For many decades, anything coming out of Yamaha’s factories was showered with praise.
Although never as flashy and filled with features as some competing brands, even the cheaper Yamaha instruments exceeded expectations.
They delivered simplicity, great tone, and great performance. Their electric violins are no different.
Every single model they make is top-notch and the Yamaha SV-200 is probably the most popular and best-selling.
It stands out for its incredible price-to-performance ratio and that is why we wanted to take a closer look at this gorgeous instrument in this review.
Read on to find out if it is the best electric violin for you.
Table of Contents
Yamaha SV-200 Review: Overview And Features
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.
- 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)
Yamaha SV-200 Vs Yamaha YEV-105
As mentioned, Yamaha has an amazing line of electric violins. Every one of them provides great tone, reliability, and performance qualities for its respective price level.
But if we’re looking at this mid-high price (or the lower end of the high-price) category, we need to compare the SV-200 to their other big seller at this cost level: the YEV-105 electric violin.
Despite a similar quality and price level, these are two distinct instruments. The first main difference is also the most obvious: the YEV-105 is a 5-string violin. And the bridge has fine tuners for all five strings.
Another notable difference is the construction. Instead of a molded plastic frame, the YEV-105 has a 5-layer frame made of walnut, all rounded up with a nice oil finish.
This exciting combination of spruce, mahogany, and maple goes beyond the basic body construction we are used to with electric models. And it does affect the tone, although obviously not as much as it would on a standard violin.
The YEV-105 has a passive pickup: the SV250 model. It comes with volume control and a switch that completely bypasses it and brings up more presence in the tone. Although the controls are not as versatile as those on the SV-200, they still give you a lot of creative options.
When it comes to electronics, the SV-200 violin is more advanced, especially due to its dual piezo formation. This gives the instrument more sensitivity, ultimately giving you a more dynamic response.
Of course, this also means a significantly higher price than the YEV-105, though both are still within the same price category. If you’re a semi-pro player, you can’t go wrong with either of these two. And even professional violinists will find them adequate for many uses.
Yamaha SV-200 Electric Violin: 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.