Violinists are as geeky as the next musician, and one of the things that geeks us out most is pick-up systems. So you can imagine I’m geeking out today as I await my new Fishman V-300 pick-up for my acoustic metal violin, named Tristan. Tristan has had a few pick-ups in the sixteen years since he came into existence, and all of them have been piezzo bridge ones. The first was great for the time, but it was fitted with a little 1/8″ mini jack which always sucked a bit in terms of fidelity. When the day came that it broke, I decided to go with a tiny clip on microphone from Sennheiser, which I clipped onto the bridge.
Years later, and I had a new piezzo bridge fitted with a 1/4″ carpenter jack. I’d hoped it would be more robust, but it’s had to be re-soldered more often than I’d hoped. I’ve thrown in the towel, seen the light, and gone ahead and ordered a new Fishman V-300.
I’ve been very happy with the Fishman V-400 on my viola for a while now. It was fitted earlier this year, and came with me on tour with the Spirits in the Sky this summer. It was totally happy with the rigors of the bus, multiple temperature changes and jacks being pulled out of it a few times a day. Not a moment of solder unhappiness the whole time.
I’m confident Tristan will be pleased with his new V-300 tomorrow night. And this will give me the freedom to play live, secure in the knowledge that there will be zero ground noise and exceptional clarity and tonal range with no need to re-solder for many years to come.