Electric Violins - Noise or delay with amp and headphones?
Yesterday, I tested out a Yamaha silent 130, a Yamaha YEV, and NS design WAV, and a stingray I believe.
If I don't want to go with a silent violin, will a small amp with a headphone jack plugged into a YEV be completely reasonable to practice silently with??
A) Will there not be much noise in the headphones?
B) WIll there be such a small amount of delay that I won't notice it (in the sound going from the violin to the headphones)?? Because delay would kill any hope of practicing regularly. I am guessing there would be no delay.
Also, I forgot to try the bridge lyra violin. I have read it's much louder unamped than the other instruments, which concerns me. Is this true? I was completely satisfied with the loudness level of all the above unamped electrics, so would the lyra be much louder and potentially not safe for apartment playing (I regard the other instruemnts as 200% safe for apartment playing). The bridge lyra looks so beautiful. I'm annoyed with myself.
Observations about these instruments (creds: violinist of 16+ years, got into districts, regional, state orchestra back in high school, i make songs too):
ALL of these were WAY quieter than I was anticipating without amps. Like when people say "these aren't quiet FYI", I mean SURE, but they are so quiet that there is just NO way neighbors would hear these guys through the walls and complain about them (perhaps this is possible, but so ridiculously unlikely). They are quieter than the loudness of normal conversation for sure. I was SO impressed with how quiet they were. You could totally play them in hotel rooms, apartment buildings with neighbors above, below, and to your left and right, in college dorms, etc.
Also, when people say, "I don't even need the amp to practice on them, THAT's how loud they are". Um, yeah you could theoretically do that, but I observed a) they are so quiet that this strategy would NOT be enjoyable b) It felt awkward playing them without the amp. It didn't feel right and I felt the urge to adjust my playing without the amp. I felt no urge to adjust my playing with the amp.
I was SO pleasantly surprised with the quiet level AND sound quality of all of them. In youtube videos, I have to admit, many of these instruments sound HORRIBLE, but when I played them all, I thought they all sounded fantastic and sounded like real violins, and I could totally practice on most of them everyday.
Also, the NS Design WAV was uncomfortable with the built in shoulder rest. It sounded good like the others (I liked the low end the most), but I just couldn't get it to be comfortable with the adjustable shoulder rest. A complete pain in the *** actually. Given that the others sounded similar to my ears (obviously they all sound slightly different, but the quality levels were all very very great), I gave up on selecting the WAV.
If you use a modern hifi amplifier with digital sound control (bass boost, reverb, etc.) or somehow manage to hook up a wireless bluetooth headphone, the audio will be delayed by 100-200 ms. So, don't do that. :-)
Thanks for responding. It sounds like you are saying an amp that you can plug headphones into will have too much delay (https://www.ehx.com/products/headphone-amp)? I wasn't expecting this response. Is this right?? How do other instrumentalists practice silently then without delay (electric guitar)? Are you saying getting a yamaha silent is best? (the newer yamaha silents come with their own external amp, and would this external amp also have 100-200 ms delay which also would be too much for them too??--which wouldn't make sense because then why would they sell it?)
A normal analog pre-amp, amp, and headphones will not have any delay. An amp that contains digital sound processing (including some home hi-fi equipment) may have delay. I think that's what Han meant. I doubt the pickup circuit by itself will offer enough gain to drive your headphones. My guess is that all of the violins will behave the same in this regard. Can't you test all of this in the shop where you tried them?
Thank Paul. So it sounds like you're saying that a regular non-fancy amp that can take headphones should be perfectly fine, but amps that do digital sound processing will encounter trouble. And by digital processing, you mean an amp that manipulates the sound such as by adding effects?
Thanks. I already did. The man I spoke to said there probably wouldn't be a problem. He didn't sound as confident as I had wanted him to be, so I'm checking here as well.
"And by digital processing, you mean an amp that manipulates the sound such as by adding effects?"
If i recall properly, both YEV and NS Wav are passive electric violins, meaning that they do not have a pre-amp installed. In other words, plugging headphones ( with no pre-amp) may not provide enough gain for your headphones to hear your violin properly.
10ms is similar to standing about 10ft. away from the source. 4-5ms is the maximum delay most musicians can stand and not hear any real noticeable delay. @Han N 100-200ms is a very Loooooong delay. More like an echo.Anyone who has played on stage is aware of the timing issues you can encounter when you stand too far away from either players or your own amp.
One way you will get latency through headphones is if you are using bluetooth. Otherwise it shouldn't be a problem.
I have used YEV directly plugged in to Yamaha THR5A portable amp via cable and don't recognize any latency or noise (except what I make). I also use a wired headphone. Hope this helps.
Sung, have you used the YEV in recording situations? If so, how has that worked for you?
Thank you Sung Han.
What kind of Yamaha amp was it? Yamaha makes both guitar amps and home-theater/hifi amplifiers (I have one of the latter).
I just played two restaurant gigs with a Fishman V-200 pickup, a small home-made pre-amp, and a Fender Rumble 25 amplifier. Sounded good. Might need a little more EQ than the Rumble provides. Because these were restaurant gigs I didn't really need all that much boost.
Han, it is Yamaha THR5A portable amp.