Violin Brands Review
With countless violin brands out there available on the market, your first venture into violin buying could be arduous. From dealing with the local music store sales workers who’re mostly promoting you a brand that they carry to the online stores that usually sell counterfeit or remanufactured violins, it may be difficult to know if you’re getting a great deal.
Shopping for a brand new violin is a big investment and challenge in case you don’t know what to look for. You need to just be sure you get an excellent violin that matches your funds from top-of-the-line violin brands. That’s why we’re right here! We wish to make your buying choice a lot simpler. We now have reviewed and tested the best violins below so that we are able to provide you with the perfect violin brand suggestions.
- What Are the Best Violin Brands?
- What is the Best Beginner Violin?
- What Should You Look for in a Violin?
- How Much Does a Violin Cost?
- Where Do You Buy a Violin?
- What Size Violin Do You Need?
- What Else Do You Need?
In our suggestions below, we point out typical price ranges for every violin and our recommended skill level for every of the best violin brands below.
Don’t forget to get your violin accessories before you begin playing your new violin!
What Are the Best Violin Brands?
We think there are a few of the best violin brands that we’ve evaluated based mostly on reliability, price, sound quality, and durability. Listed below are good violin brands that you will discover in stores and online:
Cecilio is one of our favorite string instruments brand for beginners. They produce nice budget affordable violins which are the best violins for beginners. Cecilio Musical Instruments will get its name from the martyr, St. Cecilia, the Patron Saint of music and musicians. We think about them as one of the best violin brands for beginners.
Stentor is another one of the popular violin brands available on the market. Based in China, they make nice handcrafted beginner and intermediate instruments which are reasonably priced for most budgets. This brand is often recommended by violin instructors as among the best acoustic violin brands.
3. Kennedy Violins
Kennedy Violins, founded by Mr. Joel Kennedy, has been operating for almost 15 years with an emphasis on offering stellar customer service.
4. Eastman Strings
Founded in 1992, Eastman Strings focuses on constructing high-quality violins, violas, and cellos by hand. Their workshops have virtually no power tools aside from the band saws used to chop out the necks and the outlines of the tops and backs of instruments. Eastman strings were founded by Qian Ni, an accomplished flutist from Beijing.
5. Yamaha Violins
Founded in the late 1800s as the Nippon Gakki Company, Yamaha began with pianos and reed instruments. Nevertheless, it slowly grew to be one of the trusted instrument manufacturers on this planet. One of the many flagship products of the modern Yamaha company is the violin. Yamaha violins are recognized for their high-quality construction and sound.
Violin Brands to Avoid
Relying on your funds, we suggest avoiding brands that are mass-produced, similar to Medini by Cecilio. These violins usually sell for lower than $100 and include a plastic-like finish and often misshapen bows. They’re not perfect for serious beginners but can work for a couple of months to a year of playing.
We’ll begin with an overview of one of the best violin brands for beginners, then talk about the best violin brand for intermediate players, and at last advanced players. We’ll then list the rest of our recommended best violin brands below in the order that we suggest them.
Use this list as a guideline for finding a great high-quality violin. While not each violin brand on this list will fit your funds, expertise level, or different search criteria, we hope it gives an excellent baseline to start your search.
Which Best Violin Brands to Check
Mendini By Cecilio (Beginner)
Cecilio is a well-known beginner stringed instrument brand whose violins, violas, and cellos are widely used for introductory lessons. The violins are made at a much lower price than most of the other violin brands on this list and they’re all handmade, even the lower than $100 CVN-100. We consider them among the best violin manufacturers for beginners.
Cecilio violins are produced from solid tonewoods which are hand-carved. They have a solid spruce top, flamed maple sides and back, and inlaid purfling. Their costlier student violins also include well-defined flames.
The primary con of Cecilio violins is that their fingerboards are made from solid maple instead of ebony which erode faster with the repeated pressure of fingers tapping on them. Maple fingerboards make for lower price instruments, but repairs might be more likely in the future in case your student chooses to continue playing with the Cecilio violin.
