1930s German-made 4/4 Electrified "Silent" Violin

Above first clip is played through a Roland AC60 acoustic amp...

Above second clip is played through a tube electric guitar amp...

Silent violins (intended for practicing with very, very low volume) are not common at all, but they would have definitely been useful in the old days (and now, for that matter) when you don't want to kill your neighbors' ears with fiddle in the middle of the night. This style has been identified as German-made and from the '20s or '30s on various other sites across the net and I'd imagine that's probably true.

It came here in excellent condition and only needed a light cleaning, new bridge, new strings, and setup. I went a step further, however, and installed a K&K Twin Spot acoustic pickup under the bridge feet and mounted a jack coming out of the side opposite the chinrest. This lets the instrument pull double duty -- first as a nice, quiet, practice fiddle and second as a killer electric violin.

What's nice about the K&K used in this way is that it's very difficult to get feedback from it (I was cranking this into a tube amp right next to me and had no issues) and the signal has good output because the two sensors are under direct pressure from the bridge and strings. It also sounds pretty authentic (as much as any pickup-equipped-violin does) through the acoustic amp.

The instrument is just as lightweight as a "normal" violin and handles like one, too. This is welcome because a lot of modern electric violins try too hard to depart from the form. For me that's quite confusing when I pick one up, though I must admit I'm not much of a fiddler at all. I gave up on that road years ago, though I love hearing a good fiddler visit the shop and try the instruments out.

Repairs included: cleaning, a restring, setup, and adjustments. I also fit a K&K pickup.

Setup notes: it plays with low, fast, fiddle-style action. Strings are John Pearse Mezzos (like Thomastik Dominants). A player wanting a bit more of an aggressive sound could move to steel-core or stranded-steel-core strings. There's only a fine tuner for the high E string, however, so move to all-steel might be nice with 3 more fine tuners installed (or a set of 4:1 Pegheds tuners).

Scale length: 13"
Nut width: 7/8"
String spacing at nut: 11/16"
String spacing at bridge: 1 1/2"
Body length: 14"
Lower bout width: 7 3/4"
Waist width: 3 7/8"
Upper bout width: 6"
Side depth at endpin: 7/8"
Body wood: maple?
Neck wood: maple
Bracing type: solidbody
Fingerboard: ebony w/ebony tailpiece and fittings
Bridge: maple
Neck feel: medium C-shape

Condition notes: aside from the modifications to install a pickup, it's all-original and in great shape save for a replacement endpin and tailgut.

It comes with: a vintage hard case in OK shape -- with a cool Air France tag.