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How would you use a piezo pickup on the bridge
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RosinedUp
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September 20, 2012 - 3:16 pm
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FM: yes, I noticed the flames too.  I don't think I would be much inclined to cut a couple holes in a good guitar to fit a no-name $15 preamp.  But keeping it outboard presents no threat to my violin.

Yes, if I can resolve the details and I go through with it, I will be happy to make a summary thread and post pictures (and sound as my audio capabilities permit).

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Fiddlerman
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September 20, 2012 - 3:44 pm
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Outboard is definitely the way to go. Especially for it's added weight.

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

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DanielB
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Ok, about special low capacitance yadda-yadda. 

Capacitance is an electrical property.  Any shielded cable does have some, and the more there is, the more high-end you lose.  That's why some people panic about it and some other people use it as a selling point. 

And it is important.  In long cable runs.  If you use like a 25ft+ patch cord to hook an electric guitar or whatever to an amp, you'll lose enough high end to notice.  If you have really sensitive ears for such things.  Usually easy enough to just adjust the amp eq to make it up. 

In this sort of a situation, you probably aren't going to want more than maybe 10 ft of cable.  So you wouldn't actually hear a difference between regular cable and the special kind that doesn't have as much capacitance.

To avoid noise, use shielded cable instead of something like speaker wire. Any cabling made for microphones should be fine, cable made for headphones *might* be a little noisier, but would probably still be ok.

I agree that outboard is the best way to go with that preamp, and 5 bands is sweeter than 4.  And hey!  It even has an XLR (the 3 pin) jack for if you ever need to plug into a pro mixing board mic channel!   Def sweet!

thumbs-up

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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RosinedUp
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DanielB said 
I agree that outboard is the best way to go with that preamp, and 5 bands is sweeter than 4.  And hey!  It even has an XLR (the 3 pin) jack for if you ever need to plug into a pro mixing board mic channel!   Def sweet!

Thanks for your remarks about cable capacitance.

I found a somewhat different possibility for a preamp, and I would like some opinion(s).

V-TONE ACOUSTIC DRIVER DI ADI21

http://www.behringer.com/EN/Pr.....ADI21.aspx

http://www.behringer.com/asset.....3_M_EN.pdf

By the way, I didn't mention it before, but I would like the possibility of playing through either a stereo system (phono, aux, or tape) or computer speakers.  Will I be able to do that?

 

 

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I wonder whether the following RG316 coax would be good for a long cable between the piezo pickup connector and the preamp.  It is low capacitance and would prevent signal loss, but is not real expensive.

It is about 55 cents per foot, 2.5 mm diameter (about 2/3 the diameter of the George L 0.155),  has a stranded center conductor, and has a capacitance of under 100 pF/m.  It ought to be very light and flexible.
 
5m RF Coaxial RG316 Video A/V Cable Wire Lead,RG316
 
I have the feeling that the George L cable is some kind of commodity cable that they market for music use.  But it costs close to $2 per foot.
 
Do you think that something like this RG316 would be practical?
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Well.. I'm not familiar with that particular pedal unit, but I do use some Behringer gear.  I'd say I rate Behringer as "ok to good" for the price, so far as I have seen. 

RG316 is an rf cable, so if anything, it should be better than you need for audio shielded cable.  I've never worked with it, so I don't know how stiff it is or how well it holds up to repeated bending.  But it certainly looks worth a try. 

With playing through a stereo, your signal is mono.  You could use a splitter, but it won't actually be stereo, since the two channels will be identical.  If that isn't a problem, then yeah, it will probably work.  Whether you'll like the sound of that or not is another matter.  Same goes for computer speakers.  In both cases, you'd need to make or get an adaptor to go between the box and the stereo or computer speakers, obviously.

You've kind of hit the point of "have to try it and see" to know for sure.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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RosinedUp
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September 25, 2012 - 3:20 am
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What about plugging the bridge/pickup into something like the following acoustic instrument combo amplifier with no preamp in between?  It also has separate microphone and CD-player inputs.  It is supposed to simulate a vacuum-tube amp.  I don't know whether I should care about that feature.

pdf user manual at:

http://www.behringer.com/EN/Pr.....AT108.aspx

reviews at

http://www.amazon.com/Behringe.....B000MVYOZY

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DanielB
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Ok, let's start with possible downsides.  I have never played this amp, or any of it's bigger relatives.  So I can"t tell you for sure how it sounds.  But the reviews are pretty good and most Behringer gear I've owned I would rate "ok to good".  Which would make it definitely worth the usual amazon price. 

I also didn't see any mention of anyone using it with a piezo pickup, direct.  I didn't read all 40 some reviews, maybe you did and somebody did mention it.. But unless they did, it probably isn't actually made for taking a raw piezo signal.  If it doesn't actually say it has an input for piezo pickup, then it probably doesn't.

Yeah, at the worst, you'd end up using the 15$ ebay wonder to get the signal up to the usual impedance and level of a magnetic pickup, so that isn't such a huge deal.

The features on it are ok, but kind of minimal.  The main selling point is that it at least says it is better for acoustic guitar. 

When you start thinking about buying an amp, you really should get to a music shop so you can actually hear how they sound.  That's not a couple bucks or 15$ or even 40$.  I'm kind of iffy on my thoughts about a practice amp for an amplified acoustic violin.  To be honest, an acoustic violin is loud enough that you don't need one to practice, and if you needed enough louder than they naturally are to be able to play a gig or jam with a band with loud electric guitars or something, a practice amp just isn't going to cut it.

If recording is what you are after, you can get a nice but inexpensive studio mic, even one that will connect directly into your USB jack for computer recording for around the same price as you are looking at with that amp.  Even just a condenser mic made to go into computer that costs maybe 10$ or less can be mounted using the same idea you had for strain relief and you can run that direct into your computer.

