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Best PA or amp for acoustic violin Direct Injection Boxes
Old 30th December 2018
  #1
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Best PA or amp for acoustic violin

I am in a band and we are going to be playing in a permanent location. My violinist is looking into PA to amplify her violin but the advice she is getting are usually little tiny PA'a that I don't think are going to be able to hang with the rest of the band. Acoustic Image TEN2 is one that is recommended to her but it is just so small.

Does anyone have direct knowledge of the best PA's for violin?
Old 30th December 2018
  #2
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Wyllys's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by franklinstower View Post
I am in a band and we are going to be playing in a permanent location. My violinist is looking into PA to amplify her violin but the advice she is getting are usually little tiny PA'a that I don't think are going to be able to hang with the rest of the band. Acoustic Image TEN2 is one that is recommended to her but it is just so small.

Does anyone have direct knowledge of the best PA's for violin?
Not much to go on.

Last edited by Wyllys; 30th December 2018 at 05:50 AM..
Old 30th December 2018
  #3
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Is there no other PA at this permanent location? If there is, I would think the obvious thing to look for is a good microphone for the violin, which I suspect would be a little clip-on one, possibly paired with a wireless bodypack radio system if being cabled in a spot was impractical or overly cumbersome.

I don't personally have any specific suggestions here for microphones. I have had good experiences with Sennheiser EW series wireless systems as being ones that work well at relatively moderate prices, but hesitate to suggest that without some idea of your venue, etc.
Old 30th December 2018
  #4
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Piedpiper's Avatar
Maybe describe the band, the style, the venue, the existing PA if there is one, and the volume.
Old 30th December 2018
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper View Post
Maybe describe the band, the style, the venue, the existing PA if there is one, and the volume.

...and, as previously mentioned, the existing mic/pickup options.
Old 31st December 2018
  #6
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Each member of the band has their own PA system. I've got three EV elx15s for my bass synth. Organist has two EV elx12's. Two drummers have three EV elx15's and a 12. Guitarist has a 1500 dollar Fender amp.

The violinist needs something that can hang with us. We don't get too loud but she will still need to fill the space. The room is about 29X40 feet.

Violinist has a pizzo? pickup on the violin going into a DI and she has been going into one of my EV PA's but wants something more for her.
Old 31st December 2018
  #7
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Pro Sound Guy's Avatar
 

It appears the Image Ten2 would suffice nicely for a violin.
You guys have a strange setup
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pro Sound Guy View Post
It appears the Image Ten2 would suffice nicely for a violin.
You guys have a strange setup

The Ten2 is what she is going to go with now that she has tried a few other options. I was concerned with the small size of the Ten2 but as it turns out the smaller speaker can reproduce the sound of violin better. She will get the combo unit and then a couple of the others over time.

This way each member can chose the PA or system that best reproduces their own instrument. It seems the better way to go for the highest sound quality and since we will almost never bring our rig out of the garage on my property.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
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That is predictable. The upper frequencies are way more critical for the fiddle and it doesn't go that low anyway. Then there's the issue of the pickup. I've never heard a pickup on a fiddle that I liked. But then that is a matter of what you want it to sound like. If you want it to sound like the acoustic fiddle, good luck with that.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piedpiper View Post
That is predictable. The upper frequencies are way more critical for the fiddle and it doesn't go that low anyway. Then there's the issue of the pickup. I've never heard a pickup on a fiddle that I liked. But then that is a matter of what you want it to sound like. If you want it to sound like the acoustic fiddle, good luck with that.
She uses a pickup on her violin. It actually sounds really good although she is looking into a mic to try out and see if its better.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #11
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Piedpiper's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by franklinstower View Post
She uses a pickup on her violin. It actually sounds really good although she is looking into a mic to try out and see if its better.
It may sound good to you, but I bet it doesn't sound like the instrument. I'm used to unamplified acoustic instruments and I've never heard a pick up on anything that sounded exactly like what it was amplifying. People have gotten so used to the bad sound of pickups that they think they sound "good". Compared to what? If you like the very different sound of the pickup for what it is, as in plasticy synth like tones that have little to do with the source, that's fine. Electric guitars are designed to be used with pickups through amps, both of which have little to do with the original sound of the guitar, but together they work to make a different sound that has its own character. end rant...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #12
Gear Addict
+1 to the poster above.