These violin outfit are additionally very generous. Most Cecilio outfits include a high-quality brazilwood bow with unbleached Mongolian horsehair. They also include boxwood pegs, a tailpiece (with 4 fine tuners), and both a soft and hard case! Nice worth for your cash.
Given the value you get for the price, the Cecilio violin brand will get a thumbs up from us, but in case you are an advanced player, we recommend a few of the higher-end violins below.
Stentor violins are very reasonably priced and have made a name for themselves by being one of the highest quality violin manufacturers for the price. It is a nice instrument to develop your violin abilities before shifting on to an intermediate violin. Stentor is usually recommended as top-of-the-line violins for beginners.
While these instruments are manufactured in Chinese workshops, Stentor checks every instrument in its United Kingdom warehouses for quality before delivery to your house or store.
Stentor is sure to have the proper violin for your student, from absolute beginner to slightly below intermediate. They arrive in a wide range of sizes and are very sturdy, a plus for parents frightened about durability while being transported to and from school.
Like their other quality instruments, Stentor violins are made in the traditional way out of solid tonewoods. This features a solid ebony fingerboard (as opposed to the Cecilio below), pegs, and fittings with maple sides and back, and a spruce top. Stentor violins even have inlaid purfling to prevent the softer spruce wood top from splitting.
Packages on Amazon include a violin bag, wood and horsehair bow (normally brazilwood), and rosin.
Kennedy Violins (Beginner or Intermediate Violin)
Kennedy Violins, a Washington state-based violin maker, is an up-and-coming luthier in the space. Their violins range from beginner to intermediate, however, their intermediate violins are among the highest-rated violins on Amazon.
The Louis Carpini G2 violin is our favorite. It has a 4.9/5 star rating on Amazon and glowing opinions. It’s handcrafted with solid maple and spruce tonewoods and comes with all the things you need from a violin package.
This brand is unquestionably worth looking into if you’re searching for a high-quality intermediate violin.
Eastman Strings (Advanced)
While Eastman Strings does make student model violins, they’re well-known for making advanced violins and violins that sound stunning which is why we highly suggest them for the advanced player. Strings Magazine usually recommends Eastman violins for advanced players because of their playability and tone.
The best violin is handcrafted with a chosen spruce top and an extremely flamed maple back, ribs, and scroll. They arrive in either Stradivari or Tertis patterns. Outfits usually include a base Despiau bridge, which might of course be modified after-market, and a metal alloy tailpiece.
Outfits on Amazon normally only include the instrument, no bow or case. As Eastman’s violins are constructed for advanced players, the bow selection is often up to the player.
Knilling has been making violins since 1922 and has developed an amazing reputation through the years. They’re well-known for having developed the Perfection Pegs, which are far simpler to turn than regular pegs, however, look the same.
Their best violins have solid spruce tops and maple back and sides. Whereas most of their violins are made in China, they’re inspected and assembled in Germany and the US before being offered.
Yamaha has established itself as one of many premier musical instrument companies. Founded in the late 1800s as the Nippon Gakki Company, Yamaha began with pianos and reed instruments. However, it slowly grew to be one of the most trusted instrument manufacturers on this planet.
Yamaha makes well-known acoustic and electric violins. All of their instruments are handcrafted to offer the highest quality product.
The primary downside to Yamaha violins is that they’re quite expensive. Most of their violins, especially the electric violins, are priced at $1,000 or above so they don’t seem to be ideally suited for beginners.
Sky Violins (Intermediate)
Sky is another great maker of intermediate violins. Their violins are 100% handmade and made in California so you could be assured of their quality. The violin makers at Sky really know the way to make stunning instruments as every violin they make glows and highlights the beautiful marbling of the wood they use. They use 30-year dried wood to make their violins and include lovely inlays.
Most of their violins include a Brazilwood bow, a premium oblong violin case, and high-quality rosin.
D Z Strad Violins (Intermediate)
D Z Strad violins are consistently rated as a few of the best mid-tier violins. Reviews on Amazon rave about the sound quality of those instruments so we needed to give one a try. We were blown away! The D Z Strad Model 509 specifically is a great instrument for the intermediate violin student for its quality sound. Not to point out it looks lovely.
