26 November 2013

Vi-Vi electro-acoustic violin

I found this on the VLM-Augustin website. The Vi-Vi electro-acoustic violin is a fusion of wood and carbon fibre and with a Stringamp pickup system.

The design is a quite traditional Chanot shape, which is often seen on carbon fibre violins. But the Vi-Vi has chosen spruce for the top and maple for the neck and scroll.

Later on there should be a cello with the same pickup system.

23 November 2013

Violin Bridges

from www.violinbridges.co.uk
I have been returning occasionally to this site, where you can see pics of old bridges from a lot of makers.

There are good points as to what the correct measurements are for a bridge.

The pictures include bridges for violin, viola, cello and double bass.

The bridges look so amazingly different so have a look  .

21 November 2013

Fourness Fuse Violin

It is a while ago I first heard of the Fuse violin by Fourness. At that time there was not any sound clips available and so I thought it was just a revival of the ZETA Jazz.

In the looks department there is nothing new, but the sound is a little different. It is always hard to evaluate sound quality from a youtube clip.

01 November 2013

20.000 visitors

I have since last december tried to post updates, test and news every time I had the time for it and now a year later my humble blog has reached 20.000 visitors.

30 October 2013

B-Band surprice

I did some tests with a colleagued, who needed a non-permanent pickup.

We took a good 4 hours trying out some of my pickups and mics.

The choice was for me a little surpricing: A B-Band 1470 pickup mounted in a certain spot on his fiddle and viola sounded great, both natural and with a good amount of feedback rejection.

I decided to make some further testing on this pickup. Hopefully, if time allows, I will be able to present some soundclips and more in depth thoughts on placement soon.

23 October 2013

Acoustic Image Flex

Acoustic Image is know for their high-power light weight acoustic amps.

They have recently introduced the Flex preamp/mixer and cabinet.

Both units work independently or connected via an RJ45 cable to form a powerful combo.

The preamp features 2 separate channels with xlr and 1/4" inputs, 4 band eq and 2 fx units.

The cabinet is equipped with 2 10" woofers and a 2.5" tweeter all powered separately.

21 October 2013

Vintage Revolution Acousticbox

I have been doing some research on blender/mixer preamps on behalf of a couple of my colleagues, who needed to blend a mic and pickup.

I came about this system I did not hear of before: Vintage Revolution Acousticbox and thought I would share my findings with you.

The unit is actually designed for Upright Bass and it features two channels, an active (phantom power) and a passive channel (designed for pickups). Both channels have 1 band of parametric EQ and mid-level adjustment. When summed an additional 3 band graphic eq is available.

05 October 2013

Jean Luc Ponty on his gear

I found this video of an interview with the Jazz and New Age violinist Jean Luc Ponty. He talks about his violins, pickups, preamps and effects.

Be aware that the video is made by D'Addario strings, so of course he also talks positively about their strings.

04 October 2013

Svend Asmussen

photo by Keld Navntoft 2010
One of the big icons in Danish music is Svend Asmussen.
He is of course famous for his fiddle playing on the many jazz recordings he have done, but he is also know as a talented multi instrumentalist and composer.
He has played with all the big names throughout  the history of jazz and continues to play at a very high level even at an age of 97.

I found a great interview written by Richard Brooks for Fiddle Magazine in 2005 (in 4 parts), which I would like to share with you: http://www.scvfa.org/newsletter/articles/SvendAsmussen_FiddlersRag2005_03-04-05.pdf

The article tells us about his life with music, about jazz and Svend Asmussens collaborations and recordings. There is also a part on his gear, violin and electronics, which I of course have read many times :-)

At the end there is a transcription of the song: Swing Manouche

25 September 2013

Sonic Violins - Electro Acoustic Violins

One brand of electro-acoustic violins I have not featured here on the blog, is actually a system I have known for a long time.

Here is a video with Richard, who is the owner of Sonic Violins, explaining about his system.

13 September 2013

DIY magnetic pickup for fiddle

Actually this is an DIY project about making an entire electric fiddle from scratch. I find the part about the magnetic pickup the most interesting.

