What are peoples thoughts on this subject, is a mute better for practice or Electric fiddle which can be listened to on headphones or turned down. I have new neigbours, and though they havent yet said anything, I have heard them start banging about when I practice, obviously annoyed.
"Silent" solid electric violins are not silent. You can hear them easily, and you can produce good acoustic tone on them. You don't need phones or an amp. (your neighbours won't hear it, though)
However, electric/acoustic violins are a different matter. They are, I suppose, as loud as a regular violin.
Yehudi Menuhin swore by the value of practising with a mute. I have never bothered.
But a mute is a good way for a beginner to develop good tone, as they can develop the confidence to hammer away, as they should, without causing as much annoyance as they would without a mute.
In this thread, Fiddlerman recommends a heavy metal mute if you need to play quietly.
Seems you might want to try that first and if that doesn't work out - then invest in your 2nd option.
Tough decision... especially as we get older, so much depends on the joy we get from playing - how it sounds is everything.
Sad situation. 😔
Maybe you could talk to your neighbors to find out if they could be accepting of a certain time of the evening that you could practice normally?
There's a chance you might be pleasantly surprised. 🤔
Bare metal - forget it.
Artino - a pig to get on first time, and there is a risk that the fight will damage your violin; and if you need visibility, that is impaired too.
I'd suggest that a so-called "ultra heavy rubber practice mute" is adequate. They vary a lot, but often you can get an idea of the weight from the listings (not that there's a 100% correlation between weight and muting) and they are cheap.