Press Reviews

The RV-4 had a warm, easy sound, remarkably good for the price point, while the Pro-model five-string had a big, rich tone.

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Realist Releases New 4- & 5-String Violins

The Realist Violin, from David Gage String Instruments, is the newest addition to the growing acoustic-electric violin market. A Realist Pickup, developed by Gage and electric-instrument designer Ned Steinberger, is inlaid in the top of a four- or five-string violin under the bass foot of the bridge. The output jack is mounted in a corner block in back, out of sight and out of the way (a right-angle patch cord works best). The volume-control knob, conveniently located in the rib of the treble c-bout is easy to reach and cleverly camouflaged with violin varnish. No batteries or preamp are necessary; the Realist�s passive electronics send a clean signal directly to your amp or sound board.

Strings tested the RV-4 four-string violin and the RV-5 Pro five-string. Pro and regular models use the same Realist electronics, but the pro-model instruments are made with more expensive wood and better varnish for improved sound quality. Both violins were nicely set up, easy to play, and showed careful attention to bridge and fingerboard. The RV-4 had a warm, easy sound, remarkably good for the price point, while the Pro-model five-string had a big, rich tone.

The amplified sound was natural and true to the instrument. All models ship with a case and come with quality ebony fittings, Despiau Superieur bridges, Wittner or Thomastik tailpieces, and Thomastik-Infeld Vision strings.

Erin Shrader
Strings Magazine