By Greg Olwell
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.)
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)