For some violinists, the "holy grail" of perfect amplified violin tone is only one of the goals they're chasing. If you have a secret (or not-so-secret) love of the cello, but were never able to wrestle the larger instrument into submission, the Golden Tasman Octave electro-acoustic from Bridge violins might well be your dream come true.
The smaller body of even a really nice violin can't convincingly reproduce the cello's lower notes acoustically, but the Golden Tasman Octave 5-string's active preamp, optimized for the lower registers, will have anyone who walks past while you're playing it doing a double-take. We've "octave-ated" numerous electric and acoustic-electric violins over the years. At the time, we thought they sounded great, but none of those instruments even came close to producing the pure, authentic cello tone of the Golden Tasman.
As this instrument is a five-string model, it comes with Sensicore Octave strings, a 14" scale-length Perlon core set specially engineered to produce the same pitches as a five-string cello. Further modifications include larger diameter peg holes (especially on the bass side), wider string channels at the nut and bridge, and a slightly higher action to allow the much thicker strings to vibrate freely without buzzing against the fingerboard.
Construction of the Golden Tasman is (for the most part) quite traditional. A top of tightly grained spruce and a highly figured maple back and side are finished in a golden oil varnish. That finish is heavily (but artistically) antiqued. There are two main departures from the look of a classical violin. The first will be familiar to anyone who's seen a Bridge violin. The shield (inspired by the 1710 Stradivari Viola da Gamba) that has become one of the company's trademark details sits atop the peg box, instead of a traditional scroll. To mark the electro-acoustic's dual nature, a lightning bolt inlay on the shield goes in place of the stylized lowercase "b" that marks their line of purely electric instruments.
A bigger departure, and one that's less appealing aesthetically, but conceptually brilliant, is the placement of the Golden Tasman's output jack. Recessed into the arch of the violin's back, at first glance it appears jarring, even a bit awkward. But looks aside, the inset output jack is a stroke of design genius. It allows any player, even traditional classical players who don't use a shoulder rest, to play the violin comfortably, as long as they use a cable with a straight (rather than right-angle) jack, solving a problem that players who don't use a shoulder rest quickly discover when they attempt to play certain acoustic-electric violins.
A custom hardshell case is included with all Golden Tasman violins.