Does the Neolin also exist in a 5-string version ? The answer is:
Yes and No !
NO, because the Neolin is in the first place meant to have a good sound played acoustically. All 5-string acoustic violins I’ve seen, heard and tried had a poorer sound than comparable 4-string instrument, less harmonics and less power. An observation which has been confirmed by several fellow violin makers. So if the Neolin is a priori a four stringed instrument, that is to fully exhaust it’s potential.
YES, because once you amplify it, a lot of things change.Gaining power is no problem, and the sound can be somewhat altered as well. So a fifth stings makes sense. That’s why on the hybrid 4/5 string Neolin, you can add a c-string. The upper saddle and the bridge have 9 notches each, so you can center either 4 or 5 strings (which is very important for playability and for sound). If you want to switch to 5 strings, you just have to remove some tension from the g d a and e string and push them one notch to the treble side. The c-string is wound on a standard wooden peg, to save time. At the tailpiece, it’s fixed into the same hole as the g-string, so no further changes have to be made there. Furthermore, a tailpiece with 5 holes would pull to the bass side with only 4 strings mounted, which would be bad for balance.
In either way, the transformation takes less than 2 minutes.
The c-string I use is a D’Addario Helicore string, specially concieved for use on 5-sting violins.
And YES once again, because in its version 5V2 with the modified belly arching, the Neolin now exists in a pure and uncompromising 5 string version.