Some intermediate and advanced players have complained that it is a brand to avoid because of the sound quality, but it makes an excellent beginner and early intermediate violin brand.
The company has a workshop in New York and Minnesota and provides a complete range of services for the string community. The violins themselves are made with hand-rubbed Italian tonewoods which were naturally dried outside on a covered, ventilated space for 20 years.
The wood is then placed right into a drying room, consistent with old world traditional European practices to ensure that the wood is not going to open or expand, and guarantees stability.
Fiddlerman, founded by Pierre Holstein, is an up-and-coming violin and violin, bow maker. Pierre has over 40 years of orchestra experience and he tests the violins produced by his company to make sure they’re of the best quality.
All the violins undergo a 10-point inspection and come able to play out of the box. All the outfits include the violin, a case, bow, shoulder rest, rosin, and polishing cloth.
These instruments usually include Kaplan AMO strings, but we suggest upgrading these.
Fiddlerman Concert Violin Outfit features
Mendini is a subsidiary of Cecilio that focuses on starter violins. The violins normally price lower than $100 so are very affordable and are helpful for trying out the violin as an instrument for absolute beginners, but are usually not great for any long-term playing.
The lower price is attributable to low-cost materials used for building. Instead of the standard ebony components, Medini uses maple wood for the fingerboard, chin rest, and pegs.
The beginner Medini kits do include all the pieces you’ll want to start playing including rosin, a case, bow, and sheet music, but these instruments aren’t ones you’ll need to keep for long. An excellent budget violin in case you’re searching for one.
Cremona violins make great beginner instruments for a good price tag. Whereas the parts are made in China, Cremona violins are assembled in California, so there’s undoubtedly American craftsmanship involved. Made out of select tonewoods, similar to hand-carved maple, spruce, and ebony fittings, and covered in a beautiful varnish, these instruments look and sound great out-of-the-box.
Out-of-the-box, Cremona violins include Prelude strings that are okay, but swapping them out for a higher-quality violin string brand could make a world of difference.
Cremona violins are constructed to MENC standards (National Standards for Music Education as prescribed by the Music Educators National Conference in 1994) in their Cremona workshop in the state of California. The MENC standard ensures that they’re playable once they arrive, and could be easily integrated into your child’s school orchestra or ensemble. It’s no wonder that students and teachers alike favor Cremona over other student violin outfits.
Every violin outfit comes with a high-quality Brazilwood bow, a Cremona bridge, a violin bag, and a Breton composite tailpiece with 4 built-in fine tuners to assist beginners to tune their instruments.
Primavera violins are a really affordable intermediate violin brand. Barely costlier than most of the beginner manufacturers ($600-$1000), Primavera violins are made out of high-quality solid tonewoods, together with hand-carved maple and spruce with inlaid purfling.
The fingerboard and pegs are made out of carved ebony, as well as the fittings. In addition, the Primavera intermediate violin outfit comes with a “student-proof” (ie. very strong) composite bow with an ebony frog and Mongolian horsehair. To make it even more student-proof, you can get a hard violin case for it.
Primavera has made a number of selections to chop costs while improving the musical experience. For example, they use a metal alloy tailpiece with 4 fine tuners, as an alternative to a solid wood tailpiece.
Primavera beginner violin outfits are available in many sizes, so you will discover the right match for you or your child. Most also include a hardwood bow and soft bag.
Here are some other violins that you can check!
Mendini By Cecilio (Best Beginner Violin Brand)
The company produces superior-high-quality violins for players of all levels. The company is named after St. Cecilia, who’s the patron saint of music and musicians.
The company uses top-quality wood for all its best violins. Spruce and Maple are the most commonly used woods, and the company tends to make use of only high-quality ebony for the rest of the fittings. The company additionally uses D’Addario strings, which suggests you will not have to spend a lot of money changing damaged strings.
Cecilio is our favorite beginner student violin maker. The CVN-300 model is very good for beginners and is quite budget-friendly beginner violin.