I've worked with a lot of folk bands and have come across many sorts of violin pickups. In order of quality (worst to best), they go like this:

- Band pickup that goes around the body
- Contact pickup - under the bridge or similar
- On-board mic
- External mic

They're usually in the reverse order for gain-before-feedback.

I never got on well with the on-board mics as they always tend to be 1/2" from the nearest string, and 2" from the furthest - the level difference is not subtle. Plus, there's the fact that you're at the mercy of wherever the player has aimed the mic.


FWIW, I also find your PA setup very strange. A bunch of okay-level active speakers is a lot of stuff to carry when a good PA system would be able to carry everything.

Chris
Old 3 weeks ago
  #13
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amplifier with 30vrms output

Hi. i need an amplifier circuit with gain 3 or above which is capable of producing 30V rms in its output.
BW is from 0.1Hz to 100Khz. maximum output current is 425 mA and output impedance is 100ohm.
input: sin wave with maximum amplitude of 10v rms.
output: sin wave with maximum of 30V rms.
can you help me out?
do i have to use discrete transistor?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #14
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by kangyunmei View Post
Hi. i need an amplifier circuit with gain 3 or above which is capable of producing 30V rms in its output.
BW is from 0.1Hz to 100Khz. maximum output current is 425 mA and output impedance is 100ohm.
input: sin wave with maximum amplitude of 10v rms.
output: sin wave with maximum of 30V rms.
can you help me out?
do i have to use discrete transistor?
You're in completely the wrong section - the Geekslutz bit is your best bet.
I'm not sure how you got it so wrong, but there you go.

Chris
Old 3 weeks ago
  #15
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Pro Sound Guy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by franklinstower View Post
She uses a pickup on her violin. It actually sounds really good although she is looking into a mic to try out and see if its better.
If there is no one to run sound for you to get good result having the player can move away from a microphone and moving closer to a microphone will yield the result of controlling her dynamics/volume through FOH. With a pickup she basically is at one volume through FOH.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #16
You're a band. Now act like one!

That's a lot of darn speakers on one stage with nobody riding herd on the overall mix. You "don't play very loud" but your drummer has his/her own PA? No wait..., there are two drummers... plus an organist on top of the usual backline. No wonder the violin player uses a pickup: she hasn't got a snowballs chance in hell with a microphone. Maybe she needs to buy her own PA and compete in the arms race, but maybe she just needs to find a different band! What are you gonna do when you hire a vocalist, make him bring a megaphone? Seriously, you guys need learn how to share. Now that you've got a permanent gig, is it such a stretch to split the fee seven ways instead of six and hire an engineer to handle PA issues? That might just be what it takes to actually keep that gig.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #17
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Wyllys's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rick View Post
That's a lot of darn speakers on one stage with nobody riding herd on the overall mix. You "don't play very loud" but your drummer has his/her own PA? No wait..., there are two drummers... plus an organist on top of the usual backline. No wonder the violin player uses a pickup: she hasn't got a snowballs chance in hell with a microphone. Maybe she needs to buy her own PA and compete in the arms race, but maybe she just needs to find a different band! What are you gonna do when you hire a vocalist, make him bring a megaphone? Seriously, you guys need learn how to share. Now that you've got a permanent gig, is it such a stretch to split the fee seven ways instead of six and hire an engineer to handle PA issues? That might just be what it takes to actually keep that gig.
Maybe it's the resurrection of the "Wall of Sound".

I'm curious how long the house gig is going to last.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #18
Gear Maniac
 

We have already done a few shows with our current system. It works great and seems to us to be the simple route. Everyone has individual control over their own volume on the fly which is very important as we are a jam band and every one of us (including the drummers) leads some of the time and everyone of us gets down in the bottom of the mix sometimes. When and who is decided on the fly.

We play folk songs mostly that I have written and do covers too and then we go into extended jams off of those songs for an hour or so.

I play bass on a minimoog with a couple Mother 32's for drones.

