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Putting viola strings on electric violin
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Notori
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March 20, 2017 - 12:33 pm
Member Since: March 20, 2017
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Hi there! I was wondering if anyone had experience doing this and how it turned out, or if it'd work at all. I have a 14inch acoustic viola that I can't really play because I live in an apartment. I wanted to switch to electric, but they're all really expensive and too large. So what I want to do is buy one of the Mendini or Cecilio electric violin outfits and just switch the strings. Would this work to turn it into a small viola?

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BillyG
Brora, North-east Scotland
March 20, 2017 - 2:25 pm
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Hi @Notori - in essence - the idea would work - however there may well be a better way - you can get string-sets for 5-string violins ( well, usually you have to buy the C separately ).   I did something very similar on an old 4/4 (acoustic) fiddle - just moved the G, D, A "up a notch" on the pegs and got a C string (not a viola C - I did TRY that,  specifically it was a Zyex VIOLA C - but it was far too "sloppy" and needed a lot of attention to play it well) - so I junked it and I ended up getting a Thomastik Vision VIOLIN C - and voila! a 4/4 fiddle working as a viola.    OK - it doesn't have the richness and timbre of a real viola - but it's in range and perfectly playable - which - for the moment - is all that matters !

Hope that helped !

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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Charles
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March 20, 2017 - 7:54 pm
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If the strings you have now are for a 14" instrument, they should work on another 14" instrument as well.  They might even be the kind of strings Bill talks about, in order to work on a 14" instrument.

Tone might be a bit iffy, but on an electric instrument, the tone comes from the electronics, so that won't be an issue.

I wouldn't guarantee perfection, but it should work tolerably well.

Good luck with it.

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