All Things Strings

Does a fiddle lose much tone with built in electronics? The pu will be mounted at the end of the fingerboard and won't be in touch with any vibrating parts, but I'm thinking about a tele jack permanently installed in the ribs.

Views: 209

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Personally, I would never knock a hole into a perfectly good fiddle for the sake of a pickup.  I have no idea what kind of pickup you're mounting on the fingerboard, but the jack could be made with parts from Radio Shack (1/8 or 1/4 inch jack) and attached to a bracket that mounts the same way as a chin rest.  I actually cut an old chin rest to use in this way on my own fiddle.  The pickup itself was a cheap clip on tuning piezo mic ($15) which actually sounds pretty decent through a Fishman ProEq and a Roland AC60 amp.  The pickup and bracket are completely removable and NO HOLES in the instrument!  Think about.  Try to do it without permanent irreversible alterations.  Good luck!
I'm still interested if such thing would affect the output volume. If it's possible to mount the jack in the ribs without ruining the sound, I'd definitly prefer that solution. I wonder because on acoustic guitars such things doesn't affect the sound, but I've never tried an electro acoustic fiddle, so I don't know what the acoustic output is like. They're generally piezo-amplified too, so I guess the presence of the pu itself kills some of the sound.
In my opinion piezoelectric is not a good choice for capturing and amplification the acoustic violin sound, if that's what you want. The best way is a combination of contact microphone and small unidirectional microphone, like a Schertler STAT-V.
A guitar has a lot more wood surface so a hole drilled for a jack isn't going to hurt the sound.  Obviously a fiddle has less wood to work with and is more delicate, therefore it will be more susceptible to changes.  Anything that hampers or interferes with the vibration will affect or mute the tone.  I'm no luthier though.  And there a plenty of companies out there making pickups that work very well on violins, some more permanently installed and some not.
No piezos on my fiddles. I might consider using one fur fun, if for some reason I'd like my fiddle to sound like a kazoo in some songs. I intend to use this fiddle as an electric too, so I need a real magnetic pu to amplify it.

G&Fills electric violins said:
In my opinion piezoelectric is not a good choice for capturing and amplification the acoustic violin sound, if that's what you want. The best way is a combination of contact microphone and small unidirectional microphone, like a Schertler STAT-V.
I'm with you in theory. The percentual damage would be bigger on a small body than on a big one. I believe that operations in the soundboard and the bridge will probably have hearable effect, but the ribs and the bottom aren't really vibrating.

Kevin Keating said:
A guitar has a lot more wood surface so a hole drilled for a jack isn't going to hurt the sound.  Obviously a fiddle has less wood to work with and is more delicate, therefore it will be more susceptible to changes.  Anything that hampers or interferes with the vibration will affect or mute the tone.  I'm no luthier though.  And there a plenty of companies out there making pickups that work very well on violins, some more permanently installed and some not.
One compromise I've been thinking about is that kind of jack that's built in into the chinrest. Any idea anyone where to find such thing?

I made an experiment to see what happens when adding some extra mass to the ribs. I took a table knife and wedged it in behind the chinrest holder. When I played a string with the bow, the knife vibrated, which indicates that the ribs do have some sound. I wedged it in a little harder until it appeared to be mute, and I experienced that I had a slight loss of tone. The volume became a bit weaker and the tone a slight bit shorter.

However: I did the same thing with a teaspoon and got the opposite result! Still the difference was barely noticeable, but to me it sounded as if I got some more sound. Longer tone and louder output.

I've been talking to some makers and players of electro acoustic fiddles. They all say that the electronics have some effect on the tone, but not as big as one can believe. One of them also said that an integrated permanently installed tele jack would be prefered before a chinrest mounting mounted one.
I've been e-mailing to some players, sellers and manufacturers of electro-acoustics. They all agree in one thing: the jackplate itself won't make the instrument sound less acoustically. However, most of them seem to think that the ribs need some reinforcement and that's a bit more troublesome... It should've been done before the soundboard was glued to the ribs.

Volume, if that's all your after is easy without drilling into the violin. I have used both custom bridges with integral rare earth pickups and the wedge style where a small wedge pickup is attached to the bridge. Both are more than loud enough. What happens to that vibration after you have captured it is the most important i.e. preamps,EQs and amplifiers. I live by the standard that I only am custodian of the instrument for the time I own it. I do not ever want to do something to alter the original structure of the maker. Even cheap violins are really incredible feats of engineering.



Svento Rivers said:

I'm still interested if such thing would affect the output volume. If it's possible to mount the jack in the ribs without ruining the sound, I'd definitly prefer that solution. I wonder because on acoustic guitars such things doesn't affect the sound, but I've never tried an electro acoustic fiddle, so I don't know what the acoustic output is like. They're generally piezo-amplified too, so I guess the presence of the pu itself kills some of the sound.

Reply to Discussion

RSS

Badge

Loading…

FOLLOW US!

Be alerted to the latest articles on AllThingsStrings.com, including playing tips, career advice, information for educators, news and event alerts, and artist profiles.

© 2014   Created by Strings.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service