Please feel free to share. “The Little Drummer Boy Project”
Anyone heard of, or dealt with them? I came across an interesting instrument on Ebay, and thought I would ask if anyone has any experience with them. Specifically due to the fact this is a $130 instrument, with pickups, passive electronics and 1/4" jack ...
One wonders if the damage would have been as severe had the chicken not been tied to the barrel.
And while we're at it ... ???
One wonders if the damage would have been as severe had the chicken not been tied to the barrel.
Very interesting...I've never heard of them but will do some research. Just did a Google search and they make quit a few styles of e-violins and acoustic/electric violins. It's just crazy how China keeps pumping out instruments (and everything else) But you just can't trust their quality control. Those Yinfente violins look pretty cool and nice cheep price to be introduced to the wonderful world of violins 😉
One thing that I noticed about the Yinfente is the placement for the 1/4 inch jack on the right side of the violin. With violins you have all the movements in your right bowing arm and that chord will get in the way placed there. Even if you tuck it under the violin to drape over your left shoulder it then will get in the way of resting the violin by your shoulder. I don't think they asked any violin players for their pickup design for acoustic/electric violins.
I was just checking out for e-violin. Since my school has started again in september, I can only play a few hours a week. poo. So I was thinking of getting an electronic violin, then came across the Yinfente violin on ebay....googled it to find any reviews and here I am! They are so cute ... tempting to click on "buy now".
It's almost time to do my next video update!
ciao and I'll be back soon everyone!
FYI, if anybody wants to hear the sound, here is the link
I'm thinking bout getting one for my b-day
I know I am a cellist and all, but I took a chance on a Yinfente cello and I am VERY impressed. The cello I bought was from ebay and I did a lot of research and they sell a quality instrument. It looked awesome and when it arrived, I was blown away how beautiful it was. The strings were CRAP so I upgraded them right away. It played so nicely, I saw a second cello with free shipping and I bought that one too. The sound was even better right off the bat. Keep in mind you may need to pay duties ($50.00 for my first cello- no charge on the second) and someone to set up the soundpost and bridge. My luthier charged $15.00 for the first sello and $5.00 for the second. I have friends from New England Conservatory who spent THOUSANDS for their cellos and my second cello is comparible in beauty, quality, and most important sound. $350.00 was the cost including shipping. Best money I have ever spent.
Incidentally my entire family plays together and four of them play the violin/fiddle.
This was my first post. I felt compelled to post because while I was researching Yinfente, there was little information that was helpful.
This is a review of the Yinfente 5-string, model #8, silent type electric violin, and what it took to turn it into a playable and functional instrument.
Some background: I am a classically-trained violinist, and have played professionally in ensembles and orchestras since the age of 14. I have never played a 5 string violin previous to this violin,and have spent less than 2 hours playing a borrowed Yamaha silent-violin, which is the only time I have played a violin other than a traditional acoustic violin or viola. I have also played electrified “popular” music on a variety of instruments for just about as long, which partially led to the purchase of this instrument.
I approached a luthier friend with the idea of building an electric 5 string violin. We discussed various existing models on the market, their advertised features, reviews, price, and what he thought it would take to construct similar instruments.
When we discussed the Yinfente violins he said that, for the price of one of their electric violins,he could not even purchase the raw materials required to begin to construct the violin. After a couple of weeks of discussions he suggested that I purchase the Fente instrument with the plan to modify it, and if needed, completely de-construct the instrument and salvage the parts off of it to build another instrument.
I had very low expectations for this violin. The phrase “you get what you pay for” has proven to be accurate throughout my range of experience, so little was expected from an instrument for which I paid $90 (eBay Buy-it-now price was $106, but made an offer of $90).
The package arrived from Beijing, China about 10 days after I ordered it. Shipping was $45. It was well packed in a violin case, and included a bow, rosin, headphones, and 10' long 1/8" to 1/4" cable.
The case, as I expected, was nowhere near the quality of my American Case Company violin case. It is very lightweight and it does not form fit the instrument, does not latch but only zips, but it did protect the contents during shipment.
The bow is heavier than I care to use, particularly towards the tip, but does have real hair and an ebony French-eye frog. It looks to be made of rosewood. The finger rest is attractively wrapped with metal, though for the price I doubt it is silver/nickel that binds my favorite bow (which I paid more for than this entire package, including shipping). I tried the rosin and decided I prefer my less sticky rosin. After trying to become comfortable with the new bow, I put it back in the case and have not used it since.
The headphones work.
