About Electric Violin Shop

Electric Violin Shop occupies a unique position as an independent retailer at the forefront of a unique, exciting and growing industry. We are a small, worker-owned company doing a big business! Since 2002, electricviolinshop.com has been a primary source for amplified bowed string instruments & gear, as well as a knowledge base for the electric violin community.

History of EVS
The EVS Difference
Shop Setup
Our Staff
A Brief History of EVS

A Brief History of EVS

From Founding to Worker-Owned Co-Op

  • 1978: Blaise Kielar opens his first violin shop
  • Mid-1980's: Blaise was an original dealer of ZETA electric violins
  • Late-1990's: Blaise & Cathy Kielar's 'Music Explorium' website lists electric violins.
  • 2002: Blaise founds Electric Violin Shop and launches electricviolinshop.com
  • 2016: Blaise retires; his long-time employees organized a Cooperative and purchased the business.
  • Present: Electric Violin Shop maintains its industry-leading position under the leadership of employees with many combined decades of experience!


Electric Violin Shop is your one-stop shop for electric instruments, amps, gear & accessories, and most of all, expertiseWhat sets us apart from everyone else are our…

Knowledge & Experience

With over a half-century of combined experience, our staff have the most thorough knowledge of string amplification anywhere. We continue to explore and test new equipment each day in order to bring you the newest high quality instruments & technology available.

Unparalleled Selection

We have the widest selection of electric bowed string instruments and pickups on the planet, including from top instrument manufacturers and boutique luthiers! With hundreds of instruments in stock to choose from, we are sure you will find the tone, shape and color that is right for you.

Instrument Setups

We put the "violin shop" in Electric Violin Shop with our detailed attention to instrument setups.  You should expect the same level of playability from an electric instrument that you do from your acoustic one.  Each instrument we sell receives a full shop setup and play testing before we ship it to you.

Quality Assurance

When you purchase from EVS you can be assured that you will receive only the best products available on the electric violin market.  We only stock instruments that meet our high standards for tone, playability and reliability. We also offer a generous 30-day returns period!

Customer Service

When you call us with questions you will receive enthusiastic assistance from a friendly, knowledgeable staff member. We want you to understand what you're buying. We're employee-owned and don't work on commission, so we'll never try to up-sell you on items you don't need! What's more, we'll help you get the best gear possible within your budget, no matter what it is.

Our Shop Setup

Included for free with every instrument purchase

Meet Our Staff

Chris Guin

Chris Guin

Member-Owner, Customer Service Representative, Product Photographer, Tech Officer, Fiddle Fashionista

A native of Fayetteville, NC, Chris Guin took up the violin when he was nine years old, because it got him out of math class. Throughout his school years, he played in local and regional youth orchestras, as well as the community symphony orchestra. At 14, he took up guitar, because he wanted to play in a rock band. If Electric Violin Shop had existed back then, this unfortunate necessity would never have occurred. With a decent amp and an effects processor, he could've played all the Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Van Halen, and Yngwie Malmsteen tunes he wasn't quite good enough to play on the guitar.

Chris worked construction, sold cars, telemarketed (so much for that whole immortal soul thing), worked for an inventory company, wrote resumes, and even co-authored a novel. (You'd probably think someone who wrote an entire novel would have no trouble with a little web bio -- you'd be wrong). After serving way too much time as a mall-zombie and general retail drone, much of it spent as an Evil Corporate Bookseller, he finally found his way to Electric Violin Shop. He has since become a brand evangelist for the store, and for the electric violin in general. As the Fiddle Fashionista for EVS, he sometimes helps customers find not only the instrument with the right tone, but the electric violin and bow to perfectly match, contrast, or compliment the player's wardrobe. His math skills have never fully recovered, but he is still playing the violin.

Susie Sneeringer

Susie Sneeringer

Member-Owner, Store Manager, Customer Service Representative

Susie grew up in Raleigh, NC playing classical and fiddle music. After a number of years in graduate school in Geography and various retail jobs she realized that she has always been pursuing her musical passions in one way or another. She plays acoustic and electric violin in a number of bands and musical styles, from old time and bluegrass to blues and rock.

She's been a member of Rootzie, the Slim Pickers, and the Marla Vickers Band. Currently she plays with Penny Prophets, a rock band out of Chapel Hill, and the JayBirds, a Durham-based duo. Along with violin, she plays electric bass, keyboard and sings. Besides music, Susie enjoys horror movies, cooking, hiking and good swimming holes.

Jamie Sneeringer

Jamie Sneeringer

Member-Owner, Luthier and Technician, Customer Service Representative

Born in New Orleans and raised in Highfalls, North Carolina, Jamie had an early initiation into music and music history through his father Phillip Sneeringer. His father is an accomplished drummer and always held a deep interest in music history (especially the late 40's through the early 70's). Jamie's mother, Marilyn Jane Purvis (Jane), was an artist and poet. Through their influence, a backdrop and appreciation for the arts was ever-present in his life. Jamie began playing guitar at 17 with his father and was in several bands throughout the years. This includes the current musical duo "The Jaybirds", which includes his wife and EVS co-worker Susie Sneeringer.

Through the years Jamie held many job titles from painter, cook, landscaper, and heating and air technician -- he has an HVAC associate's degree. Although these positions held either the creative outlet or technical one he was searching for, none fulfilled the right balance until he began work as a luthier at The Electric Violin Shop. He has taken up the path of learning to play the violin and has fallen in love with the instrument.

