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7 Best Electric Violins for Silent Practice and Gigging

Depending on your taste, the electric violin looks insanely cool or absolutely terrible. But you have to admit. They’re incredibly useful instruments.

For a start, they make practicing a lot easier as you can ‘play silently’ via headphones. As you have to run them through an amp, you have the option of adding effects, too, such as reverb or delay, opening up a whole array of different sounds.

They’re also perfect for recording. Sure, you can play an acoustic violin through a microphone, but nothing beats the ease of just plugging one into your recording gear.

Here’s our pick of the best available today.

Best Electric Violins: Product Guide

Yamaha YSV104

Yamaha Silent Series YSV104 Electric Violin – Black
  • Solidbody Electric Violin with Spruce Body
  • Piezo Pickup System – Black
  • Composite Fingerboard

We all know that Yamaha is a superb maker of musical instruments, especially when it comes to electronic instruments, so you’d expect them to make some decent electric violins. You wouldn’t be wrong.

This YSV104 uses the SRT-powered system from Yamaha’s popular range of silent guitars.

The violin has no resonant chamber, but the tech simulates the body resonance, natural response, and sound you’d get from an acoustic violin.

Being electronic means, of course, you can plug into it via earphones and play to your heart’s content at any hour of the day. The most that will be heard maybe a couple of squeaky floorboards as you recite one of your favorite violin concertos.

It also has an Aux In jack, connecting you to an external audio player for play-along practice.

All the parts of the violin that affect playing posture and feel – bridge, chin rest, tailpiece, neck, etc. – are in the same position as on an acoustic violin, so you can attach standard bridge-type shoulder rests.

What we like:

  • Superb high-end offering
  • Uses Yamaha’s innovative SRT-powered system
  • Aux In jack for connecting to external sources for play-along practice

Realist RV4E

Save $250.00
Realist, 4-String Violin (RV4E)
  • The patented Realist technology that has made the Realist transducer The world’s most respected pick-up for acoustic instruments is built in to the Realist violin’s acoustic Body

You can, of course, add a violin pickup to your acoustic violin, but when you see the Realist, you see what all the fuss is about with electric violins.

The RV4E has been designed for maximum comfort. The superb David Gage pickup system captures all the subtleties of the violin’s true organic sound.

The input jack is strategically placed so the cable goes over your shoulder (so it doesn’t interrupt your performance). That’s a nice touch. As is the volume knob that is integrated into the treble-side rib.

What we like:

  • Unparalleled tone from premium European tonewoods
  • Realist transducer delivers an organic and true sound

D Z Strad

D Z Strad Electric Violin Outfit E203
  • Ebony pegs and fingerboard;
  • Carbon fiber tailpiece with four fine tuners;
  • Proper and professional setup.

The D Z Strad E203 is a high-end model. Premium quality ebony fingerboard. When it comes to tone, ebony is crystal clear and bright and will feel smooth on your fingers.

There’s also a strong, but lightweight carbon fiber tailpiece and four fine tuners, which allow you to adjust your strings to the perfect pitch. Carbon fiber as a material is extra light, so you’ll not tire out as quickly while playing.

The case is also really well-padded, and the bow has a tasteful pearl inlays and a responsive Brazilwood frame.

Overall, the E203 is designed for ultimate playability and pulls it off well. The ebony fingerboard is super smooth, and the carbon fiber tailpiece is exceptionally lightweight, so you’ll have no problem creating music for hours.

What we like:

  • Carbon fiber and ebony materials used to craft this are extremely tough and will withstand plenty of use
  • Bright and clear tone

Stingray SV

Wood Violin Stingray SV Series Electric Violin 4-String Metallic Black
  • Priced for the enthusiast, performance for the pro
  • Features our new Wood Tru-Tone pickup with increased clarity and authenticity
  • Lightweight composite tailpiece with precision fine tuners

Ok, ready for something a little ‘out there.’ Here’s the Stingray SV. Only the bottom half of the body is preserved, which creates a unique ax-type shape, all covered in a sparkling black lacquer.

So, yes, it would suit violinists who play in heavy metal bands, or want something a little edgy.

The Tru-Tone pickup is great, as it closely mimics an authentic classical violin tone but also brings increased clarity and precision. This means there is zero noise interference when you plug into your amplifier.

The Stingray is also very lightweight, thanks to its advanced, composite tailpiece – so your arms won’t be aching after playing for long periods. The tailpiece itself also includes a set of four fine tuners, which are incredibly precise and will keep your instrument in tune for hours.

What we like:

  • Looks pretty gnarly and will turn some heads
  • Tru-Tone pickups capture the authentic acoustic sound

Cecilio CEVN-2BK

Cecilio Silent Electric Solid Wood Violin Kit with Ebony Fittings in Black Metallic Varnish – Full Size 4/4 Electric Violin for Beginner and Professional Musicians
  • Hand-carved solid maple wood, ebony fingerboard, pegs, chin rest, and tailpiece with mother of pearl inlay on Cecilio Silent Electric Solid Wood Violin
  • Full-size 4/4 electric/silent violin in black metallic varnish with 9V Alkaline battery (included)
  • Volume control and headphone jack for silent practice with the included headphones and aux cable

The kit option includes a Cecilio full-size silent violin in metallic black varnish with amp and headphone port and a well-padded hard case, 9v battery, auxiliary cable, rosin block, and headphones. The bow is also pretty good, made from Mongolian horsehair and Brazilwood.

Features:

  • Nice kit option
  • Line in jack – So you can practice along to any tracks you need to learn.
  • Looks good – For the price this thing looks quite edgy with its unique body shape.

