Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 30

Thread: Electric Violin anyone?

  1. #1
    Registered User Santiago's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Long Island, NY, USA
    Posts
    3,889

    Default Electric Violin anyone?

    I've been enjoying my (4-string) electric mandolin quite a bit lately, and it's making me think of maybe picking up violin again after a considerable hiatus. I'm looking for a silent (solid) instrument so I can knock off the rust without knocking off family members. Then later, I can talk about an acoustic instrument.

    People know me as a violin player from way back when so I could probably get violin gigs easier than mandolin, but I won't do that until I'm better at it.

    The Fender FV3 seems to have my attention, because some of the real cheap ones seem to have bad sound. I was playing a few at Sam Ash the other day, and the Yarmarhars (as Mr. Peavey loved to pronounce it) had some potential, but I think I have to go in at a low price point to get my wife's approval.

    Any suggestions out there? I met that guy from TransSiberian Orchestra who makes those crazy v-shaped violins, but I just can't afford one. Not giving up on mandolin, but Sam Bush seems to ride that fence pretty well.
    Last edited by Santiago; Jan-21-2012 at 6:08pm.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Electric Violin anyone?

    I have a Fender FV1 and I'm pretty happy with it. I also own an old Barcus Barry 5 string I battle with on occassion. Although I admit I wouldn't mind owning an NS Wave, or even a Wood. Check out the Electric Violin shop. Most of their stuff is on the high end, but I think they have an NS for about $600.00 Here's the link; http://www.electricviolinshop.com/

    You're right about getting fiddle gigs over mandolin gigs. I've seen a lot more "Fiddler wanted ads" than "mandolin wanted ads." Of course, if you play both that can be a plus. Personally, I like playing my electric mandolin more than fiddle. That will probably black list me for future fiddle jams, but it's what I like.

  3. #3
    In The Van Ben Milne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    To the left of the Southern Cross
    Posts
    1,285

    Default Re: Electric Violin anyone?

    I tried the Fender a few years back when thinking about picking up a musical instrument again. The sound grated on me (YMMV) and wasn't along the lines of what I had envisaged.
    Luckily I spied an Epiphone mandobird on the wall, said "What the hell is that thing?!" and haven't looked back.

    I have heard some nice sounding electric fiddles, though they werent cheap ones...
    Hereby & forthwith, any instrument with an odd number of strings shall be considered broken. With regard to mix levels, usually the best approach is treating the mandolin the same as a cowbell.

  4. #4
    Registered User Santiago's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Long Island, NY, USA
    Posts
    3,889

    Default Re: Electric Violin anyone?

    I've heard the FV3 has better sound than the FV1 or the Wav (based on online reviews). Its one of those two or a Yamaha most likely. I'll try what they have a Sam Ash so I can do a real comparision, but I stink at violin until I get some serious practice time in, but I'm leaning toward a Fender, which is about the same price as the ND Wav (699 w bow, case, etc.) a little less than the Yamaha which is 800 and change.

  5. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    N. Calif.
    Posts
    1,098

    Default Re: Electric Violin anyone?

    IMHO, electric violins sound lousy until you get to the higher end like Jordan. If bothering the household is an issue, you can get an acoustic fiddle for that price that will be much better than any electric, and get a big mute like this:
    http://elderly.com/accessories/items/VM205.htm
    Fiddles
    Arches F4 / Newson F5
    Crump B1 / Old Wave GOM

  6. #6

    Default Re: Electric Violin anyone?

    I've been tempted many times.... The first instrument I played was the violin, waayyy back when my age was in single digits. I learned to read music on the violin and enjoyed it. An electric would be fun!

    My neighbor across the street builds concert violins, but the prices are all upper 4, lower 5 digits! I won't be owning one of his anytime soon. That has not stopped me however from thinking of buying an instrument in the white and working with him to finish it....Maybe someday....
    Chinn BluesBird Emando #1
    Aria M-300BG 2 Point
    Michael Kelly Legacy O
    Kay Model 68
    Stoneman Travel Mando

  7. #7

    Default Re: Electric Violin anyone?

    Oh yeah... this guy got me re-interested in the violin back in the late 80's early 90's....

    Chinn BluesBird Emando #1
    Aria M-300BG 2 Point
    Michael Kelly Legacy O
    Kay Model 68
    Stoneman Travel Mando

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Electric Violin anyone?

    Would it better to start (completely green) on an electric or acoustic?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Electric Violin anyone?

