The violin is one of the most beautiful string instruments a musician can master. Choosing the right violin to buy for your music career is dependent on a lot of factors. There are many options available in the market. There are also different best violin brands to choose from.
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One of the most popular brands is the Stradivarius which is known for its impeccable quality. Even if you are able to afford the most expensive violin on the market, you have to consider also your skill level as violins are classified in different categories according to skill; student, intermediate and professional level. Even though there are no standards for each category level, each manufacturer and luthier have a way of putting violins into these different categories which you choose from.
In general, student violins are typically cheap and do not have much hand work in their finishing and assembly. Sometimes, they even come with plastic parts and are not meant for professional use.
Intermediate violins are meant for those who are adept but not particularly professional players. These are much better than the learner’s violin and don’t cost the thousands that a professional violin will cost.
Professional or master violins are masterpieces that are handcrafted from the finest of materials. The wood used is specially selected and processed before being put built by skilled artisans. Their values are high and violins from certain master luthiers are highly sought after by aspiring musicians and professionals.
25 Best Violin Reviews and the Best Violin Brands
We will be looking at 25 different violins that you should consider when you are looking to buy a best violin. These encompass all skill levels and no matter what level you’re playing at or what your intentions are, you will find something that best fits your needs in this carefully curated collection of violins that we will be reviewing now.
1) Antique 4/4 Violin D Z Strad Model 220
D Z Strad are promoting the Model 220 as a violin meant for intermediate and professional violinists and it is pre-tuned and set up to cater to that audience. Not to say that a beginner cannot use it but it would be a steeper learning curve.
It is made from 10-year dried Engelmann Spruce top and the rest of the body is made from Maple. The kit comes with everything needed including a shoulder rest and rosin. This is a baroque violin as described by the manufacturer and is completely handmade and varnished by hand too. The sound by the violin is clear, loud and distinctive.
One of its most attractive features is the two-piece back made from old, dried Maple wood. It also comes with an extra bow which is something that is quite uncommon. It is not just a beautifully crafted instrument; the sound is also distinct and perfect for classical performances.
The projection is excellent and while it is setup for experienced users, it is easily customizable for any player’s needs. It also comes with a Bricks Pilot carry case that is sturdy and will offer excellent protection. The additional fine tuner is on E string.
2) Bunnel Basic Clearance Violin Outfit Full Size
The Bunnel Basic Clearance Violin is made by Kennedy Violins and is one of the best rated violins sold on Amazon. The company is also highly rated in customer service and aftersales service. The violin kit is also covered by a full refund guaranty for the first 45 days after purchase and a lifetime manufacturer’s warranty.
The violin is made in China but assembled and setup in the US by experienced luthiers. The Bunnel series is perfect for most beginners and will last through to intermediate levels of play. The violin is pre-strung with Portland strings and is equipped with a Brazilwood and Mongolian horsehair bow.
Extra strings are included as well as a rosin. This violin comes highly rated and is convenient to carry around, thanks to the straps on the carrying case. One of the major advantage of buying this violin is the free replacement of any part that gets damaged. This gives you peace of mind whenever you use it. The violin also offer great projection and consistent tones.
3) Mendini 4/4 MV300 Solid Wood Antique Violin
This violin is another beginner’s violin that is perfect for use by children and students who are just picking up their first violin for practice. It is hand-made from solid spruce and has a well-finished maple back and side wood.
The chin rest has an alloy tailpiece that also contains four fine tuners which are integrated into the piece. The bow that is supplied with the Mendini MV300 is made from Brazilwood and authentic Mongolian horsehair. There is also a one-year warranty included that protects you against defects from the manufacturer.
This violin is very easy to work with and is highly recommended for students, beginners and those who are just starting to play. The sound is warm and crisp for an affordable violin. The stunning finish also make it look much more expensive than it really is.
For better quality, you can decide to replace the rosin and the shoulder rest for less than $20 and see a significant increase in usability. The violin has extra bridges but you may not need them as it is very well made. All the same, having extra strings. This is a one of the best quality violins that you can buy for under $100 and get significant usage out of it for any learner.
4) Mendini 4/4 MV500+92D Flamed 1-Piece Back Solid Wood Violin
This violin is fashioned from a maple uni-body. The deep, prominent tone is obvious and it is an upgrade over all learner Mendini violins. It is great for both learners and intermediate players and is embellished with a beautiful wood varnish finish.
The four tuners are detachable and allow you to personalize the violin according to the play required. There are two brazilwood bows included stringed with Mongolian horsehair. A portable solid case is included with the violin kit along with a shoulder strap that can be modified to fit most people. Extra strings are included with the kit in case the pre-strung ones break.
The projection is excellent out of the box and while you may decide to tune it professionally, it is not completely necessary. The included bows are also very adequate. You might find that the chinrest does not fit well. You can get a replacement online for a small price. That doesn’t particularly distract from the fact that this is an excellent deal.
