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Yamaha silent violin, to buy or not???


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After fiddling for about 5 hours tonight in my apartment, I recieved my first complaint... To be expected, the combination of 10pm and my lack of experience (playing 7 months) probably didn't win over any music fans...Anyway, I've looked at the Yamaha silent violin, and to be honest it seems pretty cheap, and I've noticed that japanese electric guitars seem to always have problems in time, mainly with the cheap quality of the switches, pots, and jacks. Anyway I've yet to actually hear one of these in action, and it would serve it's purpose for night owl practice sessions. Any comments on it's tone??? And build quality? I have a respectable 100 year old german fiddle, with a nice warm tone, and I have a couple of different mutes, but that gets old quick. I play mainly bluegrass, and I need practice, practice, practice... THANKS!

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My first thought was identical to Sorcha's, but do make sure the shop keeper shows you exactly how to position the mute on your violin. I purchased a practice mute yesterday and didn't take my violin in--and I must have done something wrong because the mute doesn't seem to fit though I've tried it several different ways.

I also learned mutes there's a little mute called the "orchestral mute" for performance and the practice one Sorcha mentioned. The orchestral mute for special effects is only a little over a dollar and the practice mute is a bit more than that. I don't know exactly how much 'cause I also bought Suzuki 4 and my total was about $12.00.

Wish you luck!

Theresa

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i tried a yamaha silent violin(an oxymoron eh?) in a store last week and found it to have great playability,perhaps,even a better feel than my old german copy.the sound through the headset was a bit weird,tinny with pretty cheesy reverb.also it was hard to tune,the pegs were stuck,immobile.all in all though,i would buy one in a heartbeat if i was having neighbour problems,as it seemed to be a usable means to an end.

find a store and try one out.a few fellow posters actually own one,if you check back a week or so...

scott

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I would also recommend the practice mute. But make sure to get the heavy one, made out of metal. The rubber ones do not mute as much. The mute really works, and you will be able to practice at any time you want. By the way, it will cost you about 20 bucks, way cheaper than a Yamaha violin.

[This message has been edited by acacio (edited 02-14-2000).]

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I have one myself and its a wikked instrument. By itself the sound is not great but when you plug in the earphones or the speakers the quality it amazing. Yamaha got it so that it can make you feel like your on a concert stage. This is also a great thing to play live, and 2 AA batteries will last you about 36 hours of consecutive play.

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Try Carty's Music in Ypsilanti, Michigan. If you don't want the case, which is kinda junky anyway, it'll be quite a bit cheaper. Carty's phone # is 734-483-4428. Ask for Trish Moroz.

quote:

Originally posted by Mairead:

Where's the least expensive place to buy? They list for US$895 and Shar want $795, yet I've heard that they can be had for $600. Anyone know where?

.

-

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I recently purchased the Yahama S.V. and I love it. I practise to my hearts content wherever and whenever I want. I did not find it hard to tune and the built in reverb sounds pretty fine to me. I bought the whole kit, the case is real nice but I'm not impressed with the bow.

If you can afford it - go for it!

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  • 1 year later...

I ordered a Silent from Discount Strings. It just arrived and I think it sounds fine, apart from a problem. It seems to me that the volume control is defective -- I've to turn it all the way up and turn my headset volume all the way up for it to be even close to normally audible. That doesn't seem right to me, but perhaps it's how they all are?

Another problem was tuning it -- there's no good way to do it! Even with everything all the way up, it didn't generate enough volume to excite my Korg tuner. And I had the headphone speaker right on top of the tuner's mike. I'd to hook up powered speakers to the headphone port to get enough volume!

So, does this sound like something defective to others who own one? It seems quite a nice fiddle otherwise.

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I like my Yamaha very much -- I think it is an especially good option for practicing while travelling. But it is *not* totally silent! It may not be that much quieter than an ordinary violin with a practice mute, so the suggestions that you try a mute first are good ones.

Mairead, you may be using the wrong kind of headphones. I use Walkman-type earphones. I don't know much about the technical differences, but I know they exist. Perhaps a more knowledgable person will chime in??

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The Yamaha will do you fine as a silent practice instrument. I really like to play it when we need some quiet in the house. The earphone thing is kinda a hassle and I don't use them at all....it might be a good idea to get a tiny practice amp and just set the volume low but that's your call. I got mine new for about $400 at a local music store so you'll be better off shopping around and finding the best price possible. The only reason I didn't get a mute as others suggest is because I'm in a band and needed an electric fiddle on stage....I didn't like the feedback from my pickup on my acoustic fiddle.

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I'm really only wondering whether all the volume controls have to be turned up to max before the sound is reasonable. In other words: are they all like this one?? When the dial on this one is turned halfway, it's essentially off. They say 'don't turn up the volume too high or you'll damage your hearing'. But there's no such worry with this unit.

Other than that, I like it fine and would probably not bother with the earphones very much, either. But I'd like to be able to use them if I like, and not strain to hear.

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quote:

Originally posted by Mairead:

I'm really only wondering whether all the volume controls have to be turned up to max before the sound is reasonable.

Hi Mairead:

You need to get some headphones that match the resistance (impedance?) of the violin's output in ohms. The headphones you are using need more power than the violin delivers.

If you can't find the resistance listed, maybe you can pick up a couple of different models and return the ones that don't work for you.

Brad

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Mairead...

Azeotrope is right..... the best headphones to use with this violin are the really cheap "earbud" type (two little earphones that go INSIDE your ear). Typically these come with a small plastic carrying case and sell for about $5 to $10.

I use them with my Yamaha and the volume is more than adequate (I usually play with the volume at around 50%). When I tried to play the violin with my larger more comfortable earphones, my experience was similar to yours.

Also, regarding tuning: Your tuner most probably has a 1/8" input jack. Buy a double-ended cable (one with a jack on both ends) and plug the instrument directly into the tuner. That should do it. If it doesn't, then you'll have to get used to a tuning fork....

Best of luck with your new instrument....

[This message has been edited by Ludwig (edited 03-26-2001).]

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hmmm...the ones I'm using are the $10 Koss ones with the sliding volume control. They're meant for pocket radios, pocket cd drives, and similar. But I've some of the earbud type, too, so I'll give them a go tomorrow.

Thanks for the advice. I'd prefer not to go through the nonsense of returning the fiddle if I needn't do.

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I wish I knew exactly how non-silent your Zeta is. You've the solid-body Educator, right?

I'm interested because the Yamaha is also not truly silent -- played it without power or headset, it's quite audible. Not audible enough to escape a closed room, but plenty audible under the ear. I would also characterise it as being about the strength of a fiddle with the heavy rubber practice mute on, but with a much better tone. I dislike using a practice mute on my 'real' fiddles because they sound dreadful. But the Yamaha doesn't sound bad at all. On the other hand, the Yamaha powered-up sounds much better than my ratty old wood fiddles -- something that surprised me. I'd someone tell me that his Yamaha sounded better than the $5K fiddle he'd had earlier on in his career, and I can about believe it.

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Okay, I brought in my 'ear buds' (Koss, in that little plastic case with the 'windup' feature.

Same poor sound levels.

I know I have a little work- and age-related deafness, but I find it hard to believe that this level could ever need a damage warning.

Sounds as though I've to send it back for replacement.

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Mairead, just a suggestion, perhaps you may wish to look for earphones with an impedance specification of 8 or if possible, 4 ohms. Quite a number of earphones are 16 ohms which may be too high resistance for your violin. I don't have an electric violin but I got similar experiences with my walkman earphone. The higher the impedance of the earphones, the softer the sound. Wish you all the best.

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