There are a number of considerations you must take into account when selecting a pickup. Do you want a permanent pickup solution or something that is removable? Is how quickly and easily the pickup can be installed and removed an important factor? Beyond volume, how important to you is tone reproduction? What are you willing to spend on a pickup?
Pickup types for bowed string instruments can be divided into two main categories: permanent pickups (usually bridge replacements) and removable pickups. As we will see, there are several different types of removable pickup, which suit different performance needs.
Removable pickups come in a wide variety of styles and options, which vary greatly in terms of price, ease of use and tone quality. Many players have only one instrument and rely on it for performing both amplified and un-amplified. For these players a removable pickup is often the best or most convenient solution. There are several different types of removable pickups. In general, the more expensive the pickup, the better the tone, and the better the tone, the more delicate installation procedure.
The Band Pickup
The Band is an instant-fit pick-up which Velcro’s to itself around the the body of the instrument. It requires no alteration of the instrument itself and generates a strong passive (no batteries required) signal which can usually be plugged straight into a mixing desk or combo amp. The multiple pick-up elements, of the Violin version of The Band, are tuned specifically for Violin and deliver a lively, tailored passive signal. The Band is used equally in folk/rock and classical situations and is a favourite with sound engineers and players alike, as it offers far greater volume levels before feedback, compared to mics. You can avoid being tied down to mic stands and The Band cuts feedback, bowing noise, body noise and excessive treble by acoustic filter.
Bridge mounted pickups
These style of pickup typically wedge in your bridge’s wing slot or clip on to the side of the bridge. These are still relatively quick to install and remove but provide better, stronger and more reliable tone than the ‘easy fit’ pickups. Our most popular bridge mounted pickup is the Headway VL3 Passive Violin Bridge Pickup
Under the bridge pickups
The Realist brand pickups* offer great amplified tone because they collect vibrations from both the bridge and top of your instrument. However, installation and removal is a little tricky, so while they are not “permanent” pickups you will likely leave them on most of the time. Please contact us for a quote.
(*The Realist SoundClip for cello and bass is a bridge clamp-on pickup.)
Attachable microphones can offer excellent tonal fidelity and are relatively easy to install and remove. Their two drawbacks are 1) mic direction and placement must be precise for optimal tone and 2) they can be prone to feedback too close to amplification sources or in a particularly loud playing environment.That said, our Violin Mic w/Clip DPA d:vote 4099V produces a gorgeous acoustic tone, clip-on microphones are one of the best options!