Trying to get your hands on a great amp for your electric violin?
Maybe you’ve recently bought an electric violin and need a great amp to get playing, or maybe you’re looking for your amp before you splash the cash on the instrument.
Either way, I’ve got some brilliant options.
These are the 4 best amps for electric violins so let’s find the right one for you!
Snapshot: The 4 Best Amps for Electric Violins
- Fishman Loudbox Artist Amplifier – Best Overall
- Wood Violins Electric Violin Amplifier – Best Practice Amp
- Yamaha THR30II
- Fishman Loudbox Mini – Best Budget Option
Choosing a Great Amp for an Electric Violin
There’s a lot to consider when choosing a great amp for an electric violin.
First and foremost, your budget.
You get what you pay for when it comes to amps so you really shouldn’t skimp on your equipment. I know we’re not all made of money though, so I’ve got a great budget option as well. You should also consider what venues you’ll be playing and how you’ll get from gig to gig.
Are we talking pubs and clubs or a homemade stage?
If you’re a walker and a public transport taker, you’re going to need a travel-friendly amp. On the other hand, if you drive almost everywhere then weight won’t be too much of an issue. I mean, that’s just a few of the things you should take into account before you buy your electric violin amp.
There’s way more where that came from, I’ll get more in-depth in the reviews!
Need to upgrade your whole rig? Check out the 6 Best Electric Violins in 2020!
The Best Amp for an Electric Violin in 2020
1. Fishman Loudbox Artist Amplifier – Best Overall
- Faithfully reproduce the sound of acoustic instruments and a diverse assortment of vocal or recorded accompaniments
- With Bluetooth wireless connectivity, easily and neatly add backing tracks or other accompaniment to your playing
If you know your amps, you will have heard of the Fishman Loudbox but did you know about the Artist version? This is my all-time favorite amp for electric violins, you’re going to love it.
Unfortunately, most amps are built for guitar, so finding an amp for your electric violin can be pretty tricky. When you find a good’un you’ve got to stick by it, and this amp is by far the best. The Fishman Loudbox Artist Amplifier is 11.3kg.
That’s a decent weight for a professional amp in my books but, then again, I drive most places. If you plan on walking to gigs you’re probably going to get arm ache (even if you are a gym buff). This guy has 120 watts of bi-amplified acoustic power to bring to the table. I’d say that’s more than enough for medium or even large venues.
You’d only need more volume if you play outdoor venues or if you’re in a crazy-loud rock band.
This guy has some pretty cool features. It’s got a built-in loop effect and a mic input, so you’ll love it if you sing or play any other instruments. The second input comes in so handy for band-players – one less amp to carry!
You’ve also got chorus, flanger, and slap echo effects which are ideal for playing around with your sound. The Fishman Loudbox has Bluetooth connectivity which means you can play along to backing tracks too!
The great thing about the Fishman Loudbox Artist Amplifier is how clear the sound is. I just forget about my preamp, plug my electric violin straight into the amp and I’m good to go. It’s got a fantastic tonal quality and gets the best possible sound from your instrument.
It’s not easy finding an amp that can handle us violinists! Fishman amps have notoriously good sound delivery and this guy is no exception.
- Power: 120 watts, bi-amped
- Drivers: 8” woofer (100W), 1” soft dome neodymium tweeter (20W)
- SPL: 113dB SPL @ 1 meter
- Speaker Baffle: 10º built-in tilt
- Connectivity: Bluetooth® 4.0
- Dimensions: 13.5” H x 15.5” W x 11.5” D (343 mm) x (394 mm) x (292 mm)
- Weight: 25 lbs. (11.3 kg)
Final Thoughts on the Fishman Loudbox Artist Amplifier
The Fishman Loudbox Artist Amplifier is the best amp for electric violins by a mile. It’s got some incredible features for violinists and you can’t beat its sound quality. If you’re looking for a brilliant professional amp then this one’s definitely for you.
2. Wood Violins Electric Violin Amplifier – Best Practice Amp
- This dedicated electric violin amplifier, customized and developed by Mark Wood, is perfect for practice or performance.
If you’re a bedroom violinist you’ll love the Wood Violins Electric Violin Amplifier. It’s ideal for putting those practice hours in!
Mark Wood built this amp especially for the electric violin (at least someone has our backs!) so its sound quality and features are perfect for violinists. In terms of functionality, it’s perfect for the traveling student. It’s only 11.5lbs and it’s got a fantastic sturdy little handle for all your carrying needs.
The Wood Violins amp is nice and compact without compromising on sound in the slightest. It’s a 10 watt, two-channel amp so it’s ideal for practicing. To be honest, you could easily use it for performing in small audiences as well. I mean, you must be practicing for something!
You can take control of your sound with the Wood Violins Amplifier’s variable delay feature, which I enjoy playing around with. It’s got a two-band equalizer so you can play around with either your bass or treble frequencies. A lot of compact amplifiers leave out the equalizer which can be pretty frustrating. I love how much control I have over my sound when I use this amp.
Effects are usually the first feature of an amp to be compromised when you’re downsizing to a practice amp. Don’t worry though, the Wood Violins amp has everything a violinist needs and more. This guy’s got both distortion and echo so, I mean, you really can’t complain where effects are concerned! Plus, you’ve got a headphone jack for all of those late-night practice sessions. The last thing you want is a noise complaint!
When you play your electric violin through the Wood Violins amp, you can tell it was made specifically for your instrument. It projects both my higher and lower register perfectly without any dodgy feedback. 10w might not seem like much but it’s all you need for practicing and performing the occasional gig, in my opinion.
