E. F. Keebler Musical Instruments


The Filament: a new pinnacle of tone and ergonomics.

Filament #1 has SOLD within minutes of my sending out an email about it! Please contact me if you’d like to be notified about new Filmaments as they become available (there should be several each month), or if you’d like to place a deposit to reserve a place in line.

Filament is the product of several years of grueling cycles of intensive research, CAD work, prototyping, machining, assembly, and testing. (And that process continues, as I am working on a series of lighting modules that will attach to any Filament!) This new model distills my decades of professional electric-violin-making experience into an instrument that is better-sounding, more precisely shaped, lighter in the left hand, more affordable, and faster to produce than anything I have ever offered. This is a truly professional-caliber violin that is meant for every violinist.




The price is $2,699 plus shipping (and sales tax for Pennsylvania residents). How can I offer mid-tier pricing on a top-tier violin? By using a computer-run CNC mill to produce all the parts in-house, with far more efficiency than ever before; and by selling directly to my customers, so there’s no middle-man to take a big cut and force a much higher price. I still assemble, finish, set up, and voice every violin completely by myself. A high-quality European-made hard case is included. (Please note that I do not include a shoulder-rest, bow, instrument cable, or any other accessories.)

The first production-run Filament, serial number 1, is now available for sale -- if you want it,
contact me now! (Full disclosure: I will be keeping the “number 0” prototype from my development process; it lacks numerous ergonomic, cosmetic, and tonal improvements present in production units.) I expect to be making several violins each month, so if you miss out on #1, never fear as #2 will be available soon. If you wish, you may make a fully-refundable 20% deposit to reserve a place on a waiting list; this will give you the right of first refusal on each new violin I make until you purchase one. Being who I am, I will inevitably be playing with the design a bit, so expect to see some variations; but the core Filament design is now set.

I am also planning on offering LED lighting features as modular add-ons in the future!



What initially got me interested in making electric violins (way back in the 1990s) was an experience with a friend’s beautifully-crafted instrument that unfortunately had a very thin, bright, buzzy sound. I thought I could do better, and after first making electromagnetic pickups for my early Tubular Electric Violins and then pivoting to piezoelectric technology, I achieved that goal with dual-pickup bridges whose mix (and thus timbre) could be changed with a blend knob: a really sweet acoustic-like sound emerged in one spot near each end of the blend knob’s travel.
My piezoelectric pickups have always been optimized for use with guitar amplifiers; you may require a “direct box” or additional equalization if you attempt to connect directly to a PA system or mixing board.

My parallel career doing tonal work on pipe organs vastly improved my ability to listen to and analyze timbre, which in turn inspired me to dramatically expand the potential of my violin pickups. After much thought and experimentation, I’ve created the Filament’s 3-element, 5-axis pickup system: the timbre of the Main element and the Aux elements are adjustable independently, and there’s a separate blend control for each aux element’s level (now refined to focus on the most usable area within the old blend knob’s “sweet spot”).

These are not on-the-fly adjustments you’d ever use on-stage (not every combination of settings will give good results), and are accessed via a set of tiny screwdriver-operated trimmer potentiometers on the underside of the bout.
I’ve carefully set up a woody and lyrical “acoustic” timbre for you so that the violin is completely ready-to-play; and particularly adventurous violinists may enjoy hours of fussing with these controls (be sure to take a photo of the current control positions first, and take care not to scratch the violin with your screwdriver).

I have provided a pair of large knobs on the top of the lower bout to quickly and easily regulate volume and treble.



Throughout the Filament’s design process, I paid close attention to making those parts of the instrument that the player interacts with, true to the measurements of an acoustic violin. (Of course, even though 4/4 violins have highly-standardized measurements, they’re far from
completely standardized; and I spent long hours consulting reference books and violin-maker forums, teasing out subtle details that allowed me to make final decisions on many measurements.)

The Filament sports a
newly-refined neck. As on all my violins, it is finished with nothing but linseed oil (beware of lacquered necks as their friction can impede the free movement of your left hand). Filament #1 is equipped with a katalox fingerboard and nut.

precisely-located upper-bout fragment mimics the edge of the upper bout of an acoustic violin and serves as a reference when shifting into high positions.

The chinrest sits at the same height it would on an acoustic, so you don’t have to be a giraffe to play comfortably! In addition, the surface of the chinrest support is now contoured like that of an acoustic violin, allowing chinrests to grip firmly without modification or adhesives. You are free to swap out the supplied side-mounted Beran chinrest for any other standard model (note that designs meant to straddle a tailpiece may partially overhang the end of the chinrest support).

The bridge height is adjustable as it sits on two set-screws.

The tuner pegbox is located directly behind the bridge at a position and angle that both keep them away from the player’s chin and preserve the correct angles of the strings as they pass over the bridge (for optimal tone and to prevent warping); this also places their weight far back, contributing enormously to the amazingly-low head weight (see below). While the orientation of the Japanese-made Gotoh tuners may look odd at first, there’s a good reason for it:
while bowing with your right hand, reach up from underneath the violin with your left hand to turn the tuner knobs.



With the supplied chinrest but without a shoulder-rest, Filament #1 weighs 644g (1 lb. 6.7 oz), with a balance point 145mm from the edge of the lower bout and a head weight of 110g. I recommend watching
this excellent video to put those numbers in context. The key take-away is that the Filament beats all of the tested competition in terms of both balance point and head weight (the weight your left hand experiences)!

If you want to be able to support the Filament with a strap (so you can lift your chin off the chinrest, which is great for dancers), I can add a pair of Strap-Lok connectors to the top surface of the lower bout and provide a shortened guitar strap that passes over your left shoulder and under your right arm. (I don’t install these by default due to the Filament’s excellent weight characteristics and the visual impact of the connectors.) I can also add these later, or instruct you on how to do it yourself (at your own risk of course, as drilling into the lower bout is required).

More photos!