an acoustic fiddle I believe some treble shóuld be cut, but with my kind-of-solid mahogany electric, I set bass to 12 o' clock, mid to 3 with treble on maximum.

For someone who's gone from guitar to fiddle, the magnetic pu makes it less hard to feel at home. My reference to instruments will always be guitars and I can never get used to the bad access to the fingerboard I have when playing an acoustic fiddle, therfore I had to have one custom made. My electric has minimum bodylength and maximum necklength, so I can play any position as if it were the first. No problem playing above "12:th fret". It's been the same with the pu. I have tried some electrics in music stores, comparing to mine - I did that already before I'd grown used to mine. They sound like kazoos or in best case like clarinettes compared to mine. And that's not because my instrument is so well-made, for it isn't... It's just the least bad electric fiddle in the world.

Mounted on an acoustic fiddle it's possible to get a fairly acoustic tone from a magnetic pu. It's not true that magnetic pickups sound the same regardless of the body sound. The string will vibrate very differently on a solid compared to an acoustic instrument.

Then off course, it's perfectly possible to use it along with a piezo, connected in series. With separate controls one can chose more or less of the two. I can think of occasions when one actually wants the fiddle to sound like a clarinette...

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Svento
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September 21, 2011 - 5:22 am
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This is interesting:

I made an experiment to see what happens when adding some extra mass to the ribs. I took a table knife and wedged it in behind the chinrest holder. When I played a string with the bow, the knife vibrated, which indicates that the ribs do have some sound. I wedged it in a little harder until it appeared to be mute, and I experienced that I had a slight loss of tone. The volume became a bit weaker and the tone a slight bit shorter.

However: I did the same thing with a teaspoon and got the opposite result! Still the difference was barely noticeable, but to me it sounded as if I got some more sound. Longer tone and louder output.

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Svento
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September 24, 2011 - 12:58 pm
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I've been talking to some makers and players of electro acoustic fiddles. They all say that the electronics have some effect on the tone, but not as big as one can believe. One of them also said that an integrated permanently installed tele jack would be prefered before a chinrest mounting mounted one.

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Fiddlerman
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September 24, 2011 - 3:50 pm
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One of them also said that an integrated permanently installed tele jack would be prefered before a chinrest mounting mounted one.

Why would that be preferred though? For noise?

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

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Svento
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September 24, 2011 - 6:01 pm
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No, he said that it affects acoustic less.

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Svento
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September 30, 2011 - 5:31 pm
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I've been e-mailing to some players, sellers and manufacturers of electro-acoustics. They all agree in one thing: the jackplate itself won't make the instrument sound less acoustically. However, most of them seem to think that the ribs need some reinforcement and that a bit more troublesome... It should've been done before the soundboard was glued to the ribs.

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myguitarnow
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September 30, 2011 - 6:09 pm
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Then go for it already and show us what you got ;[)

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Svento
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September 30, 2011 - 6:25 pm
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I just said preparations should've been done earlier... Can't figure out how to reinforce the ribs without unglueing the soundboard.

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Fiddlerman
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September 30, 2011 - 6:43 pm
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Don't know if it is feasible but maybe if you cut a well measured wooden backing, put it through the f-hole, then coated it with a hardening caulk and carefully pressed it in place with a probe until it dried. If you choose the right wood you may have a adequate backing and in the worse case you would need to lift the top to do what you probably would have needed to do otherwise.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
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Svento
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October 1, 2011 - 5:04 am
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I think I'd rather make the reinforcement on the outside. In that case I'd make a jack plate from wood and glue it to the ribs. That would probably look good, but once I can't get get access to the electronics again…

The best compromise is probably to get that kind of chinrest with a built in jack. In that case the electronics could still be fairly integrated, I'd make a small hole in the soundboard right under the pickup where the cable goes into the body, then an other one under the tailpiece close to the saddle where it comes up again.

The problem is that they're terribly expensive, so I'd have to wait some extra half a year before getting one.

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Fiddlerman
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October 1, 2011 - 5:49 am
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You sound like you are very handy. Wouldn't it be within your reach to make a similar chin-rest? The components shouldn't be too expensive. You could surely find a suitable chin-rest.

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

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Svento
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October 1, 2011 - 6:32 am
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I've never made anything out of wood. I have no working place nor any tools.

I was thinking about epoxy but it hardens too fast to make such big things.

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