Head Music Editor
Electric violins offer both longevity and versatility as far as instruments go. If you plan on going all in with an electric violin, I suggest you don’t get stingy and opt for the best possible one you can afford. If you are interested in buying but still need some guidance please continue reading for my list of the 5 best electric violins on the market today. I hope it helps you narrow down your selection significantly!
1. Cecilio 4/4 CEVN-2BK
The Cecilio CEVN-2BK electric violin is a beautifully hand-carved maple wood with ebony fingerboard, chin rest, pegs, and tailpiece. This is a size 4/4 and style 2 electric silent violin with a full metallic varnish. This electric violin also comes with a hard case for traveling, a Brazilwood bow with genuine Mongolian horsehair, aux cable, high-quality rosin cake, a bridge, and headphones as well. The electric violin is powered by a 9V alkaline battery which is included in the set and has a 1-year warranty for any factory defects.
2. Kennedy Violins Bunnel EDGE
This is one of the highly rated electric violins in the market to date. I like how it comes ready and fine-tuned right out of the box with no additional set up necessary. It features quality handcrafted maple body with 100% genuine ebony fittings and a piezoceramic pickup. The set comes with all essential accessories like a mini-amp, instrument cable, high-quality Brazilwood bow, rosin, headphones, and a cleaning cloth. It also comes with a lifetime warranty and 43-day money back guarantee.
3. Kennedy Violins Bunnel NEXT
The Bunnel NEXT is quite similar to the Bunnel EDGE in that it also comes ready to play from the start. It comes with a decent mini-amp that produces good quality sound. You might want to upgrade to a better amp in the future though. This electric violin is a lightweight and durable instrument made from high-quality maple wood. The shoulder rest is a bit awkward which is why I also suggest you replace it. It is powered by a 9V alkaline battery and comes complete with aux cables, bow, amp, and headphones.
4. Yamaha YEV104BL
The Yamaha YEV104BL Electric Violin is a beautiful, great quality, and lightweight musical instrument that comes at a reasonable price. The violin is constructed from 6 different types of wood: maple, mahogany, walnut, rosewood, spruce, and ebony. It does not use batteries, simply plug it into an amplifier and play. It features a circuit breaker button that can mute the sound and comes with a 1/4” jack and a patented Yamaha dual piezo pickup bridge.
5. Yamaha YEV105NT
The 5 string Yamaha YEV105NT Electric Violins features a Mobius strip design which is, to say the least, pleasing to the eyes with how sleek it looks. It also emulates the feel of traditional acoustic violins which is great for those looking to transition between acoustic and electric violins. The body utilizes a 5-layer construction making use of maple, mahogany, and spruce wood to simulate resonant and natural sound. It also features a selector switch that allows you to control the output of pickup signal and volume control.
2018 Buying Guide
Electric violins are quite different from their traditional brethren. Instead of a resonant chamber, electric violins utilize a built-in magnetic pickup to produce sound. The magnetic pickup catches the vibrations made from the strings and converts them into electrical signals which are then produced via a speaker (either built-in or external).
Similar to the electric guitar, electric violins offer a wider range of musical style that is simply impossible to produce with a classical violin. By using effect pedals, musicians can tweak the sound produced by an electric violin from the echo, delay, distortion, and many more.
Electric violins are considered to be great inclusions to any orchestra thanks to their versatility. In fact, electric violins are quite versatile that it is not uncommon to find a rock, folk, and other musical genres incorporating this musical instrument. Another advantage of using an electric violin is that they can be good instruments for teachers thanks to its amazing versatility.
One noteworthy feature of the electric violin is its ability to be played in “silent mode”. Why would you want an instrument that has the ability to produce little sound? Well, it’s simple really. Some electric violins are classified as “silent” which makes it an ideal tool for practice. This type of violin can produce sound at a considerably lower level and will require an external speaker to produce louder music. If you need to practice but don’t want to disturb others, an electric violin is a perfect tool.
An electric violin offers benefits to both experienced and beginners who are still sharpening their skills. It allows veteran musicians to record their music directly to a computer which would then allow them to analyze their recording. For students, they can use a headphone in order to practice their craft without disturbing nearby individuals. However, I do recommend that beginners mainly practice with an acoustic violin. I’ll go into further detail about this below.
Advantages & Disadvantages
Electric violins produce a significantly different music when compared to acoustic ones. This difference makes it a great choice for contemporary music like rock and jazz, to name a few. Electric violins are not exactly known for their ability to produce classic tones so it is often used and experimented with by modern musicians.
You can use a jack to jack cable to connect your electric violin to a speaker if you wish to go full force with your sound. You can also connect a headphone to practice silently. Some electric violins come with an added feature that lets you practice alongside a backing track. It also allows you to use several musical accessories like the loop pedal to expand the range of sound you can use.
Amplifying and recording music is also made even more convenient with an electric violin as they can be connected directly to a computer. I would also point out that as electric violins have no need for resonant chambers, manufacturers can truly flex their creativity when designing this musical instrument. There are dozens upon dozens of amazingly designed electric violins out there.
Of course, everything that features advantages will also hold some disadvantages and the electric violin is not exempted from this rule.
For beginners, it is best to practice more heavily on playing acoustic violins than electric violins. The reason for this is that electric violins can’t produce the same quality resonant sounds that acoustic violins can. Most musicians will recommend you practice more with an acoustic one and switch to an electric when silence is needed.
Basically, if you are focusing on classical music, an acoustic violin is the way to go. If you want more versatility, an electric violin is a way to go. Personally, I suggest you start off with an acoustic first before heading onto an electric one. It helps if you know and understand how to play a traditional musical instrument first before moving on to its contemporary version.
Choosing An Electric Violin
The first thing you need to know is that a decent electric violin can be quite expensive. A good quality one can push you back a couple hundred dollars but I do advise you invest on one. If you are serious about playing this instrument, there are higher end models that are priced close to a thousand bucks! But for those who simply want this for recreational purposes, there are electric violins that cost around two hundred to three hundred dollars. Simply put, know what you want first before heading to your local music store.
There is also a difference between your standard electric violin and an acoustic electric violin. Acoustic electric violins are a hybrid of your acoustic and electric violin, hence the name. Acoustic electric violins can be played without the need to plug it into a power source. It can be played with or without any speaker. However, you will not have the option of using effect pedals and it cannot be played in “silent” mode.
Those are basically the 2 important factors to consider first: budget and type. After you’ve chosen the type and decided on your budget it is time to choose the design. Electric violins come in various styles, shapes, and colors. Most musical purist will prefer a traditional design while others will choose to go for a more modern aesthetic. All in all, every type of musician will find an electric violin that will suit their personality.
You will need to make some investment if you want a decent quality electric violin. The ones I listed here are the best possible choices after factoring in budget concerns. Again, don’t expect to achieve quality performance and good build quality from an extremely cheap electric violin. Electric violins are a great alternative to acoustic violins thanks to their versatility when it comes to the range of tone they can deliver. Hopefully, this article has helped shed some light on how you can pick the best possible electric violin to fit your skill and taste.