Thursday, June 12, 2008

Electric Erhu with Effects Pedal

This is a new plexiglass Electric Erhu I saw at the Beijing fair.

There are knobs at the bottom of the Erhu which think should be volume and tone.

It has a bridge made of plexiglass as well. Initially I thought the plexiglass bridge is essential till I saw another piece with a normal bridge and a damper!

Ok, the interesting part of the electric Erhu is not the Erhu itself. It is the stuff that comes with it. It comes with a specially designed effects board with presets where your Erhu can sound like an Erhu, Zhonghu, Jinghu, Zhuihu, Cello, Erhu in overdrive etc. It has 60 over different presets.

The Erhu in overdrive.... The guy is played double stop quite clearly. I suspect the bow is modified such that the bamboo part is playable as well.


  1. Whoa...Kicking some A** with that rock'n roll erhu! I wonder, can this also be achieved with a mic attached to traditional Erhu and some good guitar effects pedals? I dont really care for the clear plexi look but is this instrument resistant to humidity as well?

  2. That is really, really cool and the look on that guy's face is absolutely hilarious.

  3. So do we get to hear the electric pipa, next?
    (And do you plan to carry any of these?)

  4. That's totally cool. Would be great for Hendrix songs. How much does it cost??

  5. That looks more like plexiglass than fiberglass. The latter has many strands clumped together, and looks opague or at least cloudy rather than clear.

    Best wishes,


  6. Yes it is very resistant to humidity because there is no wood and snakeskin to contend with. I suppose with a mike and some guitar effect pedals you could get similar effects as well.

    I'll try to get some sound samples of the electric pipa the next time I go to the music fair.

    My initial estimation of the price is US$2000.

    Thanks for the correction David!

  7. Wait a minute...2000$ for this Erhu or the electric Pipa?

    Geez, if its the Erhu just think what a nice quality traditional model you can get for that!!

  8. Oh, the guy playing the doublestops is Cao Tian Li right?

  9. This reminds me of when I heard Bian Liunian play erhu here in Oslo. He used his own, regular instrument, but with a pick-up. It sounded great, and made it possible for him to fill a hall with sound, even when he was playing with violin and grand piano.

    Do you have any ideas about what sort of pick-up would work on an erhu? Does your store carry them (I thought you might, since you also carry Western instruments and equipment!)?

  10. I'm working with some company on a pickup for the Erhu. Will update once the prototype is ready.

    I checked up the price on the electric pipa a year ago and boy is it pricey! A little overpriced I think thus I was not too keen.

    I have no idea who the double stopper is...

  11. i still think the traditional erhu sounds the best. have the yin se and with 2k can get a good hu han rou erhu!

  12. Transparent design is very nice, too bad it is so expensive..
    An alternative is the seiko. I found it in Japan but I guess it is from a chinese maker. It costs about 380 USD. Visible here:

    The FX pedal is well known by guitar players, it is a Zoom G1X, available in any guitar shop for 80 USD. Preset can be done quite easily as there are only a few parameters.

  13. Thanks for your feedback Julien. We were looking at that electric erhu from your link a few years ago but decided against bringing it in.

    Regarding the effects pedal, I was as concerned when you pointed out that they are just using a guitar effects pedal. So I emailed them about it and they told me that they researched and created the sound effects inside the effects pedal. (To make it sound like Zhonghu, Gaohu, Banhu, Zhuihu etc) It has an uncanny resemblance to the zoom g1x because they think that the interface is user friendly so they 'borrowed' the design.

  14. Very interesting, sounds nice and looks nice.
    But I prefer the traditional erhu, just like with my cello, acustic rocks :)
    Just like meyoufools said, I think it could be done with the traditional erhu and the pedal effects, I do that with my cello, I put the mic bellow the bridge, it reaaallly makes a difference :D


  15. hey Sung Wah, why not bringing in the electric or silent erhu? i'm sure there is some demand for least it shows erhu is advancing with technology, digitally/electronically. and it widens the range of your products at Eason.

  16. Well, the electric Erhu will be in store in 3 week's time!

  17. Hi all,

    I found this online: An Japanese version of 'Silent Erhu'.
    Price is reasonable, around $US 300. However, they didn't reply to my email.
    Sung Wah, can you carry this item?