No matter the instrument (or pretty much any other piece of gear), the Yamaha name always pops up as one of the best and most reliable brands on the market.
Their line of electric violins is no exception.
In fact, the company has taken this “unconventional” instrument to a whole new level.
And the Yamaha YEV-105 is a perfect example of that. It combines some traditional concepts with their innovative approach to design and features.
It is also a 5-string violin, which means it is not for everyone.
Read the complete review below to find out if it is the right electric violin for you.
Table of Contents
Yamaha YEV-105 Review: Overview And Features
The first obvious thing that stands out is the addition of a fifth string. By adding the fifth interval below the G string (which is the C string), we enter the range of the viola. However, the tone still captures the regular electric violin vibe.
To put it simply, this is a great instrument. Although not a fully professional one, it’s just one step below this level, and it offers great tone, reliability, and amazing performance qualities.
It is not unusual to see this instrument in the hands of semi-pro, or even professional, players, which is surprising for the price level.
All this is rounded up with a very innovative and ergonomic design, which was actually inspired by Yamaha’s guitars. It might look a little weird to those who are used to traditional violins, however.
- 5-string configuration
- Body and frame made of a selected combination of tonewoods
- Features Yamaha’s SCV250 passive piezo pickup
- Volume control
- Selector switch for direct output
As mentioned, this instrument has an innovative design, but the basic construction is typical of electric violins at this price level. We have the main body with a frame.
The violin is made from select high-quality materials, a cleverly conceived combination of 6 types of tonewoods. The body features a 5-layer construction of maple, mahogany, and spruce. Meanwhile, the frame also has a 5-layer construction of oil-finished walnut
Although this is an electric violin on our hands, this combination does impact the tone to some degree, giving it pronounced attack and sustain.
Pickup And Controls
Speaking of tone, this model features Yamaha’s SCV250 passive piezo pickup. While we can argue endlessly whether a passive or active combination is better, this passive pickup manages to capture even the minor dynamic nuances of different bowing techniques. This pickup is proof that the instrument is designed for more technically skilled players.
The pickup comes with two very simple controls. First, we have a switch that lets you choose a direct output, or the signal path that goes through the instrument’s volume control. The second control is, of course, said volume control.
The tone between these settings differs, and the direct output mode can sound richer in some settings, providing you with a pronounced, yet controlled, bottom-end, as well as pronounced mids.
This particular setting pronounces all of the most important sonic qualities that the YEV-105 provides. Overall, you can get a lot of brightness out of it, even when playing in the extended lower register on the 5th string. This makes it a great option for a lead instrument.
Advantages And Disadvantages
- Great deal for the price
- Great combination of materials which impacts the tone and dynamic response
- Selector switch for direct output
- Volume control with regular output
- Innovative design
- Great performance qualities for skilled violinists
- Some might not like the lack of additional controls and a passive pickup
- 5 strings will be a negative for some
Yamaha YEV-105 Vs NS Design WAV5
You don’t often find instruments as innovative and high-quality as the ones made by NS Design.
For many years, Ned Steinberg perfected his unconventional design of guitars and bass guitars, creating those compact, light, and easily recognizable “headless” guitars. This lack of a headstock might seem impractical at first glance, but it’s actually really well thought-out, with all the essential tuning elements located on the bridge.
Of course, Ned Steinberg also ventured into the world of violins, violas, cellos, and upright basses, bringing all of the same qualities into these new electric string instruments.
As far as violins go, the NS Design WAV5 is similar to the YEV-105. There is also a 4-string version of the WAV, but the 5-string WAV5 is most comparable to the 5-string Yamaha.
Let’s look at the essential components and configuration first. As opposed to the YEV-105, NS Design’s WAV5 has a more basic design, since it features just a simple mahogany body and neck, without a frame.
It also has an ebony fingerboard and a maple bridge. This construction provides a slightly mellower, yet still rich, tone.
The WAV5 features NS Design’s Polar piezo pickup, which is in many ways similar to the SV250 pickup on the Yamaha violin. However, the configuration is a bit different, with volume and tone controls and no switches for direct output.
But the biggest difference is the instrument’s headless design and the inclusion of tuning pegs on the tailpiece. It might be a bit weird to get accustomed to these as a violin player, but they provide amazing tuning stability and very precise setup.
The final difference is the price. The WAV5 is a bit more expensive. We can’t that one is better than the other. They’re both in the same quality category, so it just comes down to your personal preferences. The WAV5 will give you a slightly mellower tone, while the YEV-105 leans more toward the bright side.
Our in-depth review of the NS Design WAV5 has much more.
Yamaha YEV-105 Electric Violin: Conclusion And Rating
If you’re already a fairly experienced violinist and you want to get into the world of electric violins, the Yamaha YEV-105 is a great choice.
And this is especially the case if you want the added range and flexibility of a fifth string.
As mentioned, the brightness and the option to pronounce the mid-section of the audible spectrum make this a great lead instrument. If you’re looking for an electric violin that works well with effects units and amplifiers, this one will serve you really well.
Overall, this is a great electric violin. It is easily the best option if you want 5 strings. If you don’t look at one of the other top electric violins on the market.
Due to the high quality and advanced tone, we give this instrument a Musicaroo rating of 4.8 out of 5.