See the project here

Not many makers of electric violins have been using magnetic pickups, I know of only a couple.

I think the problems described here are part of explanation, but never the less I find it striking that almost every electric guitar is made with electromagnetic pickups.

The violin in the picture was made by Siegmund Guitars and is not the one described in the project it is just quite beautiful i think.

12 September 2013

DIY in-bridge piezo

Paul Walster has a couple of nice projects on his blog.

This diy project is a little harder than a beginners level, but I found it very interesting and very nicely described.

Have a look at the project here:

11 September 2013

Clark Huckaby article on amplification

Clark Huckaby is a musician a musician, audio electronics technician and recording engineer. I found him while searching for good articles on amplification of fiddle.

While this article is a bit old I really found it to be quite interesting with some good info and observations.

It covers 4 subject: Microphones, pickups, preamps/amps/monitors and a chapter on how a pickup "hears" the bowing.

Read part 1 here, 2 here, 3 here and 4 here

09 September 2013

Hurley Pickups

I just found the Hurley Pickups website the other day.

The violin and cello pickups are rather conventional looking piezo wedge pickups, but they look well made.

Hurley Pickups also make a nice compact preamp for all of their piezo pickups. It has lots of gain and what seems like a variable lowpass filter.

Mishuyama active pickups

Found this very inexpensive Romanian pickup from Doze. The Mishuyama MV100-A is an active (buffered/preamped) piezo disc pickup for violins and violas.

Watch the video for mounting instructions :

There is alternative mounting instruction video here:

06 September 2013

Shenzo Gregorio amplified viola

I have not met a that many viola players playing amplified out there.

One of the players I found is Shenzo Gregorio, who has a couple of youtube videos on how to play the rock viola.

Quite fun videos, so I thought I would share them with you today so you have something to do in the weekend.

Here are part 1,  2 and 3 from Shenzo Gregorio

05 September 2013

Fiddlers gear links

I have been trying find out what gear and setups varies fiddlers have and here are a couple of links to their pages about the gear they use:

Aidan O'Rourke
Billy Currie
Casey Driessen
Erik Friedlander
Ian Cooper
Jean Luc Ponty
Jesus Florido
Michael Mullen
Nigel Kennedy

I would like to make the list as long as possible, so if you have a link please send it to me and I will add to this list.

03 September 2013

The bedroom recording session

I have earlier promised an article about microphone placement for violin, but I never really got around how to go about that topic.

In varies recording websites and magazines you can find general rules about where to locate a microphone to get a good sound from violin, viola, cello and so on.

This info can often be a good starting point and explain some general rules and the theoretical back ground of instrument recordings.

02 September 2013

New strings

Warchal announced the new Amber-E strings.

D'addario launched a new Kaplan Viola string set and a new Helicore Titanium-A to supplement the

A while ago Pirastro introduced the new Evah Pirazzi Gold set.

01 September 2013

JamHub Tracker MT16

Another new recording device, that caught my attention in regards to having a good quality recording of rehearsals or live gigs.

The JamHub Tracker MT16 is a 24bit/96Khz 16 track recorder similar to the Cymantic Audio LR16, but it has some more tricks up its sleeve.

JamHub Tracker can be connected to an existing JamHub setup, but it also has 8 inputs onboard and a special 16 channel breakout cable, which can be connected to any mixer.

USB hard discs or thumb drives as well as SD-cards can be used for recording storage. Recorded sessions can be uploaded wirelessly via wifi.

31 August 2013

DIY wireless violin mic

Here is a little DIY project for the weekend. This video demonstrates how to modify a headset microphone into a semi-permanent violin microphone.

The video is a bit fiddly, but I like the idea of modifying existing products into something useful for the fiddle.


30 August 2013

Soundpost Pickup

A couple of years ago I tried the Kurmann Soundpost pickup, which is popular among Irish fiddlers.
An unusual idea, which placed the pickup in the soundpost of your bowed instrument.
(The soundpost is the small piece of wood hold in place inside the violin, viola, cello or doublebass between the bottom and the top plate.)

