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Best Electric Violins

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Violins are one of those instruments that transcend genre and time. It is one of the earliest folk and classical instruments going back through time all the way to the 1500s when the first 4 string violin was credited to Andrea Amati. (Click here to look more into the history of the violin and Andrea Amati) Now we just stated that violins transcend genres but not everyone can hear that. Violin is of course credited with being involved in classical music primarily but has also built itself into the roots of bluegrass, folk, as well as country. One of my personal all-time favorite songs focused around the violin is The Devil Went Down to Georgia by The Charlie Daniels Band. This has to be one of the most classic songs that can get anyone to enjoy the violin (and I cannot stand country music). But there is also the infiltration of violins, into rock and roll. 

The best electric violins at a glance

The violin is a groundbreaking instrument and has one of the most beautiful sounds of all instruments. Many people would love to learn and have the passion to become great, however, not everyone has the money for a Stratovarius. Some even prefer to stray away from the classic wooden frames for something a bit more durable and built for road life, or perhaps one that is more integrated into electronic systems, or even one that just looks more modern and streamlined. That is why we put this list together to help those of you out there find some of the best options available. 

1. Yamaha YEV-104 Series Electric Violin

Type: 4 String

Price: $610

Yamaha is one of 2 companies that set the precedent when it comes to the electronic violin. The YEV104, in particular, is a shining example of how they were able to silence the acoustics without losing sound quality.

With 5 layers of combined woods, they were able to imitate the sound and shape of a wooden violin while cutting down on size and weight.

Where to buy:

PriceWidthStringsElectronicsBatteries
$61012”4Yamaha PiezoX

2. Yamaha Silent Series YSV104

Type: 4 String

Price (before shipping)- $775

The Silent Series violin from Yamaha is a great combination of both live and practice settings. It has great pickups and response while still remaining quiet for practice time in quiet areas.

The way it is so great for practicing is with the headphone option you have to plug in headphones and practice with a track and it also has built-in hall and room reverbs. All of this adds to your practice time making you feel as if you were in a concert hall all the time. It’s also great for beginners looking to limit listening from others and focus on practicing.

Where to buy:

PriceWidthStringsPickupsBatteries
$7758”4Yamaha PiezoX

3. NS Design WAV4

Type: 4 String

Price (before shipping)- $659

NS is the other trailblazer of electronic violins. They have an extremely simple and sleek design to help all their players maintain a low profile while making their instrument sing.

This also has 2 knobs built in to control the volumes of the pickups relative to each side of the violin.

Where to buy:

PriceWidthStringsPickupsBatteries
$659?4Polar Pickup PiezoX

4. NS Design WAV5 Violin

Type: 5 String

Price (before shipping)- $719

NS also has the WAV5 which is relatively the same instrument, only with 5 strings instead of 4. This gives it the feel of a crossover with a viola to get those lower notes. Again, it comes with those built-in knobs for volume control, and also is compatible with regular violin strings.

PriceWidthStringsPickupsBatteries
$719?5Polar Pickup PiezoX

5. Yamaha YEV105

Type: 5 String

Price (before shipping)- $665

Yamaha’s version of a 5 string violin/viola crossover is just as amazing as the NS. The major difference would be in shaping.

Yamaha stayed with a more traditional route with the YEV105, leaning towards the curvatures of a classical violin, while NS went with a newer innovative look. Both contribute to the sound in their own right and work beautifully. 

Where to buy:

PriceWidthStringsPickupsBatteries
$66514”5Yamaha PiezoX

More on Violins

The first band that comes to mind when you think of violins and rock and roll, is Kansas. They literally had a full-time violin player. You can hear it predominantly in “Dust in the Wind” which is one of their biggest hits. One of the ideas that epitomize the idea of rock and roll, is the idea of selling your soul to the devil to gain incredible musical ability. You hear about that with the famous blues guitarist Robert Johnson who sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads for the ability to play the guitar like the devil himself.

You can hear some of those similar themes in his music when he mentions running from hell hounds and talking with the Devil himself. However, this is not the first instance of this type of legend in history. One of the earliest legends of a man selling his soul for musical abilities was Niccolò Paganini who (you guessed it) played the violin and is considered one of the greatest if not the greatest violinists to ever live. His is an interesting story that due to the times probably is not complete but we do know a great deal about him. There is an amazing Youtube channel that featured as full a look into Paganini’s life as can be found which you can view here