In 1993 Yamaha first used the Silent name to describe a digital keyboard for home use. Two years later they applied a headphone amp to a brass muting system, creating their Silent Brass line. In 1997, the SV-100 became the first Silent Violin. And the rest, as they say, is history!
Given the laws of physics that govern a vibrating string, the only truly silent violin is one not being played! Even the most skeletal electric violin body has enough mass to amplify a string so it can be heard to the player. Yamaha's innovation was to add a standard headphone jack so the player can listen at normal volume while their neighbor, or their family in the next room, is undisturbed.
There are a number of considerations you must take into account when selecting a pickup. Do you want a permanent pickup solution or something that is removable? Is how quickly and easily the pickup can be installed and removed an important factor? Beyond volume, how important to you is tone reproduction? What are you willing to spend on a pickup?
Pickup types for bowed string instruments can be divided into two main categories: permanent pickups (usually bridge replacements) and removable pickups. As we will see, there are several different types of removable pickup, which suit different performance needs.
Lots of violinists, and especially some younger players, seem drawn to the idea of a five-string electric violin. So many of our customers, especially parents buying an electric for violinists in their early teens, wonder if playing a five-string electric violin will be detrimental to the player's classical technique. We've even had a couple of adult beginners who had to trade in their five-string electric for a four string, when they were unable to find a teacher willing to take on a beginner who was starting with a five string.
In order to play your instrument using an effects pedal and an amplifier you will need two ¼ inch instrument cables. If you are not using an external effects processor, skip steps B and C.
A) Locate the output jack of your new instrument. Connect the instrument cable to your instrument. This end of the cable may have a right angle connector, which can help to keep the cable out of your way while playing. This, of course, depends on the placement of the output jack on your instrument.
B) For use with effects processors, connect the other end of the cable into the INPUT jack of the effects processor.
C) Connect one end of a second instrument cable to the OUTPUT jack on the effects processor. If your effects processor has a stereo output (two outputs labeled L (mono) and R, use only the L/mono OUTPUT jack.
D) Connect the other end of the instrument cable into the INPUT jack on your amplifier or mixing board.
Once all your cables ends are connected, set the volume level on each to zero. Next, turn each piece of equipment on. Turn up the master volume on the amplifier half way and the amp’s instrument channel up a third of the way. Finally, raise the volume on the effects processor and the violin. Doing this will prevent loud sounds that could damage your speakers or your ears, at least until appropriate levels are determined for future use.