Purchasing an electric violin

August 19, 2006 at 05:49 AM · Hi, I'm new to the site. I've played the violin for about 4-5 years and havent played it in a few years and decided I want to get back in to it again. So I want to start new sort of by buying an electric violin. i'm not looking to spend lots of money on it since i'm not a proffessional at all and just looking for one to play around with and have fun with so i took a look on ebay.

I was looking at a couple for $100 which is right around my price range but didnt know if anyone had any experience with these and knows of the quality etc. I have never played an electric violin and i know very little about them so I'm hoping you guys can point me in the right direction. Are the ones on ebay that run for $100 give or take a few bucks worth it or are they junk? Thanks for your time, Grant

Replies (5)

August 19, 2006 at 04:42 PM · Compared to everything else, they're junk. You get what you pay for. On the other hand, with some tweaking they can do ok, and will probably fit the bill for a while. The electronics in them is the weakest point, from what I understand.

August 19, 2006 at 10:26 PM · I own a Yamaha SV-200, pricey but well worthwhile. The sound is excellent and for the extra money you can use your own shoulder rest with the instrument. Never had any problems with it even when traveling :)

August 20, 2006 at 04:28 AM · Research the pick-ups used for the electric violins. I'm pretty sure the Piezo pick-ups are horrible.

Barcus-Berry...mmm...my high school teacher said something about them (he also warned me of the piezo), but it was so long ago...

The Yamahas I think are pretty decent. In high school I bought a Jurgensmeyer electric violin off of eBay...just to have one that I could afford...it's okay...the tone is nothing like my other violins though.

You might want to consider using an acoustic pick-up for an acoustic violin. There's actually a cheap one that I had used freshman year of college for a jazz string quartet...it was a cheap pick-up that was made for acoustic guitars, and was applied with a sticky-tack type of substance. Was it an Oakley?? I forget...I think the price range was $15-20 though. The drawback with that pick-up was that the sticky-tack-like stuff was a little hard to get off, and the finish on my violin (a Scherl & Roth student violin) was a little damaged...not a big deal to me on that violin but I'd never put it on my antique one! The sticky substance worked best, and came off best, when you rolled a small piece into a ball, and then flattened it out.

Good luck!

August 20, 2006 at 07:52 PM · I own a mark wood 6 string instrument and a zeta 4 strings. If your going to be buying a 4 string electric violin, I would just suggest getting an acoustic pickup and a good pre amp. Electric violins are only worth it to me for the extra 2 strings you can get. All the range is GREAT for jazz.

August 23, 2006 at 03:14 PM · OK, here's my advice: Put your $100 in a savings account and don't waste it on those Ebay pieces of junk. Wait until you have some REAL MONEY to invest. Take the time to do some real research. Asking people on the Internet about cheap instruments on Ebay is not research. Don't rely on other people to tell what you sounds good. Do your homework. Contact the makers (I'd start with Ithaca String Instruments and Tucker Barrett and go from there), listen to sound clips, check out the recording artists you like, find out what instrument they're playing, etc., think about what you want to sound like, or don't want to sound like. Same goes for amplification. Otherwise you're not really serious and you may as well send your $100 to me. You'll get the same degree of satisfaction.


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