Five string acoustic-electric violin – review

Posted by jerry on December 28th, 2007 — Posted in Journal, Music

As the Lindo five string ‘hammerhead’ acoustic/electric violin emerged from its wrapping I knew this was going to be a special Christmas 🙂

five string violin

five string violin

The first thing that struck me was the excellent finish on the instrument. That, and the sensible placement of parts – the amplifier lead jack is well placed for the lead to go over the left shoulder, although the headphone socket is underneath – but not obtrusive when playing.

So what is it like to play?
I was relieved that my wolf shoulder rest fitted perfectly without a tendency to fall off, making the instrument nice and secure feeling. It is well balanced with the heavier electrics close to the chest – it is very comfortable to play.

The big difference is that with five strings running down a standard fingerboard, the placement is close together – something I addressed quickly, if partially, by moving the strings across the bridge a little. The bridge curvature is good allowing good note separation, although I need to get used to slightly different bow positions to avoid playing the wrong string.

The low C rings well despite its relatively low tension and even acoustically it is not much quieter than a fully acoustic instrument. The hollow body gives good resonance and is a long way from the ‘cigar box’ sound of some electric instruments.

My first impression is that with a little getting used to this will be a very versatile instrument, allowing good crossover into the deeper part of the sound spectrum. And for a small band this will enable great mid-range fill-ins on songs and some versatility on tune variations. I do have a viola but it’s good to be able to play the low viola stuff without having to adjust my finger position from the violin. As a result I will be able to be more versatile on stage without having to change instruments.

I love playing slow airs on this fiddle making good use of the low strings.

The electrics
The electrics are good with the low strings sounding clean and crisp through a Behringer mixer/pre-amp and Roland cube amp, although I did boost the bass a little and clipped some off the treble. Through the supplied headphones the C string fills out beautifully. Either way there was little hum from the electrics. The integrated pick-ups means that there is nothing clamped on. And the volume and tone knobs are in easy reach.

five string violin

What’s in the box

  • The violin
  • beautiful well-padded case with shoulder strap
  • Brazil-wood bow
  • set of spare strings
  • rosin
  • headphones
  • lead to plug into amplifier

Sum up
This is a well-made acoustic-electric instrument with a good sound – if a little thin in the purely acoustic mode. If you don’t mind getting used to the strings being closer together then this is an excellent value for money package with good quality accessories included in the price.



Comment by spiritmourn


Great review – has helped lots.

However, I’m looking for a fully electric 5-string, do you have any recommendations? So far I’ve looked at (not tried) Brewer, Wood and Bridge. I also wondered whether machine heads made any significant difference to the sound/tuning?

Sorry for all the questions – all guidance appreciated

Posted on February 9, 2008 at 4:28 am

Comment by jerry

Hi Spiritmourn

Thanks for the blog comment and your questions. I haven’t tried the brands you have mentioned, so I would be reluctant to make a specific recommendation.

My first rule is to try them – find places that sell them and plug them in and see what they sound like. Also weight is a big consideration – many purely electric fiddles are grossly heavy (I modified mine mercilessly to get the weight down). Most electric setups are much of a muchness – these days even the cheapies are pretty good and the rest is down to signal conditioning through the D-I and effects pedals and then the quality of the amp and speakers.

On the subject of machine heads – this relates to weight – machine heads are much heavier than tuning pegs and they are way out at the maximum leverage so that weight is multiplied by distance from the body. I would only consider machine heads if they were mounted like the ‘headless’ guitars – ie with the machine heads on the tailpiece, rather than on the head.

Posted on February 10, 2008 at 7:39 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.