How does one go about buying a violin? The price tag is definitely a factor because it does not come cheap. You should determine the level of commitment in learning to play the violin because you do not have to spend so much on something that will just be a hobby or if you are unsure if it is something you want to do for a long time. However, it does not mean that you are going to overlook the quality.
Most teachers would advise you to be on the lookout for VSO or Violin Shaped Object – it looks like a regular violin but does not sound like a violin. It is cheap, so you might be tempted to buy one; however, it discourages students from learning because it is said to be unplayable as it is poorly made. To have a better appreciation for the music it produces, the violin’s quality and condition should be good.
You might find yourself overwhelmed with the different brands available in the market. Here is a guide to help you decide:
Violin Brands for Beginner Students
With Franz Hoffmann violins, you get to choose from the different models, such as Amadeus, Maestro, Prelude, Concert, and Etude. Made with solid wood and well‑crafted in China, the entry-level line of violins offers not just consistent and beautiful tone but also durability to ensure long-term use. The prices may differ but still affordable. It comes in various sizes from the smallest 1/16 to a full size 4/4, so you can find the perfect fit that will enable you to play comfortably.
The Amadeus and Maestro violins are made with an ebony fittings, spruce top, and maple back. They do not come with a bow and case, so you have to purchase them separately. The Prelude model is made of high-quality wood and has durable Overture strings and pegs so you can properly tune it with ease. It is a violin outfit, so you also get a soft case, rosin, and Brazilwood bow.
Franz Hoffman has a full-sized hand-carved Concert violin with great varnish on its maple back and spruce top; the fingerboard is made of dense ebony to withstand pressure. It is a great buy as it comes with Brazilwood horsehair bow, rosin that you can apply to the strings to make it vibrate well, and a soft case to protect it when not in use. The Etude violin is a step up from other models, so it is a tad expensive. It is hand-carved with inlaid purfling, and it has a solid spruce top, spirit varnish finish, ebony fittings, and Ultra Overture strings.
All the six Primavera violins, namely Primavera 90, 100, 150, 200, 200 Antiquated, and Loreato, come complete with a case and a bow. No matter which one you choose, you would end up having a fun and easy time learning as they have quality fittings with pegs that are easy to tune and will stay in place as well as correctly placed bridge for proper string placement. These durable violins are highly recommended for beginners and young children. Of note, Primavera 200 won the Best Orchestral Bowed Instrument Award for three consecutive years since 2013 given by the UK Music Industries Association.
Kennedy (Ricard Bunnel)
The full-sized 4/4 Kennedy violin might be for beginners, but it is made from high‑grade materials and crafted by a professional luthier, so it is ready for fine-tuning and playing when you buy it. The steel-core D’Addario Prelude strings are installed, bridge is notched, the fingerboard is polished, and the pegs are fitted. The violin is handmade with solid-carved maple side and back, 100% ebony fittings, carved nut, inlaid purfling, solid spruce top, built-in fine tuners, composite tailpiece, and satin oil finish. It comes with a Kennedy Violin’s Limited Lifetime Warranty Giuliani Brazilwood Bow that has Mongolian horse hair, 100% ebony frog with mother of pearl inlay, and black leather grip.
The accessories include an extra set of Portland strings, string cloth, clip-on tuner, Portland Gold shoulder rest with contoured cushion, ArtCraft rosin, cleaning cloth, and an intro to violin book. The case has satin-lined bow holders, a compartment for the accessories, velour lining, and Velcro straps, and linen blanket to protect and secure the violin in place. The exterior is made of weatherproof material and has two straps for a convenient and comfortable way of carrying it.
You can choose between the Richard Bunnel G1 violin and the G2 violin; they do have the same features, but G1 is the upgraded version. Having great features and all the accessories that you will need, the Kennedy violin can be a bit pricey.
By reputation alone, you would expect musical instruments from Yamaha to be of high quality, and you would not be disappointed. The Yamaha Violins Student Series is mostly based on the Stradivarius design, but they also have the Guarneri del Gesu type. Each model in the series comes complete with a case, bow, and rosin. The models differ in some of the features and specs, but they are handcrafted and made of ebony, spruce, and maple with oil varnish that is either hand-applied or fully brushed. The material of the bow and strings vary depending on the model. For example, the AV5 SC model comes with a Brazilwood bow and Prelude strings while the AV10 SG comes with Pernambuco bow with Dominant (GDA) and Helicore (E) strings.
Violins from iMusic come in a variety of sizes, colors, and models. Maple wood is the material used to make the chin rest, fingerboard, and pegs. The body is made of maple and spruce. When you purchase an iMusic violin, you also get a Brazilwood bow, a hard case for convenient transport and storage, and the things that you need to set up. It is a lightweight instrument for a little kid to easily hold and play. It will be good for hobbyists and beginners only. You will need to upgrade once you get into the intermediate level.
