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The best electric violin - full guide

best electric violin

Electric violins are a modern take on the traditional acoustic violin and offer many benefits. These benefits including amplified sound, versatility, portability and more. Whether you are a professional musician or just starting out and looking for an instrument that is easy to play, finding the best electric violin can be a challenge. With so many options available, it can be difficult to know where to start.

This guide is designed to help you find the best electric violin for your needs and preferences, by providing you with all the information you need to make an informed decision. From factors like sound quality, versatility, and price, to helpful tips and tricks, it will cover everything you need to know about buying the best electric violin for you.

What is an electric violin?

An electric violin is a type of violin that uses electronic amplification to produce sound. It doesn’t rely solely on the instrument’s natural resonance. It typically has pickups, similar to an electric guitar. Pickups convert the string vibration into an electrical signal amplified through an external speaker or headphones. Electric violins offer a wider range of tonal options and can be used in various settings, from classical and jazz to rock and pop. They are also easier to play for some people, as they don’t require the same bowing pressure as an acoustic violin.

Difference between An electric violin and an Acoustic violin

An electric violin and an acoustic violin are similar in appearance, but there are several key differences between the two instruments. Here is a comparison table that highlights some of the most important differences:

An electric violin offers more versatility and convenience, while an acoustic violin provides a more traditional and authentic playing experience.

How does an electric violin work?

An electric violin works by converting the vibration of its strings into an electrical signal using pickups. These pickups, which are similar to those found in an electric guitar, send the signal to an amplifier or preamp that increases the volume.

The amplified sound is then sent to a speaker or headphones, allowing the player to hear the instrument. The player can control the volume and tone of the instrument using knobs and switches on the amplifier or preamp. Some electric violins also have additional features such as effects pedals or built-in sound synthesis capabilities.

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Different types of electric violins

types of violin

There are several different types of electric violins, each with unique features and benefits. Here are a few common types:

  • Solid Body Electric Violins
  • Semi-Acoustic Electric Violins
  • Acoustic-Electric Violins
  • Silent Electric Violins
  • 5-String Electric Violins

Solid Body Electric Violins

A Solid Body Electric Violin is a type of electric violin with a solid body, similar to that of an electric guitar. They are designed to be played plugged in and are ideal for genres like rock, pop, and jazz. They offer a bright, punchy sound that can cut through a mix and be easily heard in a live setting.

The solid body construction of these violins eliminates the need for a resonant chamber, which makes them less sensitive to feedback and easier to play at high volumes. They are also typically lighter and more durable than other electric violins, making them ideal for touring musicians and those needing a portable and reliable instrument.

Semi-Acoustic Electric Violins


Semi-acoustic electric violins are a hybrid between traditional acoustic violins and electric violins. They have a hollow body like an acoustic violin and built-in pickups that convert the string vibrations into an electrical signal. This allows the player to amplify the instrument’s sound through speakers or headphones.

This kind of violin offers a warmer, more natural sound than solid-body electric violins, making them suitable for genres like classical, folk, and jazz. They also offer the convenience of electronic amplification while maintaining some of the traditional feels of an acoustic violin.

Acoustic-Electric Violins


These violins are traditional acoustic violins fitted with electronic components such as pickups and volume controls, allowing them to be amplified. They are suitable for classical musicians who want to amplify their sound when performing in larger venues or when competing with other instruments in a band or orchestra setting. The addition of electronics does not affect the natural resonance of the violin, and the player still experiences the traditional feel and sound of an acoustic violin.

Silent Electric Violins


Silent electric violins are designed for use in quiet environments where playing an acoustic instrument would be inappropriate or disruptive. They have built-in headphones or line-out capabilities, which allow the player to hear their sound through headphones or an external speaker system without generating any external sound. This makes them ideal for late-night practicing, recording sessions, or other situations where playing an acoustic violin would not be feasible.

Silent electric violins typically have the same features as other electric violins, including pickups, volume controls, and tone adjustments. They often have a headphone jack or line-out port, and some models may also have built-in speakers or the ability to connect to an external speaker system. The sound quality of silent electric violins can vary, so it’s important to choose one designed for high-quality audio reproduction.

5-String Electric Violins

A 5-string electric violin is an electric violin that has an additional string compared to a standard 4-string violin. The fifth string is typically added to the bottom of the instrument. It also allows the player to access lower notes that would not be possible on a 4-string violin. This makes the 5-string electric violin more versatile and suitable for various musical styles and genres.

5-string electric violins are favored by musicians who want more versatility and a wider range of notes at their disposal. They can be used to play a variety of styles, including classical, folk, jazz, and even heavy metal. The additional string also makes it easier for players to navigate complex music, as they have more notes to choose from when playing.

Regarding sound quality, 5-string electric violins typically offer a bright, punchy tone with a warm and rich bass. The pickups used on these instruments are typically similar to those found on other types of electric violins, and can be adjusted to produce a wide range of tones.

4 Best electric violins to buy

MIRIO Electric Violin

best electric violin

Cecilio Silent Electric

Cecilio Silent Electric

Pyle electric violin

best electric violin

Yamaha Electric Violin

Yamaha Electric Violin

What are the qualities of a good Electric Violin

Several qualities make an excellent electric violin:

Tonal quality


Tonal quality is an essential factor in choosing an excellent electric violin. A good electric violin should have a rich and full tone that is faithful to the violin’s natural sound. This means that the pickups used on the instrument should accurately capture the sound of the strings, and the tone should be clear and natural, without any artificial or electronic-sounding elements.

