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Electric violins
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (1 votes) 
Gordon Shumway
London, England
Pro advisor

November 4, 2021 - 1:12 pm
Member Since: August 1, 2016
Forum Posts: 1951
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The Fiddlershop ad on FB made me wonder.

Let's assume (even if it's not true) that we know what to look for in an acoustic violin if we are buying.

But what should we look for in an electric one?

I have one (see profile). It's worth about 250USD. I don't play it often, but I like it - it sounds good.

The Yamaha 5-string went up in price by 20% so I lost interest in it.

So what do you get for 4000USD? What should you spend if 250 is too low and 4000 is too high?

I suppose you should expect easier playability and more sophisticated electronics (/better quality piezo apparatus) for all that cabbage.

But I imagine that electric violins get ill-treated more than acoustic ones do, so perhaps robustness of build is an important criterion?



November 4, 2021 - 2:42 pm
Member Since: June 10, 2020
Forum Posts: 4412
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@Gordon Shumway -

🤔 For me, a $4000 EV better play itself, have some really special artwork on it and/or be made of a precious metal! 😄

November 12, 2021 - 1:55 pm
Member Since: December 27, 2019
Forum Posts: 81
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You definitely get better electronics.  Mine is a NS-WAV which is on the low end of the spectrum, but it feels and sounds like a big step up from the Shar Plug 'N Play I used before.

But, it's a lot like Electric guitars.  Yup, you can get a very playable electric guitar for $300.   You move up to $800 and you are going to see and feel the difference.  Now, going to $2000 and up, those differences are going to be a whole lot smaller.

It's like that for things like bicycles too.   There is a huge difference between a $100 discount store bicycle and a $300 bicycle.  Go up to an $800 bicycle and still more of a difference.  But, between an $800 to $3000 bicycle, the differences are much smaller and you pay a lot more for just a little more.

I think it also depends on perspective/interest/desire.  For example, are you a violinist, or and ELECTRIC violinist?   If your main goal and desire is electric, then those small nuances become much more important, and to get the most out of an electric, there are some differences in playing style that come in to play.

If violin were my primary instrument, I would probably already have a Mark Wood Viper.  :D.  But, it is not my primary instrument, and for me that sweet spot of the NS WAV range (or maybe a wood stingray) is perfect.  Where on guitar, you can probably guess how often I pick up one of my cheaper or even mid ranged guitars compared to my Les Paul.  Which amusingly enough, is cheap compared to acoustic violin standards, and something I often point out to other guitarists when they complain about prices:  Be glad you don't play an orchestral instrument.   :D

Fort Lauderdale
November 16, 2021 - 12:57 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 15989

Sometimes you actually get better accessories/options/upgrades.... But often after a certain point, you aren't really getting a better instrument.

Yamaha sells much more expensive silent type instruments, ever with two piezo pickups vs 1. Tone and volume controls, audio through, headphone jacks..... etc. However, if you get the simple YEV104, and connect it to the right equipment, your sound will be just as good.

I'm not saying that this is the case with all electric instruments. Some cheap ones have worse pick-ups, but the YEV104's pickup is pretty good.

Just as back in the day when you were purchasing a CD player, paying for a much more expensive one wouldn't affect the sound much.
You need the instrument for the signal, and hopefully a clean quality signal. You can then form that clean signal in many ways with audio equipment.

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

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