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Rebuilding a Yamaha Silent?


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Let me get this out of the way first : I'm only a player, not a maker. I have done a little gross woodwork such as bookcases, but never anything fiddly (no pun intended). Nor do I really know anything about electrical things more than being able to re-wire a lamp if I need to.

Some years ago I bought a Yamaha Silent because I live in an apartment and need a quiet practice instrument. But I found that it bothers the piece of metal I have in my jaw (don't ask) and nothing I do to pad it helps. The molded-in chinrest and the fixed position of the shoulder rest are just the wrong combination for my particular twisted bones.

So I'm wondering about removing the "body" of the Yamaha and fitting a new one out of wood that I could then use a regular chinrest and adjustable shoulder rest with. Does that sound feasible? I have very little money, so replacing it altogether with something like a Zeta silent violin isn't an option for me.

Does rebuilding it in this way sound like a practical thing to do? Has anyone here ever done anything like it?

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I'm sitting here looking at mine...

since the transducer is just a plate upon which the bridge sits, I think it would be simple to do. The electronics just screw onto the wood part of the body.

I'd suggest either buying a junker violin and using the neck and fingerboard, or buying a precarved neck/fingerboard assembly from International Violin or someplace like that. Set that into what ever you want for a body. It could be a 2x4, wouldn't matter.

Looking at how these are made, they must be a huge moneymaker for Yamaha. It's hard to imagine more than $50 of cost in these things.

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Thanks very much for responding, Jack! I wasn't even thinking of replacing the wood parts, only the plastic ones. Have you opened yours up? I've only had the courage to look at mine from the outside so far, and try to imagine what would need to be moved and how I might do it. I was thinking about using a piece of 1x12 white pine for the rest of the "body" since it already has that wide spruce(?) "backbone" that the bridge and "tailpiece" sit on.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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