Going shopping for an electric violin?
Things getting a bit too overwhelming with all the looks, shapes, sizes, and that 5th string?
Don’t stress, we’ve got you covered.
Generally speaking, the best electric violin is the one that best aligns with your individual needs and budget.
For the purposes of this article though, we are choosing the models best suited for beginners.
Let’s take a look!
Best Electric Violins of 2021
This is a roundup of the best electric violins currently in the market. We included various price ranges, styles, and capabilities.
Best Overall: Cecilio 4/4 CEVN-1BK Solid Wood Electric/Silent Violin
The Cecilio CEVN-1BK is an exceptional entry-level electric violin. It’s well designed, has an exceptional finish, and renders a beautiful sound. It also comes at a budget-friendly price, which is encouraging for beginners.
The sound quality is confident, reverberating, and warm. This comes as a bit of a surprise considering its economical price. This is great for a student who’s just starting out.
It’s literally starting on a good note!
It comes with an integrated package of suitable headphones, essential cables, and good quality rosin. This gets you started immediately in your practicing, recording, or performing.
It has a one-year warranty, which is usual for a renowned manufacturer like Cecilio, who respects the traditions of instrument making, and boasts of making violins with “centuries-old techniques”.
What We Like
- Exceptional finish and hand-carved frame
- Mixed wood materials for best construction with part maple and part ebony
- Mother-of-pearl markings add richness to the violin
- It’s lightweight and easy to carry
- The bow is made from premium materials
- It comes with a carrying case, headphones, and cable set
- Suitable for entry-level music players
Premium Pick: Yamaha Electric Violin – YEV105NT – Natural 5-String
Twenty years ago Yamaha invented the silent violin. Like many inventions, it was out of necessity since houses in japan are too close and noises are unwelcome.
Since then, they have developed these violins and modified the design to meet the expectations of the vast amount of musicians who use them.
This violin is lightweight, ergonomic, and the design is playful with its eastern-western fusion. It’s elegant with clean lines and clear sound quality.
The Yamaha doesn’t target a specific skill level, if you can afford one then get it, these instruments have superior quality and offer an extra smooth performance.
You have to play on one to really understand this incredible instrument!
What We Like
- Well-known brand
- Smooth performance
- Aesthetically pleasing design
- It’s constructed from a mixture of six different types of wood
- The sound quality is close to classic violins
- It doesn’t require add-ons to start playing
Best For Beginners: Vangoa Vintage Solid Wood Electronic Silent Violin
This is another electric violin well-suited for beginners. Its price is budget-friendly, it comes with a full starting kit, and it’s easy to connect to external amplifiers and other audio devices.
The design is minimalist, but still refers to the original shape of the violin. Its finish isn’t exceptional, but that’s hardly expected at this price.
Tuning the violin, adjusting the strings, and the proper placement of the bridge are all pretty straight forward processes. It’s a user-friendly instrument, and that’s always appreciated.
The sound quality is acceptable, the headphones aren’t great, and the strings might need to be replaced at some point. Overall, a student would be on the right track with this violin.
What We Like
- The minimalist design
- It comes with a chin rest
- The package includes a carrying case
- Headphones and connection cables are included
- It comes with an extra string set
Best Hybrid: Cecilio 4/4 CVNAE Fitted Acoustic/Electric Violin
This another great product from Cecilio, a hybrid acoustic/electric violin. It’s the best of both worlds.
These are made like classical violins, but they are equipped with the necessary sensors and electronics that let them connect to amplifiers and other digital devices.
Students and professionals alike benefit from this feature. A student needs to get a feel of vintage instruments, and many seasoned players can’t give up on the familiarity of regular violins to the more futuristic models.
The surface finish is high grade, which is one of the trademarks of Cecilio’s handiwork. So you’ll find maple, ebony, and nickel plates parts in this pretty instrument.
This model comes in three different looks, two of them quite conservative, while the third opens up to possibilities.
There’s an added focus on comfort with this violin, it’s a lightweight instrument, the shoulder support is adjustable, and it’s padded with foam.
What We Like
- Can be used as an acoustic or electric violin
- Comes with the necessary cables
- Aesthetically pleasing design
- Comfortable and lightweight
- The carrying case is sturdy and padded
- Premium quality finish
- Good sound quality
Electric Violin Buying Guide
The following sections should cover the basics, and don’t worry, it’s not boring technicalities, it’s mostly getting to know electric violins a bit more intimately, so when you pick yours there’s a good chance it would really be ‘the one’.
How Are Electric Violins Different from Regular Violins?
This is fundamental. You might already have an acoustic violin and wish to try out an electric one, or this is your very first violin, so should it be electric? Keep reading, we’ll get to that in a second.
Acoustic violins have hollow bodies where the sound gathers and comes out as the wholesome warm tunes violins are known to give.