- Reasonably priced beginner violin
- Good quality
- Complete starter package
Kennedy Violins (Best Violin Brand for Intermediate Players)
The Kennedy Violin Company specializes in making violins and is highly rated for customer satisfaction.
Kennedy Violins is among the highest-rated violin brands by customers and it shows. These incredible intermediate violins are handcrafted from solid maple (for a solid maple back) and spruce tonewoods and include everything essential to get started playing.
The Kennedy Violin Company provides upgrades for the beginner and intermediate students; with this option, the students can grow with their instrument and eventually get a better high-quality violin.
- Highly rated
- High-quality sound
- Includes complete package
Eastman Strings (Best Violin Brand for Advanced Players)
Eastman’s hand-crafted violins are recognized to be among the finest violins for advanced players since they mix beauty with sound quality. Usually going for $1,500+, these violins should only be bought by those who want a very high-quality instrument.
- Beautiful sound
- Look wonderful
Mendini Violins (Cheapest Violin Brand)
Mendini Violins was created to allow reasonably priced and high-quality instruments to be available to aspire musicians and performers. If you’re searching for a budget-friendly violin, Medini makes some very affordable violins which usually sell for lower than $100. They don’t sound that best though.
- Complete bundle
Yahama Electric Violins (Best Electric Violin Brand)
Yamaha is an undisputed manufacturer of high-quality violins and musical instruments of every type. Whenever you purchase a Yamaha violin, you realize you are getting an instrument from a company with an exceptional track record and extraordinary attention to detail. The violins are often totally hand-carved by skilled luthiers, and the company makes use of an exceptional quality-control system to make sure no weak instruments are released.
Yamaha violins are recognized for their high-quality construction and sound and so they make wonderful electric violins. Our favorite is the Yamaha SV-130.
- Beautiful sound
What should you look for in a violin?
Listed below are some factors for consideration:
Chin and shoulder rest, the height of the ribs, the size of the upper bout, neck size, string or scale length all contribute to how big the instrument feels and the way well it plays. Comfort matters more than the dimension in the sense that if a violinist struggles during the playing experience, she simply won’t play properly.
- Responsiveness, resonance, tone quality, projection. The violin’s sound is bright and haunting. In an orchestra, the violin part is often the most easily heard, so clarity of the projection is essential. You don’t need the sound to be muddled or screechy. All of these sound elements will have an effect on a player’s performance, which is why choosing a violin in person rather than over the Web, or investing in a better quality violin, is important.
Getting a singing E string is good, but don’t neglect the other strings. Ensure there’s coherence in sound quality in all 4 strings. You don’t need an E string that’s screechy.
- The quality and weight of the bow can have an effect on performance. Remember to test several of them out before shopping for them.
To evaluate the violins, test them with totally different bows, play scales, play different passages (both fast and slow ones), play all strings in all registers, and play with and without vibrato. Test the tone quality of different violins.
Which sounds most interesting? Is it easy to maneuver on the fingerboard? If possible, ask another person (maybe another violinist or teacher in the store) to play the violin while you stand across the room to hear. Does the sound project properly?
Quality of the Materials
The quality of the best violin materials impacts both the sound and the violin price. Cheaper woods from America and China often have a brighter sound in contrast with the warmer and sweeter tones of the more-expensive European woods. The “flame,” or as some say “tiger stripe,” on the back, sides, and scroll of the violin impacts the violin price than the top spruce grain.
A high “flame” content is extremely desired for its magnificence and is usually indicative of a higher violin price and better sound as compared to a violin with little or no “flame,” mostly discovered on student instruments. A well-made violin will be capable to hide the center crease on the back with the flame. That is one way of quickly identifying high-quality workmanship.
Our second piece of recommendation is to go to a violin store and test out their violins. Violins are less well-known than violins. Naturally, there won’t be a variety of violins as comprehensive as the violins to select from. The choice may be scarce at general music shops but that choice will open up a lot more at a good violin store.
Try to not purchase a violin over the Web without testing it first. Trying out an instrument in person is essential. Solely then can the student feel if the size is comfy, the projection far enough, or if the resonance is right?