Before I go saying it sounds like you might be losing sight of the forest because of the trees, I'll ask a question.  What do you see yourself doing with the rig you are looking at putting together?   It sort of feels like you have some playing situations in mind or some ideas on what you might want the rig to be able to do.  Clarifying that could help on what advice to give.

Oh, and the tube-vs-transistor controversy?   I'm going to be honest with you.  While I personally like tube amps a bit better, the biggest differences are in how they distort and how they act at high volume levels.  When playing them clean, there isn't that much of a difference to the average listener's ear.  And there are some very nice sounding transistor amps and some very crappy tube/valve amps.  Pros use either and or both.  It largely comes down to what *you* like.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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Fiddlerman
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September 25, 2012 - 11:14 pm
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My guess is that it would work. They usually have an active preamp built into these amps. I believe that it needs a preamp to have the 3-band equalizer.

I'll check with mine tomorrow. Too late here now.
I think I tested it earlier with a piezo but I'm not completely sure anymore.
http://fiddlershop.com/rms-40-.....ifier.html

Otherwise you can purchase a relatively inexpensive belt pre-amp.

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

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Fiddlerman
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September 26, 2012 - 12:08 am
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Actually, I take that back. I know for sure that it works. The Barcus Berry that I tested with the amp IS a piezo mic. It worked like a charm. For this AMP anyway, sold at FiddlerShop, there is definitely no need for an extra pre-amp.

thumbs-up

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

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Fiddlestix
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This is all so confusing to me.  Piezo mic's / pickup's, inboard mic's, outboard mic's, bridge mic's, string mic's, building a mic out of a talking greeting card. Seem's that everyone with an electric violin want's to quiet the thing down and everyone with accoustic want's to make it louder but they're not able to play loud music (due to their living accomodation's) so they smother the sound with a mute. Then they buy a rubber mute and cut that into piece's. Why would / does anyone need an electric violin anyway's, unless you're playing on stage or outdoor's entertaining a group or playing a shindig and how many of us here actually do that ?

 

      dazed  dunno

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DanielB
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An electric violin of the "solid body" sort is very quiet.  They only get loud when amplified, and then one can always turn an amp down to a suitable level.  They allow for using assorted interesting effects like an electric guitar uses.  They also can plug directly into a computer or other recording device when you want to record, and since it is a direct connection, you don't get the sound of the computer fan or the neighbor's dog howling or whatever.  I would say their biggest problem is that they don't really sound like an acoustic violin.  They can sound good, but they just don't sound the same.

Acoustic violins are a lot of sound for such a small package.  Mine is a bit louder than is convenient for night-time playing.  I can play it quietly if I use pretty much no bow pressure, but enough pressure to actually get a good tone and she is a loud little thing.  I've never tried a mute because from what I've heard they affect the tone (as you mentioned), and I can just use my electric for playing when I need to be quiet.  But for portability, having enough volume to play for quite a few people all by itself, and definitely sounding like a violin/fiddle, nothing beats the acoustics, in my opinion.  One can't play around with effects on them like an electric, but what they do have is a very good range of usable musical sounds. 

Amplified/electrified acoustics, I am less sure of.  In some regards they could have the advantages of both, but also the disadvantages.  To my ears they don't sound quite like either an acoustic or an electric violin.  I haven't messed much with that sort of thing myself.  Since I have both an acoustic and an electric, it hasn't personally been of much interest to me as a concept.  The couple of crude pickup/mic schemes I posted are just a quick and cheap way to get a signal from an acoustic violin into a computer or recorder, if maybe someone has an acoustic and doesn't have a microphone.  Personally, I probably wouldn't put a piezo pickup under the bridge of my own acoustic, since I have no idea what it might do to the acoustic sound. 

But folks do, because it is what they want.

As to why does anyone need an electric?  Well, the best reason I know of is if they have sounds you like or they look like fun to play.  To my way of thinking, electric and acoustic are almost two separate instruments, for all that the basic techniques are the same.  For me, it is what I mostly want to play.   Having gotten an acoustic as well, I like it too.  But they are different and I kind of have to practice on both, same as I do with electric and acoustic guitar. 

I can't say for sure, but I would guess that electrified acoustic is probably actually a bit different than either one of them. 

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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I guess there's only one solution to the problem of making too much noise when other's are around or trying to sleep.

Get divorced and live alone.   claproflproblem solved.

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RosinedUp
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DanielB said 
Before I go saying it sounds like you might be losing sight of the forest because of the trees, I'll ask a question.  What do you see yourself doing with the rig you are looking at putting together?   It sort of feels like you have some playing situations in mind or some ideas on what you might want the rig to be able to do.  Clarifying that could help on what advice to give.

The short answer is that I won't know why I want it until I have it and try it.  Earlier in the thread you indicated the possibilities once I have a 1/4" plug carrying a signal.  I am interested in those. 

One thing I might want is to use headphones while playing.  That would let me hear what others would be hearing.  It would also be a form of hearing protection if I have good foam seals around the ears.

I like the idea of getting a signal inside a computer and manipulating it and communicating it digitally.

Mainly I guess I just want to try some things with a violin signal.

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Well, different people will go about things different ways, RosinedUp. 

Myself, I'd probably start with the 15$ preamp you found early on, and go maybe that much again for a headphone amp of about the same price.  Then if you like it, cool, go further.  That's not risking much to find out if going electrified works for you and if it is something you like.  I think of an amp as a more serious investment to go into when you decide you need one.

But it is your paycheck, not mine. LOL  The options and capabilities that *you* want are what should decide what you get. 

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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