Electric Violins: Prices and Accessories
Electric Violin Prices
As a rule, electric violins cost less than their acoustic cousins. In the least expensive range are the kits to amplify an acoustic violin. Between pickups, cables, and additional electronics such as preamps or equalizers (essential for some pickup systems), a player can enter the field for a few hundred dollars.
Outlined violins run from about $2,000 at the high end to entry level student models for about $350. (Note: The lower end models are viable instruments that sound surprisingly good for the cost, but are most appropriate for solo practice situations, or someone wanting to test the waters of an electric violin.)
Finally, the NS models range from about $700 to $3,000 for the highest end models.
Amplifying Your Electric Violin
In many performance situations, the electric violin will be plugged into the overall sound system (or P.A.). In that case, no additional amplifier may be needed. Two exceptions are: 1) the P.A. system doesn’t have an adequate monitor for the violinist; or 2) the violinist prefers the sound of their own amplifier (in which case the sound engineer will use a microphone or something like a “direct box” to capture the sound of that amplifier).
Where no sound system is available, the violinist will definitely need their own amplifier. Amplifiers come in many shapes and sizes, and with vastly different capabilities, but in general, you’ll want the smallest amp you can get with a good sound reproduction quality. It’s best to test different models with your instrument to determine the one that will work for you.
Keep in mind that whatever you use, you’ll have to move it to and from the performance venues!
Electric Violin Strings
Any violin string, will work on an electric violin, so it’s up to the individual taste of the player. For more information on different string types, see our series of articles on choosing strings for your instrument.
Best Electric Violin for You?
Again, this really depends on your individual needs and playing style. In general, players seeking a more traditional sound should opt for amplifying their acoustic instruments with a violin pickup system. If you’re looking for something new and unique, the NS models are probably for you. In between are the outline style electric violins, which form a bridge between old and new.
A good electric violin shop should be able to help you make the choice, by matching your performance needs and technique with the best instrument for you.