By Greg Olwell

Acoustic Electric Strings Old No. 54 acoustic-electric violin front view

Acoustic Electric Strings Old No. 54 acoustic-electric violin

The new Acoustic Electric Strings Old No. 54 acoustic-electric violin came from AES’s Gary Bartig: It is a four-string violin that has some of the pleasing traits of the company’s five-string violins. 

To get there, the Old No. 54 features the slightly enlarged body of a five-string violin, with a wider lower bout and a longer distance from the bridge to the endbutton, paired with the neck size of a familiar four string. (The body measures 5mm longer than an average violin and is slightly wider along the lower bout.)

Acoustic Electric Strings Old No. 54 acoustic-electric violin back view

Bartig says the result is a violin that sounds thicker and sweeter than the traditional violin optimized for classical music, which makes it well suited for alt-style fiddlers. It has a lightly antiqued oil varnish and quality fittings. It’s available with or without AES’s integral piezo pickup.


  • Large-bodied, four-string acoustic-electric violin
  • Despiau bridge, Wittner tailpiece, D’Addario Zyex strings
  • Case included
  • With pickup: $1,839 (direct); without pickup $1,439 (direct)

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