best pick up for fiddle

best pick up for fiddle

just wondering if people have any thoughts on the best pick up to get for a fiddle.thinking of investing in one. thanks!

Re: best pick up for fiddle

The pick up is just part of the system that you will need to produce a good violin sound. A matched pre amp is very important as are leads and overall system integration.

Please look at my site FAQ for more advice.

And to answer your question …. Violect by ISI …….. 🙂

Re: best pick up for fiddle

Check out this site.
www.riml.biz

Posted by .

Re: best pick up for fiddle

I use a small clip on mic and I use no pre-amp at all. Don’t need one. Pickups distort the sound or flatten it, I think…

Posted by .

Re: best pick up for fiddle

Without being too techie ………. please, please be aware that all systems - mics & pickups use preamps.

If you plug direct into a mixing desk you are using the preamp on the channel strip. These are generally designed for mics - but definitly not for piezo pickups.

Distortion is caused by mis matching the gain within the system.

Its a system thing - requires careful engineering of each component. Very few things in life are as simple as they seem - amplifying a violin is certainly no exception.

Here endeth my rant for today 🙂

Re: best pick up for fiddle

I second the motion for riml.biz. This is a small microphone that mounts on the fiddle. it’s not cheap, but it works well. I use one, and it fixed a problem I had with other small mics - the mic would actually pick up the sound of any movement of the cord, etc. This one is totally quiet, except for the music.

the other alternative is some kind of piezo pickup, typically. These mount on the bnridge, under the bridge, or on the fiddle. They’re good for volume, but they don’t sound anywhere near as good as a small mic.

And as Titch said, you’ve got to deal with the rest of the sound chain, at least a little. If you use a mic, you’ll probaly need phantom power — a way of powering the mic from the mixing board or from a separate preamp. If you use a pickup (like Barcus Berry or Fishman), then you’ll probably wan a preamp to boost the signal so it doesn’t distort.

Also, you’ll probably want to tweak the EQ, either on the mixer or on your preamp, and last but not least, you’ll probbaly want to add some reverb, again, from the mixer, to sweeten the tone — tho’ too much reverb can get messy.

As a rule of thumb, I’d go for the mic unless you’ve got to get really loud, and then I’d consider the pickup.

Posted by .

Re: best pick up for fiddle

Amplifying a fiddle is a popular question. The answer is (unfortunately) either "poorly" or "expensively". Expect to spend at least $200, for something "decent" or $500+ for something "good". I have yet to see something for less than ~$200 that didn’t sound sub-par in some way or another.

I second the recommendation for a mic instead of a pickup if you’re not playing in really loud settings. Mics simply give a more faithful reproduction of the sound than any piezo will—because they *start* with the sound. Piezo systems, by definition only amplify one particular part of the fiddle’s vibration. You can tweak it and mask it all you like with reverb and EQs, but often the best you’ll ever get is something that sounds dryer than your fiddle really sounds.

Not sure about the riml.biz thing. I’ve found that the base f-hole on the fiddle gives a much too boomy-basey sound, and doesn’t communicate the upper register of the fiddle (which is important for getting good articulation on ornaments). Furthermore, it feeds back like crazy whenever you’re playing in a loud room.

I ditched my fishman v-200 combo for an AT-Pro35x mic a few years back, and it was an excellent decision for me. Less gear to carry around, fewer things to screw-up in the setup. While the V200 pickup/mic combo *could* sound fantastic, it often required an eternity of tweaking to not sound awful (the fishman pickup is not so hot, IMHO). The AT-Pro35 seems to "just work", and you can put it over just about any part of the fiddle you want (even over the base f-hole, if that’s your taste).
Most of the Irish fiddlers in Boston seem to be using the AT-Pro35x these days…

If you really need to do the high-volume thing, then the Rolls-Royce of pickups seems to be the Kurmann Sound Post. They sound fantastic, and for ~$500, they better. (though I hear the connecting cord is a pain to replace).

http://www.soundpost.ch/

Alternately, I’ve seen a couple of compelling testimonials for the schertler Dyn-V (http://www.schertlerusa.com/dyn-violin.htm), that make me curious. I might give it a shot in the next few months, and report back…

In general, though, unless you’re playing in rock concert volumes, the AT-Pro35 should do great.

—Georgi

Re: best pick up for fiddle

"I have yet to see something for less than ~$200 that didn’t sound sub-par in some way or another."

And right after posting that, I find this:

http://www.zzounds.com/item—AUTPRO35XCW

(an AT-Pro35 for $94.)

Alright. I take it back. $200 was a stupid line to draw anyway.

At any rate, it’s worth mentioning that all the condenser mics I know of require phantom power, which not all sound-boards provide. I’ve been burned by that once or twice.

Best of luck

—Georgi

Re: best pick up for fiddle

We’ve had good luck with a clip-on condensor mic, the AudioTechnica AT25xPro.

It needs phantom power from a preamp or mixing console.

It has a nice little gooseneck, a soft clip to go on the fiddle and a little foam screen on the head of it.

stv

http://cdbaby.com/Culchies

Re: best pick up for fiddle

Oh, I just saw Georgi’s post…

There are two models of these mics, the one with the XCW designation has a little battery pack that goes between the mic’s cable and the cable that goes to the mixer. The one with the battery pack doesn’t need phantom power.

I chose the other one just for fewer parts, thus less vulnerability to things going wrong. <G>

They work the same and the battery-pack one tends to be a tad cheaper.

stv

http://cdbaby.com/Culchies

Re: best pick up for fiddle

Some condenser mics take a battery for phantom power, e.g., the AKG C1000S. It’s very popular in its price range (around $200). Neumann it ain’t, but pretty good for the money.

Re: best pick up for fiddle

Hmmm, but then, of course, it wouldn’t be phantom power, would it?

Re: best pick up for fiddle

I have spent a small fortune over the years trying all kinds of pick-up and amplifier combination. I have finally settled on a bridge pick-up from J R Baggs (USA) - however it requires careful fitting by a qualified person to make sure that it preserves both the manufacturer’s warranty and also works well on the instrument. I feed that into a Yamaha guitar processor that emulateds a Roland Jazz Chorus and tailor the output to compensate for nuances of the fiddle and pick up combination. In the end, after all this adulteration - it sounds just like my fiddle in acoustic state and amplifies brilliantly without any feedback. I reckon that the combination cost me around £250 for bridge and fitting plus £300 for the guitar processor.

Re: best pick up for fiddle

Whoops - I meant L R Baggs!