How Much Money Should You Spend for a Violin?
As talked about above, the price of a violin can range widely relying on the quality, materials, and whether or not it was handmade. We’ve got a great guide on violin price as well so you’ll be able to understand what your budget needs to be. You also need to consider whether you’ll purchase or rent into the violin cost.
New violins cost between $200-$5000, but the violin worth will depend upon the level (beginner, intermediate, advanced) of the violin and the quality of the craftsmanship used to make the violin. Craftsmanship and materials, specifically, are major elements in figuring out the price of a violin.
Violin Price by Player’s Level
Violins come in different levels for players on totally different stages of their musical careers. Many beginners begin by renting violins to ensure that they wish to proceed to play long-term. That is undoubtedly a cheap way, especially in case you only play for a year or two in school.
However, long-term buying makes way more sense so right here is an overview of the different violin levels. This article explains the difference between the violin levels.
Basically, violins fall into three categories:
Student and Beginner Violins: Beginner violins are usually machine-made since mass production allows these violins to cost much less. These violins are fairly reasonably priced and prices vary from $200 to $1,000.
- Intermediate to Advanced Violins: With elaborate craftsmanship by hand, intermediate violins sound a lot better. Intermediate violins price between $500 and $10,000.
Professional Violins: Professional violins are produced from the best quality wood, which provides them an excellent richer tone and wide dynamics, excellent for a concert hall solo. Prices usually vary from $10,000 onwards. Among the most expensive violins have sold at an auction of tens of millions of dollars.
Usually, the costlier a violin is, the higher quality it is. A violin priced at the extreme in the low hundreds is nice for students but is unplayable by professionals. After all, the price will not be all the time merely an indication of a high-quality instrument. Sometimes, it also incorporates the name of the violin maker, and well-known violin makers (luthiers) sell their violins at premiums.
How a Violin’s Price Is Determined
A violin’s price is set by several factors including craftsmanship, materials, and, of course, age.
Craftsmanship – Violins can either be handmade or machine-made. Sometimes, student/beginner violins are machine-made since making a violin on a machine is much cheaper than spending days and weeks chopping, sanding, and varnishing a violin. Machine-made violins usually sell for lower than $1,000 while handmade ones normally start selling a minimum of $600-700 with most selling in the thousands.
Materials – Most components of the violin, including the back, ribs, and neck, are made from quarter-sawn maple wood. The top portion of the violin is usually made from spruce wood. The main material that changes the violin’s worth is what the fingerboard is created from. Student violins usually have solid maple fingerboards which are painted black to resemble the more expensive ebony used on intermediate and professional violins.
Age of the Violin – Typically a violin’s price decreases with age, especially when produced from the cheaper materials used in beginner and intermediate violins. However, over time certain violins will really increase in worth. For example, some Stradivarius violins sell for millions of dollars. These are the odd case and you shouldn’t usually rely on your violin to increase in value with age.
We first suggest that you simply seek the advice of your music teacher. Music teachers understand what their students want more than anyone else would. They’ll make better suggestions given their experience and close bond with their students. Discovering the proper violin size is essential so that you reduce neck strain and prevent injury.
What Size Violin Do You Need?
Playing with a violin of adequate dimension is important to acquire the proper technique and keep away from injuries. Playing with a violin that’s too large not only makes it tough to play but also favors the acquisition of postural “vices” and can even cause injuries. If on the contrary, we speak about playing with a violin too small, we’ll see that the student has some difficulties and that they cannot advance everything that would be desirable.
Below we see what the different sizes of the violin are, how they’re called, and the way to know what’s the right size for each particular person.
How many different violin sizes are there?
The different sizes of a violin refer to the proportion with respect to the full size. The full-size violin is called the 4/4. The next smaller violin in size is the 3/4 violin, followed by the 1/2 violin and the 1/4 violin.
You may also discover smaller violins in the following sizes: 1/10, 1/8, 1/16, and even 1/32. The latter is made for very young children.
In addition, there are teaching methodologies, such as the Suzuki methodology, which can begin with children as young as two years old.
