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Yamaha silent violin, to buy or not???


GK
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Oh dear, you guys nailed the problem. Thanks. My wee Koss buds resist at 27 Ohms, and my usual Kosses at 32. Anyone have a brand recommendation? Koss don't offer anything below 16 Ohms, saddening to say.

Rowka, I've been driving them from the wall supply, actually. I completely agree, tho, that the batteries would be part of the problem in the ordinary way of things. I've never had batteries come with that were fresh. This one actually came with some off-brand rechargeables fitted, but of course they were completely flat.

[This message has been edited by Mairead (edited 03-27-2001).]

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If you can get 16 ohms, I think you can expect a double increase in volume as compared to your Koss 32 ohms. Your violin manual may have also specified something regarding the earphones and the jack. I cannot recall the specifications of any makes right now to give you a recommendation though - sorry.

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I had the same problem as Mairead with the volume and ended up returning my Yamaha. I tried every kind of earphones I could find, but the volume was just never there (sounded kind of tinny and far away).

Also, I was disappointed that it wasn't "silent"--I expected to be able to fiddle around in the same room as my husband watching tv, but that is just not possible--the external sound the strings make is just too loud!

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The word "silent," when it comes to violins, is relative..... I don't think Yamaha expects anyone to believe the instrument is TOTALLY silent.... It would be acoustically impossible to build a totally silent violin....

It's quieter than a regular violin with a monster mute.... with a clear advantage: you can use headphones and hear yourself playing in a concert hall (however "cheesy" the reverb is) with someone watching TV in the same room....

How are you able to practice in a room with the TV on anyway?

You violinists just want EVERYTHING.....

[This message has been edited by Ludwig (edited 03-27-2001).]

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I will get mine via UPS within the next few hours. I'll try to pin down this microphone bit with my Yamaha. I'll try a pair of Koss HP/6 headphones that came with my laptop, a pair of bud earphones I use with an ancient Soundblaster 16, and failing that will pick up a headphone amp from Radio Shack ($30).

I was unable to find 8 or 4 ohm impedance headphones after searching the web. The Koss I have are 32 ohm with a built in volume control. I don't know what the earbuds are. Anyone know what the output impedance of the violin is?

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well I have had the same problem with my practicing dusturbing my tenants, wife, daughter etc...

Tried the practice mute and it muted so many overtones that I didn't like it. The killer though, was that since it compressed the wood in my bridge, once removed my violin sounded VERY "metallic" four about three hours afterwards until the wood expanded again. ANd then it was not quiet enough.

So I looked into the Silent Violins, and I got one. Not a Yamaha though, a Tanaka Silent Violin via nashville Used Music.

It is basically a Chinese knockoff of the Yamaha for a little over 1/4 of the retail price of the Yamaha. Case too. I was concerend over build quality, reliability and sound production.

The build is just fine (although I think I will have my luthier replace the bridge -- slightly too tall) it is a very sturdy instrument. I think It could stand to have a better pickup but it sounds adequate through the phones. Reverb is adequate. You can hook it up to a CD player but I haven't tried this yet.

Anyway, for $250 I got a violin that is quiter than a practice mute, and I don't have to change my playing style. It is not perfect, but close enough to allow me to practice for additional hours a night without the annoying tone production of the practice mute (not to say that this has all its overtones). If a Yamaha performs close to what the Tanaka does, I would be upset about having spent all that money. But for $250 I think I got my money's worth. And frankly, you don't even need to use headphones, it is eminently playable without.

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From what I understand, the main difference between the Yamaha and the cheaper knockoffs is the quality of the pickup. In the cheaper instruments, there appears to be a lag between the moment the string is bowed and the moment you hear the sound it makes. I've heard that the problem is not THAT noticeable, but I've only tried the Yamaha. There is absolutely no lag -- what you play is what you hear.