    If you like the FV-3 stick with it. Shopping for a decent acoustic can be a real pain. There's more opinions about violins than any other musical instrument. The chineese imports are very well made and dirt cheap. The japaneese and korean imports can be very good, or lousy. I've not heard too much of what I would call "in beween." If you're just looking for a starter then go cheap chineese. I own a german bench made violin. If I was looking for another acoustic I would look for a Roth bench made instrument. I like the dark sounds of the Roths. Then again, we're talking well over $3K for something like a Roth.
    I tend to agree with Jim on the sound of electric violins. You have to be in the $1200+ range to get a decent sound. I can dial in an acceptable sound with a parametric equalizer, but without it the sound is definately not "acoustic." I'd also agree with him on the mute, if you go acoustic.
    Another thing that has a huge affect on the sound is the amp. I don't own one, but people swear by the AER amps. From the few I've heard I thought they sounded pretty good. I use Fender amps, and they're okay for what I do.
    One more thing, if you suddenly have a windfall and decide to buy a Wood violin, stick to fretless. It's a whole lot more fun!!

  10. #10
    In The Van Ben Milne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    To the left of the Southern Cross
    Posts
    1,285

    Default Re: Electric Violin anyone?

    The Fender I played (and didn't like) was through an AER (The only thing I don't love about these is I can't afford one).
    Perhaps the amp was too transparent and true in this application.
    Hereby & forthwith, any instrument with an odd number of strings shall be considered broken. With regard to mix levels, usually the best approach is treating the mandolin the same as a cowbell.

  11. #11
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Idaho Falls, ID
    Posts
    1,273

    Default Re: Electric Violin anyone?

    I always have thought that the low end silent violins kind of sound like a zipper. You could always use a mute or you can always roll up a dollar bill thread it through the strings. That really tones them down.I would by an acoustic and mute it then you wouldn't have to buy two violins.
    Weber Bitteroot Custom
    Eastman 905D 2 point
    Scott Cao 850
    Taylor NS34CE
    "You have to go out on a limb, that is where the fruit is"

  12. #12
    poor excuse for anything Charlieshafer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Madison, Ct
    Posts
    2,298

    Default Re: Electric Violin anyone?

    Have to agree with the mute-on-acoustic thing. Through the years, we've accumulated a few low-price electric violins, the Yamaha and Ned Steinberger knock-off among them. Neither get played much at all, just not enough of anything to make the worth spending money on. If you really want to go the electric route, just find a used one for as cheap as possible. Once you go acoustic of any quality, save really bad, you'll never pick up the electric again, unless it's a rock band you're playing in.

  13. #13
    Registered User Santiago's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Long Island, NY, USA
    Posts
    3,889

    Default Re: Electric Violin anyone?

    I own a half-way decent student violin. I was in All New York State Orchestra in high school (my county's music program is bigger than that of 38 states). I studied under a NY Philharmonic member, etc., but decided not to major in violin at college. Mandolin is now my first instrument, but I want to reintroduce some violin to my life for performance purposes. I've been listening to Jean Luc Ponty for many, many years -- I used to play New Country on violin, and have played it on the mandolin at local open mic nights. My first electric violin was slapping a clip-on guitar pickup on my acoustic, iI know I want an electric (and I need a better bow). Mark Wood's the guy I once interviewed.

  14. #14
    poor excuse for anything Charlieshafer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Madison, Ct
    Posts
    2,298

    Default Re: Electric Violin anyone?

    Well, then, the Jordan, mentioned by someone else above, is a great instrument, but expensive. For the lower-priced ones, I'd go with the Ned Steinberger knock-offs. The real Neds go for 2k, and the knock-offs, fully authorized and endorsed by him, go for about $600. The Yamaha's are fine, but ours always seems to have something to have to mess with.

  15. #15
    Registered User Santiago's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Long Island, NY, USA
    Posts
    3,889

    Default Re: Electric Violin anyone?

    I was reading reviews online where people deeply comparing the (NS) Wav to the Fender FM3, said the Fender sounded better, and that the basic-level WAV shoulder 'pad' is uncomfortable and fixed in position (yet falls off).

  16. #16
    Registered User Santiago's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Long Island, NY, USA
    Posts
    3,889

    Default Re: Electric Violin anyone?

    I found a violin shop nearby that has a few I can try out. That'll help.

  17. #17
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Duluth Mn.
    Posts
    384

    Default Re: Electric Violin anyone?

    I'm actually a fiddle player, and have played many electric fiddles over the years. I had a wonderful 5 string Skyinbow(made in Scotland), that I decided was too fragile for the rowdy bars I usually play in. So I sold it(on this site), and found a nice used Bridge Aquila on Ebay for about $600. That's about a half of what new one would cost. It's sounds great, and is made of a kevlar/carbon fiber material, so I figure I can beat off drunks with it. I see they have that brand at the music store near you, although at a price above what you were looking at. If I were you, I'd take my time and look on Ebay, and other sites and look for a decent instrument at a decent price. As with anything, you pretty much get what you pay for, but there are deals out there. Good luck.
    Chief. Way up North. Gibson 1917 A model with pickup. JL Smith 5 string electric. 1929 National Triolian resonator mandolin with pickup. National RM 1 with pickup. Ovation Applause. Fender FM- 60 E 5 string electric (with juiced pickups). 1950's Gibson EM-200 electric mandolin. 1954 Gibson EM-150 electric mandolin. Custom made "Jett Pink" 5 string electric- Bo Diddley slab style. Jay Roberts Tiny Moore model 5 string electric.

