Best Violin Brands (2020)

Buying a violin is not a decision that should be taken lightly. After all, it can turn out to be a very expensive investment.

To the untrained eye, all violins look alike. But to the trained eye, there are subtle differences in size, quality, and make that determine whether or not you invest in a particular violin.

If you are someone who is in the early stages of learning to play the violin, reading reviews from other violin students can prove to be very beneficial.

Best Violin Brands

Reviews will give you firsthand insight into how the various violins perform, and whether or not they are beginner friendly.

We have put together this guide for both beginner violinists, as well as intermediate players. The goal is to break down the best violin brands for both beginners, and intermediate players.

There are even a few violins in this guide that would be best suited for more advanced players.

The biggest factors we looked at are affordability and the quality of violins made by each brand. We also took into consideration the sound quality each violin is able to produce.

We will be covering 15 of the best violin brands, as well as reviewing some of the best violins associated with each of those brands.  

We will also be answering some very important questions such as how much you should spend on a violin, the best place to buy a violin, and which violins are best for beginners.

So, before you head out and spend hundreds on a violin that may or may not work for you, read through this guide and find out exactly what you should buy.

Best Violin Brands - Top 15 For Beginners & Intermediate Players

We focused on three key factors when coming up with our list of the best violin brands. Those factors were cost, durability, and sound quality.

Here are the best violin brands that you will find online, as well as in stores. Please note these brands are listed in no particular order.

  1. Stentor
  2. Mendini
  3. Cecilio
  4. Fiddlerman
  5. Franz Hoffmann
  6. Carlo Lamberti
  7. Kennedy Violins
  8. D Z Strad
  9. Cremona
  10. Scott Cao
  11. Yamaha
  12. Primavera
  13. Knilling
  14. Windsor
  15. All Days Music

Stentor

When it comes to popularity, the Stentor brand is leading the pack. They are known for producing high quality instruments that last a long time.

Stentor is a Chinese brand that offers handcrafted violins for those on a budget.

Many in the community see Stentor as one of the best acoustic violin brands on the market.

Mendini

If you have been contemplating what would be the best violin to buy, Mendini may be a brand you want to check out.

They are a great low to mid budget violin brand, that is perfect for beginners and those who are still in the early learning stages.

While Mendini violins are factory made, they still offer great value for the money.

This is the ideal brand for those who are looking for cheap violins.

Cecilio

Cecilio is a brand that every beginner should start with. Because when it comes to producing top notch budget violins, they are the best.

Their handcrafted violins and high quality bows are often praised by violinists of all skill levels.

Fiddlerman

Fiddlerman produces the best violins on the market. They are so good in fact, that they are blowing the competition away.

Pierre Holstein, also known as Fiddlerman, takes the time to curate and test every violin his company produces.

And with over 30 years of experience, it's safe to say he knows exactly what he is doing.

Franz Hoffmann

Franz Hoffmann violins are made in China. They are dependable, produce a consistent tone, and are beautifully crafted.

If you are a beginner violinist, having a Franz Hoffmann will make you stand out in the crowd. And for their price range, these violins are considered superior and of the best quality.

The Franz Hoffmann beginner violin line is loved by many and is exclusively available at SHAR, a North American music company.

They are a trusted violin dealer and you can be sure they will always give you reliable, expert advice.

They work hard to ensure you get a properly functioning violin and not just something that is shaped like a violin.

Carlo Lamberti

Similar to the Franz Hoffman violins, the Carlo Lamberti are by SHAR music.  If you are looking to move up to the more advanced level of playing, this is the type of violin you want.

Some of the best violin teachers consider the Carlo Lamberti violins the best for intermediate and advanced players.

Please know these violins will cost a bit more than some of the other brands.

Kennedy Violins

Joel Kennedy started Kennedy Violins after he realized far too many beginners were using VSO’s, or Violin Shaped Objects, instead of actual violins.

In his opinion, VSO’s hinder a persons ability to learn to play the violin. So he set out to produce his own set of beginner friendly violins.

