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decent electric violins?help me shop


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#1 lotas

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 09:01 PM

I'm a huge Dave Matthews Band fan and I've been a guitar player for almost 5years now...I'm looking to fiddle around (no pun intended wink.gif) on a violin...and I'd like to have my main influence be Boyd Tinsley (the DMB violin player) and I wanted to get an electric violin like his. I found his main is a signature model Zeta...so as of now that's the only brand I know of. Looking at the prices of those new I think I'll be getting a much cheaper, used violin. I'm looking to spend around $700 - $1000. thanks if you have any suggestions on what to look at or stay away from.
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#2 dogpoo

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 10:48 PM

The violin is really quite different than a guitar, but good luck on your venture. You're going to sound absolutely terrible for a long time, but persevere and you'll improve.

As for electric violins: A friend of mine owns a nice Ashton electric violin, it's not the greatest, but it does the job well enough. You can sound a lot better with a better instrument, but it only plays as good as you can play. Don't go for something over the top good, but a decent violin would be a good thing to go for. Beginner violins are more often than not horrible. Shop around, go to a music store and see what they suggest, and good luck again. Remember, the wailing cats will go away if you work hard enough. But take pity on your neighbours and practice where they can't hear you for awhile.

#3 guitarguy2001

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 05:53 PM

Violin was my first instrument, just keep in mind it's a lot harder than guitar.

Anyways, I was looking into Fender electrics myself. I've played a few, they're great. They are only about $500 or so.

#4 SmashySmashy

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Posted 20 November 2006 - 10:33 PM

There arent many electric violin's that will sound too great for that price. If you really want one than start counting your pennies and get a really good one. Probably the best are Zeta's, mind you a good one costs a fair amount of coin, at least 1500 dollars but they dont suck thats for sure. Boyd Tinsley and Jean Luc Ponty play them, and if you are familiar with either of them, you would understand why they are so good. Remeber that good violins are always going to cost a fair amount of coin regardless as to whether they are electric or not. Good ones need dual piezo pickups for each string for an authentic sound, which is something Zeta provides. It all depends though, Fender's are ok but they odds are they wont compare to a Zeta. If you are just going to be noodling and stuff go for the Fender, its probably your best option really.

And if you continue to play the violin you could always just get a Zeta later down the line, but their really good ones cost 2000 dollars or more biggrin.gif

#5 lotas

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Posted 22 November 2006 - 10:27 PM

Thanks guys. Yeah Boyd is my main influence so I really want a Zeta...but I just remembered my brother used to play violin and I think his old violin ist still at home somewhere.

My question is, how much of a difference is it between electric violin and regular? Is it eqiuvalent to the electric/acoustic guitar differences? Thanks for the help
Eric Johnson - September 19th .... oh yes.
-It's the Final Countdown-

#6 SmashySmashy

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Posted 24 November 2006 - 11:50 AM

Only real difference is that they are built differently and have piezo pickups in them, there really isnt much of a difference otherwise.

#7 jaws0903

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Posted 25 November 2006 - 08:16 AM



Play that violin!

#8 guitarguy2001

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 05:29 PM

QUOTE (AcousticSmash @ Nov 24 2006, 11:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Only real difference is that they are built differently and have piezo pickups in them, there really isnt much of a difference otherwise.


Solid vs hollow, can't forget that.

#9 Peachslide

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 06:08 PM

you can play an electric one through a wah pedal
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#10 bizonapage

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Posted 15 April 2009 - 11:17 PM

QUOTE (lotas @ Nov 20 2006, 01:01 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
...so as of now that's the only brand I know of. Looking at the prices of those new I think I'll be getting a much cheaper, used violin. I'm looking to spend around $700 - $1000. thanks if you have any suggestions on what to look at or stay away from.

There are a few violins in that range on Amazon. Brands include Yamaha, Barcus Berry and NS Design. Has anyone tried these before?
If you want to browse, I've grouped some together in this Amazon electric violin shop.

Edited by bizonapage, 15 April 2009 - 11:21 PM.


#11 bethhd

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 06:20 AM

Hello there, I've been playing the violin for about 19 years now. I have a classic violin, a yamaha, and a vector prodigy. It looks like this post is over 3 years old, so you've probably already found a violin and have been playing for a while now... But for anyone else looking into buying, here's my advice.

