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Electric violin accessories
What accessories to get with the electric violin?
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New member
March 10, 2015 - 2:14 pm
Member Since: March 10, 2015
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Hi All

Looking to get the Cecilio CEVN electric violin for my son. He has played for about 8 years and has a quality acoustic.  However - he has been drooling over this violin for over a year and we are going to go ahead and jump on it.  He has watched a bunch of video's like the Fiddlermans video and loves the effects like reverb. So he wants to go down that path too.

However - we are new to electric violins and all the jargon has us confused. 

Amps: Many say dont get a guitar amp, some day it does not matter. For the most part he will play in the house but could see this being used in a concert at some point. Trying to balance cost is quality. I see a bunch for around $60 and of course many for hundreds of dollars. Was hoping to spend about $100 for something decent. Thoughts on how to pick one for a violin?

Pre Amp. Do we need one or not. Cant figure that out or what the determining factor is.

Effects. All he knows is he wants the effects. In Fiddlermans video he can be seen stepping on an effects of a Zoom G2. Those seem to be about $300. Are there good options that are cheaper?

I saw something about an amp that had effects built in like reverb, etc. Is that a better option than buying two separate pieces? Any recommendations around that?

What else would we be missing for a set up equipment wise?

Sorry for the ignorance here. He/we just have no exposure to the electronic side of this until now.

California, the place of my heart
March 10, 2015 - 3:31 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
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He might have some tips.

Well... I don't know much about Electric violins, or amps.  But I just bought one... (both).

The violin came with a defective electronics box...seemingly so.  Anyway.. I didn't even get a chance to hear it.  So it will be on it's way back and in a few weeks I will have some other Electric violin in my hands. 

But I was given advice to get an amp.   I wasn't looking to spend 100... more like 60-75. I looked at used amps but sometimes I got the feeling that if something were to go wrong then I would be dead in the water.  (as it is.. the new violin I got was dead in the water).

I got a California 15 watt amp, from California Amps.  (The Fiddleshop was out of their cute amp.. that was my first choice).  Anyway.... I got to hear my amp last Friday when another member's electric violin was plugged into it and I think its just great. 

Good luck with your set up.  I know there are a lot of electric violin folks here that can tell you want you need for 1. basic set up 2. effects 3. groovin rocking violin effects.

:) thumbs-up

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

March 10, 2015 - 4:09 pm
Member Since: February 15, 2015
Forum Posts: 93
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I too saw advice indicating a guitar amp is not ideal for a violin.  It made a lot of sense to me, so you can count me on that side of the fence.  

You don't need a preamp with this violin.  Oh, I guess I should mention I have the one you mention.  It's red.  I really like it, even though it hardly gets played right now because I am concentrating on violin lessons with an acoustic.  Still, I really enjoy it.

I won't say I'm any expert, but I did a little research and settled on a Wood Violins Electric Violin amp.  It comes with one input, has a pretty good Distortion effect, an Equalizer and a Delay.  I personally don't care for the distortion, but admit it is pretty cool for a certain type of playing.  I do like the Delay though.  Very cool.  You can find a Wood Violins review of this amp on YouTube, it's what convinced me to get one.  Just one idea for you to consider, that's all.  This amp filled the bill for me, plenty of power, I use it for cello drones and it even works great with my electric piano.  I'm quite satisfied with it, use it everyday.

But look around.  There are lots of others.  As far as effects, I wouldn't worry about getting an amp that has what you want- effects are easy and cheap to add on.  Get the best amp you can, and then figure out what to add as you go.  


March 10, 2015 - 5:19 pm
Member Since: May 4, 2012
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The short answer is maybe not the easiest.  When he gets the violin, go to a music store where he can actually try different amps and effects.

He's been playing for 8 yrs on a quality acoustic violin, so he's going to know what is a good sound and/or a sound he likes.  He probably already has an idea what sorts of sounds he wants to be able to get.  Or he will certainly know it if he hears it in person.

It is also easier to judge quality in a situation where you actually can see and handle the gear.  Pictures online with a glowing description from someone trying to sell a particular make/model they carry is not the same sort of situation. 

If the prices are acceptable, then you may wish to support the local "bricks and mortar" music shop(s) you try gear at.  If maybe they aren't so reasonable, you can always buy the same gear from online.

