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I live in an apartment building in NYC and when I don't want to disturb others I usually play with a practice mute, but I wish there were a way for me to get full volume through headphones.
I thought about getting an electric violin but it just seemed like an inefficient use of money since it would only be for occasional play and I already have a nice regular violin so I figured that attaching a pickup might be a solution while also allowing me to play amped if I ever want to.
My question is does anyone have experience with using a pickup and a practice mute at the same time to limit the raw acoustic volume and have most of the volume pass through the digital signal from the pickup? Does the mute cause any issues with the pickup since it's limiting the vibrations transferred from the strings to the bridge?
I really liked the quality and no-feedback feature of the Barcus Berry 3100 but also open to any other pickup suggestions that people like!
Mutes don't just affect volume, they affect tonality hugely. You'll get a loud signal in your phones, but you won't get the original tonality. But I don't understand why you want to hear it louder via phones. Also, if one's fear is neighbours, then one wants to hear the violin as they hear it, not use phones to make you oblivious!?
"Silent" electrics are good, but they are not silent. They are loud enough for you to hear without any amplification or phones, and some of them have nice tonality too. But, as you say, surplus to requirements for some.
Thanks for the reply Andrew, 100% with you that mutes affect the tone drastically. The reason I would want amplified volume through headphones is so I can balance the volume I hear with the amount of pressure and force I play with normally.
I'm not trying to do this to improve anything related to my sound, it would be more of a nice-to-have for when I'm playing muted anyway.
So it does sound like a mute wouldn't drastically affect the the efficacy of a pickup if I'm interpreting correctly