The 9 Best Electric Violins

Updated April 15, 2018 by Taber Koeghan

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We spent 46 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. If you have a budding Joshua Bell in the family who wants to add a high-tech sound to their repertoire, one of these electric violins will fit the bill. Many of the items in this list are referred to as "silent" due to their ability to be played through headphones, which allows users to practice in an apartment or public place without bothering anyone nearby. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best electric violin on Amazon.

9. Barcus Berry Vibrato

The Barcus Berry Vibrato is painstakingly crafted in a European factory and finished by specialists in the United States. Whether you plug it in for amplification or play it au naturel, the music you make is guaranteed to sound beautiful.
  • top is carved by hand
  • made with hardwearing wood
  • requires significant setup time
Brand Barcus Berry
Model BAR-AEG
Weight 3.8 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

8. NS Design Amberburst

The unusual shape of the NS Design Amberburst can be somewhat polarizing, but if you enjoy flouting convention, you'll probably love it. The sound quality is objectively impressive, which is important considering its relatively hefty price tag.
  • 40-to-1 precision tuners
  • weighs six pounds
  • not completely silent when unplugged
Brand NS Design
Model WAV 4 Violin Amberburst
Weight 6.2 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

7. Kinglos Colored Intermediate-A

The Kinglos Colored Intermediate-A will make an impression before you even start playing, thanks to its vibrant floral pattern. It has a spruce wood body and real ebony fittings that will make you feel like you're working with a much more expensive instrument.
  • seven flower designs to choose from
  • generous four-meter-long cable
  • not especially sturdy
Brand Kinglos
Model DSZA1201
Weight 3.9 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

6. Yamaha Teardrop Natural

The designers of the Yamaha Teardrop Natural were aiming for simplicity when they created this model. From the elegant curved shape of the body to the impressively clean sound, it's crafted to not only look cool, but to feel comfortable during performances, too.
  • high quality pickups
  • made with six types of wood
  • does not come with bow
Brand Yamaha
Model YEV104NT
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

5. Wood Stingray

The Wood Stingray has a unique shape and is super lightweight, giving you more freedom to move around as you play. However, beginning violinists will probably benefit from using the easier-to-handle four-string version instead.
  • ergonomic design minimizes strain
  • built to last for years
  • better for players with shorter arms
Brand Wood Violins
Model WV-SVX5/RD
Weight 4 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. Bunnel Edge Outfit Rock Star

The Bunnel Edge Outfit Rock Star is a wonderful option for new musicians who don't already own all of the necessary accessories. This package includes not just the instrument, but an amplifier, a pair of headphones, a sturdy case, a bow, and a cloth for polishing.
  • pickups are ceramic
  • understated matte finish
  • money-back guarantee
Brand Kennedy Violins
Model pending
Weight 9.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Kinglos 4/4

If you're looking for something to match your personal style, the Kinglos 4/4 is a great choice. It is available in a wide array of colors and patterns, and at such a reasonable price, you might be tempted to buy more than just one.
  • runs on nine-volt battery
  • shoulder rest included
  • made by experienced luthiers
Brand Kinglos
Model DSG1803
Weight pending
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Bunnel Next Natural

The Bunnel Next Natural features a sophisticated maple wood construction that is both durable and easy on the eyes. It comes with a host of accessories, including a portable mini amplifier that makes it possible to pump up the volume wherever you go.
  • lifetime warranty
  • does not require assembly
  • comes with rosin
Brand Kennedy Violins
Model pending
Weight 9.6 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

1. Yamaha SV200

The sleek Yamaha SV200 is coated with a special finish that's designed to mimic the feel of an acoustic violin. This means that even if you've never used an electric model, you will feel right at home performing with this instrument.
  • four color choices
  • two equalization modes
  • thoughtfully positioned cable jack
Brand Yamaha
Model SV-200KBLK
Weight 3.7 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

The Violin Through The Ages

The violin is perhaps the best known member of the four major instruments that make up the string family of instruments. The others are the viola, the cello, and the bass. Each of these stringed instruments features four strings pulled taut above a body traditionally made of layered wood.