D Z Strad

D Z Strad is one of the leading violin makers and music stores in America. Often referred to as D Z America, this company offers a wide variety of contemporary and classic violins.

Cremona

Cremona is known for creating violins that have remarkable playability, at very affordable prices. There was therefore no way we could leave them off this list.

While Cremona instruments are made in Asia, they are actually Chinese violins. Cremona is also one of the first violin brands to import their products in the United States.

Founded over 25 years ago, Cremona is an award winning company that is known for producing high quality violins.

For beginners, Cremona violins may be a little expensive. However, for the more advanced players they are a great option.

Scott Cao

If you want a violin where the makers name is actually attached, go with a Scott Cao violin.

Scott Shu-Kun Cao is a master violin maker who has crafted top quality instruments for musicians all over the world. 

He is no doubt one of the best contemporary violin makers the world has ever seen. With a reputation like this, you can be sure you will always get a violin that is of the highest quality.

Yamaha

When it comes to instruments, Yamaha is a household name. They make all sorts of instruments including piano’s, guitars, drums, and yes, violins.

They are actually considered one of the best contemporary violin makers in the industry.

They live by a simple philosophy and that is to create worldwide excitement and cultural inspiration for making music.

We’d say they have succeeded in accomplishing that goal.

Primavera

Primavera is a great brand for students who are just learning to play the violin. Their violins are suitable for both beginners, as well as children.

And while they are considered a cheap violin brand, they are a step above many of the other brands in this category.

You will usually see Primavera violins being played in schools, and by students who take private lessons.

Knilling

If you are looking for a good quality violin at a decent price, Knilling is the brand you want to go with. This is the brand many families turn to when they are on a tight budget.

Knilling uses luthiers from all over the world to make their violins. Those violins are then selected and integrated into the Knilling brand.

Because the company uses luthiers from all over the world, you will find that most of their violins are made in either Germany, Romania, or the Czech Republic.

Knilling always uses the highest quality woods to ensure their violins produce an amazing tone. You will not be disappointed with a Knilling violin.

Windsor

Windsor is a brand that offers decent quality violins at reasonable prices. Their products tend to be aimed at beginners and students.

Most Windsor violins are made in a factory. However, they do have a few models that are handcrafted.

All Days Music

All Days Music, most commonly referred to as ADM, is a professional supplier of musical instruments.

They work with overseas factories to ensure they can deliver high quality violins at affordable prices.

Right now they have a starter violin that is perfect for anyone just getting started. At the time of writing, their starter violin is one of the cheapest on the market.

Top 10 Violins For Beginners

Now that you know some of the top violin brands in the industry, let’s move on and review some of the top violin models for beginners and intermediate players.

We will of course start with the beginner models. For these particular models we looked at cost, durability, sound quality, and overall value for money.

With that being said, here are the top 10 violin models for beginners.

  1. Mendini MV200 Violin
  2. Mendini MV300 Violin
  3. Franz Hoffmann Amadeus Violin
  4. Bunnel Pupil Violin
  5. D Z Strad Model 101 Violin
  6. Cecilio CVN-300 Violin
  7. Cremona SV-175 Violin
  8. Stentor Student I Violin
  9. Cecilio CVN-500 Violin
  10. ADM Acoustic Violin

The Mendini MV200 is an all around good violin for those on a budget.

While it will not help you produce world class performances, it will help students easily transition into playing the violin.

Although the Mendini MV200 is a low price violin, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a quality violin. It is durable and great for students on the 4th and 5th grade level of learning.

Pros

  • Top is made out of spruce.
  • Back and sides are made out of maple.
  • Finished with ebony fittings.
  • The bowhair is made out of high quality Mongolian horsehair.
  • Produces a very warm and delightful tone.
  • It's a kit which means it comes with everything you need to start learning how to play.
  • Comes with all the essentials. A bow, case, chin rest, shoulder rest, and rosin.
  • Comes with 4 integrated fine tuners for easy tuning.
  • Durable.

Cons

  • It is only good for the early stages of learning. Even then you may need to make a few improvements along the way.

