The original Fender violin, which is called the F1 has been around for longer than I can remember, but when I played the new Fender, I was genuinely interested to see how it compared to other violins in roughly the same price bracket, such as the NS Design and of course the Yamaha.
The violin has a classical violin shape and the only colour I have ever seen is in “flamed” brown maple. It comes with an ebony finger board, chin rest and fine tuners which are located behind the bridge. It has a standard Fender pick-up which gives a nice clean tone.
How much does it weigh?
This is not the lightest violin, but with the help of the shoulder rest, it is acceptable. However, violins are designed so that you are able to hold them up without the use of your left hand, and the weight may become an issue if you are performing or practicing for a long period.
Is there a problem with the shoulder rest?
If you search the Web, and listen to unbiased reviews by people who have played the violin, then there are a number of violinist who say that they have had a problem. The shape of the instrument means that if you fit a shoulder rest, then it is not secure and has a tendency to fall off. I have to admit that I didn’t have this problem, but yes, the comments are out there so it is an issue. On a plus side though, for a violin in this price range, don’t expect perfection from any Brand, as they all have their particular issues.
Is this electric violin silent when not plugged into amplification?
It is not like a “silent” electric violin when unplugged, and there is no headphone socket built-in so you can practice at volume without disturbing family or neighbours. It is however quiet enough acoustically not to disturb people in the next room, but is really set up to be used as an electric. The most logical way to practice is to plug it into a mixer desk, and run headphones off this, so you can add effects and still enjoy the feel of the violin without disturbing anyone.
My advice to anyone looking to buy an electric violin for under five hundred ponds; try one and see for yourself, because at the end of the day it comes down to personal choice. I give it 8 out of 10.