The violin is the highest string instrument in terms of pitch. Violins are valued both for their use as part of a full orchestra or a quartet, but are also often used as solo instruments, with thousands of entire pieces of music having been composed sole for the violin over the many years during which it has been played. (Bach's famous Chaconne from the Partita Number Two in D Minor is a fine example of piece written for an unaccompanied violin.) Note that a violin is occasionally called a fiddle; there is no difference save for the name between the two instruments, though the type of music played by a fiddler is often more raucous and less refined than that of a classical musician.

The earliest known instruments that approximate the modern violin hail from the Near East, with Turkic and Byzantine instruments being some of the first stringed instruments likely played with a bow rather than played via plucking, as was common with earlier examples of stringed instruments like the Ancient Greek lyre.

Beginning in 16th Century Italy, instruments similar to violins still being produced today were first developed. By the mid 1700s, after certain improvements to the design, including an altered neck length and angle, the violin had already achieved the apex of its design. Many of the instruments built during that century are still in use today, and are considered the finest examples of violins yet created.

A fine violin produced today will mimic a violin made 250 years ago in almost every regard, save for the tools used to create it. However, the modern violinist has one option that famed Stradivari family certainly never conceived of: today, there are multiple examples of electric violins available.

Why An Electric Violin Is A Grand Idea

An electric violin does not feature the same resonant chamber as an acoustic instrument; instead, they are made with a magnetic pickup built into their bodies. This pickup converts the vibration from the strings into an electrical signal that can then be transmitted to a speaker (or sent into another piece of hardware).

First produced in the late 1920s, electric violins are now popular with musicians all around the globe. These instruments allow a musician an amazing latitude of sound style, as -- just like with an electric guitar -- they can be altered using effect pedals to add distortion, echo, delay, and more.

An electric violin makes a great addition to an orchestra, but it can also be a lively part of a rock or folk band. Their versatility of sound means that one instrument can be used to play multiple different styles of music. That's good news both for the versatile musician as well as for any artists who need to share an instrument. This versatility also makes electric violins good tools for music teachers and for school bands or music programs.

Ironic as it might sound, one of the best attributes an electric violin offers is its ability to be played almost without sound. Unlike an acoustic instrument, an electric violin makes appreciable noise only when paired with a speaker -- some electric violins are even called silent, in fact. Thus an electric violin is a great tool for practicing without disturbing others nearby.

Whether connected to a computer to allow you to record and analyze your playing later or whether you use a pair of headphones to contain your music to yourself, the electric violin is a great tool the budding violinist.

Choosing The Right Electric Violin

A decent electric violin will cost at least several hundred dollars; one should know that from the start of their search. While there are models available that cost only around a hundred dollars or so, these instruments are often only suitable for use solely for recreation or as a young or amateur player's first foray into an area of music he or she may well abandon. A truly superb electric violin will cost as much as six or seven hundred dollars, for reference. This price point of two to three hundred dollars should seem manageable.

When choosing an electric violin, first decide if you want an acoustic electric model. These instruments can be played without power, or they can be connected to a speaker for amplification. They often offer excellent sound quality in both iterations, but cannot be as easily manipulated by effect pedals. This type if instrument can't be played "silently" either, thus limiting their use for convenient practice.

When you have settled on a type of violin (and a budget, of course) next consider the aesthetics of the instrument. Many electric violins come in fanciful colors and shapes, which might be as appealing to some players as they are a disincentive to others. Purists will appreciate many of the electric violins that maintain the shape of a classical instrument, while perhaps the younger, more freewheeling musicians will like the unique, minimalist "cut away" look many electric violins feature.

And any musician will appreciate the inherent durability and longevity of a decent electric violin. Consider the potential for years of use when considering how much you are willing to spend on this and any other musical instrument.


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Last updated on April 15, 2018 by Taber Koeghan

Taber is a writer working in Los Angeles, which also happens to be the city she was raised in. She enjoys reading mysteries, rock climbing, and baking. A funny cat named Roswell lives in her house.


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