Because of the quality of the bow and violin, some professionals look down on Mendini violins.

It's no secret that Mendini violins are not handcrafted. Because of this you may need to make a few adjustments to ensure it is able to produce the best sound possible.

You will pay a lower price upfront for the Mendini MV300. However, you may need to purchase new strings as the quality of the factory strings isn’t all that good.

Even still, this violin is a great option for children looking to learn the basics of playing the violin.

The range of colors offered by Mendini can prove to be attractive to those who may be a little reluctant to give the violin a try.

And while we know these violins are a great value for the money, they are also fun and functional.

The MV300 is easily the best violin for families on a budget.

Pros

  • Fingerboard, chin rest, and tuning pegs feature maple fittings.
  • Has an antiquated satin look and feel.
  • The tailpiece is made of alloy and features fine tuners.
  • This violin is hand carved.
  • Has a spruce top and solid maple back.
  • Comes with a hard case, rosin, brazilwood bow, and extra violin bridge.
  • Comes in various colors.

Cons

  • Quality control isn’t all that great. But once you get used to playing it you will be able to develop a better sound.
  • While being able to choose from various colors is a good thing, those extra layers of paint can muffle the sound.

This violin has everything you need to start playing. Here are some of the pros and cons.

Every Franz Hoffmann violin sold by SHAR is set up in their shop in Ann Arbor, Michigan. You can be sure your violin will have the highest playability right out the box.

And if something should go wrong, you can take advantage of their 1-Year limited Warranty and 30-Day No Hassle Return Policy.

Pros

  • Has a solid maple body and spruce top.
  • Ebony fingerboard.
  • Chin rest and pegs made with ebony wood.
  • Features a Nitro varnish finish.
  • Tailpiece has fine tuners built right in.
  • Comes with a Toshira shaped case, SHAR mini rosin, and an A. Schmidt workshop bow.

Cons

  • Doesn’t come in a variety of different colors like the Mendini MV300.
  • Some retailers sell this violin without a case.

The Bunnel Pupil is a great violin for students and players of all ages. Because of its high quality, many believe it is one of the best starter violins for adults.

The Bunnel Pupil is an affordable violin that is great for beginners just starting their journey.

Pros

  • Produces a very warm and mellow sound.
  • Has a rich chocolate brown finish.
  • Comes with accessories such as a Portland oblong case, Giuliani brazilwood bow and rosin, polishing cloth, and classic shoulder rest.
  • Comes with Prelude strings.
  • Comes with a one year warranty.

Cons

  • Users have complained that the shoulder rest is not very durable. It tends to break or crack quite easily.
  • Some of the accessories are not of the best quality.

The D Z Strad Model 101 is a great violin for beginners. It is not recommended for intermediate or advanced players as it doesn’t function on those levels.

Intermediate players will often recommend you avoid this brand due to the questionable sound quality.

However, if you are a beginner, we believe this violin is more than adequate.

Pros

  • Top made out of carved select spruce.
  • Back and sides made out of maple wood.
  • Fingerboards and fittings made out of ebony wood.
  • Tailpiece uses Wittner-style set up with 4 fine tuners.
  • Comes with accessories such as a violin case, brazilwood violin bow, rosin, and a shoulder rest.
  • Available in a variety of different sizes including 4/4 (full size), 3/4, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, and 1/32.

Cons

  • Sound quality isn’t all that great.

The Cecilio CVN-300 violin set is very reasonably priced when you consider all that it comes with. It basically includes everything you need to start playing the violin.

Beginners can benefit a lot from using the Cecilio CVN-300 violin. Not only is it affordable, but it can also be used by intermediate players.

Pros

  • Back and sides made out of solid maple.
  • Features a carved spruce top.
  • Hand inlaid purfling.
  • Antique varnish finish.
  • Fingerboard and fittings made out of ebony wood.
  • Comes with D’Addario Prelude strings.Set comes with a case, rosin cake, extra violin bridge, and two brazilwood bows with genuine unbleached horsehair.

