Technology

Stepping back in time with the Yamaha SV250 Silent Electric Violin

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sv250I remember I was about 4 years old. The blue painted shutters in my infant school terrapin building, the metal carpeted steps leading up to the door to the music room. Inside there were about 6 orange plastic chairs and white plastic coated MDF desks. To one corner there were a selection of leather boxes of different shapes with brass locks on. The teacher went over to the boxes and opened one. Inside was a shiny gold object with a funnel and some intricate loops and components – it was a trumpet. She then opened one next to it and it opened out like a suitcase but it was an oblong shape, not square. In the top half was a purple velvet cloth concealing a long wooden stick with a strip of fine white material running down along the length. I walked over and she handed it to me. I was curious about the material. “It’s horse hair” the teacher told me. “It’s perfect for making a sound when it strikes the string.” Then I looked down into the box and the orange, crimson and charcoal from the wood made me double take. The shape of the instrument was stunning, it looked as though one of Santa’s elves must have carved it in their secret grotto – it was of course a violin.

Beginning playing in the music classroom I was soon being taken to private lessons after school and before long I was practising every day.  I went through the grades and played in orchestras around Birmingham until I was about 14.  Life took over however and being a teenager travelling over 2-3 hours to school every day I didn’t have time to carry on playing. After a year or so the violin was sold and I never played again – until that was I heard about the Yamaha’s new range of silent violins. Nearly 20 years has passed since I last picked up a violin and while researching a range of digital synths I came across an article about electric violins.

Given the laws of physics that govern a vibrating string, the only truly silent violin is one not being played! Even the most skeletal electric violin body has enough mass to amplify a string so it can be heard to the player. Yamaha’s innovation was to add a standard headphone jack so the player can listen at normal volume while their neighbour, or their family in the next room, is undisturbed.

The SV250 is designed to meet the needs of the professional and high class amateur performer wanting an amplified violin sound for all genres of music. This violin established a new benchmark for sound quality and player comfort. With its weight of only around 500g it has the same feel as a traditional acoustic violin enabling the violinist to easily convert from acoustic to our new silent violin. The innovative dual pick up system allows the performer to a blend the tone quality from edgy electric to a rich acoustic sound and an external control box contains a powerful pre-amp, master volume control, treble and bass tone controls, as well as quarter inch and XLR balanced outputs. Both the SV250 and SV255 models are crafted from seasoned flamed maple, spruce top and fitted with ebony pegs, fingerboard.

Testing the Yamaha was a fantastic experience, like stepping back into my childhood. There are so many hours of enjoyment to be had here. From the classic acoustic setting to a jazz and even a rock sound the silent violin has a range of playing options for all music tastes. Whoever said the violin wasn’t the coolest instrument about may just be eating their words once they’ve tested out the SV250.

To purchase this violin, or any of Yamaha’s fantastic products simply visit their dealer search pages by clicking here.

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