How to find the right violin size with a violin?
The most appropriate way to find the proper violin size is to have the student actually hold the violin. To test the size of the violin, place the violin on the person’s shoulder and have the person stretch their arm under the violin. Have them wrap their hand around the scroll (the top of the violin).
If the person can’t wrap their hand around the scroll and the fingers don’t hang around, then the violin is too large. If the arm is not fully stretched, it’s likely that they can use a larger size violin.
How to measure the arm to determine the violin size?
In case you cannot test the violin directly on the person, another technique is to measure from the center of the person’s left hand to the neck with the arm fully extended.
The measures and their corresponding sizes are as follows:
- 1/16 violin for measures from 35 to 38 cm.
- 1/10 violin for measures from 39 to 42 cm.
- 1/8 violin for measures from 43 to 46 cm.
- 1/4 violin for measurements from 47 to 51 cm.
- 1/2 violin for measurements from 52 to 56 cm.
- 3/4 violin for measures from 57 to 59 cm.
- Violin 4/4 from 60 cm.
Violin size by age
Basically, violin sizes follow age. Below are the general age ranges for various violin sizes:
- 1/16 violin for kids 3-4 years
- 1/16 violin for kids 4-5 years
- 1/8 violin for kids 5-6 years
- 1/4 violin for kids 6-7 years
- 1/2 violin for kids 7-8 years
- 3/4 violin for kids 9-11 years
- Violin 4/4 from 12 years old
What Violin Accessories Do You Need?
While a lot of the violin brands above include all the things you need to get started, a few of the packages don’t include everything you need. Violins need the following basic accessories similar to rosin, a case, a bow, etc. You’ll be able to read more about what you have to purchase for a violin in our buying a violin checklist guide.
Case: To store your violin, you want a solid case since the instrument may be very fragile. If the violin is for a student, a sturdy case is much more of a necessity. There are some nice lightweight violin cases on Amazon.
Rosin: Rosin is applied to your bow and used to create friction between your bow and violin. Without rosin, your violin wouldn’t make any sound.
Bow: Choosing the right violin bow to use with your violin is essential. You’ll want to ensure it sounds good but at an affordable price. See our guide to purchasing a violin bow.
Shoulder Rest: In order to hold up your violin, you’ll need shoulder rest. This sits in between your shoulder and violin. See our favorite shoulder rests.
Extra Strings: Violin strings do often break. Preserving an additional pair in your case is very beneficial. You may check out our review of the most effective violin strings to see which of them are best for you.
Music: You’ll need some violin music to get started. Take a look at our favorite violin books and the way to get free sheet music.
What Upgrades do we Recommend
Violin strings are our primary advice, especially for beginners. Shopping for strings that make your violin sing instead of sounding like nails on a chalkboard could make a world of difference. The next upgrade we’d suggest making if you’re ready is a brand new bow.
Where to Buy a Violin? In-Store vs. Online
Violins are probably the most common musical instruments so they can be purchased in many places. Under you’ll find a list of the most common places to purchase a violin.
Buying a Violin Online – Shopping online is becoming a more frequent way of shopping for a violin. Yow will discover some nice beginner violins on Amazon or eBay. However, just remember to read the reviews of the violins before you purchase them though since you want to be sure that the violin brand produces the high-quality instrument. To make things less complicated, we’ve outlined the best newbie violins available for purchase online in this article.
Buying a Violin In-Store from Music Shops – Shopping for a violin from a music store is one of the traditional ways to purchase a violin. You’ll be able to walk into most music shops that sell string and band instruments and ask to see their violins available on the market or rent. Many shops can have a large number of beginner violins that you can try to find the best match.
Buying a Violin from Classifieds – You can at all times purchase a violin from a classified article. Whether in a newspaper or online, classifieds are a good way to buy a used violin from someone who no longer wants it. Actually, I got my first viola from a classified ad.
Thanks for reading our list of the best violin brands. This list is meant that can assist you to choose a high-value best violin brand that matches your price range. We’ve got also evaluated every violin brand on whether it’s supposed for beginner, intermediate, or advanced stage violin players.