Cons

  • Users have complained about some of the pegs slipping from time to time. If you are a beginner this may be a bit of a problem.
  • The rosin and bow are not of the highest quality.

The Cremona SV-175 is the perfect combination of playability, tone, affordability, and specification.

It is for this reason it has been Cremona’s highest rated violin for over 30 years.

While the pegs on this violin are known to slip from time to time, if you have access to a good tuning guide it won’t be much of a problem.

Pros

  • Great workmanship.
  • Comes with D’Addario Prelude strings.
  • Fingerboard and fittings made with ebony wood.
  • Oiled neck.
  • Tailpiece is hard and lightweight and comes with 4 fine tuners.
  • Chin rest is comfortably shaped.
  • Comes with case, violin bow, and rosin.

Cons

  • The tuning doesn’t stick and you will need to tune it from time to time.
  • The hygrometer doesn’t always work the way it should.

When it comes to learning the violin, the Stentor Student I is the best one to start with. The performance is consistent and it has a high quality tone which helps to enhance the overall learning experience.

The Stentor Student I is a great violin that is made using solid tonewoods that have been carved out. It also comes with good quality hardwood fittings.

It is a package set that comes with a reliable wood bow and a lightweight case. The case features external pockets that can be used to store music sheets, the shoulder rest, and pretty much anything else you need to carry along with you.

We would rate this Stentor violin as the best on the market for students and beginners.

Pros

  • Crafted using solid tonewoods.
  • Has a very natural look thanks to the mid brown varnish.
  • Fingerboard made with blackened hardwood.
  • Comes with an lightweight, oblong violin case with safety reflectors.
  • Has a composite tailpiece.
  • Has integral adjusters.

Cons

  • We couldn’t find any significant issues with this violin.

The CVN-500 is probably the most popular Cecilio violin on the market. And while it isn’t as affordable as some of the other models on this list, for the sound it is able to produce, the higher price is well worth it.

This violin is an affordable option for those just looking to test the violin waters.

Pros

  • Back and sides made out of hand carved one-piece flamed solid maple.
  • Fingerboard, pegs, tailpiece, and chin rest made using ebony wood.
  • Consists of a hand rubbed oil finish.
  • Comes with D’Addario Prelude strings.
  • Comes with a high quality case, brazilwood bow, and extra violin bridge.
  • Violin case has padded neck restraint for extra protection. It also has storage compartments so you can store extra accessories.

Cons

  • More expensive than other budget friendly violins.

This review will be a little different as it is both an endorsement and a warning.  This violin is made out of tone woods that have quality inlaid purfling.

This basically means it has the ability to stand the test of time.

The ADM Acoustic is a great option for those who want to give the violin a try, but don’t have a lot of extra money to spare. It is a low risk instrument that will get the job done.

However, it's important you know that many teachers consider this violin to be a VSO, or Violin Shaped Object.

If you don’t want to struggle with an entry level instrument, we would recommend you skip this one.

Pros

  • The chin rest, pegs, and fingerboard are made out of rosewood.
  • The neck is made out of maple wood.
  • Handcrafted back and sides.
  • Solid spruce top has been hand carved.
  • Produces a pure sound given its low price.
  • Sold with everything you need to start learning how to play the violin. That includes a lightweight carrying case, shoulder rest, music sheet stand, and cartoon tuner.
  • The set also comes with an extra set of strings, a violin mute, two bows, and much more.
  • Comes with 1 year warranty.
  • Comes in a variety of different sizes.

Cons

  • Not ideal for intermediate or more advanced players.
  • Known to easily slip in and out of tune.

Top 10 Intermediate Violins

After you’ve spent a few months learning to play the violin, there will come a point where you may need to move up to a more advanced model.

While there are a lot of really great beginner models on the market, many of them will need upgrades in order to keep up with your progress.

Below you will find 10 of the best violins for intermediate players. These violins are great for those who have recently graduated from the beginner level.

