Here's something I finished up about a month ago. Started life as a craigslist violin and ended up as a strummer. I was surprised by the really nice tone. The doubled up high D string really adds to it.
The switches are on/offs for an embedded neck and seperate bass side cavity piezo's. Sounds best with both of them on.
The other output is for a really hot humbucker I buried under the wood into the neck. Sounds OK, but upon reflection, the humbucker tone is a little bit of a mismatch for a strummer.
I thought it would be cool to play both outputs at once for a stereo or layered sound. Haven't hit on the "cool" sound yet.
The strap is from an old pair of suspenders. Haven't worn a suit in 10 years, so this seems to be a better use for them.
I'm getting ready to build another, but will likely not use the violin tailpeice as it makes it trickier to keep in tune. Probabaly skip the magentic pickup also.

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Comment by Diglydog on July 18, 2012 at 4:01am

I've now got a violin undergoing surgery on my bench. It'll be fitted with a 1.5" x 1" oak through neck. I have shortened the tailpiece but, after re-reading this, may look for a different way of attaching it........or a different tailpiece.  I was thinking of putting a rod piezo in a saddle and then trying a mini microphone in the cavity, with a mixer pot and a volume control. You did a great job of concealing the humbucker in this.

Comment by Rand Moore on July 13, 2012 at 8:05pm

Yes, I figured there was a lot more work to it than is obvious by looking at a photo of the finished project. You did a good job. I idin't even realize it was a "neck-almost-thru" instrument. Yes, those violin are very thinly constructed.


Comment by jamie howe on July 12, 2012 at 11:17am


Correct DAdd.  the top was loose and the neck was off when i got it.  I just worked a razor blade around the top seem to pop it off.  had to do it this way becasue the neck runs full length to the tail pin to handle the pressure.  this was the first violin I had ever even held and I was blown away by how thin and light and unsubstantial they are.    therefor the need for 1.5 by 1 inch of maple running through the center.  .  I did manage to hold it off the top and bottom though to allow better resonance.  the only thing touching the top is the layers of felt on top of the neck piezo right at the point where the neck joins the body.

Comment by Rand Moore on July 12, 2012 at 11:04am

Looks nice. I see you using a pair of strings for the melody strings.  Tuned to DAdd or what? I guess with the two toggle switches you actually had to open up the sound box. Did you do it by cutting an access hole in the back, or did you somehow remove the sound board or backboard? I guess you had to remove either the soundboard or the backboard to mount the neck to the violin box any ways. I was thinking of doing somethng similar to an old uke sound box I have around here, but neve got around to. Your's looks pretty cool.


Comment by jamie howe on July 11, 2012 at 3:19pm

I think it sounds pretty rich and full.  I'll post some sound clips as soon as I can get one of my kids to record something decent on it. I'm just learing to play, so my carpentry skills far exceed my playing ability.  this is honestly the first thing I've made that sounds really nice accoustically - everything else has really only sounded good amplified.

thanks for the nice comment.

Comment by Diglydog on July 11, 2012 at 10:03am

Wow.  Nice job - I like the fact that you've retained the original character and patina of the old violin.  What does it sound like ?

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