The Wood Violins amp is ideal if you play small venues and use a separate amp from your bandmates. Equally, it’s a great practice amp for any violinists, especially rock musicians because of all of its effects.
- Power: 10w
- Features: Two-band EQ, distortion, echo
- Dimensions: 30.23 x 30.23 x 21.59 cm
- Weight: 11.5lbs
Final Thoughts on the Wood Violins Electric Violin Amplifier – Best Practice Amp
The Wood Violins Electric Violin Amplifier is one of my all-time favorite amps. It gives you such a great tone. Fingers crossed Mark Wood makes an amp with a higher wattage sometime soon! In the meantime though, this one is the most fantastic practice amp!
3. Yamaha THR30II – Best Recording Amp
- Realistic tube-amp tones and feel plus essential effects
- 15 Guitar amps, 3 bass amps, 3 mic models for acoustic-electrics, and flat modes for everything else
Amplifying your violin is one thing but recording is a whole other story. I struggled to find a great recording amp for years until Yamaha released their THR series, then bam! I haven’t used another amp for recording since.
You’ve probably heard of the Yamaha THR series of tube-amps. I have to admit, I was skeptical about these amps mostly because of their “desktop amp” title. I mean, that doesn’t exactly scream quality to me. Of course, when I tried them I fell in love! The THR30II is undoubtedly the best of the bunch.
Yamaha uses component-level modeling to build their amps which is way more accurate than most builds (and it gives their amps a bloody brilliant tone).
Before I start blabbing on, a lot of the THR30IIs wireless features work best with IOS (apps like Garage Band or Logic Pro), so that’s something to keep in mind. Anyway, this amp has a built-in plug-and-play USB for recording which is just brilliant.
I use Garage Band for most of my recordings so I usually record straight into there. However, the wireless feature has to be my favorite feature, though. The THR30II has Bluetooth support for either playing backing tracks or editing straight from the app on your phone.
Playing the violin can be pretty tiring so the less walking back and forth to my laptop the better!
Although the Yamaha THR30II is built for guitars, you wouldn’t know it. The tonal quality you get from this thing is next level. 30w is more than enough volume for me but if you do need more you can plug this guy straight into a power speaker.
- Power: 30w
- Features: Wireless editing via THR remote, rechargeable battery
- Connectivity: Bluetooth®, plug-and-play USB, built-in wireless receiver
- Dimensions: 16.4 x 5.5 x 7.68 inches
- Weight: 12.85lb
Final Thoughts on the Yamaha THR30II – Best Recording Amp
The Yamaha THR30II is my favorite amp from the THR series. If you’re looking for something that can do a bit of everything, this one is ideal. It’s the best amp I’ve used for recording my electric violin but it’s also got enough volume for small venues! What more could you want?
4. Fishman Loudbox Mini – Best Budget Option
- Fishman’s lightest and most portable amp yet
- The Loudbox Mini packs 60 watts of clean acoustic power
As I mentioned earlier, you get what you pay for when it comes to amplifiers for your electric violin. I wouldn’t recommend anything under $300 because cheap amps won’t be able to take the high impotence levels of your violin. The Fishman Loudbox Mini is easily the best budget option out there.
I know what you’re thinking, “that thing’s way too small for the venues I play”. Honestly, this guy is all you need for medium-sized venues. 60 watts is a lot of volume, especially if you play in a band and you all use separate amps.
I’d say the Fishman Loudbox Mini is pretty portable. I know 19lb sounds pretty heavy for a “lightweight” amp but, considering how powerful it is, it’s a lot lighter than most other amps with the same specs.
The Loudbox mini doesn’t have quite as many features as the Loudbox Artist but that’s to be expected. You’ve still got a microphone input and Bluetooth connectivity which is pretty surprising for a compact amp. Plus, you have so much control over your sound with Fishman’s classic controls. The Fishman Soundbox Mini is the way to go if you’re not sure where to start with violin amps.
You can’t beat the Fishman tone in my opinion. When I first tried the Soundbox Mini out I was sure it wouldn’t live up to my Loudbox Artist but it actually came pretty close (considering it’s half the price). Plus, it’s got bucketloads of volume for a portable amp. For reference, is around 70-80% louder than a 30w (wattage is a bit hard to gauge sometimes).
- Power: 60 watts with Master Volume
- Drivers: 6.5″ woofer, 1″ soft dome tweeter
- SPL: 108dB SPL at 1 meter
- Speaker Baffle: 10° built-in tilt
- Connectivity: Bluetooth® 4.0
- Dimensions: 12″ H x 13.7″ W x 9.7″ D
- Weight: 19.7 lbs
Final Thoughts on the Fishman Loudbox Mini – Best Budget Option
If you’re looking for an affordable amp for your electric violin, you can’t do much better than the Fishman Loudbox Mini. You won’t have to compromise on sound quality, volume, or effects. This amp is by far the best budget option!
If you’re not sure whether to splash the cash on an electric rig, maybe micing up your acoustic violin is a better option. Here are the 4 Best Violin Microphones in 2020!
Your Amp is as Important as Your Electric Violin
When you’re shopping for an amp for your electric violin, you should think about your whole rig.
It’s all fine and dandy buying an expensive electric violin but if you don’t have any budget left for an amp you’re not going to get a very good sound.
As a rule of thumb, I’d spend two-thirds of your budget on your violin and at least a third on a great quality amp! Your sound will only be as good as the weakest link in your circuit.
So, I hope this blog has helped you build a great one!
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Fiona is a musician and writer. When she’s not working, she’s either playing the ukulele or finding another instrument to add to her collection.