Stagg EVN 4/4

Stagg EVN 4/4-Size Silent Violin Set with Case – Metallic Black
  • Solid Bodied Lacquered Maple Electric Violin
  • 4 Fine Tuners
  • 2-Band EQ & Volume

The EVN MRD by Stagg is a mid-range option.

It’s made from high-quality maple, which means you get an authentic, bright tone, similar to that you’d expect to hear from a classical version.

Then there’s the option of controlling all this sound with three-band EQ, which includes volume, treble and bass definers. So yes, this instrument would be great for anyone that needs the option of altering their tonal dynamics during a set.

The EVN MRD also features a handy 1/8” input jack for MP3 or CD input, which is great if you need to be able to practice along to backing tracks.

Of course, there are additional headphone and amplifier slots too, so you can play loud or as close to silent as possible.

Aesthetically, Stagg’s design looks pretty classy with the metallic red lacquer across the S-shaped body, although perhaps not quite as eye-catching as Kinglos design we mentioned above. To us, this is more designed for those that prefer a subtle, yet sophisticated look.

What we like:

  • The solid maple body
  • Nice bright tone

Bunnel EDGE

Electric Violin Bunnel Edge Outfit 4/4 Full Size (Clear) (RED) — With Carrying Case and Accessories Included - Headphone Jack - Piezo Ceramic Pick-Up from Kennedy Violins
228 Reviews
Electric Violin Bunnel Edge Outfit 4/4 Full Size (Clear) (RED) — With Carrying Case and Accessories Included – Headphone Jack – Piezo Ceramic Pick-Up from Kennedy Violins
  • [PROFESSIONALLY SET UP CLEARANCE] This instrument is listed as clearance due to a slight cosmetic defect that does not affect playability or sound in any way. Players love the rich sound of this violin, which is professionally set up by our expert luthiers. Our 4/4 full size Bunnel EDGE electric violin produces a clear tone and huge amplification. Kennedy Violins is proud to provide great customer service. ANYTHING you have questions about, we are on hand to help!
  • [THE COMPLETE OUTFIT] We have included the high quality accessories that professional players recommend. Your electric violin outfit comes with a Portland oblong carrying case, instrument cable, Antonio Giuliani Brazilwood bow with real horsehair, Giuliani rosin, over-ear headphones, and is strung with quality D’Addario Prelude strings.
  • [ASSEMBLED AND QUALITY-CHECKED IN THE USA] Our final assembly and set-up are completed in the USA, NOT in China. Quality set-up equals LONG TERM performance. Improper setup can result in poor sound, reduced playability, and can damage the instrument. We send you an instrument ready to tune and start playing right away.

Bunnel’s EDGE Outfit is the priciest of the mid-range packs, but for your extra dollar, you get an amp included and similar items we mentioned earlier.

It’s a combination of the solid carved maple body, ebony fingerboard, and the ceramic Piezo pickups, all of which complement each other nicely and enable the EDGE to produce it’s pleasing bright tone.

There’s also a three-band EQ to control all this sound easily during a set. For example, you may want to increase the high end if you’re playing amongst lots of bassy instruments, this way you can ensure you’ll be heard through the ensemble’s mix.

Some extra items that come with this instrument are also pretty cool. In particular, the bow is high-quality. The shaft is made from super responsive Brazilwood, with stylish mother-of-pearl accents, and Bunnel has also included Mongolian horse hair for a smooth, rich tone.

The amp itself is also capable of getting pretty loud considering its small size, and the case has a built-in hydrometer, so you can rest assured the violin’s wood will not warp in extreme conditions.

Overall, the EDGE kit is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a full set of decent quality equipment. We think for the price, Bunnel have tried to make this package as convenient and innovative as possible.

What we like:

  • Comes with amp

Electric Violins Explained

Tone

Traditional acoustic violins are hollow-bodied and made from wood. Their sound is amplified via the f-holes located on either side of the instrument, so there is no output jack for plugging into an amplifier.

Undoubtedly, acoustic models produce the truest tone, but it has to be said, some good quality electric ones still come close.

For example, electric violins are often crafted from spruce and maple for their authentic tone. Maple gives out a bright, sustaining sound, whereas spruce is well-balanced and vibrant.

Other models can also be made from artificial material such as acrylic or carbon fiber, but with the help of decent pickups, they still sound acoustic and wooden.

Design

Though sizes work the same, solid-body electric violins don’t follow traditional shapes and are often minimalistic and lightweight for convenience and playability.

Some shapes get pretty abstract, so make sure you try out the type you’re interested in before you buy.

Semi-hollow electric models, on the other hand, are the same shape as classical versions but have sealed F-holes which create a hollow center for more realistic resonation and tone.

Equalization and Effects

Electric violins usually come with a built-in volume dial, but if you’re lucky and get extra, there may be a treble, middle, and bass control, too. These alter the level of each cutting through your sound.

With that in mind, the amp itself can also have several similar EQ settings and additional effects like reverb, delay, flange, or chorus built-in, so don’t worry too much if yours doesn’t have everything included.

You can even buy extra effects pedals and add them into a circuit if you fancy getting creative, just remember, the more pedals you have, the more complicated playing live will get.

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About Ged Richardson

Ged Richardson is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ZingInstruments.com. He has been featured in Entrepreneur, PremierGuitar, Hallmark, Wanderlust, CreativeLive, and other major publications. As an avid music fan, he spends his time researching and writing about new and old music, as well as testing and reviewing music-related products. He's played guitar in various bands, from rock to gypsy jazz. Be sure to check out his YouTube channel, where he geeks out about his favorite bands.

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