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Buying an electric violin

electric silent ergonomics

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#1 OlderAussie

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Posted 18 December 2019 - 00:09

Hi again folks.

A few months back I bought an electric violin. Having compared a couple, I thought I might share some aspects anyone should think about. I was after an easily affordable and robust “silent” violin so I could keep up practice while travelling, with the option of amplification in case I ever wanted that. Actually as I was after a 3/4 size I had a limited choice and tried a Phoenix brand and a Carlo giordano.

These are quite different looking instruments - like many electric violins the Phoenix has a modern, asymmetrical shape, and comes in various colours. It certainly seemed robust (ie quite heavy). The Carlo giordano has a much less exciting appearance - brown wood and with a regular violin shape, but with spaces within the body outline. I thought the tone of the Phoenix better but in the end bought the other - why?

The Carlo giordano, being symmetrical and light, was much more comfortable to hold and play. The other felt unbalanced and heavy. Also the body outline of the Carlo was of normal depth which meant it suited my regular shoulder rest (and also allowed the possibility of a different chin rest). The Phoenix however had a curved bar around the back which was set higher, so a different shoulder rest would be needed, especially as the placement of its battery compartment made the violin even more uncomfortable to hold.

I am happy with my choice, having improved the tone of my Carlo giordano by adjusting the treble/bass settings, better strings and permanently using a tourte mute, and it is now a valued addition to a fun amplified band. Another very useful feature is the volume control on the instrument.

My main advice is not to forget the ergonomics i.e. your comfort level, which might be a temptation when choosing an electric violin. Exciting looks aren’t everything...

If you’ve tried an electric violin have you found it comfortable to play? Maybe you could give a review.
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#2 Gordon Shumway

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Posted 18 December 2019 - 11:47

Electric violins vary in price from about £100 to about £5,000, I guess. The question is, what's the minimum you need to spend? £5,000 seems like insanity to me.

Here's my Amazon review of the Hidersine HEV1, which has an RRP of about £220, but you used to be able to get it for £185 incl.postage (it's no longer available on Amazon). I confess I have hardly touched it, but it seems more than adequate.

https://www.amazon.c...dp_perm?ie=UTF8

(I had already bought a bass package, so the amplifier was already there)


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#3 chaia

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Posted 18 December 2019 - 12:53

I was lucky enough to get a Yamaha YEV104 for my birthday last year, and im very pleased with it. Its very light, and actually more comfortable to hold than an acoustic to me. It was set up well, the neck is nice and its easy to play.
This is in the £600 price bracket though
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#4 Gordon Shumway

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Posted 18 December 2019 - 16:46

I'm not a fan of Yamaha CGs - they have clinical treble and feeble bass, but their EVs shouldn't be judged by the same standards.


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#5 Ligneo Fistula

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Posted 18 December 2019 - 22:18

Thanks for the thread, OlderAussie.  I've never considered electric string instruments before.  I might look into getting one - cello or viola - just for fun, mind you.


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