Users that had issues with their violins also attest to the fact that Mendini has a great customer service department that will find a way to make things better, up to sending you a replacement violin if need be.
5) Cecilio CVN-500 Solidwood Ebony Fitted Violin
The Cecilion CVN-500 is a full-size violin with its top fashioned from spruce wood. The back and the sides are made from maple and it is finished in the inlays with satin in an antique style. The strings provided are D’Addario Prelude strings and it also includes a tuner, a book for lessons and a sturdy carrying case.
There are two Brazilwood bows included that are fitted with unbleached horsehair from Mongolia. The rosin cake is high quality and an additional bridge is also included in the package as well as a warranty covering you from manufacturer’s defects one year from purchase.
This violin is designed for players that are not exactly beginners but have enough skill to need a violin capable of producing rich, full tones, easy playing and durable lifespans. The sound produced from the Cecilio CVN-500 is quite adequate for an intermediate violin and for about $200, you are getting a quality violin that should work for several lessons and performances.
The violin itself can be tuned to get much improved sound that what it comes out of the box with and you can also get better accessories for cheap and improve the overall quality of the violin. If you don’t want to spend too much and want a violin you can use for most purposes for a long time, this is an excellent choice.
6) Stentor 1500 4/4 Violin
The Stentor 1500 violin is a mid-range violin that is impressively playable and long-lasting for a learner’s violin. It is made by hand and contains a solid maple back and a well-padded carrying case. It is finished in a cool brown lacquer that could smell like Ikea furniture but don’t let that deceive you.
This violin is great value for money. If you choose to buy this, bear it in mind that you would need to tune it for a bit before you can get the best out of it. The pegs are carved in a conical form and fit the peg box well, creating well-needed resistance to keep the strings taut always.
The violin is very well constructed and once you can properly position the soundpost, you should be able to hear impressive sounds from it. This violin has some of its parts made in China but makes no mistake about it, it is very durable and well-made in all manners.
The strings are Red Label strings and will withstand most user needs. If you are a professional and wish to use this violin, you could have it re-stringed to synthetic core strings for a more authentic premium sound that will belie the price of the Stentor 1500.
7) Cremona SV-500 Premier Artist Violin
The Cremona SV-500 is part of the Premier Artist series of violins made by the manufacturer in an antique Italian style. The hand-crafted body is made from a combination of tonewood, spruce wood and boxwood. The fingerboard and trimmings of the violin are made from quality ebony and neatly inlayed cleanly, another testament to the finesse of the workmanship of Cremona violins.
The body is finished with a nice, translucent reddish-brown varnish and is fitted with authentic D’Addario Prelude steel strings. The Cremona SV-500 comes with a carbon fiber bow that is fitted with real horsehair for a rich sound.
This violin is also intermediate and is a cost-effective option that is made by excellent craftsmen. The Cremona violin needs little or no tuning once you unbox it and it is effectively good to go with minimum fuss.
Depending on your preference, you may upgrade the steel strings to a Dominant synthetic type but spending another $60 on a $150 violin is not particularly cost-effective as it is meant to be.
Either way, this violin sounds very good and bright as a proper D’Addario steel string would. This is one violin that you can use for a long time as a beginner and an intermediate player and still get the best out of it. The excellent build quality means you can also take it to a concert and not be worried about your sound quality.
8) Yamaha Model 5 Violin Outfit 4/4 Size
The Yamaha Violin is ideal for young beginners who are just coming up in violin lessons. The body is made from maple and has a spruce top. The violin comes in a complete outfit with a lightweight shock-proof carrying case and a brazilwood bow.
It includes Prelude strings and is made according to the high quality that Yamaha violins are known for. Another advantage of choosing a Yamaha violin is the 5-year warranty that covers buyers from most factory defects. The Model 5 violin has been pre-tuned and so it is an ideal model for students and violin players that are at an intermediate level.
One thing of note when considering the Yamaha Model 5 violin is that it is beautifully made, every piece is deliberate and fits together nicely. The reddish is also quite classy. The sound from the Model 5 is more of a sweet and smooth vibe that is quite serious.
It is typically in high demand so make sure to call your violin store to confirm if they still have it in stock. It is a very dependable instrument that is quite easy to maintain, no need to tune and you can use it from the beginners to intermediate levels.
9) Franz Hoffmann Maestro Violin – ½ size
The Maestro violin carries all the marks of the type of dependable and great performing sound that we expect from European violin makers. The Franz Hoffmann Maestro violin does not disappoint in any way despite its price. It feels great to touch and the body is made from quality maple wood.
The strings included with the violin are overuture ultras that guarantee a warm sound at all times. The Meinel Pernambuco bow included is also of great quality and long lasting. This is one of the best beginner’s violins you can buy in this price range and it stands head and shoulders above most of them.
