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When I came back home, I played it for a while unplugged and with no earphones and was quite happy with the playability and the feeling (it plays like a traditional violin, and it accepts any kind of shoulder rest including my favorite one). I must say that it's not very silent unplugged. Yes, it is more silent than a wood violin, but you can still hear it well and you can practice without any need to plug it in.
Then... I plugged the earphones to see how it does, and was quite disappointed. Even with the volume at maximum level, it is still very quiet. The volume is just a tiny bit higher compared to playing without earphones. And if I do not keep the volume knob on the violin at maximum level, I can barely hear the difference between the volume unplugged and the volume with earphones plugged in. More over, the "reverb" switch doesn't really work: actually, I do not hear much difference between the sound with the built-in reverb and without it....I replaced both the battery and the earphone, but got the same results.
Last test: I plugged the violin into my acoustic guitar amp, a Fender Acoustasonic 30.
And then it was OK. Nice sound, good reverb (using the reverb of the Fender amp...) still not very loud but OK for room practice.
Now, I'd like to know from members who own this kind of violin, if they have experienced the same issues I have with the low volume of the built-in amplification and the almost non-existent reverb. Perhaps the violin pick up is a passive one ? I do not know. Thank you in advance for your help. You know, I don't like the idea of driving again to Ann Arbor to exchange the violin and still get one with the same issues !
My suggestion is to take it back to Shar Music... I don't know how far you are from there and I realize the price of gas here in Mi.
If you decide to return it, ask the employee if you can try another, talk to him and ask question's about the volume and reverb. Find a person in the store who know's about violin's, not just a guy who sell's everything, get a specialist. If they happen to have any teacher's onsight, ask to speak with him / her. Get a professional opinion if you can.
Actually I discovered that the issue with low volume was mainly due to the low quality earphones provided with the violin. I tried with a different pair of headphones of the "in-the-ear" kind and the volume increased to a satisfactory level.
However, the issue with the built-in reverb switch reamains unsolved: I cannot hear any reverb effect when I turn the reverb switch on.The only thing that changes a little bit is the sound "color" : brighter with the switch off, darker with the switch on.
I sent an e-mail to Shar and I am looking forward to their reply.
Thank you Pierre.
I will take a picture of the built-in reverb switch and send you a PM tonight.
My question is: if the reverb is "a function that never worked on the Plug N Play" ,
which is the scope of including a switch with the words "REVERB ON" and "REVERB OFF" apart from driving a customer crazy ?
Any news from your Distributor ?
If he says that a reverb option "never worked nor has been included in the Plug N Play violins" I can only bet that the Plug N Plazy instruments that he sells are different from the ones sold by Shar (see photos above with a clear "Reverb ON & Off" switch.
Hi Fiddlerman, thank you for the update. Now this is interesting: I called the electric violins specialist at Shar, and he told me that...yeah...that reverb switch never really worked, and he wishes that Shar had taken it off . Now, the violin I bought, according to Shar advertising, is the "latest generation with improved electronics". My question is: why is Shar keeping on a latest generation product a switch that does not work and can confuse customers, especially considering that they are aware of the issue ? This is not a $60.00 EBay vioilin, this violin is sold "on sale" for $290.00 (regular price is $390.00). And: it does not have an on-off power switch (Cecilio has it), it has a reverb on-off switch that is there only for cosmetics, it does not have a "tone" knob (Cecilio has it) and it has an ebony fingerboard which is 2mm thin (Cecilio electric violin has an ebony fingerboard that is 3 times thicker). And...the violin from Cecilio costs less than a half than the Shar Plug N Play. At the end of the day, not to have a built-in reverb is not a big deal, but I wonder if the violin is worth its price.
Kevin M. said
The only real drawback I have found with the Cecelio is the 1/8 plug instead of 1/4. It gets loose and loses connection. I have to clip the cord under the shoulder rest to keep it connected.
I would think that a 1/4 jack would be worse than the 1/8 jack due to it being heavier.
I would also think there should be a way to support the cord rather than tucking it under your shoulder rest.
I'd like to ask You a question:
On the picture in the middle i can't see anything that could possibly connect the tailpiece to the button and hold it to tighten the strings So, how it holds there? Or it's just the picture made that way? Or something wrong with my eyes?
Thank You for the pictures! =)
Naska, you have a good eye. Yes there is no button, the tailpiece is attached to the body with a different system (I am not at home now therefore I can't give you more details). You can see more pictures of the tailpiece from an ad that I posted on E Bay.
I put the violin with bag and bow on sale. It is brand new and, apart from the "lack' of a built-in reverb, it is a good instrument. The set up made by the Shar tech is very good. I decided to take the plunge and order a NS Wav instead...