  1. Cecilio CVN-600 Violin
  2. Fiddlerman Concert Violin
  3. Cremona SV-500 Violin
  4. Scott Cao STV017 Violin
  5. Fiddlerman Artist Violin
  6. Louis Carpini G2 Violin
  7. D Z Strad Model 220 Violin
  8. Yamaha Model 5 Violin
  9. Cremona SV-800 Violin
  10. Carlo Lamberti Sonata Violin

Ask any professional and they will tell you the CVN-600 is a high quality violin that will last a long time.

It comes with D’Addario strings which means you don’t have to worry about constantly changing your strings.

This Cecilio violin is durable and will last for many years to come. It is the type of violin that you can pass down to your children.

Pros

  • Back and sides made with hand carved maple wood.
  • All fittings made with ebony wood.
  • Hand rubbed oil finish.
  • Comes with D’Addario Prelude strings.
  • Comes with a good quality case, rosin cake, brazilwood bow, and extra violin bridge.
  • Violin case has a padded neck for extra safety.

Cons

  • Costs more than other entry level violins.

If you want a violin that produces a big, bold sound, you will love the Fiddlerman Concert violin. It has a really cool look that inspires people to pick it up and play.

If you want an instrument with a natural look and tone, the Fiddlerman Concert violin is a great option.

Its affordable, produces a bold sound, and has powerful projection. Some have even compared it to an antique Italian violin.

Pros

  • Undergoes a 10 point inspection before being allowed to be sold in stores.
  • Made using hand carved maple and spruce tone woods.
  • Finished using hand rubbed oil.
  • Fittings made with ebony wood.
  • Violin comes ready to play.
  • Comes with D’Addario Kaplan Amo strings.
  • Comes with accessories such as a violin case, shoulder rest, and polishing cloth.

Cons

  • Not as affordable as some of the beginner models.

If you want a violin that produces a big, bold sound, you will love the Fiddlerman Concert violin. It has a really cool look that inspires people to pick it up and play.

If you want an instrument with a natural look and tone, the Fiddlerman Concert violin is a great option.

Its affordable, produces a bold sound, and has powerful projection. Some have even compared it to an antique Italian violin.

Pros

  • Undergoes a 10 point inspection before being allowed to be sold in stores.
  • Made using hand carved maple and spruce tone woods.
  • Finished using hand rubbed oil.
  • Fittings made with ebony wood.
  • Violin comes ready to play.
  • Comes with D’Addario Kaplan Amo strings.
  • Comes with accessories such as a violin case, shoulder rest, and polishing cloth.

Cons

  • Not as affordable as some of the beginner models.

The Cremona SV-500 is the perfect transition violin. It can help you go from a beginner, to intermediate player, with ease.

It has a solid body that is made using premium tone woods. The elegant finish and handcrafted points make this violin a great option for anyone dedicated to playing for the long haul.

Though this particular violin was crafted for beginners, the clear tone it is able to produce makes it a dependable violin to learn with.

Pros

  • Handcrafted using solid maple and spruce. This gives it a very clean sound and smooth tone.
  • Fingerboard, saddle, and nut all made using ebony wood.
  • Bridge made from aged maple.
  • Tailpiece has 4 fine tuners.
  • Transparent varnish finish.
  • Has a very open sound.
  • Comes with D’Addario Prelude steel strings.
  • Comes with a high-quality case, rosin cake, brazilwood bow, and extra violin bridge.
  • Violin case features a neck restraint for protection, and various compartments for storage.

Cons

  • Will cost more than other intermediate violins. However, we believe the sound quality makes it well worth it.

When it comes to quality instruments, Scott Cao is one of the best violin companies around.

Unlike other intermediate violins currently on the market, the top, backs, and scrolls on the Scott Cao STV017 were hand carved. The finish was also varnished by hand.

If you are looking for something around the $600 price range, the Scott Cao STV017 is a great option.

Pros

  • The entire instrument is handmade.
  • Fittings are made out of rosewood.
  • Fingerboard made out of ebony.
  • Comes with dominant strings.
  • Has oil finish that allows the violin to produce better tones and freely resonate.
  • Features rosewood tuning pegs which ensures your violin is always in tune.

