I am an amateur violin player, a hobbist at most who started playing at 6 years old, stopped after one year then re-started 7 years ago. This is not my profession nor my primary focus of study.
I re-started playing with a cheap Chinese outfit, moved up to a fake copy of Andrea Amati (~900CAD) with a decent Brazil made Permnambucco bow (~300CAD). I upgraded to a contemporary soloist violin (~3000CAD) and a nice German bow (~700CAD). In the past few years I started traveling more for my work and the time I've had for playing violin shrunk a lot.
I now live in Switzerland, for those who are not aware there are many laws regarding making noise in Switzerland and playing my main violin is not an option. Even with a heavy mute on, it's beyond acceptable sound range especially on G and E strings.
As a result, I rarely played at all, I only took my violin to play at a near by practice room, and obviously due to lockdown this hasn't been an option either.
I should also mention that I've had a long habit of buying a secondary instrument and selling it. This ranges from cheap violas, decent beginner violins and a handful of lower tier electric violins.
I finally gave in and spent a larger sum (879CHF) on a Yamaha YSV104. It came with bridge collapsed, taped to the body and with a new set of D'addario Zyex. The YSV104 only has one headphone jack which connects to included headphone amplifier which gives room or concert hall effect. So far my opinions on this violin:
1. It is about as loud as my main violin with a heavy mute on in the first position of A and D string.
2. It is absolutely more quiet for G and E string than my main violin with a heavy mute.
3. The pegbox is smaller than the violins I'm used to and pegs are a bit closer to each other making it a bit more awkward to tune it. The pegs came lubricated.
4. Bridge, nut and fingerboard have been well cut and lubricated with pencil lead.
5. Standard "decent" Finetuners and plastic tailpiece.
6. D'addario Zyex hasn't fully broke in yet, it's been 2 days but the D string has not settled and the first D on A string just lacks projection (it sounds "dead").
Overall in terms of setup, it's very neutral and very well done. I am very picky and particular about the shape of my bridge and the whole setup, this violin is set up very "neutral" which isn't my best pick, but still very easy to play with.
This violin is designed only for practicing and not for playing using a large amplifier as it lacks proper controllers at the (pre) amplifier.
I absolutely love this violin, it obviously lacks the projection of a real violin for a good violin but included pocket amplifier and headphones work very well. Since it is an electric violin, it is obviously too forgiving when it comes to bow control. If I am going to the practice room, I will still bring my main violin but I can't really ask for more from an electric violin.
YSV104 is an excellent alternative violin that allows me to practice anywhere. It so far has been my best electric violin and also my best practice violin. I can now practice every morning and throughout the day.
If you are looking for your "take-anywhere" last practice violin ever, I strongly recommend YSV-104.Tweet
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