"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

Fort Lauderdale
March 10, 2015 - 8:35 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 16074

You don't need a preamp with an active pickup.
Guitar amps are fine, keyboard amps are even better because of the wider range.
Most amps have preamps and many have effects built in.
This one is pretty good for the price and has the chorus and reverb built in as well.

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

King for a Day, Peasant for many

March 11, 2015 - 10:44 pm
Member Since: February 13, 2012
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Here's my setup. A Fender Frontman 25R (guitar) amp, a Boss Looper Box, a Zoom 505 effects box and a 12 channel QX202USB mixer (with 100 effects built in and USB interface for the computer).

I started with a home made acoustic/electric I made from a cheap $50 Chinese fiddle using piezo strips under the bridge and inputting that signal directly to the amp (another ebay bargain at $50 !!). Later on about 3 months or so wanted more control over the effects because the amp only had a 3 level eq and 1 reverb control so I spent only about $50 on the Zoom (used from a guitar and strings store), then bought the Boss for about $80 off ebay, then just recently bought the Behringer mixer off Amazon for $119.

I plugged my 5 string into CPO's 15w amp and it was plenty loud enough in her dining room which is pretty big and open. For a full blown performance outside or in an auditorium, maybe not so much but it certainly does perform. I wouldn't go less than 15w and just my opinion which is limited, I'd say 25-50watts is perfect for what you describe... Especially if you want to plug in other stuff at the same time.

Daniel is certainly right on target with trying before you buy. Maybe you know some others that have instruments and/or amps and you could plug your e-violin into them and hear for yourself. Playt with a few settings and knobs and get a feel for the loudness and distortion that you'll get when driving them up real loud on limited power.

It's a bunch of fun no matter what you do... and anything you get used that doesn't work out quite right is easily sold because there's always someone out there just like you, getting started.

Have fun and rock on. hats_off

P3020096.JPGImage EnlargerIMG_20130910_154831_2_.jpgImage EnlargerP3110132.JPGImage EnlargerP3030106.JPGImage Enlarger

I just recently acquire a beautiful 5 string silent violin which I'm totally in love with and for the most part have a really hard time going back and playing the 4 string acoustics of which I have 4 others..,

The Fender amp sounds awesome with all the effects the 12 ch mixer produces and is big enough to run two electric instruments at the same time thru the mixer if you wanted meaning the stage thing is easily done. Being a 12 ch mixer you could also hook up a few mics as well if vocals were to introduced in the performance.

Here's a few pics.

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"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

New member
March 24, 2015 - 3:17 pm
Member Since: March 24, 2015
Forum Posts: 1
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I'm new here and don't have specific experience with violins, so take my words with a grain of salt. This is actually my first post because I was perusing and saw this topic before I went to ask the question I joined for. :D  That said I have lots of experience with electric guitar, bass, and keyboard amps and effects.

The main thing you want is going to be clear amplification with a large dynamic range. This is the reason that people will say you should avoid guitar amps. Many electric guitar amps are built with specific goals in mind for how gain stages are implemented and how distortion should be introduced. These aren't what you generally want with a violin. A keyboard amplifier, acoustic guitar amplifier, or a PA (Portable Amplifier) would be the best choices because they are designed for clarity and a more even frequency response. The additional point I would make is that if you use any sort of effects then a clean amp is more ideal as well because you don't get any unexpected changes to your tone.

I highly recommend checking around on craigslist and the local thrift stores/pawn shops. Take your violin with you and test out whatever you find. Buying a new amplifier will cost much more than finding a decent used amplifier. Your local guitar shop is also likely to have some used gear that could fit the bill, but it will probably still be a bit more expensive.

As far as effects go, you could certainly invest in any number of high dollar multi-effect pedals, or create a custom pedal board with a number of single effect items you like. In amp effects are also a decent choice especially for standard effects like chorus and reverb.

If you have a recent ipad/ipod/iphone then my suggestion is to get an iRig guitar adapter and the amplitube app. The new adapter the iRig2 is only $40 and it finally includes an amplifier output. You can connect your violin into the adapter and listen via headphones without even requiring an amplifier. It is great for practising that way. The amplitube software package has some excellent standard effects included and you can purchase expansion packs of amplifier models and effects later if desired. I have worked with a few terrific guitarists who use this setup for live performances and was extremely impressed. If you don't have any apple devices, maybe you use android, then you aren't completely out of luck. Recent improvements in Android audio processing mean that iKMultimedia is finally bringing their adapters and software to Android users. (I have personally been waiting at least 3 years for this! :) )  There are android version requirements to be aware of and from what I have read the best supported devices are the last generation of Samsung devices (Galaxy S5, Note 3, Note 4, etc.) They have another adapter the iRig UA which will be supported by more Android devices, but it is not available yet and will run more than double the price of the iRig2.

Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with IK Multimedia in any way. I just really appreciate the value they bring to the table, especially for a beginner on a budget. I actually use a Line6 multi-effect pedal for all of my guitar/bass needs, but it cost me nearly $300. I find that iRig/Amplitube give you a great starting point and you can decide on hardwired effects at a later point when it makes more sense without breaking the budget now.

I hope that helps.


March 25, 2015 - 7:12 pm
Member Since: May 4, 2012
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Just a few thoughts on amplification for violins..

The idea that you want the greatest possible tonal range.. False.  Something like a keyboard amplifier is made to amplify over a very wide frequency range, but a violin is only going to use part of the upper half of what a keyboard needs.  That lower half of the frequency range takes a lot of wattage and bigger speakers that a violin is not going to need.  They cost more than something like a comparable guitar amp and they are heavier.  Carrying an entire PA amplification system around for violin would be a similar example of overkill.  There could be an exception to that, if you intend to play the violin a lot with an octave effect to be playing it down in the range of a bass or something.

Amplifiers designed for acoustic guitars would be better.. Also false (though they might not be too bad).  What makes the difference between a regular guitar amp and an acoustic guitar amp is the acoustic one will usually have a preamp built in for the piezo pickups, because a lot of players who add a piezo pickup to their acoustic guitar would rather NOT chop into the body of the guitar to install a pre-amp.  They also usually don't have as much high-end as amps made for electric "lead" guitars.  But most of the electric violins discussed in this forum already have a built-in preamp, and some of the violin's sound is up in the high ranges.  What makes an acoustic guitar amp sound good, warm, rich and clear for an acoustic guitar will not automatically make it sound good with an electric violin (though it could be super with an electric cello).

Amps made for electric guitar are not made for violin.. True.. But they actually aren't that bad a match, and most people can probably find a decent quality guitar amp (maybe used) going for a reasonable price.  Many guitar amps do slightly favour the range around 1 khz (usually by only a few decibels), but that is almost in the middle of a violin's range, so it can work.. Violins do need higher range, but most guitar amps can actually manage it at least reasonably well (though the way you set the controls on the amp will be different for violin than for guitar).  Considering that many electric violinists use effects designed for electric guitars, I find it kind of interesting that they worry about guitar amps not being designed to be optimal for the violin's range.  The effects aren't designed to be optimal for the violin's range either, but they usually work at least well enough. 

The best choice would be an amplifier actually designed for electric violins..  Almost certainly true.  But at least to my personal tastes, I have yet to hear an amp where that claim was made and where I thought the sound was all that great.  I have yet to hear one where I didn't feel that at least some guitar amps could sound as good if the settings were adjusted for it.  In fact, my opinion is that most of them make it sound a lot like an electric guitar anyway.

In the end, it's your money and your muscles.. Spend as you like, and lug around as much gear as you want.  But especially for a practice or jam amp or small gigs, a medium sized guitar amp probably will be one of the more practical and readily available choices.  Roll off the bass a little on the eq and bring up the treble a little and/or use a brightness switch if the amp has one, and it should usually do at least a reasonably good job.

"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

California, the place of my heart
March 26, 2015 - 2:32 pm
Member Since: January 11, 2012
Forum Posts: 4180
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I am lucky that I don't have intentions of lugging around gear... yet.

I am getting additional gear to try out.  (Squeee) I think...... 

Thanks for all the tips everyone.  It is great to talk about.

I can't wait to bombard this forum with my Electric Violin Journey... (look out and don' say you were not warned).  


Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

Pullman,WA, USA

March 26, 2015 - 8:55 pm
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All I would add to what Daniel said is that either an outboard equalizer or one built into an amplifier will reduce the harshness/raspiness of pickups. With my NS Design 5-String electric violin i use an LRBaggs platinum as both equalizer and direct box to the band's mixer. In its effect loop I have an analog delay (that I use a lot) and a Chorus (That I only use occasionally) gws

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