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with accessories. Will need to buy any extras separately.
  • Can be a bit expensive for a beginner.

When it comes to violin sets, the Fiddlerman Artist violin set is one of the best. One of the many reasons we love this violin set is because it comes with a lifetime warranty, and free lifetime adjustments.

If you’re the type of person who tends to wear down instruments really fast, the Fiddlerman Artist violin is the best violin for you.

The lifetime structural warranty will help keep your instrument running smoothly for many years to come. All you have to do is contact the company and you will receive huge savings on repairs and maintenance.

Pros

  • Made using hand carved spruce and maple woods.
  • Tuning pegs and fingerboard created with ebony wood.
  • Hand rubbed spirit/oil finish.
  • Underwent 10 point inspection before being sold in stores.
  • Can be played right out the box.
  • Comes with D’Addario Kaplan Amo strings.
  • Comes with accessories such as a violin case, violin bow, rosin, shoulder rest, and polishing cloth.

Cons

  • Not the most affordable violin.

Talk to any violin instructor and they will tell you the Louis Carpini G2 is one of the best, if not the best, violins for advanced players.

While this is considered a great violin for advanced players, it is also a great violin for intermediate players.

You can never go wrong with this type of violin. 

Pros

  • Has a very cool look. You would think it is extremely expensive based on looks alone.
  • Produces a high quality sound.
  • Comes with a 45 day return policy.
  • Comes with D’Addario Prelude strings.
  • Comes ready to play right out the box.
  • Kit includes everything you need to start playing.

Cons

  • If you live outside the United States you will have to pay an additional shipment fee.

The D Z Strad Model 220 is a great violin for students on the intermediate level. It is also very popular among advanced violinists who are looking for a violin that can produce sophisticated tones.

While this violin is on the pricey side, it is well worth it. It is after all one of the highest rated violins in the entire country.

Pros

  • 100% handmade. Which is rare these days.
  • Top is made out of selected spruce wood.
  • The sides and bottom plate are made out of maple wood.
  • Naturally air dried for over 10 years.
  • Hand carved maple used on the bridge.
  • Fittings are made using boxwood.
  • Fingerboard made using ebony wood.
  • Comes with Dominant strings.
  • Comes with a violin case, rosin, bow, and shoulder rest.

Cons

  • This violin is very expensive.

This violin is a great example of what a violin should be like when it is designed for students. It is a top rated violin that provides the student with everything they need to practice, perform, and travel with the instrument.

It’s also well priced and comes with Yamaha’s 5-year standard warranty.

Yamaha is a brand known for producing finely crafted instruments.This is why teachers and students tend to fall in love with their instruments.

Pros

  • Comes in a variety of sizes.
  • It is a good violin for beginners of all ages.
  • The top is made of spruce wood which makes it very durable.
  • The sides are made using whole sheets of maple.
  • Premium fingerboard made out of ebony wood.
  • Pegs and chin rest made out of rosewood.
  • Comes with 4 fine tuners making it super easy for students to learn how to tune the instrument.

Cons

  • Though this is a great violin for intermediate players to start with, if you are looking to take your skills to the next level, you will need to upgrade.

If you want a violin with fine workmanship with a clean, and neat inlaid wood purfling, the Cremona SV-800 is exactly what you need.

Just like every violin ever created by Cremona, the SV800 was crafted following the finest Italian tradition.

As a result this violin produces an exceptional tone that you rarely hear with other violins.

All Cremona luthiers are trained by German and Italian masters. They learn the old traditional way of crafting a violin.

This means every Cremona violin is steeped in old tradition that you don’t see with other brands.

Pros

  • Handcrafted using solid maple wood.
  • Fingerboard made using genuine ebony wood.
  • Neck and scroll made using maple wood.
  • Trimmings are made using boxwood.
  • The finish is a golden orange varnish.
  • Comes with Thomastik Dominant Strings.
  • Comes with accessories such as a high quality violin case.

