Yamaha has one of the most complete lines of electric bowed strings of any manufacturer on the market, ranging from the entry-level to the professional. While their program started with the now-famous SV-100 “Silent” Violin with headphone jack for personal practice, they quickly embraced the growing market for electric strings, offering wide range of color and feature options at a variety of price points.
Unless we’ve sold out in the last couple of days, we always have every Yamaha silent and electric violin, viola, and cello model in-stock, in every color, at any given time. We also offer the Yamaha SV-100 and -200 silent basses but due to their size (and the limited space in our small shop!) we don’t usually have one on hand, although we are happy to special order one. Read more below about Yamaha’s silent and electric violins, violas, and cellos and upright basses.
Violinists have the widest selection of Yamaha instruments to choose froom. They offer:
- the updated, entry-level Yamaha SV-130K (formerly the SV-120, referred to as the Yamaha Concert Select Violin
- the lightweight Yamaha SV-150K (Silent Practice Plus)
- the Yamaha SV-200K (sometimes called the Studio, Pro, or Pro Studio), which combines a more sophisticated tone with a natural feel
- the Yamaha EV-204 and -205, (four-string and five string, respectively) the most electronically sophisticated violins in their product line, (the EV series instruments are also called Performer)
- the professional-level Yamaha SV-250 four-string and Yamaha SV-255 five-string, combining Yamaha’s lightest weight design with both their SV-series under-bridge pickup and their true-sounding VPN-1 transducer bridge, along with a powerful, feature-laden off-board preamp.
We compare the pros and cons of Yamaha’s five distinct product lines for violinists on our Yamaha Violin Showdown page, here.
Viola players only have the one option from Yamaha, but it’s an excellent one, the SVV-200 “Silent Viola”. Essentially a viola version of the SV-200 violin, it has the same outstanding tonal qualities, and does a great job of reproducing the tone and feel of an acoustic viola. The SVV-200 has a 16-inch ‘body’ and fits in most standard viola cases.
For cellists, Yamaha has the entry-level SVC-50, the wonderful SVC-110 (a fixed-form design, emulating much of the outline of an acoustic cello), and the outstanding SVC-210 “travel” version, with collapsible knee braces. The SVC-50 is a good instrument if intended primarily for “silent” practice. Cellists with an ear for tone who need the most naturally acoustic sound possible or prefer the feel of the full cello ‘frame’ will definitely want to move up to the SVC-110. The SVC-210 offers a compromise between the portability of the SVC-50 (the 210 actually folds down even more compactly than the 50) and the improved tone of the 110 (though the 210′s tone is slightly more electric sounding than the 110).
Yamaha offers two choices to upright bass players. Both feature a detachable frame that stows in the case for portability, although the SVB-100 has a fuller frame than the SVB-200. The SVB-200 is aimed more toward the gigging jazz player as it is lighter weight (approx. 16 lbs. compared to the SVB-100′s 22 lbs.) and comes with D’Addario Helicore Pizzicato strings. Note: the SVB-200 has a slightly shorter scale-length than is standard for 3/4 upright basses, measuring 1040mm. The SVB-100 is a better practice instrument for classical bassists, more closely replicating the feel and scale length (1054mm) of traditional acoustic upright basses.