The violin ships with the bridge taken off, so it had to be installed. This operation on this violin is a much easier process than if it is was an acoustic violin. The placement of the bridge is predetermined by the installed piezo pickup, atop which the bridge is set. I found it to be nice not to have to be concerned about a sound post. I did not care for the string arch of the bridge or the spacing. The string spacing as coming from the factory was uneven (between 9 and 12mm), and the string arch made me feel as if the string crossover angles were uneven (Not having played a 5 string before magnified my discomfort with the unequal spacing and angle of the bow to the strings.) The bridge is a standard width violin bridge.
I anticipated that the quality of the strings that would come on the violin would be very low - especially considering that the string set I normally purchase for my 4 string cost near to half the cost of the entire Yinfente package. In appearance they look like other violin strings. They are steel core with a steel E. They are bad, awful, strings. Flabby. Strung to pitch (as much as I could keep them there) I could pull almost every string out and back to pitch with long, forte bow strokes.
The electronics, consisting of the pickup and battery-holder/volume/tone box, were unexpectedly good. Using the supplied headphones then later, directly through a mixer into a PA system, the tones that came through them, even with the cheap,flabby strings, sounded surprisingly like a real violin. The volume level though the headphone-out can be louder than needed, and the signal level through the line-out is sufficient to where a preamp is unnecessary. The tone control is limited as it is a simple, one-knob control with as much affect as the one-knob tone control on old automobile radios.
The violin had a high gloss stained finish and matched the picture of the color I chose for the instrument. The body (this body type only approximates the outline of a traditional violin) appears to be made of some wood in the mahogany family. The neck is flamed maple. The included chinrest is of the Stradivarius shape type (not the shape I prefer). It appeared to be a low quality ebony (lighter colored) and the stain left marks on my neck after playing. The fingerboard on this 5 string is wider than a standard 4 string. I did not measure the thickness to quantify it (no access to a caliper) but overall it felt like it was thicker, top of fingerboard to bottom of neck, than my 4 string. The joint where the fingerboard is meets the neck was not smooth and was apparent to the touch. The finish on the neck had 'orange peel' where my thumb rests in 1st position. I did compare the string length, nut to bridge, to my 4 string. The string length is 1/16" shorter. It feels heavier than my acoustic, again no actual measurements made. The tailpiece has 5 fine-tuners. My Kun shoulder rest fits approximately the same on this instrument as on my 4 string.
I can only compare playing this violin to my experience playing an acoustic 4 string violin. First of all, I found that once past the novelty of it - the 5th string, the set up, trying something new - I was very uncomfortable playing it. Trying to figure out where the string crossings were, having a wire hanging down (where does that feel the best?), not understanding how much pressure to place on the bow versus turning up or down the amplified volume, not liking the feel of the neck...all these things and more competed with me being as comfortable as I am with my 4 string.
To try and get better accustomed to the instrument I took out some of my old studies that have a concentrated amount of string crossings... Kreutzer, Sevcik, Bach, Kreizler...that kind of stuff, and promptly got very frustrated.
I guess that at this point I should note that I am a Do-It-Yourself kind of guy...
I went online, ordered new strings (D'Addario Helicore 5 string set), a bridge blank, a chinrest (Berber style), and a shoulder rest (Kun) from Sharmusic.
3 days and $95 later (note: more than the entire Yinfente violin package) the package arrived.
Apparently the thickness of the 'ribs' are not the same as on a regular violin and, to use the new chinrest, I had to replace the hardware that came on the new chinrest with the hardware from the original chinrest.
Prior to replacing the strings I recut a new bridge. I measured and duplicated the string relationships from my 4 string - the spacings (11.5mm between the E-A, and A-D. 12mm between the D-G, G-C), the string arch (affects the string crossing angles), and the string height off the fingerboard at the E string (3.5mm).
I put the new strings on, putting graphite on the pegs, using the newly cut bridge. Played it. Night and Day difference. OMG. Between the bridge and the strings, the instrument was SO MUCH more playable. Still had some trouble with the string crossings but not near as much. My brain was still having trouble adapting to the relative position of the strings (Using the fingerboard as an reference axis, all the strings are rotated clockwise to the right to make room for the C string).
Comparing the neck on the 5 string to my 4 string, I noticed that my 4 string had very little finish on the neck. With my luthier friend's guidance I used a razor blade like a scraper, holding it perpendicular to the surface, and scraped the area where the fingerboard met the neck. I continued on and removed all the finish from the entire neck area - from just below the scroll to the neck joint at the body, doing away with the finish under my thumb that had 'orange peeled'. Even though the original finish was not that thick, its removal made the neck feel thinner and much easier to play. We fine sanded the neck and applied an oil finish to the neck.
