Does the Bunnel Edge Electric Violin Outfit stand up to a sound test? Find out in this in-depth expert review.
At a Glance
Bunnel EDGE Electric Violin Review – Why Is It Rated 4.6 / 5?
Musicians sometimes just want a new sound—and that means exploring outside the comfort zone of their favorite instrument. The tone of an acoustic violin is second to none. But there is a time and place for the electric violin.
Once amplified, it opens a new world of dynamics. Like guitarists, the violinist can delve into the tone controls and even effects pedals. One violin to consider, because so many have raved about it, is the Bunnel Edge Electric Violin Outfit.
What We Like About It
Like traditional acoustic violin kits, many electric violins now come in a set that can include the case, bow, strings, and headphones. The Bunnel Edge, which Bunnel terms as coming in an “outfit,” goes a couple steps beyond.
They call it the Bunnel Edge Outfit Rock Star, and an amplifier tags along, featuring controls for volume, tone, and other effects. You can use the headphones, also included, to practice without the neighbors filing any complaints…
This electric violin’s design is eclectic. Other than the chin rest, the top is largely cut away, and it really is striking. The red finish is eye-catching and helps earn that “Rock Star” marketing tagline.
Bunnel EDGE Clearance Electric Violin Outfit
- All-in-one outfit, including an amp and even a soft cloth
- Playable for practicing even without an amp
- Maplewood and piezo ceramic pickup for outstanding range and richer tone
- Perhaps a design short-cut, the pegs or tailpiece make it lose its tuning
- Amp only run on 9-volt battery—stock up, there’s no plug
- Red finish, while impactful, could use another coat or two
Fit and Finish
The Bunnel Edge Outfit is the whole nine yards: stringed violin, case, amp, headphones, bow, Kennedy rosin, and a polishing cloth. There is no assembly required except for putting in the battery and tuning it. (Pick out a chromatic tuner at the music store or online if you don’t already own one).
Although it does sometimes stray from holding its tuning, the violin is handcrafted and features ebony fittings. It is not for lack of quality components. And the issue of it going out of tune is not a pandemic, fatal flaw.
It just seems to happen more than traditional violins. Perhaps it is just a matter of upgrading the strings or getting a cursory servcie.
It comes with D’Addario Prelude strings, a respected brand, but going a step up in the D’Addario family may do the trick—if you even encounter the problem.
What is neat is that the tailpiece has four fine tuners. So, during your rock star performances, you can easily fiddle around (pun intended) to regain tune.
The bow is a Giuliani. This is a responsive bow and strong, made of Brazilwood. Intense playing is welcome! The bow has Mongolian horsehair, which contributes to a smoother, fuller tone. The ebony frog is metal-mounted and there’s nice mother-of-pearl accents.
How Does the Bunnel EDGE Sound?
The body is solid maple to help produce a rich sound when amplified. The resonance of maple always has been popular with manufacturers and violinists because of its tonality. The ceramic pickup does the job even if it is a little old school. But, hey, who wants a humbucker on a violin?
Some say that electric violins tend to compress or mute the range of notes. The luthier behind the Bunnel Edge’s design somehow managed to achieve a relatively greater degree of openness. Even when not amplified, this one can be heard acoustically, although not for performance—just for practicing.
Electric Violin Comparison:
This is a great all-in-one package. The Bunnel EDGE from Kennedy Violins is an attractive-looking instrument with tone and volume on the top for easy adjustment while playing. The amp comes with distortion and chorus effects, as well as ¼” cables that hook up the effects to the violin and the amp. The case is padded and good quality.
That the amplifier is rather small and relies solely on battery power makes for a rather “disposable” feeling. Nice for around the house, but intermediate or better players intending to hit the road will likely buy a traditional amp having more features and larger speakers.
Watch for the tuning issue, but the tuning issues people have written about can be due to string, not letting the instrument adjust to room temperatures, or simply a bum string or two.
So, on the whole, a very powerful, well-designed outfit that a player can turn to and enjoy for many years to come.