Yamaha SV-250 Professional Silent 5-String Violin
The Yamaha Silent Violin made this list because of the range of options it provides for a player. While it may not excel at any one thing, it's a solid entry into amplified music and is very versatile. This is the only instrument to offer a 1/8 inch headphone jack as well as a 1/4 inch output. The onboard dual-pickup system allows you to adjust the sound levels, and play using headphones, without the need for an amp. This is great if you need to practice somewhere but having an amp blasting out your sound wouldn't be appropriate or feasible. It's also an extremely handy way to be able to hear yourself when you're on a loud stage - send the 1/4 inch feed to the sound board, and plug a pair of earbuds into the 1/8" jack to create your own in-ear monitors. The pickups are good enough to give you a very nice tone if you're using a high-quality amp or effects pedals. Because this instrument has the outline of a traditional violin, you can use your own shoulder rest, and the mechanics of the violin feel very familiar.