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Electric Violins 101

Electric violins      Custom hand-crafted electric violins

Electric Violin Gear

Here’s a selection of equipment that I have personally used and found to be complementary to my electric violins. Some of it I can supply to you directly and the rest you should be able to find yourself. Please support your local music store!

The Hook

After many years of experimentation I have devised a solution to a problem that plagues many violinists.

The Hook enables any player to hold a violin without stress, fatigue or causing physical pain. It is a non-intrusive device that does not interfere in any way with the regular motions of fingering and positioning the instrument.

It gives a player absolute confidence that the violin is firmly held upon the shoulder. The freedom to remove the chin from the chinrest relaxes the neck and jaw muscles, opens up the breathing and permits a far more natural approach to violin playing.

Improvements in intonation, vibrato and tone will be easily noticed within minutes of mounting the Hook on a violin. It mounts in seconds to a standard Kun-style shoulder rest and does not harm the violin or the shoulder rest in any way.


The Clarus from Acoustic Image

The Clarus is a compact and powerful integrated amplifier
for acoustic and electric instruments. Combining a flexible four-band preamp section and a 300 watt amplifier in a compact 5 pound package, it provides transparent, powerful and accurate sound reproduction across the full frequency spectrum.

When combined with a high quality speaker system, the Clarus facilitates the ultimate in sound reproduction. All this in a package that is so small and lightweight that it is dwarfed by amplifiers of comparable features and output.

Despite its reasonable cost, the Clarus doesn’t skimp on features. A sophisticated preamp section provides 4-band equalization, a selectable notch or high pass filter, effects looping and a balanced direct out.

list: $875    
my price: $785 Can

Haggerty Violin Cabinet

In collaboration with Haggerty Enclosures we have designed a small but powerful full range cabinet that matches perfectly with the Acoustic Image amplifier.

Rated at 150 watts with a frequency range of 35-20,000 hz.

Can be ordered with extra rack spaces to hold amplifiers and effects processors.

Also available in custom hardwoods, a walnut version is shown.


$750 with 1-4 rack spaces

$1,195 in Select Hardwoods

Digitech RP50

This is as small and inexpensive as it gets. A few years ago you would have paid hundreds for this much processing power.

It doesn’t have a lot of editing capabilities but at this price it’s a great little unit, even if you only use it for the reverb.


Digitech RP200

My personal favorite that I take to every practice and gig. Easy to program, it contains a preamp, a tuner, drum machine, computer models of famous amplifiers etc, etc. The best part is the built in pedal which can be programmed to control any of the parameters such as volume, length of delay, wah-wah etc.


Carbon-Graphite Bow

I’m offering these bows as some players have difficulty finding them at more traditional shops.

I personally use one for those gigs where gear is likely to get knocked about or possibly stolen.

Computer designed stick made of carbon graphite fiber yields a highly responsive bow intended for more advanced players.

Features nickel silver windings, leather grip and a fully lined ebony frog with Parisian eye. ~62 grams.


LR Baggs Para DI

Still the best unit out there for the price. It does it all.

Controls input and output volume, adjusts tone, suppresses feedback, has an XLR out and an effects loop.


Galaxy Hot Spot Monitors

After most gigs the biggest gripe is always the quality of the monitors. This is especially true for violinists. As we have no frets, when the volume gets cranked up it becomes increasingly harder to determine pitches.

A large floor mounted monitor is nice but I find a smaller monitor mounted closer to my ears is the best. That’s where these babies shine.

Mounted on a mic stand at ear level they provide a clear and powerful sound. They come in a powered (140 watts) and unpowered versions.

$99 unpowered
$290 powered

Vector /EMG Preamp

Not everybody needs a fancy preamp, sometimes all that is needed is a basic buffer/preamp that conditions the signal from your violin before it travels to the amp or pa.

This is the same unit as I use onboard just mounted in a box with an INPUT and OUTPUT and access to the 9-volt battery.


Samson Airline Wireless

These are great little units. Lightweight and unobtrusive they give the flexibility to roam about on stage or at a function.

Also invaluable when you don’t have a soundman as you can wander to the back of the venue while playing and get a better idea of the mix from the stage.