One drummer (with the PA) plays all traditional drums from africa.
One drummer plays a snare, symbols a kick drum and some other world percussion.
Violinist
Organist
Electric Guitarist.

All of us have mics for singing (running into mine and the drummers PA) and we have never had a problem being heard.

We are doing a wall of sound approach because its fun and we can.

The gig is in a permanent location and we will almost never have to move our system to play somewhere else. If we do it will be a skeleton setup or someone else's PA system.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #19
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A key thing with fiddle pickups is that everything above about 4.5kHz should be rolled off. Even if a piezo pickup didn't sound trashy up there (which it does), it's all squeaks and scrapes anyway. It also doesn't go below about 150Hz, so small drivers will work fine, and in fact may reach high enough without a tweeter.

So I'd look for something with multiple 5-6" speakers, and if it has a tweeter you should disable it to cut the high treble response. The Roland AC-60 looks like a good candidate. Stereo chorus could be fun too!

Another gadget to consider is a BSS AR133 DI box. Assuming the amp will have a mic input with phantom power, the AR133 has a switch that cuts everything above 4kHz, and they're a great sounding DI, certainly won't hurt the tone. On the cheap track down an older AR112, they're electrically identical, just a different chassis/configuration.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AC2SPL View Post
A key thing with fiddle pickups is that everything above about 4.5kHz should be rolled off. Even if a piezo pickup didn't sound trashy up there (which it does), it's all squeaks and scrapes
I'm all for a major "cut" in that area but rolling off everything above it will lose all detail and bow articulation and the fiddle will disappear into the mud so that the only way to make it audible is to muscle it's way to the front. Not good.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AC2SPL View Post
the AR133 has a switch that cuts everything above 4kHz, and they're a great sounding DI, certainly won't hurt the tone. On the cheap track down an older AR112, they're electrically identical, just a different chassis/configuration.
Where is that switch? Seen a bunch of AR133s, never saw one with such a thing...
Old 3 weeks ago
  #22
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chris661 View Post
+1 to the poster above.

I've worked with a lot of folk bands and have come across many sorts of violin pickups. In order of quality (worst to best), they go like this:

- Band pickup that goes around the body
- Contact pickup - under the bridge or similar
- On-board mic
- External mic

They're usually in the reverse order for gain-before-feedback.
You might like to consider a contact mic (not pickup) such as the AKG c411. Much more natural detail, no piezo issues and manageable feedback tendencies.

Not a lot of warmth in the bottom end but I don't think that would be an issue in this case.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franklinstower View Post
She uses a pickup on her violin. It actually sounds really good although she is looking into a mic to try out and see if its better.
If she is going to spend the money anyway then before splashing out on a mic suggest she try her existing pickup through a Tonedexter pedal, trained properly by someone who knows what they're doing.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #24
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shufflebeat View Post
You might like to consider a contact mic (not pickup) such as the AKG c411. Much more natural detail, no piezo issues and manageable feedback tendencies.

Not a lot of warmth in the bottom end but I don't think that would be an issue in this case.
I like this suggestion and have forwarded it via email to my violinist. Her 10-2 arrives tomorrow and the recommendations for it are so good that if it doesn't sound right we are going to start looking into different options rather than her pickup.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shufflebeat View Post
I'm all for a major "cut" in that area but rolling off everything above it will lose all detail and bow articulation and the fiddle will disappear into the mud so that the only way to make it audible is to muscle it's way to the front. Not good.
If that's the case you should be boosting 3kHz, where the overtones are still sympathetic to the actual notes being played. At 5kHz it's just bow scratch.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomas Ve View Post
Where is that switch? Seen a bunch of AR133s, never saw one with such a thing...
This is a good point! I've only owned AR112's on the basis that BSS themselves said AR133's were electrically identical. Apparently they're not! AR112 has it, AR133 does not. The 4kHz LPF is great for bowed strings, the 8kHz LPF is great for acoustic guitar/banjo/mandolin etc.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #27
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AC2SPL View Post
If that's the case you should be boosting 3kHz, where the overtones are still sympathetic to the actual notes being played. At 5kHz it's just bow scratch.
I do it all by ear, then try to remember the numbers when it sounds right. I rarely remember the numbers but it doesn't matter because something will have changed next time.

Old 3 weeks ago
  #28
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Rockabilly69's Avatar
Forget the digital preamp stuff

check this out...
Acus One Forstrings Cremona Violin / Viola Amp | Electric Violin Shop
Old 3 weeks ago
  #29
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Rockabilly69's Avatar
And for a simple option

A Grace Alix preamp, which would be a way to route one signal to a powered speaker (something like a QSC K10.2 or 8.2), along with another signal going straight into the house PA system. The EQ on it will more than get the job done and it will work with any good pickup on the violin. The best option would be to mount it on a small pedal board like this, with a volume pedal so they she can hands free control the volume with her feet.

(this is actually my acoustic guitar board that I use for most gigs)




It has a 9V convenience outlet on it to cleanly power other pedals, and an FX loop for the optimum placement of any FX. On my little board I have a Boss Wazacraft TU3 Tuner, a Keeley Delay/Reverb Workstation, along with a Tapestry Audio Bloomery Volume pedal. The setup, with a good powered speaker would smoke any stand alone amp on the market and would be perfect for violin! And it all fits neatly on a Pedaltrain Metro board!

ALiX – Grace Design

These would be a perfect match for the Alix preamp setup

The QSC K8.2 or K10.2 (I have these backlined for when I'm performing out of town)

K8.2 - K.2 Series - Powered Loudspeakers - Loudspeakers - Products - Live Sound - QSC

K10.2 - K.2 Series - Powered Loudspeakers - Loudspeakers - Products - Live Sound - QSC

And to get the speaker up to the right height the Audio2000S-AST420Y-15
speaker stand which is the perfect height for a performing musician...

https://www.amazon.com/Audio2000S-AS.../dp/B008R0WCUG
Old 3 weeks ago
  #30
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockabilly69 View Post
And for a simple option

A Grace Alix preamp, which would be a way to route one signal to a powered speaker (something like a QSC K10.2 or 8.2), along with another signal going straight into the house PA system. The EQ on it will more than get the job done and it will work with any good pickup on the violin. The best option would be to mount it on a small pedal board like this, with a volume pedal so they she can hands free control the volume with her feet.

(this is actually my acoustic guitar board that I use for most gigs)




It has a 9V convenience outlet on it to cleanly power other pedals, and an FX loop for the optimum placement of any FX. On my little board I have a Boss Wazacraft TU3 Tuner, a Keeley Delay/Reverb Workstation, along with a Tapestry Audio Bloomery Volume pedal. The setup, with a good powered speaker would smoke any stand alone amp on the market and would be perfect for violin! And it all fits neatly on a Pedaltrain Metro board!

ALiX – Grace Design

These would be a perfect match for the Alix preamp setup

The QSC K8.2 or K10.2 (I have these backlined for when I'm performing out of town)

K8.2 - K.2 Series - Powered Loudspeakers - Loudspeakers - Products - Live Sound - QSC

K10.2 - K.2 Series - Powered Loudspeakers - Loudspeakers - Products - Live Sound - QSC

And to get the speaker up to the right height the Audio2000S-AST420Y-15
speaker stand which is the perfect height for a performing musician...

https://www.amazon.com/Audio2000S-AS.../dp/B008R0WCUG

That's a nice setup but if you're going for a traditional EQ solution a Baggs Para DI is generally thought to be well matched to the job. I play with a number of trad Irish fiddle players and they tend to gravitate towards the same few solutions over time:

* Piezo (usually Barcus Berry) - Boss GE-7 (hiZ in, quiet, flexible, small) - DI (I like Orchid Electronics boxes)
* Piezo ( " " ) - Baggs Para DI (very versatile, transparent and +48v friendly)
* Piezo ( " " ) - some combination of guitar pedals that hides the fact they don't know the tune - DI
* DPA mic - PA (leave it to the tech)
* Don't have a mic/pickup - leave it to chance (not a recipe for communal satisfaction)

I am on a mission at the minute to persuade the fiddlers in my orbit to try the Tonedexter, it is a game changer, and I like to think I'm not easily persuaded to part with cash unless it is justified.
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