Hi, and thanks for stopping by . . .
I started developing this electric-style magnetic pickup in 2011-2012 because I needed a cheap pickup, and I wanted a pickup that could handle hardcore volume without feedback. It's the DIY story of a geeky experimental violinist. Creating the pickup has been a learning experience, and I hope other fiddlers and violinists can enjoy the results.
The pickup is not for everyone: It doesn't reproduce the sound of an acoustic violin any more than an electric guitar sounds like an acoustic. But it may be the perfect pickup for some. If you're helping me out by testing one of my pickups, I can't thank you enough for your honest opinion. If you came to this site for other reasons and a magnetic pickup appeals to you, please contact me.
Electric-Style pickups are . . .
guitar-style magnetic dual-coil pickups for violin/viola. They
- are inexpensive. (I'm estimating a retail price of $50~$90.)
- limit electrical buzz and humm.
- can handle high-volume performances without uncontrollable feedback.
- are easy to use with your current instrument.
- quickly attach and detach from any violin with a standard fingerboard.
Electric-Style pickups are not. . .
for most purists, because they
- require steel strings.
(Cheap metal strings are OK!)
- are not intended to replicate an acoustic sound.
(Think: electric guitar vs. acoustic guitar.)
- are much more visible than most piezo pickups.
(I kinda like the retro look.)
- are also much more "interactive" than most piezo pickups.
(You won't be able to play the really high notes at the top couple inches of the fingerboard, you may have to adjust your bowing slightly, and--because all violins are different--you'll have to adjust the location of the pickup (as shown in the video) to find the sweetest spot.)
If this pickup was a car, it would be a muscle car, not a Porsche.
Who might like an Electric-Style pickup?
- Distortion and effect-lovers who seek more of a raw, vintage sound fit for many guitar pedals.
- musicians who play tour-de-force concerts.
- fiddle-players who enjoy the twang of steel strings.
- students who don't have the budget to spend on expensive pickups or electric instruments.
- Cross-genre players who would rather carry a pickup than purchase a second instrument.
. . . and anyone who's been on the road with your acoustic fiddle when you run into the opportunity to plug into an amp and jam--if only you had your electric!
- Rare-earth magnets positioned close to each string for maximum signal.
- Two opposing wire coils cancel background radio signals and electric hum, similar to guitar humbucker pickups.
- Cherry chassis looks beautiful and fits snugly under your fingerboard.
- Can be attached and detached in less than ten seconds.
- Held in place by elastic: No sticky tape or no clips!
- 10' name-brand cable permanently attached, so there's no loose connections.