Carbon-Klang Elena Violin

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Elena - Bright Sparkly Powerhouse

I bought the Carbon-Klang “Elena” in November 2019 and I am writing this review after having played her daily for 8 months. Elena is exceptionally responsive and easy to play but she sounds very “nasally” when she’s new and requires A LOT of play-in for her sound to mature. I highly recommend using a Tone-Right to help speed that process up. I kept a Tone-Rite on her 24*7 for about two months before the sound was even “acceptable”. Seriously, I wasn’t sure I wanted to keep her even after New Year’s Day had come and gone. Fast-forward to today and I couldn’t bear to part with her - she sounds wonderful and is an absolute joy to play. Pros: * Jaw-dropping projection and clarity cuts through the sound of big orchestras and dense mixes. Great for soloists and recording artists. * Exceptionally responsive - vibrates sympathetically to the faintest of sounds. Playability is off-the-charts. * Distinctive look - the body does not look like the typical carbon fiber woven material. You will get a lot looks and a few brave people might even ask questions in hushed voices. * The body, fingerboard, neck, and scroll are made of carbon fiber and are not sensitive to changes in temperature and humidity. You could pour fruit juice all over her, rinse her off with water and be back in action in under an hour. (Your soundpost might suffer with that extreme of a treatment but you get the idea.) * Does not contain endangered woods or materials subject to customs restrictions - good for traveling musicians. Cons: * Long play-in time - tone sounds very “nasally” before getting played in. The A string sounded like playing through a half-open Wah pedal for a few months. * Sparkly bright - if you want a darker tone, this is not the violin for you. * Wood tuning pegs just don’t work well, replace them with geared pegs and save yourself the aggravation. I really liked the ‘black and tan’ look with the boxwood fittings but the boxwood tuning pegs just don’t work well with a carbon fiber peg box. While the violin is immune to temperature and humidity changes, the wooden pegs are not! After about the 5th time seeing all four pegs slip completely - one time the bridge actually fell over - I replaced the boxwood pegs with Witner finetuning geared pegs. While I was at it, I replaced the chinrest with an ebony chinrest, replaced the boxwood tail piece with a titanium tail piece, and put an LR Baggs bridge pickup on it. Now it is all blacked out, setup with modern fittings to match its high-tech body, and electrified so I can plug in to a guitar amp and annoy the neighbors. I have several other violins, both electric and acoustic, but Elena is my go-to girl. Unlike my wood violins, she never needs to be put in a case so she doesn’t crack or warp. Elena is always out, ready to play so I practice a lot more and my playing has improved as a result. Unlike my electric violins, she sounds beautiful under-ear, and doesn’t need an amp and/or electricity to fill a room with sound. When I record, I can double-track the acoustic and electric sounds by using the pick-up and a mic simultaneously. (acoustic-electric perk) In summary, if you’re looking to replace your dark/warm sounding wood acoustic violin, look elsewhere. If you’re looking for a professional-level touring instrument that can take the abuse then Elena is a great choice. If you’re a soloist or recording artist looking for a bright, powerful instrument then you should give Elena a try. I absolutely love her and I am so glad I invested the time and effort to develop her sound - incredible violin!

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