  18. #18
    Registered User Santiago's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Long Island, NY, USA
    Posts
    3,889

    Default Re: Electric Violin anyone?

    Yes, I'm used to buying violins used.

  19. #19
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    2,748

    Default Re: Electric Violin anyone?

    Try both the fiddle forum and fiddle hangout for some info. But look out, the fiddle players over there are more opinionated and hide-bound than the mandolin players over here.

  20. #20
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    11,531

    Default Re: Electric Violin anyone?

    Well, I own "Snagglepuss," one of the first Aceto NV 5-strings, which is a great instrument, but I need to put together a dependable in-ear monitor setup for live playing. I'm thinking a Bluetooth transmitter plugged into my preamp would do the trick. Electrics don't give you much under-the-ear sound, so without a dependable monitor you are sunk.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson Wood Thormahlen Andersen Old Wave Bacorn Yanuziello Fender National Gibson Franke Fuchs Aceto Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  21. #21
    Registered User Tom Wright's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Rockville, MD
    Posts
    1,438
    Blog Entries
    7

    Default Re: Electric Violin anyone?

    I used a Barrett solid body 5-string for a while, switched to an Aceto NV viola. The Barrett had a Barbera bridge, very sweet but synthetic and dull. Quiet for practice, if unsatisfying in sound. Best sound results for that came from using a guitar amp to give it some funky color .

    The Aceto had much more realistic sound, and I used a different rig, sometimes direct for recording. But it was very expensive ($5K), even the Barrett cost like a Ryder solid body, around $1300. The less-expensive instruments like Yamaha probably work OK but I didn't like the sound of the only one I tried.

    I so much prefer picking to bowing, now that I have spent a couple of years working hard on mandolin, that I haven't used the Aceto in years. Guess I'm saying fiddle, even amplified, doesn't satisfy me these days. There are some great jazz players out there, like Zach Brock. I wish them well, but I'm planning to spend my later years picking.
    Last edited by Tom Wright; Jan-23-2012 at 1:20am.
    Blog--Miniature Orchestra
    Sound Clips--SoundCloud
    Videos--YouTube
    The viola is proof that man is not rational

  22. #22
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    11,531

    Default Re: Electric Violin anyone?

    I have an old Barrett "Anchor" stick viola too. BTW, I don't know if you ever tried one, but the Barrett Luma was a significant advance over the Anchors. I would buy a Luma if (a) I could find one and afford it, and (b) I played electrics enough to justify the purchase. (Just passed up a Luma on eBay that went for just over $1,000 ... a relative bargain, but only if you know you're going to play it a lot.) Mostly I just plug in an acoustic fiddle when I need to be loud.

    Snagglepuss suffered a top crack and was sold to a pawnshop in North Carolina ... it found its way back to Eric Aceto, who repaired it ... then it was owned by another chap in Seattle before I bought it, on the night of the vice presidential debate four years ago. Anywho, by that time it had come down significantly in price.
    Emando.com: More than you wanted to know about electric mandolins.

    Notorious: My Celtic CD--listen & buy!

    Donaldson Wood Thormahlen Andersen Old Wave Bacorn Yanuziello Fender National Gibson Franke Fuchs Aceto Three Hungry Pit Bulls

  23. #23

    Default Re: Electric Violin anyone?

    I used to own a Zeta Acoustic Pro that I really liked. Zeta is out of business now but the head luthier now has his own shop: http://fournessviolins.com/

  24. #24
    Registered User Santiago's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Long Island, NY, USA
    Posts
    3,889

    Default Re: Electric Violin anyone?

    Yeah. I used to play the Zetas at the NAMM show when they first came out.

  25. #25
    Registered User Tom Sailor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Germany (South)
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Electric Violin anyone?

    This is mine:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Fiddle.JPG 
Views:	270 
Size:	63.2 KB 
ID:	82056
    I bought it on Ebay for 250 eight years ago, was a set of about 20 instruments like this... It's a Corean made Electric Fiddle that ist't too bad, I just had luck . It's signed "Palatino", but this is surely brand piracy - I know Palatino never sold these electric Violins. It is quite good treated, just the fingerboard isn't ebony (that was said) but kind of lighter wood (maybe Rose) and it had a black finish on it. It has a quite good Piezo pickup (this is the main thing it depends on), but it is not very good equalized, much too much treble / presence. So I bought a BOSS GT-6 Guitar Effectboard soon after it (upgraded to GT-10 last year) and equalized some very nice sound patches for the fiddle; this way it sounds quite good in the meantime. I often use it to play in public with three different bands. First I had a Genz-Benz Shenandoah for amp, worked not bad but in the meantime I just use two 12'' active speakers because preamp is included in the GT-6 / GT-10.
    Good luck, Tom
    Who finds a mistake, may it gladly keep

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •