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Old 03-14-2020, 03:18 PM
jazzereh jazzereh is offline
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Location: Ottawa, Canada
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Default NVD - got an electric violin

...and didn't see a thread so starting one, sorry...

The back story is that I started on violin in public school and while I still have an acoustic violin in it's case, I haven't played in probably 50 years. Enjoy a lot of violin/fiddle music and got the bug to pick it up again - nope, not a mid-life crisis, I'm too old for that.

I realize that I could have picked up my acoustic and started with that but knowing how badly that would sound and wanting to maintain domestic 'harmony' I started looking into electric violins. They have come a long way. Settled on a Yamaha and got it about a month ago. Got to say it has been a lot of fun.

Firstly, since it is electric it is very, very quiet to play so if wifey is home I can be playing it in the basement and she will not hear me.

Secondly, I was amazed at how much I remembered about the notation and fingering from so long ago. Pulled out a couple of basic fiddle books and I'm actually reading the notes for tunes. Not necessarily in tune ! but actually fingering the notes on the page as read. I'm guessing that this is a result of having played music [guitar and sax] in all those intervening years. But, since the strings are 'backwards' to the guitar, maybe not. Scales, while intonation is still a challenge, have come easily under the fingers.

Thirdly, I think the option of going with an electric is going to be a lot of fun since I've got a bunch of pedals that I can start playing with to see what I can do with some of those. And, the basic sound of the violin plugged through an amp is really quite nice.

Nowhere near actually playing this little beast for anyone yet but, man, this is fun!!

So, do you have an electric violin? Love to hear other stories and what you do with yours.
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Old 03-14-2020, 06:52 PM
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Lkristians Lkristians is offline
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Kudos, Jazzereh! I don't play, but have always loved the sound. My favorite song, "Darkness, Darkness" by the Youngbloods opens with one, if I'm not mistaken!
Hope we get to hear you soon.
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Last edited by Lkristians; 03-14-2020 at 06:52 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 03-25-2020, 02:30 AM
shufflebeat shufflebeat is offline
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I'm a guitarist with a special interest in amplifying acoustic instruments so that they remain sounding like acoustic instruments. Fiddles have been a particular struggle because much of what people recognise as fiddle sound is body resonance and fiddle makers go to extraordinary lengths to manipulate this aspect of the structure. Electric fiddles are usually a piezo pickup on a solid piece of wood which "hears" only sound from the bridge and has pretty much no body resonance.

I play guitar through the Tonedexter pedal which (when set up properly) does a great job of translating piezo sound into something more palatable. It's not cheap and others I play with don't really want to pay major money for a pedal but I've recently been playing with impulse responses (IRs) which do a similar thing.

You can play a recording of piezo pickup through an IR loader in an audio programme like Reaper and hear quite a convincing transformation. In live performance the Mooer Radar pedal is the cheapest IR loader I've found that does a similar job.

It may take some time before the novelty of the electric fiddle wears off but if and when it does this is an area you may like to explore.
Give a man a fishing rod... and he's got the makings of a rudimentary banjo.
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Old 03-28-2020, 07:02 PM
Ergoetal Ergoetal is offline
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I've got a TF Barrett five-string that I bought 20 years ago or more when I was playing in a country band. I needed something to get above the bass and drums, etc. and that did the job. I used a small TOA monitor on a mic stand so I could hear myself.

Lovely sound, great playing instrument. I mainly used reverb/delay and EQ only. But one time the battery in my pre-amp was dying and - viola! - I got some great-sounding distortion! I thought Who's playing the sax? And I realized it was me.

That got me into using some other effects - not a ton, mind you, but a little chorus or distortion can be very sweet.

Enjoy your axe.
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Old 03-28-2020, 08:28 PM
lfoo6952 lfoo6952 is offline
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Location: Irvine, CA
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Congrats on your new violin. Which model did you get? Was it the YV-104 model? I played it at a local music shop. The one thing that stopped me from getting it was the tuning pegs. There was too much slippage and therefore hard to keep in tune. I would have preferred geared tuners.
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Old 03-29-2020, 05:57 AM
Kerbie Kerbie is offline
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Congrats, jazzereh... but where are the obligatory pictures?

No apologies for the new thread. New instrument days are always worthy of a new thread. Hope you enjoy it!
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Old 03-29-2020, 06:10 AM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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Congrats! I'll admit that I seek the violin tone for my electric guitars. I inherited my mom's violin (John Jusek, Prague, ca.1930) and have wanted to start fiddling with it but I'm not willing to do that to my wife.

"It is said, 'Go not to the elves for counsel for they will say both no and yes.' "
Frodo Baggins to Gildor Inglorion, The Fellowship of the Ring

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Old 03-30-2020, 04:56 AM
M Sarad M Sarad is offline
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After finally figuring out the mandolin, Iím looking for a good violin. Iíve set my price at $2,500.
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Old 03-30-2020, 08:03 AM
jazzereh jazzereh is offline
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Location: Ottawa, Canada
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Thanks for reinforcing my purchase!

Yes this is the YEV 104 and I'm really happy with it after a month. Still working on bowing and intonation but I've got a couple of fiddle tunes that I'm working on with those. Got to say that the purchase came at the right time given we are staying home much more and there's only so much TV one can actually watch. Much more time to spend on playing my instruments.

No problem with tuning peg slippage and it stays in tune with just minor adjustments. I find the sound of the violin unplugged, as is, is excellent to practice with but I've run it through my amp, an Acoustasonic 90, and it sounds great. Far too early to play with any pedals yet but this is a great change of pace from guitar and sax. Now, if only I can get my wrist used to this strange position.

Hmmm, not sure how to post a photo but trying this...

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Old 03-30-2020, 09:01 AM
Rudy4 Rudy4 is offline
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Congrats on your EV acquisition! Having a "silent" violin is really nice to practice those early sessions or late night - early morning practice sessions. Not everyone's choice, but I always encourage folks to build their own instruments.

The internet archive project has my old website available and you can find information relating to EV construction as well as a complete downloadable pdf plan for the instrument shown.
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