Electric violins as you might’ve noticed could come without much of a body. Just a few strings and a shaft. Playing on these strings does give off a sound, but it’s faint and muted.
To hear the electric violin properly you need an amplifier or headphones. That’s because the sound is translated to an electronic signal as opposed to a fully-formed sound wave.
The generated sound isn’t final, you can have all sorts of sound effects with the music you play on an electric violin.
Getting a good violin for under $100 is possible, getting a good electric violin at the same budget is highly doubtful.
The electric variety is pricier, but we usually consider all the perks we get for what we pay, so in terms of value for money they do deliver more.
The design of classical violins hasn’t changed for hundreds of years, and you can only see changes in the material or workmanship, but the shape remains unchanged.
Electric violins aren’t limited by the traditions of how a violin should look like or the requirements of sound generation.
That’s why they could show up in any shape, size, or color. More importantly, they can be conservative, elegant, flirty, or rock-star cool.
Looks are so important, we never take aesthetics lightly, and neither should you.
This is equally important as good looks. Feeling comfortable is imperative to making good music and giving stellar performances.
A violin that hurts your neck, or feels heavy on your hands, is way worse than a tight shoe. You’ll need to practice for hours on end each day, and there are various designs that you can choose from.
Classic violins are hollow, so they are lighter than electric violins, which have more body and all the extra electronics. Look for extra support at the shoulder or shin, it helps.
Ergonomics are all about that fit. Acoustic violins come in discrete sizes that don’t respond to a person’s build precisely.
Electric violins offer more flexibility in their measurements, so keep looking till you find the one that fits.
A few decades ago, electric sounds were tinny and devoid of expression, but rock stars managed to take advantage of that. It always felt like radically different instruments though.
Nowadays, electric varieties aren’t drastically different from the acoustic ones. They also convey expressions and nuances of playing, this is big.
There’s also the hybrid variety that uses the housing and main design of a classical violin, with the electronic sensors and attached amplifiers to get a more authentic sound together with the perks of electronics.
Everyone perceives sound differently, so the ultimate quality of sound is also dependent on who’s listening.
Do You Need an Electric Violin?
Buy an electric violin if:
- You’re a beginner and prefer to practice with little noise
- You’d like to experiment with the sound effects and pedals
- Your building has strict rules against music practice
- You need to perform with an electric violin
- You want to record some good music at a home studio
- You just want one because it’s so cool
- You have the budget for it
What to Look for When Buying an Electric Violin
This is what you should consider when you go to the music store and look at all the pretty violins hanging on the wall.
The violin you choose should sound ‘right’ for you. Try it with different volume settings and with the headphones on.
Usually, the music shop will let you do that, and they might even offer good advice. These guys are good, you might want to use their input.
Ergonomics and Comfort
Our bodies are different, that’s one violin shapes aren’t a one size fits all. Feel the weight of the device, where does it need more support? Is that easy or difficult for you?
Get the one that feels like you’re carrying a feather.
Shoulder width, arm length, and the range of motion of the wrist are also determining factors. Play a little and see if you need to stretch or hunch to move the bow properly. A good violin doesn’t need you to try too hard.
Performing on stage requires a pure sound signal and a reliable device. You also need an instrument that looks glamorous. Higher-end violins offer all that and more.
Home studio recording is all about connections and wires. Get the one with the user-friendly interface, and make sure that it’s compatible with your MIDI, speakers, and software.
Playing with an ensemble usually includes bylaws about appearance. A flashy violin might not be very acceptable. The sound quality should also be considered. You wouldn’t want to throw your and off-key.
Beginners at the music school are naturally new to everything. A basic budget-friendly model should be good, and later on, when they find their personal style they can upgrade.
Q: Why do electric violins have 5 strings?
A: The 5th string is a Do or C note. It compensates for the lost reverberation in the hollow space of the classical violin.
It also allows the violinist to play broader deeper notes, which come very close to what a viola or a cello can do. You can play some of Bach’s Cello Suites with that!
Q: Are electric violins easier?
A: They aren’t easier or harder, both varieties need you to practice well hundreds of hours and each day.
Q: Are electric violins suitable for beginners?
A: The high price of electric violins could make them a second choice for beginners, but there are some acceptable devices at affordable prices.
Some teachers prefer starting their students on acoustic violins first to give them a feel of the classic, then they move on to the high tech.
Electric violins are an essential stage in the development of any musician. They offer a lot of flexibility in practicing, recording, and performing.
Unlike electric guitars, violin players receive extensive training in classical music. That’s why there’s a constant need for electric violins to look like the acoustic ones.
We took this preference into consideration as we picked the best electric violin. The Cecilio 4/4 CEVN-1BK Solid Wood Electric/Silent Violin is easily our top pick.
It has it all; the high-quality sound, beautiful design that follows the classical violin shape, good ergonomics, and it comes at a great price.
The Cecilio package contains everything a beginner needs and complements the tool-set of intermediate players.