All Days Music (ADM)
The company is a supplier of professional musical instruments, and their violin is considered one of the least expensive of all those available on the market today. It is made of rosewood fingerboard, pegs, and chinrest with hand-carved spruce top and alloy tailpiece. The ADM violin comes in different sizes and colors, and usually sold with two ebony frog Brazilwood violin bows and accessories such as the carrying case, tuner, polishing, and cleaning fabrics, an extra set of strings, rosin, violin bow collimator, violin mute, and music sheet stand. It offers a one-year warranty if found defective. It is a low-risk buy, so if you are a beginner and do not have much to spare, you can consider this as one of your options.
Violin Brands For Intermediate Students
Knilling violins, known for their excellent quality, are mostly made in Romania, Germany, and the Czech Republic. You have plenty of options as they offer different types of violins such as the Sebastian, Anton Eminescu, Franz Sandner, Constantin Sereny, Bucharest, LaVielle, and more. They are either crafted for or imported by Knilling and adjusted with superior quality components at the Knilling Custom Shop so you can expect longevity, stability, easy playability, and ease of maintenance. Key features include hand-fitted and lubricated ebony pegs that allow precise tuning and hand-carved bridge that provides an exact fit for the strings.
The high-quality Carlo Lamberti violin is quite expensive. Handcrafted at the SHAR Beijing Workshop and the set up done at the SHAR Ann Arbor Workshop, it sets the standard for violins used at the intermediate level. It would help you deliver a grand performance. Your choices would include the Carlo Lamberti Classic Violin, the Master Series Guarneri, Symphony, and Sonata. Not all of them come with a case, rosin, and bow as they are sold separately.
The Windsor violin has a decent quality if you are looking for something reasonably priced. Windsor offers a variety of models such as the SK44 with a basswood body, and the MI-1006 with a contoured maple body; both having a spruce top, ebony chinrest, and ebony-colored fingerboard and tuning pegs. They come with a bow and a padded or plush-lined case for protection when transporting and not in use.
Violin Brands For Advanced Students
You can expect great violins from the company that is named after the patron saint of music and musicians, St. Cecilia. The quality of the wood and the ebony fittings used in making Cecilio violins is topnotch. D’Addario Prelude strings are used. The handcrafted violin is durable, so that you can use it for a long time. It is not only available in varnish finish but also in metallic black, metallic blue, metallic pink, and pearl white. The violin outfit includes Brazilwood bow with authentic unbleached horsehair, an extra bridge, and rosin cake.
Fiddlerman takes pride in producing the best violins in the market as they all undergo the 10-point inspection and with Pierre Holstein, a professional orchestral player, testing the instruments himself. They are confident of the quality and make of their violins that they offer Lifetime Structural Warranty. You can be sure that the violin is ready for playing the moment you get it, and should you have any trouble, you just have to bring it to them as they also provide free lifetime adjustments. Prices vary depending on the model, so you are sure to find one within your budget. They have the Left-Handed Master violin, Master 5-String violin, Soloist violin, and Concert Deluxe violin, and they all come complete with bow, case, and accessories.
Cremona was founded in 1989, and they gained international recognition for the superior quality of their violins and easy playability. This is why it is not surprising to know that they won two silver medals for tone production from the VSA (Violin Society of America). They keep the violin parts in a controlled environment to make sure that they retain the quality and guarantee proper maturation.
One of the best they have out there is the Cremona SV-1400 Maestro Soloist, which has a solid flamed maple back and neck, spruce top, polished ebony fingerboard, and Boxwood fittings and tailpiece with Anton Breton VNS-150 Perlon strings. It comes with octagonal Brazilwood horsehair bow that has an ebony frog and an oblong suspension case.
Franke Henner Violin Outfit Highlights
A Franke Henner violin not only has beautiful aesthetics, but it also produces a warm bright tone. It has great features such as a solid carved spruce top; flamed hardwood maple back; custom fit French Aubert bridge; 100% authentic ebony pegs, fingerboard, chin rest, and tailpiece; and has installed D’Addario Prelude strings. The precisely weighed Giuliani bow is made of Brazilwood with Mongolian horsehair and fully mounted ebony frog, flamed abalone bow slide, and leather grip.
It comes with top of the line case that has satin ribbon lining and compartments for four bows with rotating bow holders and for accessories that include shoulder rest, mutes, extra Portland strings, cleaning cloth, and ArtCraft rosin.
Superior quality in a violin is something that advanced students look for because they have to be able to rely on their instrument to deliver optimal performance all the time. With Scott Cao violins, you would surely get your money’s worth as they can give you what you need. Each one is beautifully made with impressive features that enable the violin to produce a rich tone. You can expect consistent quality of sound, so your skills in playing the violin will progress at a much faster rate.
You have many options with Scott Cao violins as they are available in various models, sizes, and levels.