Cons

  • Can be a bit expensive.

The Lamberti Sonata violin is hand-crafted by the SHAR Beijing Workshop and set-up at SHAR Ann Arbor Workshop.

This violin has set the bar very high for other intermediate violin makers.

If you are committed to learning to play the violin, this is the best violin to learn on. It provides new students with a clear sound that helps them develop their ear.

This violin is perfect for those students who want to quickly advance to a position of leadership in the youth orchestra.

It is also great for anyone looking to score high marks on an exam.

Pros

  • Great performance.
  • Unbelievable value.
  • Outstanding finish.
  • The pegs, chin rest, and fingerboard are all premium.
  • Produces a very powerful and rich tone.

Cons

  • The Carlo Lamberti Sonata violin is not cheap. It may be out of reach for most people. However, if your goal is to progress as quickly as possible, this violin will help you do that.

Understanding The Difference Between a Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Violin

Like most instruments, the violin is broken down into different categories or classifications based on quality, size, and type.

In general, the classifications fall into one of three categories. Beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

Let’s briefly breakdown each one.

Beginner

Many people will associate a beginner violin with a violin that is not of the best quality. They equate it to being cheap and one that should be avoided.

This is understandable as in the past, beginner violins were made in a factory using low grade materials. This is why back in the day they were viewed as VSO’s, or Violin Shaped Objects.

Things however have changed. And while most beginner violins are still not the best quality, they are much better quality now, than they were before.

Beginner violins are the best option for those who are just experimenting and have not yet fully committed to learning to play the violin.

Intermediate

Intermediate violins are a direct result of people complaining about the quality, or lack thereof, of factory manufactured beginner violins.

Some companies saw it as an opportunity to introduce an entirely new classification that would cater to the more dedicated students.

Realizing that many of the VSO’s didn’t last very long, and that some students wanted to further pursue the violin, companies came up with a set of intermediate violins.

These violins usually come as kits and are made of tone woods that are average to high quality. They also come with decent strings and decent playability.

Most intermediate violins will have a spruce or maple wood finish. They will also have fittings and fingerboards that are made of ebony wood.

The one thing that really differentiates the beginner violin from the intermediate violin is the quality check it undergoes before leaving the factory.

Advanced

Advanced violins are for the more advanced players. These violins tend to be performance type violins that are used by professional performers, or those who aspire to be professional performers.

When it comes to the classification of a violin, it can vary by country and by company. In some places the advanced and intermediate violins are considered one in the same.

While classifications can greatly vary, at the end of the day, the type of violin you purchase is a subjective choice and will depend on your personal wants and needs.

How Much Should You Spend on a Beginner or Intermediate Violin?

When it comes to purchasing a violin, your number one goal should be to get the best possible one.

And if you are just starting your journey, getting a starter violin is a smart way to go. Because if you simply buy on a whim, you will end up spending way too much.

The problem for most people is they feel pressure to buy the best sounding, or coolest looking violin.

But if you are a beginner, you have to stop and think if that would be a wise decision.

When it comes to price, it can vary based on different factors such as brand and materials used. However, with so many different brands on the market, you are sure to find one that suits your budget.

For example, it's not unheard of to find a beginner violin for $35. Intermediate violins may start a little higher. But if you do some research you can find them at bargain prices as well.

The more advanced models can start at  $500 and go all the way up to $8,000. And if you get one handcrafted, it may be even more.

For those just starting out, stick with the models in the $50 and under range. If you are more committed to the craft, feel free to spend a bit more on your first violin.

Where Can You Buy a Violin?

Hopefully some of the reviews above have helped you find a violin that you are interested in buying. If so, your next question may be where is the best place to buy it?

Technically speaking, there are really only two ways you can buy a violin. Either online, or in a local music store.

The secret is knowing whether or not a seller is authorized, reputable, and genuine. This applies to both online stores, and physical, brick and mortar stores.

You never want to do business with a seller that hasn’t been authorized to sell violins. When a store is an authorized seller it means they are selling the real deal, and not a cheap imitation.

