Electric Violin Shop is an independent retailer of amplified stringed instruments. They are clearly at the forefront of an industry described as unique, exciting and growing. The following information is gleaned partly from the shop’s website but also from observation dating back over ten years and direct communication and consultation since 2009.
- With beginnings in 1999, Electric Violin Shop has rapidly established the first and leading one-stop shop serving the amplified strings community. The shop is staffed by experts in the field with over three decades of combined experience giving them thorough knowledge of string amplification. The shop has an unparalleled selection of electric bowed string instruments and pickups with hundreds in stock to choose from. Each instrument sold is carefully tested and set up before shipping with the assurance given that every instrument meets a high standard for tone, playability and reliability. Every customer is offered enthusiasm and insightful assistance from the team of friendly staff.
Electric Violin Shop’s roots lie in Music Explorium, a world music instrument store founded by D.Blaise Kielar in 1999. Kielar, a violinist since childhood in the 1960s, was already well acquainted with electric violins by the time the shop opened. Kielar was one of the early dealers of Zeta violins in the mid 1980s through his co-founded Hillmusic Fine Violins shop, in Chapel Hill, NC.
Music Emplorium originally stocked electric violins just as a fun indulgence but within just a few years, following growing interest and calls for advice coming from around the world, Kielar decided to expand this area and Electric Violin Shop eventually separated from Music Explorium. Since making this move to specialise in electric (bowed) strings, it has now established itself as an important reference point for those seriously minded musicians needing amplified strings.
The shop is supported by a core group of staff, each bringing their own individual angle of expertise. Combined, the staff ensure they can fulfil their promise of excellence and rightfully find themselves running a shop that occupies the position of market leader. The shop front on the Internet is a highly dynamic, interesting and hugely informative site. There is a wealth of information from product reviews and tests; advice on equipment set-ups; notice of players and recordings and a whole wealth of news on the developing changes in the market. This service is amply augmented by the inclusion of a timely newsletter that can be delivered to your Inbox.
As a customer you are presented with a very broad range of products to choose from. For example, currently listed are many different brands of electric violin; covering a price range from just under £400 to over £3000. There is a choice of 4-string to 7-string instruments; with either the usual smooth or an increasingly popular fretted fingerboard. Options also offer a broad range of different brands of pickup, from permanently fitted devices to mounted and easy fit devices; covering a potentially dizzying array of methods, including digital MIDI methods. Customers can also come to Electric Violin Shop for their bows and as with the choice of violins, violas or cellos there is good choice and variety of modern options here too. With such a complexity of possible choices, they have put together a buyer’s guide which has proved extremely popular. Also worth a visit is the Electric Violin Shop’s soundcloud page featuring invaluable comparison demos of many of the instruments available today.
In terms of additional gear required to get the most of amplified strings, the shop has a wide stock of amplifiers, pedals & effects, cases, strings, cables and other essential accessories. Further more, there is invaluable online help offered. Either as a simple to use digital submission form with check-boxes depending on customer needs, or from exploring the many blog-entry pages of news and well-considered, enthusiastic and positive advice. Electric Violin Shop also sends out regular newsletters on application.
With increased sales now assisting string players on every continent, reaching over 80 countries worldwide; one thing is immediately obvious. This is a rapidly expanding domain.