For the next few days I worked on trying to get as comfortable on this instrument as I am on the 4 string. Not having experience on the electronic side of the instrument,I found that I was playing too hard. I started comparing bow pressure and the associated tone/volume on the 5 string versus the 4 string by playing one, setting it down, and playing the other. By doing this I not only was able to explore a broader range of tonal characteristics, I also was able to determine that I was not getting the response I desired from the lower strings. We 'tuned' the bridge (taking off bridge material in specific areas that contribute to frequency production/attenuation) to produce more clarity in the lower strings and to take the edge off the shrillness of the E string.
I now have an instrument I believe is of professional quality that is customized to my particular playing preference. From a playability standpoint, I think it compares to my acoustic (which is a very nice professional grade instrument - definitely NOT a student instrument). It is not the prettiest instrument I've ever seen (I don't care for the high gloss finish) but looks are a low priority. I'm pretty sure I can purchase a better piezo pickup, or preamp, or tone section, but since I will play this instrument through a Line 6 PodXT Live, tone-wise I have all the versatility I require at this point in time.
So, working with a luthier, and using the Fente 5 string violin straight from the factory in Beijing, replacing the strings, bridge, and chinrest, removing the finish from the neck and refining the joinery - I have a very playable, functional and fun 5-string electric violin for a total of less than $300 including shipping.
It's interesting that these cheap instruments can get you there at all. Just 20 or 30 years ago or so, I think almost any serious musician would have said that some cheap $90 violin (or I guess, it would have been more like $65 in those days' money) would never have gotten you to a really high-grade instrument no matter how much work and effort you poured into it. Or at the very least, you'd have to replace so much that the only original part that remains is the body -- which is anyway like getting a new instrument. A lot of people still generally assume that $300 is the typical minimum investment for a student-grade instrument. At the same, I see a lot of the same people who used to say a $90 violin = pure junk 15 or 20 years ago will say that things have really changed today; that they can get something much better than expected for $90, and that with some new fittings, strings, a proper bridge fit, and soundpost adjustment can be as good as almost any $300-$400 student instrument.
I'm actually semi-impressed that with some replacement of strings, bridge, and adjustments for playability, you get something that is basically on par with your other professional grade instrument. At the same time, I almost feel like saying "it's about friggin' time we got to that point." I always felt like the issue that had always existed in the past with cheap manufactured or machine-made instruments vs. hand-made was that there was simply no deep understanding or consideration of what it took to make a decent quality instrument in the knowledge base. Almost all the shops that were making cheap machine-made violins back then were all operated by guys who knew business or knew general manufacturing principles and so on, but didn't really know music or musical instruments. This was as compared to handmade violins where the masters and apprentices alike who made them were not only skilled woodworkers, but highly knowledgeable about the instruments they made with an ear for music, so there was just that much more consideration in the process.
I feel like today, though, we have enough widely available knowledge on a pure scientific level, and enough advances in technology and the availability of a variety of proven templates with the capacity to do detailed simulations on how certain variations would affect the result, etc. that the only things that need real serious work are quality control in the setup and the materials. With the widespread availability of things like CNC machining and so on, it is very doable to get truly flawless consistency in the manufacturing and assembly part of the equation. The thing that still needs a human eye is selection of raw materials and final setup (though I think it's very possible for technology to be a very powerful tool to aid in this)... if there's one thing I'm actually optimistic about, it's science and technology. I don't think it's inconceivable that we could reach a point where a $600 violin consistently beats Guarneris or Strads in blind listening, and the important thing will be that it would be the rule rather than the exception. I'm glad to see from frank's review some indication that we're closer than I might have thought... though, I'll temper that statement by the fact that we are talking about an electric instrument in his case, and there's a significant difference when we get into acoustic instruments.
Not sure what pics people will want to see, but here's a few...
Also, regarding post by cpiasminc - pretty sure that the only way they are turning this stuff out with any consistency is cnc. Some of the other items this 'store' sells are machined guitar necks, solid body guitar blanks...all items that you place in a machine and push a button.
I think the only way the sound quality of this cheap of an instrument is possible is because it is electric. But even though it is electric, the wooden bridge was still an important piece of the puzzle.
Each piece of wood is different. It'll be very hard to create a machine that will be able to hear and react to the subtleties involved with that.
Because both my luthier friend and I play other electric instruments (him bass, me guitar) our original thought was to make a "playable stick with strings and a piezo pickup", but we couldn't even begin to do that cheaper than purchasing this violin.