Authorized sellers will have good quality products on hand.

To help you decide where the best place would be to buy a violin, we have come up with a few tips for in store and online purchases.

In Store

Most cities will have a local music store where you can buy instruments. The big benefit to buying in store is that you will get to test out the instrument.

You will get to hold it in your hands, play around with it, and see how it sounds. You will also get one on one access to a trained professional who will be able to answer any questions you may have.

When buying in store, be sure to check the finish of the violin. You want it to look good and sound good.

Don’t forget to also assess all accessories that come with the violin. This would include the violin case, the bow, and the strings.

Keep in mind that just because an instrument looks good, doesn’t necessarily mean it will sound good.

And while you may know exactly what you are looking for in a violin, in some cases, the violin will choose you. It will literally be a case of love at first sight.

So keep your mind open as you do your search.

Online

The great thing about buying online is that it is very convenient. You can order right from the comfort of your home with the click of a few buttons.

You will be able to easily review multiple violins all in one location. When you go into a physical store, the inventory is limited.

When you are shopping online you will have access to a broader range of products.

However, that doesn’t mean buying online is not without its challenges. When you are shopping online you will not be able to physically touch the product.

You will not get to try it out like you would at your local music store. The only thing you will be able to rely on are reviews, and video sound samples.

And while reviews and sound samples are beneficial, there is nothing like being able to personally test out the instrument yourself.

The good news is some violin companies offer in-home trials. This basically means you will be able to try out the instrument for a specified amount of time to see if you like it.

If you find the instrument isn’t right for you, you can return it within the specified time frame and get a full refund.

The biggest problem you will run into online is scam artists. Not all websites are legit. They may look good and have all the trappings of a real business, but some of them are nothing more than scam sites.

Once you put your information in, they will steal your info and run. The only thing you will get is a big charge on your credit card.

Before doing business with any online business, take the time to do a little research. Read online reviews and check them out with the Better Business Bureau.

If you can’t find any reviews about a company, don’t do business with them.

If you find a company you want to do business with, make sure you pay with a credit card and not a debit card.

Credit cards offer an extra layer of protection that you don’t get with debit cards.

Our Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are a lot of great brands, and violin models that you can choose from. And while I would love to tell you which brand is the best, I will refrain from doing so.

Because at the end of the day, which brand is the best will depend on what it is you are looking for. So instead of steering you in a certain direction,  I will let you decide for yourself.

Purchasing a violin is, and should be, a very personal experience. It's about finding the violin that captures your heart.

And that is why we put together this guide. In it we have covered everything you need to know about beginner and intermediate violins.

We shared with you not only the top violin brands, but also the top violin models for both beginners and intermediate players.

When choosing the best violin, your ears will never fail you. Use them as your ultimate guide. And don’t overlook an instrument just because it has a lower price.

Low priced instruments can still produce a beautiful tone.

When it comes to the brand you go with, don’t be afraid to ask around for advice. Ask fellow violinists as well as your violin teacher.

Anyone who you know that has experience buying instruments will be able to help you in this process.

For most people, the most important decision they will have to make boils down to budget, and how much they are willing to stretch it.

Do you prefer a lower quality sound if it means you will save a few bucks? If so, that’s perfectly okay. Especially if you are a complete beginner.

There is no need to spend hundreds of dollars on a violin when you are just starting out. All you need is a decent starter violin that will help you get the ball rolling.

You should only invest in a higher priced model once you realize this is something you want to do for the long haul.

Avoid the urge to buy based on brand name alone. Some instruments have a higher price just because of the brand name that is on it.

Those same violins are often made in a factory using low quality materials. So before you jump on any brands bandwagon, take the time to research the brand.

Find out how they manufacture their products and what type of material they use. Knowing this information will help you make a well informed decision.

Remember, when you are first starting your journey you will be looking for the best beginner violin. You are not looking for anything on the professional level at this point.

However, at the end of the day, it is you, or your child, that will be playing the violin. So trust your instincts when choosing a violin to play. They will never lead you wrong.

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