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E-Violin Curiosity. Pick ups.
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December 20, 2011 - 6:59 pm
Member Since: February 28, 2011
Forum Posts: 2439
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I have been interested in expanding my e-violin capabilities but there are endless possibilities for equipment ranging far beyond what I'm willing to pay.  So, just for fun, I bought a new pickup kit (Super Sensitive w/volume, $68) and planned to try it out several ways:

  1)  Was it just "junk"?

  2)  How would it sound on my acoustic playing into a guitar amp (Sienna 16)?

  3)  How would it sound playing into my ZOOM G1N?

  4)  Most intriguing.  Being the pickup is only attached with sticky clay this means I could put it where I want and, maybe, find a "sweet" spot or two.

(I have all the electronics here for my regular "silent violin" which has nothing to do with the acoustic and new pickup.  I will simply use the equipment for this new purpose.)

I was impressed at the start that the box says "Made in United States".  I have not seen that in ages.  And the packaging was carefully designed.  Wires and wiring looked neat and more than adequate for the job.

The rectangular pickup includes the volume knob so the pickup and the knob are one piece.

This pickup is a piezo type and the top of the line is condenser mic technology ($200 to $700).  So, I did not expect much from the new pickup but I was in for a surprise.

I could hear a difference when playing the violin/pickup into the guitar amp but I did not really hunt for the best pickup location.  I had no impression that I was in any way losing audio quality however.

The results with the ZOOM G1N were fantastic.  Maybe it was all ZOOM or the pickup was in a good spot but my e-violin NEVER sounded as good on the same setup.

In the (large?) picture below you may see the small brown part which is the pickup and next to it is an ugly black gizmo which I improvised as a wire strain relief.  I think it is a boo-boo that some wire mounting hardware is not included by the manufacturer OR have such a device as an option (carpenter jack?).  The volume control is super smooth and I think it is really needed if used for performing.

There is a lot to explore here and I am pleased with the results. 

The $500 pickup will have to wait.   At least for the moment, my pickup is not worth more money than my violin !!!! dancing

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

Fort Lauderdale
December 21, 2011 - 4:18 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 13281

That sounds like a great pickup for the money. I used to have a Barcus Berry that worked similarly to yours and I loved the mellow sound that I got from it.

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

December 21, 2011 - 4:56 pm
Member Since: February 28, 2011
Forum Posts: 2439
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Another thing I noticed is that the Super Sensitive even as a piezo pickup puts out less "quack" than the very distracting Aquila bridge. 

I'm going to try the SS pickup even on the Aquila because the Aquila has a lot of vibration.  It is not really solid body but has a large internal chamber for the pre-amp.


When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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