Now there is another soundpost pickup on the market sold thorugh the Violorama website.

Where the Kurmann Soundpost had a special cable running from the instrument to a bespoke preamp with internal EQ filters. The Violorama soundpost has a more common RCA plug and a RCA cable to XLR plug with a built in FET buffer preamp with no EQ.

27 August 2013

Stringamp - Lilholt

Here at home I have for a long while been trying out a Stringamp system, which is one of the systems that goes the loudest before feedback.

Michael Edinger who is the maker of this system has been very patient and has been listening to all my comments.
I have been trying out different preamps with different systems trying to evaluate the system.

The other day I came by a youtube clip of Lars Lilholt, one of the most famous troubadours in Denmark, who incidentally also plays a Stringamped fiddle:

He plays a one minute solo at 2:56, where you can hear the Stringamps sound.

23 August 2013

Remic Strings

I just got this video from Thorkild, the microphone designer at Remic microphones.

This is a preview of their new line of microphones for strings, of which I have been testing the prototype v5200-lb. A test you can see and hear here on this blog.

I have also been testing two never versions of this mic and at the moment I am testing a wireless system consisting of the Remic V5200 and a Sony GB30 digital wireless system.

20 August 2013

Cymantic LR-16

Another recording device is the Cymantic LR-16.

It is a quite different approach to combine a mixer and a recorder, and most likely one of the simplest solutions around.

There is plenty of compact mixers with a 2 channel usb interface around and some even have a full fledged 16 i/o firewire interface.

The Cymantic LR-16 has 16 ins and 2 outs and is a stand alone 24bit/44-48khz recorder. (you just add a HD or thumb drive via USB). Or it can double as a 24bit/96khz USB audio interface.

It is fed from the inserts of your mixer with regular TRS jacks to hardwired inputs. You do not need to arm the right tracks but just hit the record button, simple.

19 August 2013

Zoom H6

This is of course not a product exclusively for fiddles.

I have choosen to tell about the Zoom H6 because it fits well with the segment of players that plays solo, duo or in small bands using a small number of channels on the mixer.

The H6 is a six-channel hardware recorder using SD flash Cards and it has a lot of nice features in a resonably compact case.

Among the features are the possibility of adding microphone modules: An XY stereo module, A mid-side module, a shotgut and a 2 channel preamp.

16 August 2013

Acoustic Electric Strings Fiddle Jack

Acoustic Electric Strings have been introducing a variety of interesting fiddle products in the last years.

They recently released The Fiddle Jack; a cable with a mono jack and a microphone on a gooseneck with a clip in one end and a mono jack and xlr connector in the other.

This allows the fiddler to use a blend of microphone and pickup for a feedback resistant and natural sound or use the microphone in the PA front and pickup in the monitors.

15 August 2013

Microphone vs. pickup for fiddle

I talk to a lot of fiddlers who wants advice on their stage amplification gear.

Questions about what microphone or pickup to use and with what amplifier or PA.

These questions have so many variables that they are hard to answer.

I have myself done much experimenting and found many good systems.

14 August 2013

Volta acoustic-electric violin

I just found this video review of a new acoustic-electric violin called the Volta.

The system is made with a specially chosen violin by the Long Island Violin Shop and paired with the Stringamp transducer system.

There are three quality grades of violins to choose from and they come in both 4 and 5 string versions.

13 August 2013

Headway adds new preamps to their lineup

Headway has recently added two new preamps to the product lineup.

The EDM-1 is a very compact 1 channel preamp suitable for both pickups and mics.

The EDB-2 will replace the well reviewed EDB-1. A 2 channel preamp with assignable EQ to either channel or both.

The EDB-1 is now discontinued but I have just bought one and will test it as soon as it gets here.

09 August 2013

Wittner Isny shulder rest

I have seen this concept before, but Wittner is taking it a step further and combining a shoulder rest and a chin rest.

The idea is of course to minimize contact to the vibrating body of the instrument.

I will have to test it in order to find out how comfortable is really is

05 August 2013

Headway vl3 and EDB-1 preamp

Here is a video of the Headway vl-3 pickup. An in-bridge pickup with 2 piezo elements.