Jamie lives in Durham with his wife Susie, their two children William and Luke, and their dog Sadie.

Matt Bell

Matt Bell

Artist Relations Manager, Content Creator, Customer Service Representative

Matt Bell started playing violin at the age of 3 in Battle Creek, Michigan. He studied classical violin at Michigan State, Notre Dame, and the University of Toledo, as well as summer camps at Blue Lake. He picked up the trumpet in 6th grade in order to join the school band (his school didn’t have an orchestra) and shortly thereafter discovered rock music. He was primarily a trumpet player through high school and college, and joined a rock band as a trumpet player after moving to Beaumont, Texas after college. One fateful day, the guys in the band asked if Matt knew any fiddle players, as they were thinking about trying to hire one. Hoping to keep his job, he bought his first Barcus-Berry pickup, threw it on a pawn shop violin, and re-learned how to play the violin. A year or so later, he bought his first Mark Wood Viper and started experimenting with effects and different styles of playing. He played well over 1000 shows with his Texas-based band on violin, trumpet, keys, mandolin, and guitar all over the southern US and into Mexico.

In 2008, he and his wife moved to North Carolina and Matt soon became a customer at the Electric Violin Shop while playing full-time with the band Spare Change. He began working at EVS part-time in 2015 and has been producing content and serving customers here at a high level ever since.

In 2019, he left his band and spent the year writing and recording an all original rock album with no significant guitar work. "One Way to Do It" is proof that the electric violin can rock just as hard as the electric guitar. In 2021 Matt released the concept album called "Window Into Wild."

In 2020, Matt formed the Viper duo "Incendium" with violinist Jared Burnett and the two have released two singles with videos.  They are available for corporate and private events.

The Matt Bell trio (electric violin/vocals + bass and drums) was formed in 2021 to perform original material in North Carolina, focusing on community events and festivals.

In 2023, Matt earned his Masters Degree in Electric Violin at the University of Illinois.

In addition to playing and singing, Matt is also a studio engineer and a live sound engineer. When he’s not playing music, he’s spending time with his wife, two kids, and boxer puppy, and trying to come up with creative things to do to his hair.

Visit mattbellviolinist.com
Shana Tucker

Shana Tucker

Resident Cellist & Looper, Content Creator, Customer Service Representative

SHANA TUCKER is a talented singer-songwriter and cellist. Growing up on Long Island, NY, Shana began taking piano lessons with her great-grandmother at home while discovering violin in fourth grade, later switching to cello in junior high school.  

A beneficiary of public school arts education, Shana's cello talents awarded her a scholarship to Howard University in Washington, DC, where she was first introduced to jazz and a wealth of essential musical resources. She completed her cello studies at CUNY-Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music before moving to North Carolina to raise her son.

Deciding that 2009 was the year to return to her music, Shana set to work establishing a network of musicians and a name for herself in the Triangle area (Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill) of North Carolina. With the help of her dedicated fan base, Shana successfully launched a crowd-funded campaign to finance the independent recording and release of her debut CD, SHiNE in 2011. Due to its broad appeal and genre-defying nature, SHiNE was picked up in 2015 by Boston-based jazz label and distribution team, The Jazz Urbane Recordings / SUGO Music Group to be remastered and reissued as one of their premiere projects.

Visit shanatucker.com
Duncan Monserud

Duncan Monserud

Member-Owner, eCommerce & Digital Marketing, Customer Service Representative

Duncan has been with Electric Violin Shop since 2008. Only occassionally in the shop, he mostly works remotely on our website, digital ads & marketing, and customer service from his home office in Houston, Texas.

As a violinist Duncan has performed with symphony orchestras in Iowa, Washington, North Carolina and Houston, Texas. Classically trained on the violin and piano, for years his only outlet for non-classical styles came in teaching himself to play the guitar...that is until his discovery of the electric violin! Electrified strings not only renewed his interest in violin playing, but also opened a new realm of possibilities to him as a composer.

Duncan studied Music Composition as an undergraduate at the University of Northern Iowa and earned a Master's degree at the University of Idaho's Lionel Hampton School of Music, where he also taught Music Theory. Duncan's compositions for strings include a Sonata for Violin and Piano and a String Quartet, and he has done several string arrangements of pop, rock, and R&B tunes.

Blaise Kielar

Blaise Kielar

Company Founder (Retired)

D. Blaise Kielar began his electric violin journey in the mid 1980's, when he sold Zeta violins through Hillmusic Fine Violins, in Chapel Hill, NC. He left that business to play and teach more in the mid 1990's. Over the years, he has taught many styles - classical, Irish, Old Time, jazz, gospel, country, Middle Eastern, free improv, etc.

When he started his world music instrument store, Music Explorium, in 1999, he considered stocking electric violins to be his fun indulgence. He added acoustic violins due to demand from his former violin shop customers. Through the wonders of the Internet, people began calling him for advice about choosing an electric violin. His combination of violin shop skills and comfort with electronics and improvising appealed to players from around the world. Blaise soon decided to focus his specialization in this area and Electric Violin Shop was born. For years leading up to his retirement Blaise has fostered a flat management structure, empowering his staff with a large say in running the business and delegating responsibility for sales management, procurement and marketing. In May of 2016 Blaise sold his ownership interest in the business to three long-time employees–Chris Guin, Duncan Monserud and Susie Sneeringer–who restructured EVS into a worker-owned cooperative.

Visit blaisekielar.com

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