LumberJocks

Silent/Electric Violin

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Project by Dave Rutan posted 07-30-2020 10:40 PM 954 views 1 time favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is another one of these projects that I thought about for a while. But since the Covid-19 Zombie Apocalypse, I felt I wanted a way to practice my fiddle that made as little sound as possible for the outside world.

I built the body of the instrument from soliid mahogany, joining the parts with half-lap joints. I bought the neck/scroll/fingerboard commercially and fit them to the instrument. Then I finished the whole thing (fingerboard removed) with spray lacquer. The nut and saddle are cherry. (It’s a signature thing I do.)

The electronic componant is a simple peizo pickup set in a well I created in the back directly under where the bridge of the instrument sits. A normal 1/4 inch jack lets me plug in a full amplifier or the simple headphone amp that I bought. (see below)

I set up the instrument, putting Prelude (brand) strings on it. This is the first time I used these vs our standard, Red Label (brand) student strings. I like them. They feel more springy to me.

How does it sound?

Well, it sounds very much like an electric fiddle. I plugged it into an amplifier at work and it was certainly loud enough. With my headphone amp it sound loud enough to hear. [EDIT] A pair of old school computers speakers can also be plugged into the headphone amp if you want to play without headphones and do not have a proper amplifier. [EDIT END] I need to get a clip on tuner though since the tuner app on my phone can’t hear the notes unless I’m in a totally silent room.

If you want some more detail on the build, I posted a blog series while I was doing it. You can find it here: [link]

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!





23 comments so far

View pottz's profile

pottz

20624 posts in 2224 days


#1 posted 07-30-2020 11:23 PM

thats pretty damn cool,ive never seen an instrument like that.too bad we cant do sound on lj’s id love to hear that play.nice work dave.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View LittleBlackDuck's profile

LittleBlackDuck

8095 posts in 2060 days


#2 posted 07-30-2020 11:48 PM

Novel and neat job.. an interesting instrument a Silent Violin...

Below is a picture of an Air Guitar I made.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

3321 posts in 3430 days


#3 posted 07-30-2020 11:49 PM

Very nice craftsmanship Dave, the woodwork and finish are beautiful. I agree with pottz, we need to hear this.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

2009 posts in 3428 days


#4 posted 07-31-2020 12:03 AM



Very nice craftsmanship Dave, the woodwork and finish are beautiful. I agree with pottz, we need to hear this.

- Oldtool

I will make a very short video playing something simple. I was trying for something a little vmore involved, but it just wouldn’t work for me.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

2009 posts in 3428 days


#5 posted 07-31-2020 12:04 AM



thats pretty damn cool,ive never seen an instrument like that.too bad we cant do sound on lj s id love to hear that play.nice work dave.

- pottz

What I can do is make a YouTube video and embed it here in a comment or add it to the body of the post.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

2009 posts in 3428 days


#6 posted 07-31-2020 12:06 AM

Also, I just added an edit to the main post consisting of this:

—A pair of old school computers speakers can also be plugged into the headphone amp if you want to play without headphones and do not have a proper amplifier.—

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

2009 posts in 3428 days


#7 posted 07-31-2020 12:21 AM

Another thing I noticed is that no matter where I tap the instrument, I can hear it in my headphones just the same. So It’s as if the location of the pickup isn’t very important.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View pottz's profile

pottz

20624 posts in 2224 days


#8 posted 07-31-2020 12:41 AM


thats pretty damn cool,ive never seen an instrument like that.too bad we cant do sound on lj s id love to hear that play.nice work dave.

- pottz

What I can do is make a YouTube video and embed it here in a comment or add it to the body of the post.

- Dave Rutan


yeah if that works do it dave.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

2009 posts in 3428 days


#9 posted 07-31-2020 12:57 AM

Blimey, that was quick. This made the Daily Top Three!

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8414 posts in 1822 days


#10 posted 07-31-2020 01:37 AM

Nice work, Dave! And yeah, I think with the piezo pickups, the location is less important, since the wood will conduct sound around.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View HerringImpaired's profile

HerringImpaired

106 posts in 949 days


#11 posted 07-31-2020 02:58 AM

Looks like you could use some new strings….


Novel and neat job.. an interesting instrument a Silent Violin...

Below is a picture of an Air Guitar I made.

- LittleBlackDuck


-- "My greatest fear is that upon my demise, my wife will sell my tools for what I said I paid for them."

View htl's profile

htl

5576 posts in 2399 days


#12 posted 07-31-2020 04:37 AM

That is one nice looking sound [music] making machine!!!

-- An Index Of My Model making Blogs https://www.lumberjocks.com/htl/blog/130264

View Ivan's profile

Ivan

17004 posts in 4107 days


#13 posted 07-31-2020 06:58 AM

Dave, that design is so incredible snd unique! I bet it sound like heaven.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Peteybadboy's profile

Peteybadboy

3997 posts in 3189 days


#14 posted 07-31-2020 09:52 AM

That is amazing.

-- Petey

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

2009 posts in 3428 days


#15 posted 08-01-2020 01:22 AM

As requested, a sample of me badly playing the electric/silent fiddle. Remember you asked! Click on the picture below or here: [link]

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

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