The SV-200 is one of Yamaha’s so-called Silent Series electric violins. As such, this instrument is marketed as a “silent” violin, which is usually associated with simple practice instruments.
In this case, this nomenclature is a bit weird, since SV-200 is far more than just a practice piece. This is a beautifully designed and constructed violin that is ideal for the semi-pro and even the professional violinist.
Two piezo pickups under the bridge set it apart from the competition and lend its tone a unique dimension. They capture great tonal characteristics and dynamic nuances. The instrument also distinguishes itself in the setup of the controls, which we’ll get into below.
The only notable downside might be the price. However, you need to bear in mind that this is not just your average practice violin, but a semi-professional (and for some uses, even a pro-level) electric violin for both studio sessions and live performances.
It’s an incredibly versatile violin, finding use in many different genres. It was the highest quality violin we looked at in our rundown of the top electric violins.
- Key Features:
- Design and Construction
- Pickup and Controls
- Advantages and Disadvantages
- What’s in the Box?
- Conclusion and Rating
- FAQ for Yamaha SV-200 Electric Violin
- What is the Yamaha SV-200 Electric Violin?
- What are the features of the Yamaha SV-200 Electric Violin?
- How much does the Yamaha SV-200 Electric Violin cost?
- What is the warranty for this Yamaha SV-200 Electric Violin?
- What is the difference between an electric and acoustic Yamaha Violin?
- How does the sound of a Yamaha SV-200 Electric Violin compare to other instruments?
- Spruce body
- Maple neck with an ebony fingerboard
- Molded plastic frame
- Two piezo pickups under the bridge
- Active preamp with volume and EQ controls
- Two outputs
- EQ mode switch
- Aubert maple bridge
- Ebony tailpiece with one fine tuner for the E string
Design and Construction
This violin has an overall simplistic design, with the body and neck forming one simple construction. The body is made of spruce and the neck is maple, with an ebony fingerboard.
This combination of tonewoods is common and lends the instrument a slightly brighter tone, although you’ll still notice a nice coverage of the entire audible spectrum. The ebony fingerboard is a great choice and it lends a smooth and comfortable feel to your left hand.
Of course, the violin is more than just one straight wooden board fashioned from a combination of maple and spruce.
A frame of hard molded plastic surrounds the main body. Aside from adding a new dimension to the overall design and reminding us of the classical origins of this fine instrument, the frame also does a great job of enhancing the performance qualities of the instrument.
The frame also adds an overall feeling of having a full instrument body and it serves as a great platform to hold the chin rest.
What’s also worth mentioning is that the SV-200 has a quality Aubert bridge made of maple. and a tailpiece made of ebony that comes with one fine tuner for the E string. It seems weird, but you’ll be able to have enough tuning stability with its tuning machines on the headstock.
Pickup and Controls
The most interesting feature is the inclusion of two piezo pickups instead of just one. This gives the instrument a completely different dimension to its tone and a lot more versatility than standard electric violins, which have just one piezo.
These pickups come with an active preamp, powered by a 9-volt battery. You have two outputs: one for headphones and another regular one for amplifiers or mixers.
The controls are pretty interesting, with volume and EQ knobs, where the EQ knob pretty much serves as a standard tone control (or treble roll-off). However, you also have an EQ mode switch that lets you completely bypass this control, giving you a clearer and brighter tone.
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Great tone
- Good dynamic response thanks to the dual-piezo formation
- Really comfortable to play
- Great build quality
- Higher price (though definitely justified)
Whether you are a beginner musician or a professional violinist looking to branch out into the electric violin, you may be looking for the best electric violin to buy on a budget.
The Barcus-Berry brand is right around $500.00 and receives good reviews. Although it’s not the very best electric violin on the market as far as quality goes, it does have some real pros and nice characteristics to it that make it a great option and worth looking into. The first of course being the affordable price.
Also, violinists like how it has the traditional look and feel of an acoustic violin that they are used too. This can make the transistion to electric much more seamless. Practice it like an acoustic, then plug it in at performance and tada, you’re amplified! It is fairly versatile as far as accessories needed.
