A magnetic pickup is now available for violin and cello. It is essentially free of distortion.
The new magnetic pickup from RM Acoustics has almost no distortion of sound and does not have feedback problems, as microphones do. Whatever sound your violin makes, that's what the audience will hear - only louder through your amp. Piezo distortion is gone because the pickup captures the electricity generated by your vibrating strings in a magnetic field. If you don't remember that from Physics class, think of it as the electronic way guitar pickups work. This magnetic pickup can be added and removed from a violin with no permanent changes to the violin. A luthier is probably the best person to do this.
When magnetic pickups were invented for the guitar in the mid 1950s, it revolutionized guitar playing in just a few years. For example, the Beatles were playing in UK and German pubs in 1960. We'll have to see how this invention gets used in the violin world now that audio distortion is essentially eliminated at any loudness level.
Here's a string quartet with all 4 members using the AM Acoustic magnetic pickup. Sounds like a quartet, but all the music is coming via their pickups and an amplifier.
You can hear A-B comparisons of sound in the Media Player at thepickuptest.com In the violin section, look for RMA... in the selection dropdown. A lifetime membership to use the Media Player comparisons of many violin and cello pickup costs $10
Doesn't work with silver or aluminum strings!! Only works with steel core strings, which sound like xxxxx!!
Not to mention gut.
I've been to the RM Acoustics website, and their pickups sound good to me. I don't think the result is identical to an acoustic violin output, but that's ok. It's perfectly alright for an electric violin to sound different than an acoustic. Electric guitars sound different than acoustics, and people like them.
Well then they're not magnetic pickups, are they, what are we?? Stupid??
Some synthetic strings do contain steel elements, Dominants for example. Zyex too. And doubtless many others. Hold a strong magnet next to them and you will see for yourself.
Mike, do you have an RM acoustics pickup, or do you plan to get one? If so, please report back to us about it. My sense about it is that it's essentially the same functional principle as the StringAmp pickup, except that the RM acoustics pickup hangs the magnets off the end of the fingerboard, while the StringAmp pickup conceals them inside the fingerboard, inserted there from the underside. The RM acoustics design certainly makes for an easier installation. StringAmp requires the fingerboard to be removed, drilled, magnets inserted, and then replaced,, which is why professional installation is required. The StringAmp price doesn't include the very expensive installation. That's why the workshop grade violins with StringAmp already installed, as sold by liviolinshop.com, are a very practical way to get that pickup. But RM acoustics certainly lowers the cost of entry for a magnetic pickup.
Neither of you seem to understand that a true magnetic pickup only works with steel strings, I should know, I made a magnetic humbucking pickup for my clavichord, it doesn't work with brass strings, neither would it work with silver or aluminum or gut, obviously.
Actually I do agree with you on that point, Lyndon. But as I said, there's a lot of steel in most synthetic core violin strings. Try the magnet test, I think you'll be surprised.
Doesn't matter if strings have some steel, the output depends on how much steel is present, a little is not enough for balanced out put, obviously these pickups aren't picking up the vibrating strings at all
I checked Dominant and Tonica G string, only slightly magnetic, Tonica d and a string, non magnetic, so wouldn't pick up on a magnetic pickup
Hmm. It is true that any metal (or other conductor), magnetisable or not, which moves in a static magnetic field will have an electrical current induced in it.
However, now I think of it, my LP turntable has a magnetic pickup (moving iron or moving magnet..), and LP's are made of plastic!
But they're claiming it works just like a electric guitar pickup, which it obviously can't if it works with synthetic strings.
Adrian - a magnetic LP cartridge works by agitation of a magnet inside a coil, or a coil around a magnet. The material of the LP disc is immaterial!
Probably something like how this pickup works, picking up vibrations from the wood, not the strings.
I dont think we're doing so well with the "physics 101" here.
Isn't it rather an important difference between an electric guitar and a violin that the sound of a violin depends on far more than the waveform described by the vibrating strings?
Not new... Cantini uses magnetic pickup since so many time! But I'm not convinced by magnetic pickup. In my opinion, it doesn't sound better than piezo pickup.
sorry... *** because they cannot transpose all violin frequencies
According to Wikipedia "A variable reluctance sensor (commonly called a VR sensor) is a transducer that, when combined with very basic electronic circuitry, detects the change in presence or proximity of ferrous objects...A pickup used in an electric guitar (or other musical instrument) detect vibrations of the metallic 'strings'".
OK Mike, I now understand what's going on far better, but you opened this thread with the claim that "Whatever sound your violin makes, that's what the audience will hear". As Timothy says, "more authentic" would be less controversial.
this complete Bullshit that magnetic pickups can still pick up non ferrous metals like silver and aluminum has to stop, its just complete rubbish from people that don't know a thing about electronics.
I don't know enough to debate this topic, but, I can google. I found this.
As your link clearly states, the pick ups work because the inner core of the guitar strings is ferrous steel, not so for synthetic violin strings.
As we tested with a magnet, on synthetic Tonica strings, only the G and e string are magnetic, because the G string is wrapped in chrome steel and the e is steel, the d is silver and the a is aluminum so they don't pick up with a magnetic pickup.
Yes, I was aware of what it stated, which is why I posted it ( just in case you thought I was trying to contradict you). There was another similar article, but it took too long to explain the point, so I left it out.
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