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