Some say it works when plugged straight into an amp, while other violinists have been able to perfect the sound better using a preamp and sound mixer. I do recommend that for improved sound quality, you replace the strings with Dominant Brand Violin Strings upon purchase.
What’s in the Box?
The Yamaha SV 200 Silent Violin offers all the advantages of an electric instrument — easy amplification without feedback, the use of effects, silent practice, etc. ‚Äì while still feeling, playing and sounding similar to a high quality acoustic violin. It is a perfect instrument for performances at concert halls, studios or outdoor stages.
“The Yamaha Silent Electric Violin rocks. I have used it for 6 years and it keeps getting better. It’s the only electric violin that sounds great clean and still has the flexibility to be processed for use with multiple effects.”
Yamaha craftsmen have designed the SV200 to have a natural feel, closer to that of an acoustic violin. The oval shaped neck features a thin layer of a specially formulated finish that feels identical to that of an acoustic violin. The frame has been extended further past the chin rest to accommodate nearly any standard chin and/or shoulder rest. The Line Out jack is positioned so the cord can be draped over the performer’s shoulder keeping it out of the way during performance.
The SV200 utilizes a specially designed circuit that isolates and controls the instrument’s upper harmonics, which have a great influence on the overall tone and sound produced by the violin. This capability to modify the tonal color harder or softer provides the SV200 with great flexibility in adjusting to individual playing styles, room conditions, the PA system, etc. Plus it gives a tone that is much closer to that of an acoustic violin.
The SV200 uses a two pickup configuration which doubles the resolution for a much greater dynamic range. Pickups are mounted under the two legs of the bridge, and this improved resolution allows the violin to responds to very subtle nuances enabling the performer to play from pianissimo to fortissimo with great clarity and ease.
Conclusion and Rating
The Yamaha SV-200 is a great semi-pro electric violin that can handle even some professional settings and even the best violin solos. The dual piezo formation is a really great addition and it takes this instrument to a whole new level.
It’s not exactly a cheap one, but it’s definitely worth the price if you’re an already experienced violinist looking for a solid instrument. It’s basically exactly what we’ve all come to expect from Yamaha.
Due to the high quality and incredible value for money, we strongly recommend this instrument and give it a perfect Musicaroo rating of 5 out of 5.
FAQ for Yamaha SV-200 Electric Violin
What is the Yamaha SV-200 Electric Violin?
The Yamaha SV-200 Electric Violin is a musical instrument that is designed for those who want to learn how to play the violin. It has 3 buttons on the body that control volume, tone and sustain.
What are the features of the Yamaha SV-200 Electric Violin?
This electric violin is lightweight and easy to carry around, making it perfect for musicians on the go.
The Yamaha SV-200 Electric Violin also features a built in tuner and headphone jack so you can easily tune your violin without having to worry about disturbing anyone else.
It can be plugged into an amplifier or PA system through its ¼ inch output jack, allowing you to play for larger audiences if needed.
How much does the Yamaha SV-200 Electric Violin cost?
The Yamaha SV-200 Electric Violin is a high quality violin that has a price point of $2,499.00. It comes with a built-in pickup and amplifier, which allows the performer to play in more places without having to use an external PA system.
The Yamaha SV-200 Electric Violin does not come with any accessories like strings or rosin, but it does come with a case and bow.
What is the warranty for this Yamaha SV-200 Electric Violin?
Yamaha is a well-known brand in the industry and they are known for producing high-quality instruments. This violin is no exception. It comes with a five-year warranty and it’s made with the latest technology to give you the best performance possible.
What is the difference between an electric and acoustic Yamaha Violin?
An electric violin is a violin that has been modified to produce sound through an electronic pickup instead of the traditional method of drawing the bow across strings. This type of violin is typically used for rock, jazz, and folk music.
An acoustic violin is a violin that produces sound from vibrations from the strings without amplification.
How does the sound of a Yamaha SV-200 Electric Violin compare to other instruments?
The sound of a Yamaha SV-200 Electric Violin is comparable to that of an acoustic violin. The instrument features a built-in preamp, which amplifies the sound and makes it more consistent with other instruments.
The Yamaha’s electric violin has a rich and full sound that can be adjusted to your liking with the built-in EQ controls. It also produces less feedback than acoustic violins.