Electric violins are being used to rejuvenate interest in classical music. Whether you are a musical student that is looking for something extra out of the learning experience, or a professional in search of a new toy, the electric violin can be an engaging bridge between classical and rock music. The seasoned veteran can tinker; adding new effects to the sounds of his playing can make the entire experience new again. The newbie gets to learn an instrument that is fresh and modernized. Both types of violinists get a great way to entertain company. Of course, purchasing a violin of any kind is likely to be an expensive ordeal. However, there are some affordable options out there such as the Cecilio 4/4 CEVN-1BK Solid Wood Electric/Silent Violin. Do not let the long name fool you; this is a straight forward electric violin. Just how well will it suit you? Let’s find out.
Straight up, the $499.99 retail price for this instrument is a bit steep. However, the discounted price available on Amazon makes this electric violin much, much more appealing. The product is sold by Amazon directly, so you know your provider is reliable. You get a great instrument for the price, but you need to understand that you are unlikely to find yourself lighting up a concert stage with any violin in this price range. Purchasing a violin of this price is either for those who are testing the waters before eventually making a larger investment, or as a supplementary instrument on the side for you to have fun with. The price is right for this particular violin; just keep your expectations in check.
Before purchasing a violin, you need to recognize that the body of the instrument is your chief investment. The instrument itself is not flimsy, but the strings and other parts are likely to need replacement over a handful of years (depending on the amount of use, of course). You are not paying for a finely finished instrument that will last indefinitely. This being said, the CEVN-1BK Solid Wood Electric/Silent Violin is sturdy enough to last until you determine whether you want to pursue the musical field further. The violin in its entirety weighs in at a respectable five pounds. The case is amply cushioned and light weight with an exterior zipper for small accessories. Upon opening, there are multiple compartments for gear storage. It is worth mentioning that the case’s portability and flexibility does not undermine its solidity.
While the case is a pretty solid and durable little carrier, you won’t find it winning any style points. The instrument itself, on the other hand, has a sleek and sophisticated look. It mixes the hollow-aired look of an electric violin with a variety of options when it comes to color. Perhaps the traditional mahogany varnish brings the instrument the most class. Other colorful options include blue, white, black metallic, and yellow. The fingerboard, chin rest, and other attachments to the violin’s body are ebony.
A Special Recommendation
When the Cecilio 4/4 CEVN-1BK Solid Wood Electric/Silent Violin arrives at your door, you will find that the strings are not tuned. For the avid violinist this may not be a problem, but for novices the tuning process can prove complicated. It is recommended that you spend the extra money getting your new violin professionally set up/tuned at a music shop. As is common with violin strings, they will need to be broken in over a period of time. During this time, the strings may become out of tune until they eventually “relax”. Use something like sandpaper to scrape up your rosin, apply the rosin to your bow liberally, and proceed breaking in your new electric violin.
A shoulder rest is not included, so you will have to purchase your own. Some customers have complained about the quality of rosin and strings. The strings have been known to snap when tuning, you may want to replace them with better quality. Keep the headphones as a backup pair but buy a better set for yourself. Some manufacturer problems have been found such as crooked bows, but these problems are covered under a warranty. The bridge might be too high for some customers. You can have a professional help you with this problem should you have it, or you can research adjusting the bridge online. As said before, expect to upgrade/change out a few of the components.
This type of electric violin is unique in that it emits a low amount of physical sound when you play it. Simply hook up your headphones (it is recommended to invest in a pair outside of the one provided to you), and lose yourself in your own musical world while leaving your neighbors in peace. If hooked up to a quality amplifier, this instrument will surprise you with its clarity of sound.
Volume and tone buttons on the back of the violin allow you to adjust your musical experience on the fly. The controls are powered by a 9v alkaline battery which comes included in your purchase. Mongolian horse hair stretches across a bow fashioned of Brazilian wood. Line-in and headphone jacks are included on the violin, along with a 1/8” output that can be connected to an amp (not included) with the aux cable (included). The electric violin also comes with a solid block of rosin.
Your purchase of the CEVN-1BK comes with a one year warranty against manufacturer’s defects. As of this writing, this product enjoys a review rating of 3.8/5.0 on Amazon. Many of the lower reviews are people who expect too much out of such an affordable product. Granted, Cecilio should shift their marketing strategy from students, intermediates and professionals alike to exclude professionals. This instrument is ideal for beginners or as a practice/backup instrument. It perhaps best serves as a novelty for innovators who enjoy playing with new sounds and effects. To clarify: if you are a professional then it is recommended to pass on this instrument. Cecilio’s electric violin is, however, highly recommended for people starting out.