Why Electric Violins?
Since it’s often difficult to persuade younger children to pursue classical music, the electric violin provides a great opportunity for young musicians to explore the violin and become exposed to classical music. It’s also a great way for seasoned violinists to rock out in other genres!
Given that the electrical violin has become increasingly popular, it can be overwhelming to decide which one to purchase. In this article, we’ll go over the basics of electric violins and introduce the qualities and prices of the best electric violins as of 2016.
If you want to hear a sample of one of the best electric violin players, check out Lindsey Sterling:
How do Electric Violins Work?
Electric violins are strung and played the same way as acoustic violins, but way the sound is produced differs. They work by including a built-in pickup that converts the physical vibrations on the violin into an electrical signal that is sent to an external amplifier.
There also exist acoustic violins with a pickup for sound amplification. While these have the advantage of having a traditional violin sound, they cannot be used for quiet practice and do not have nearly as much flexibility as electric violins. For example, electric violins can be easily be connected to loop pedals and other devices for special sound effects.
Since the sound does not depend on the resonance of a wooden cavity, the sound of electric violins can be quite distinct from that of an acoustic one. However, it also means electric violins can come in all sorts of stylish shapes and are not nearly as delicate (you’ll see some really cool designs in our reviews below!).
Best Electric Violin Reviews
Purchasing electric violins will involve several important factors. Are you just starting out and seeking a lower-budget instrument? Are you an experienced violinist looking to get a wide variety of sounds? Is quiet practice important for you? We’ll try to tackle these questions for you in our review of the best electric violins on the market today.
- Low-Cost and Great for Beginners: Cecilio 4/4 CEVN Solid Wood Electric / Silent Violin
Click here for pricing, pictures, and more reviews.
This electric violin is a great starter violin as it comes at a low price and includes all the necessary parts to start playing as soon as it arrives. The violin comes in 3 sizes and 5 different colors, so be sure to pick the optimal one for your comfort and tastes.
The package includes the violin, a case, Brazilian wood bow, rosin, and even an aux cable and headphones so that you hear yourself at full volume without disturbing others (but be warned that the included headphones aren’t top-notch).
This violin will produce a decent sound that can be well-adjusted using a volume control knob and a tone knob. However, the strings are not of the best quality. Luckily, these violin string replacements are fairly easy and inexpensive.
Another common issue with this violin is that the pegs move easily and detune your violin. This can be especially frustrating if you are just starting out, because you won’t know if the intonation is caused by the violin or your incorrect fingering! To protect against this, get some peg drops to keep them in place.
All-in-all, this product is great for casual violinists who are looking to explore electric violins. There are some small issues like string quality and moving pegs, although these can be easily fixed with external products.
- Lower-Cost, Beautiful Design, Good for Beginners: Stagg EVN 4/4 BK Silent Violin SetClick here for pricing, pictures, and more reviews.
This is a lower-range electric violin that would be great for beginners as well as experienced violinists. The sound is has a consistently good quality and the violin comes with headphones (albeit low-quality), strings, a bridge, and a bow. Perhaps most notable about this violin is it’s beautiful S-shape — this could make a great gift for a fellow violinist!The occasional problem that arises is a slipping peg, although as mentioned in previous reviews, this can be dealt with by applying peg drops (as mentioned in earlier reviews). This is especially important for beginners as you don’t want to be learning incorrect fingering positions based on detuned strings!
- Medium-Cost for a Traditional Amplified Sound: Barcus Berry Vibrato AE Series Acoustic-Electric Violin
Click here for pricing, pictures, and more reviews.
If you want a moderately priced violin that has the traditional sound but has an option to be easily amplified, you should go with an acoustic-electric violin over a pure electric violin. This particular violin provides an authentic sound and comes with a great pickup to get a loud amplification.This violin produces an excellent sound either acoustically or electronically amplified. If this is your first instrument, you may want to consider getting a better bow as fiberglass is not necessarily the best material.
Compared to electric violins, this instrument is not ideal for quiet practice since it is part acoustic. If you are concerned about bothering those around you, you may want to consider getting a pure electric violin.
Otherwise, this is a fantastic choice for musicians seeking to play a violin with an authentic sound at an amplified volume. The accessories it comes with aren’t top notch, but can be easily and inexpensively replaced.
- Higher Cost, Quality Sound: Yamaha SV-130 Series Silent Electric ViolinClick here for pricing, pictures, and more reviews.
At a higher price, this violin has several advantages to its lower-selling counterparts. It is easy to tune and has a great and warm tone. This could serve as a great silent practice violin for serious violin players who want to practice and not disturb others, or as a performer who wants to play a quality sounding electric violin.While the musical strengths of this violin are well established, this is not an ideal starting violin for beginners. The chin rest and the shoulder rest aren’t very comfortable, and the bridge, string, and bow don’t come with the violin. With all this extra hassle, this violin is ideally meant for musicians who are familiar with these instruments.That being said, this is a premium electric violin that will produce a fantastic sound for experienced musicians!
Need some more inspiration on getting an electric violin? Much of the younger generation became drawn to electric violins thanks to Lindsey Sterling, rock-star electric violinist! Check her out: