Yamaha’s trademark Silent Series™ of electric strings allows you to practice “silently” using a headphones jack.
The Silent Series™ is a product feature Yamaha has been developing for many years with one of its lead designers, Shinya Tamura. The SVC-110 and SVC-210 electric cello models boast acoustic-body resonating chambers beneath the bridge for stage and recording performance. The SVC-50 in the Silent Series™ lacks this feature and sells at a lower price point.
Compact yet solid-bodied instruments, Yamaha has developed their own piezo pickup technology for their electric string units. Located beneath the bridge of the cello, a piezo pickup is a microphone that “picks up” the vibrations you produce on the strings, generating an electrical signal that you can then send through your amplifier. Piezo pickups have the advantage of not producing environmental feedback.
I would have preferred purchasing a Yamaha Electric Cello but my budget was on the lower end. However, the Cecilio Electric Cello I ultimately purchased also included headphones and has similar technology for ‘silent playing.’ You simply plug the headphones into the applicable jack on the back of the instrument, and the sounds you produce on the strings will be heard through only the headphones.
Cecilios have the same silent-playing feature as the Yamaha instruments but the quality of Yamaha’s technology has been refined. The headphones plug and the jack on my Cecilio came ill-fitted from day one. The distortion I sometimes experience because of this tech flaw is bothersome but not unadjustable. All Cecilio electric cellos may not experience this issue.