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A few MNetters may appreciate my new "evolution" e-violin design but I guess, for the most part, this is going to horrify some of the more serious folk out there.

This proto-type is handmade from solid jacaranda wood (coloured yellow). It features acurate violin geometry including the strings-over-bridge angle and can be used with standard chin and shoulder rests. Compared to conventional acoustic violins, it is comfortable to hold and the guitar tuners are a pleasure to use. The Swiss-made electrostatic pickup (not shown here) provides a nice "natural" sound but can deliver real punch when needed.

I think the design still needs some tidying-up and I'd like it if a few of you guys could provide some input.

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Dunno.about evolution..... Looks like very traditional Renaissance design to me.

Sorry, Amori.

Seriously, is Jacaranda native to Africa or South America?

Excuse my ignorance. I'n not really into this kind of gear

but it look eye-catching.

I've never seen an instrument with the pegs below the bridge like that

Does it put a lot of extra pressure on the bridge in tuning? Maybe that doesn't matter.

The bridge look s very solid. I'd imagine though tuning provides some new experiences.

Well done!

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I use the Schertler brand of pick-up Craig. Nice quality stuff!

I should have called it "X-bow" instead of "Evolution". Maybe I still will. Jacarandas are not indigenous to South Africa but we have a LOT of them here - I think it is South American. Wood turners love this stuff, nice to carve but softish.

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It has those masses of purple flowers in late spring/early summer, right? - spectacular.

How is the tuning any way? When you tune a traditional fiddle you still drag the bridge

towards the fingerboard - I'd imagine the drag is even stronger when the pegs are closer?

Does it also put a lot of tension on the notches in the bridge?

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Honestly, I don't know what it is if no one tells me it was a violin.

After I knew it is a violin, then it makes some sense to me. It has all the parts (most)

but it seems they are in the wrong places. I don't knoW if I should say all these things.

Again. I look at it more, I may identify it better. Forgive me, I am slow.

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In addition to the bridge moving during tuning, the height of the strings on the tuner (i.e., distance above the yellow board) will change and thus alter the strings-over-bridge angle. But a better question is --- since you are departing so radically from traditional violin design, why do you care about having accurate violin geometry?

One other point --- Since there is no upper bout there won't be the normal feedback (from leaning your hand against it) when playing in higher positions.

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I see two things or options I would want. First, a detachable or foldable (wingset?) on the back to ease storage and transportation. The other thing is the tuning pegs - I would use the adjustable "Kieth" banjo tuners. They are inline pegs and so less visible and would also give you the ability for instant tuning variations. I like the basic design and premise of the instrument, well designed and executed, IMHO.

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My first impression was that of a scorpion and my second of a Transformer (remember when kids played with Transformers?). An interesting look.

If the black wings are solid wood, they are going to be fragile, subject to breakage. Assuming you are going to store and transport it in a violin case, there would be no pressing need to have removable wings, but that is up for grabs--you are the designer. I would use a composite material for those wings--you can purchase carbon fiber composites in plates--carbon fiber will have about twice the density of ebony, so you will pick up some weight on the lower end. Baltic plywood would also work as a material and you would use a Steinway "touch-up kit" (Sharpie pen) to color it black.

Mike D

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I like the basic design but I think I'd prefer the peg arrangement that John Jordan uses on his EV's for ease of access. I like the idea you've come up with for mounting a standard shoulder rest, although the way I position mine, I'd want the wing on the E-string side to extend further up. Where does the cord plug in?

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I like the second one in Omobono's pic.  -I just can't figure

out where you plug it in.  

Amori,  check out my posts in the recent thread, "Interesting

news from UK"

I believe we are on the cusp of a very serious shift in musical


Such E-violins, (completely without resonating bodies0 combined

with portable convolution DSP, are going to radically change both

the low-end violin market (at least for non-classical players) and

also part of the high-end performance market (most definitely NOT

classical, at least not yet)  It is quite exciting, and

luthiers who are open enough to work with it instead of against it

are in for quite a ride.

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Thanks for the input gentlemen, let me respond to your comments.......

EarlyRetiree - The bridge moves no more in tuning than on standard violins and my design has taken into acount the height of those tuners above the "peghead", the strings are very close to the correct angle. If correct violin geometry is not appled most violinists could not play it properly. I must say that at least one player has suggested a stop of sorts so that the right hand can feel the upper bout.

PeterG - The wingset (lower bout) is removeable. I guess I could design a special case, but players would want to accommodate their bow, chin and shoulder rests and the wingset, which would mean the case would end being a similar size. So, the wingset may as well stay put.

I had thought about banjo tuners but not having seen them in the flesh, I decided on the guitar tuners which work a real treat.

Kotie - It's a pity they showed only half of Norma Jean and gave no contact details:-(

Mike_Danielson - these prototype wings are made from MDF but I have had a set lasercut in thin steel. Surprisingly, on a previous design, the MDF has lasted a few years without breaking. I have tried to obtain carbon fibre (product and technology) in this country for years - it's just not available. I would have liked to make the entire structure from CF.

Steve_W - I also like the Jordan method but this setup has worked better for this particular design. I did not want to have my "lower bout" so heavy. The cord plugs in underneath, just below and between the tuners dependant on the configuration chosen by a client.

Allan Speers - I wonder..........

I would offer the client/player the option of having a short strut that would act as the upper bout "handstop".

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 I don't see how you can

say the bridge doesn't move from tuning more than a regular violin,

from a physics perspective youre moving the strings about 5 times

as much over the bridge as you would the conventional way, this

higher movement is normally happening at the nut, not the bridge on

a normal violin, plus how do you tune it and hold it at the same

time? Kinda reminds me of this traveling guitar someone in my town

invented with a really slender body and the tuners at the opposite

end, it was quite successful though, I wish you luck, I was going

to pipe in a say I'm Australian and I think Jacarandas are

Australian, but no, South American, cheers, Lyndon J Taylor

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>>I don't see how you can say the bridge doesn't move from tuning more than a regular violin<<

The proof of the pudding is in the eating and I've been eating for the last week or two.

I am not the pioneer of rear tuning, there are a number of other e-violin makers who have gone before me with some success. As to how to tune it; more or less the same as when you use conventional fine tuners, except faster and more accurate.

I also make a rear-tuning travelling guitar (except I call it a "silent guitar") which works well too. See www.violini.co.za if you are interested.

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That's an interesting suggestion about the Keith Tuners; I used to play a bit of banjo and had a set installed on my instrument. They allow you to lock in a note, and an alternate lower note, so that you can quickly shift between the 2 with a quick twist of the knob. They're very handy although I used them mainly for special effects like Earl Scruggs (who originally popularized the concept) did, not for changing tunings quickly. They're pretty precise on the banjo but I wonder if they'd be accurate enough on the shorter-scale neck of an e-violin.

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Electric guitars such as Fender Strats, Teles, Jazz Basses, Gibson SGs and Les Pauls can be things of great beauty. But I have never seen an electric violin with the same aesthetic appeal. To me, they always seem either excessively functional-looking, absurdly rococo or just plain wrong.

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