If playing the violin is something you want to take seriously, I'd get an acoustic and maybe get a pick-up for it later. Reason being, the acoustic (for me at least) is a hell of a lot more challenging. Tone, softness or loudness, everything is a bit more difficult on a regular violin. That said, if you just want the enjoyment of playing around, I'd just go straight for the electric violin. It's a lot easier to sound better, and playing with effects is a blast (also, I'm guessing a lot of violin teachers don't care for them since they don't really require as much skill and hard work to sound awsome... unless of course your teacher is an electric violin convert, lol). In my experience, it's also easier to get violins with fine tuners when you go electric. Both my Prodigy and Yamaha have fine tuners for every string, while the regular violin I have has only one on the E-String.

Ok, on to the Yamaha... They're getting a little more expensive these days... or maybe I just got a really good deal when I bought mine 3 years ago. Sadly, the one I have is probably outdated. While I love that I can just plug my headphones straight into the yamaha (you have to plug them into the amp with a vector... and for a very good reason too), or hook it straight to my computer, these extra electronics make it heavier and also limit it technology-wise. In other words, if it isn't already outdated, it probably will be soon. The yamaha is by far the cheaper of my two electric violins. I bought it to have a violin I could take with me to Iraq and practice on during my extremely limited free time, lol. It was great for that. But the sound and capabilities of it are terrible when you compare it to the vector... I'm not sure there's even a comparison there.

As for buying a violin, the advice I would give is to practice a little on someone else's violin and then start trying out one's you are considering buying. Don't let someone con you into buying a violin if you don't like its sound. They'll tell you that a bad sounding violin is a better option for a beginner because it will make you work harder. That is a lame excuse used by violin sellers to pawn off terrible sounding violins on beginners. Simply put, if you don't like its sound; you probably won't play it as much. And if you don't play it as much, how on earth are you supposed to improve?

Also, keep in mind that even if you do find that perfect sounding used electric violin, it will sound different and be limited by the type of amp/ pedal you use at home. Generally, using your average guitar amp with an electric violin isn't recommended. While I think it will work, there are certain tones or "frequencies" as the maker of the vector violins puts it on his web site; that will not sound correct- or maybe you'll love how it sounds, who knows, depends on the player's style I guess... just keep in mind, like any other instrument, the amp will affect the sound and the range of effects you can use. (Personally, I'm a big fan of lots of reverb).

Finally, to get an idea of your options when it comes to electric violins, you might want to check out the electricviolinshop.com. They're located in Durham, NC. I bought both my electric violins from them. In retrospect, I probably could have got a better deal had I gone straight to the violin maker... at least for the Prodigy, but then again, mine is customised... so it was bound to be a little more pricey anyway. Also, Nick Tipney of Vector has a great FAQ about electric violins on his web site as well. http://www.vectorins...iolins/faq.html

Good luck! Hope you enjoy, and this was at least a little helpful to someone out there.

Edited by bethhd, 02 August 2010 - 12:52 PM.


#12 guru of rock n roll

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Posted 21 January 2011 - 11:38 AM

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#13 xvxfgj

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 06:17 PM

As for electric violins: A friend of mine owns a nice Ashton electric violin, it's not the greatest, but it does the job well enough. You can sound a lot better with a better instrument, but it only plays as good as you can play. Don't go for something over the top good, but a decent violin would be a good thing to go for. Beginner violins are more often than not horrible. Shop around, go to a music store and see what they suggest, and good luck again. Remember, the wailing cats will go away if you work hard enough. But take pity on your neighbours and practice where they can't hear you for awhile.



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#14 lowden

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Posted 05 July 2012 - 01:04 PM

I'd go the pickup route, then you'll have a good violin, but louder if needs be. Pickups are getting a lot better these days from the old piezo setups, try http://www.lrbaggs.com/violin.htm , schertler, http://www.fishman.c...n/type:pickups. Also a good acoustic violin will age and settle over time, becoming sweeter year on year.

#15 Matt B

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 02:54 AM

FWIW on this old topic, my g/f had an Fender electric violin that I bought her. After she got a pickup for her normal fiddle, she traded it in for a mandolin because her normal fiddle with a pickup was a much much better sound. She has a Fishman V-200, which when run through her LR Baggs Para-Acoustic DI sounds amazing.

#16 Matt B

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 01:38 PM

FWIW on this old topic, my g/f had an Fender electric violin that I bought her. After she got a pickup for her normal fiddle, she traded it in for a mandolin because her normal fiddle with a pickup was a much much better sound. She has a Fishman V-200, which when run through her LR Baggs Para-Acoustic DI sounds amazing.

 

FWIW (again) on this old topic (again), my g/f no longer uses the V-200 or the LR Baggs, she's switched to playing through a tube amp (currently a 68 Fender Bassman Silverface), and The Band violin pickup.  It sounds worlds better than the Fishman and Baggs combination did.





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