The tonal quality of an electric violin can be influenced by several factors, including the quality of the pickups, the construction of the instrument, and the materials used. For example, high-quality pickups from materials like humbucking coils or piezoelectric crystals can produce a more natural and accurate sound.



Playability is a vital quality of an excellent electric violin. A violin with good playability should have a comfortable and ergonomic design that is easy to play. It should have a smooth and responsive feel, with a neck that is easy to grip and strings that are easy to press down. This means that the player should be able to play the instrument easily and comfortably, without any discomfort or strain. A well-designed electric violin should allow the player to play for long periods without experiencing any fatigue or discomfort.

Build Quality


An excellent electric violin should be made from high-quality materials that are durable and long-lasting. This means that the body and neck of the instrument should be constructed from materials that are strong and resistant to wear and tear.

For example, an excellent electric violin should have a solid body resistant to warping, cracking, and other types of damage. The neck should be straight and stable and not twist or warp over time. The instrument’s hardware and fittings should also be high quality and securely attached to the body.



The electronics of an electric violin refer to the internal components and systems that help the instrument produce sound. Some of the critical elements of the electronics in an electric violin include:

Pickups: These devices capture the sound of the strings and send it to the amplifier. Pickups come in various types and designs, each with unique sound and tone.

Volume Control: Volume control allows the player to adjust the volume of the sound produced by the violin. This is important for playing in different environments and controlling the instrument’s overall volume.

Tone Control: A tone control allows the player to adjust the tonal character of the sound produced by the violin. This can help the player shape their sound and tailor it to suit their playing style and the type of music they are performing.

Other Controls: Some electric violins may have other controls, such as a mute switch, a tone-shaping circuit, or a built-in effects processor. These controls can allow the player to shape their sound and add different textures and effects to their playing.



A good electric violin should have versatility and be suitable for various musical styles and genres. The instrument should have many tonal options and handle various playing styles, from delicate and nuanced to fast and aggressive.

Having versatility means that the electric violin can be used in different musical contexts, whether classical, jazz, rock or any other style. This allows players to use the electric violin in various musical situations and express themselves differently.

A versatile electric violin will likely have more potential for use in different recording and performance situations. The player will have more options for using the instrument and can switch between different styles and sounds as needed.



A good electric violin should be affordable and offer good value for the money. This means that the instrument should have features and performance commensurate with its price and be competitive with other electric violins in its class.

In other words, you should not have to pay a premium for a high-quality electric violin, and the instrument should not be overpriced for what it offers. Instead, it should be reasonably priced and offer good value for the money. This allows musicians to get high-quality instruments that meet their needs without breaking the bank. Now that we’ve discussed prices, let’s understand more about the price ranges for the best electric violin.

Price range for electric violins

The price range for electric violins can vary widely, from under $100 to several thousand dollars.

Lower-priced electric violins:

Lower-priced electric violins, under $500, are often entry-level models that are suitable for beginners or those on a tight budget. These models may have limited tonal options, lower build quality, and less advanced electronics.

Mid-range electric violin:

Mid-range electric violins, between $500 and $1,500, offer improved tonal quality, playability, and build quality, making them a good choice for intermediate to advanced musicians. These models may have more advanced electronics and a wider range of tonal options.

High-end electric violins:

High-end electric violins, over $1,500, offer the highest level of tonal quality, playability, and build quality. These instruments are designed for professional musicians and often have the most advanced electronics and the widest range of tonal options.

So which one is right for you? The electric violin that is right for you will depend on your individual needs, preferences and budget. When shopping for an electric violin, consider your purpose, tonal quality, playability, build quality, and electronics, in addition to the price.

Reasons to avoid cheap electric violins

Cheap electric violins can be a disappointing investment for several reasons. The following are the top reasons to avoid cheap electric violins:

1. Poor Electronics: Cheap electric violins may have low-quality electronics that produce a significant amount of white noise, making it difficult to produce a clear and clean sound.

2. Poor Craftsmanship: Cheap electric violins may be poorly made, with shoddy craftsmanship that affects the playability and tonal quality of the instrument. Dangerous Materials: Some cheap electric violins may be made with materials that are hazardous, such as lead or toxic adhesives. These materials can be dangerous to the health of the player and the environment.

3. Dull Sound: Cheap electric violins often produce a dull and lackluster sound, lacking the rich and resonant tone that is expected from a high-quality instrument.

4. Short Life Span: Cheap electric violins may be less durable than more expensive models, and may have a shorter lifespan. This can result in the need to replace the instrument sooner, and can be an added expense.

For these reasons, it is often recommended to invest in a higher-quality electric violin that provides better tonal quality, playability, and overall value for the money.

Final thoughts

The electric violin offers a stunning and diverse sound that opens up new musical avenues for players of all levels. When searching for the best electric violin, it’s crucial to take into account factors such as tonal quality, playability, build, and electronics. A top-notch electric violin, while an investment, can bring endless musical joy and deliver the best value in the long run.

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