I recommend the Yamaha for reasons which I've brought up before.... playing a violin with a mute sounds like a violin with a mute. Playing a Yamaha (with headphones) sounds like you're playing your violin in a concert hall.... but nobody else can hear you.

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I myself have been having fun on my Tanaka Silent Violin, too. It serves as a great practice instrument, though, as ckrupsha mentioned earlier, it comes with a very high bridge. Still, you can change most of the "accessories" on the Tanaka-new bridge, shoulder rest, chin-rest, pegs and tailpiece! I even painted it! smile.gif

August

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I will have to wait until tomorrow (again) to get my Yamaha, because UPS has the intelligence of a rock. I will pick it up, rather than trust them (again) to properly add the suite number which Discount Strings omitted from their shipping lable. Arrrrrgh! So much for same day shipping, I ordered this thing a week and a half ago frown.gif

I called Yamaha and had them submit an inquiry to somewhere for the output impedance of the violin. I'm not holding my breath, but they tried to be helpful.

Brad

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I just wanted to ammend my comments above after trying a few things out...

If you get a tanaka violin, ditch the included headphones and get a 410 pair of Sony earbuds. Worlds of difference. Also ditch the chinese strings and put on Dominants or whatever your 'preferred' brand is. I tried the yamaha at a dealer today and well... there was perceptible difference in tone, but none that merited the price difference in my mind. In regards to the delay that Ludwig speaks of; there is none at all on my Tanaka.

I have to say that I am VERY impressed with it for a $250 instrument. You certainly get what you pay for (Half decent free case, Fibergalss bow w/ horsehair, rosin, headphones, Kun type rest, line in/out cable). I can't speak to durability of the electronics as I have only had it a short while.

And August is right, you can replace just about everything, including the tailpiece.

I got mine via Ebay too, my first positive ebay experice (of 2 smile.gif )

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Hey! I got it! smile.gif A coworker flagged down the UPS guy and he searched the truck.

Setup took just a couple of minutes, tuned easy. Output volume is quieter than I would like with the Koss HP/6 headphones and their volume slider all the way up. I'm guessing about half the volume I would hear on my acoustic with the Yamaha volume cranked up. It's OK, but I'm still going to try to get it 2X louder.

I'll try the ear buds when I get home, as well as those from a Walkman I forgot I had.

I'm happy, but I'l have to adjust the shoulder rest... it feels different than my other Kun.

Brad

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I had to turn the volume down on the Yamaha violin with both the cheap earbuds and the Walkman headphones I tried. I don't know what the earbuds are, but probably old Sony's or Kmart specials. The Walkman phones are Sony MDR-W10 (also the in-the-ear type). I couldn't find posted values for impedence for either set. With the earbuds I could hear humming in the background, but it wasn't bad. These headphones are in the $10 range I think.

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  • 4 weeks later...

My experience: Acoustic vs Yamaha Silent

I have an acoustic violin which I found too loud for playing where I live. I bought a heavy metal mute, which helped a lot, though not as much as a wanted. So I purchased a yamaha, and it wasn't as silent as I had hoped, but still not as loud as the acoustic with a mute.

The yamaha feels very much like a normal violin.. and the reverb function is pretty cool.

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Yamaha seem to have poor QC at their factory (it's in Malasia, I believe). I've now been sent 3 different copies and all have behaved differently. All were too soft in the ear, I'd agree ca. 0.5 the volume of my acoustic. The second one also had an annoying bit of static. The third one was about 10-25% louder than the other 2, but still substandially less than my acoustic. I don't really want to carry an amplifier around in order to use it, so I'm not sure what I'll do. Of five reported here, only 1 sounds [npi] as though it has adequate internal amplification, so that seems like my chances are poor of getting one that will sound right under the ear.

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Friday I brought home a brand new yamaha Silent Violin -- I'm comparing it against a Keebler, and that pretty teal blue Barcus Berry acoustic/electric.

I have no complaints about the sound level of the earphones.

I don't know how I'm going to make a decision which to keep, though. ::wail::

-deb

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