This test is made a follows:

"The VL3 Bridge Pickup on Chinese made Violin was recorded onto Hard Disc, via Headway EDB-1 DI Box, recorded with flat EQ. This was played back via EDB-1 DI Box into Headway Shire King 120 Acoustic Amp, which was Mic'd up using AKG C414 Condenser Mic., to achieve a recording of live type sound, using all Headway gear entirely from pickup No microphones were used while recording fiddle.

Amp controls were set with flat EQ, tiny amounts of EQ cuts were applied from EDB-1 on 5 band EQ controls ( 0-3 dB) to balance room, Instrument and speaker cabinet sounds etc. A small amount of reverb was the only outboard treatment used."

I would of course like to test this one as well. This test is good, but Headway is clearly is making this sound as good as possible (why should they not?), I would like to hear a sound sample before eq and reverb was added.

04 August 2013

Dazzolin violin PU

I found this video of the Dazzolin pickup. It is a comparison to the L R Baggs in bridge pickup.

I am not sure if both pickups are used with the same preamp, and I do not know which preamp is used.
Also I do not know if it is the same violin used - It looks like two different fiddles? In my opinion both pickups should have been mounted on the same violin and the comparison made in one go for the best evaluation.

I would of course like to test this pickup myself. This would make it is easier to compare with the others tested here on my blog.

25 June 2013

Pedal chain - which goes where?

I have often wondered about this myself.

- Where do I put my octaver in relations to my delay?

I have found a lot of good sounds by dialing in good tones in every pedal and connecting them in different order.

- What is the "right" way to chain your effects?

Well I guess there is no "right" way. But perhaps the are more sensible logical ways.

I have found great basic help here at the Boss site:



20 May 2013


Just hit the 12.000 visitors mark today!!

Thanks to everybody for watching this blog.

12 May 2013

String gauges for bowed instruments

Many fiddlers talk much about strings. There are bunches of threads on different forums and a lot of questions about which strings sound and feel the best overall.

I have done a lot of experimentation with strings playing both the violin, viola and occasionally the cello and double bass.

One thing, which is often overlooked when talking about strings are gauges.

08 May 2013

Tav TB-38 pickup

The Tav TB-38 pickup is a Spanish designed pickup system for violin and viola.
They have pickups for every kind of acoustic instruments.

The tested TB-38 pickup is mounted and held in place by pressure under the low-side foot (g/c) of the bridge and there is a short wire terminated in a standard female RCA connector.

See more at the Tav website:

24 April 2013

Violin & viola EQ and frequencies part ll

This is my second part on how to use EQ with your bowed instrument.

This time I am going to give a some "hands on" practical use when playing with a piezo pickup.  You will be able hear the difference for yourself in my sound clips and hopefully be on your way to better sounding gig and recordings.

04 April 2013

Elkit - Murholt pickup

This is an integrated violin and pickup system.
It was built by the Danish luthier Richard Murholt in 1988.

Murholt has built instruments for some of the most famous Danish jazz fiddlers.

The pickup system was based on a design called Elkit which Murholt crafted into the instruments he built.

Elkit is a electrodynamic pickup and works much like a ribbon microphone, with the strings being the ribbon.

Murholt refined the Ekilt system and added a possibility of balancing the strings with 4 small potentiometers and he added a new transformer to the preamp.

04 February 2013

Violin & viola EQ and frequencies part l

When playing in an amplified setting it is good to know some of the key frequencies in the tonal spectrum of the violin.

This will make it a lot easier to target the right frequencies when eq'ing and to communicate with the sound engineer in a language he understands.

Knowing the frequency for each string is only a small part of understanding what is going on.
The harmonics of each note are a big part of the perceived tone and timbre of a bowed instrument.

03 February 2013

Carbon Copy analog delay

A delay is a versatile effect for the fiddle and can color the tone in a broad range of genres - from folk over blues, jazz and rock.

The MXR Carbon Copy is a simple analog delay. It has 3 control knobs and a push-button for activating the modulation option.