Expect consistency in its playability and tone which makes it excellent for students, schools and budding musicians. The limited warranty of a year is also adequate to cover any damage from the manufacturer.
The Maestro comes with a complete outfit and can be easily tuned to get a great sound before you begin playing. This student violin is well-known for its rich, warm sound and its extensive projection. This may be too expensive to be a beginner’s violin but it is a great choice for someone looking to learn and play the violin for a long time.
10) Scott Cao 1679 Hellier STV 950
Scott Cao is one of the foremost makers of violins in the world. He is a multi-award winning luthier that creates instruments for all types of players from students to symphony directors. One of his specialties is remaking violins done by master luthiers such as Stradivari to impeccable accuracy.
This 1679 Hellier STV 950 was originally the work of Stradivari and is a real masterpiece violin. This is one of the best works done by Stradivari and the original violin is held in a place of glory at the Smithsonian Museum. Made of maple and hand finished in varnish, it has a spruce top made in an Italian style as well as an ebony peg box.
For a price of over $3,000, what you’re getting is one of the best violins ever made. The violin has a thicker than normal but this does not affect play at all. It is said that Stradivari wanted to change the violin’s design and this is one of his latest attempts before he died.
This violin will fit right in any stage in the world and in the hands of a professional is concert-worthy. This is as classy a violin as you can get as it is regarded as one of Stradivari’s finest works and Scott Cao brings it to life for your playing pleasure.
11) Merano MV 4/4 Acoustic Student Violin
This is a violin that is made for students and novices to learn with. Despite the low price point and the positioning, once you are able to break it in and tune it properly, you will be able to get great tones and resonance from it. It is not prone to strings breaking or bow breaking.
The strings are sometimes too tightly packed together and once you adjust them to your preference, it will be more convenient to play. The body is made from maple and contains a spruce top. The violin is beautiful, the bright finish and texture also well done. The carrying case included is also strong enough to protect the instrument from most falls and hits.
To get the best from the violin, it is advisable to take It to a music shop for tuning before you begin using it. There may be need to chalk the pegs so that they can lock nicely and hold a tune when you’re playing. Make no mistake, this violin is under $100 and is a great value for money in more ways than one. It also comes with a free rosin and an additional string in case the pre-installed one breaks.
12) Merano 4/4 Purple Violin
The Merano Purple violin is a full-sized beginner’s violin that is made with maple. The pegs are made from hardwood as well as the fingerboard and chinrest. There are alloy tuners provided which you will need before you can begin to enjoy the tone.
It comes in a nice purple color with additional strings. There is also a chromatic clip-on tuner that helps to improve the tone of the violin. This violin is great and comes with plenty of accessories that make it worth the price.
Not a lot of people would like the smooth purple finish but it is a perfect package for most students and beginners. It is decent enough and will play well for beginners and students. One thing that was a bit frustrating is that the paint covers part of the fingerboard and you may have to scrape this part off with a sharp knife. It does not affect the tone or ease of play but it could be an inconvenience for most people.
13) Kinglos 4/4 White Blue Flower Colored Violin Kit
The Kinglos full size Blue Flower violin is a full kit that comes with a lightweight carrying case. The violin itself consists of maple back and sides and a solid Italian spruce top. Kinglos is a foremost manufacturer of violins. They have a unique technique of making personalized and beautiful violins just like this one with an ornate pattern of blue flowers.
This violin stands out and is suitable for all classes of players whether beginners or professionals. The ebony fingerboard is present along with fine tuners to help you adjust the tone of the violin. The violin comes with a carrying case to help protect it from shock and falls. The violin set comes with extra strings, a rosin and a brazilwood bow with authentic horsehair from Mongolia.
The blue rose painting on the violin is refreshing and it gleams in as a result of the matte finish. The Kinglos violin comes pre-strung but you could take it to a music shop and have it tuned up and rethreaded before you begin to use it. The sound quality is also admirable even though it is not in the category of the high-quality violins. It however holds its own and can fit any type of player.
14) iMusicFull Size Violin Kit Music 4/4 handmade hardwood violin – Matte Antique
This violin kit is made by iMusic which has over 40 years of experience in making musical instruments. This complete violin set comes with a full sized acoustic violin finished in matte antique, an e-tuner that will help you find the right tone for the violin, a rosin and a rosewood bow that comes strapped with an unbleached Mongolian horsehair.
The case is also very strong and offers great protection for the violin during transportation and storage. There is also a one year warranty that protects you from any manufacturer issues. The violin is a capable first violin for any violin beginner and it comes with everything that any player will need to start a playing career with the violin.
Some things to note about the iMusic violin is that the bow and the violin are durable and the hard carrying case is a nice touch. Some users reported that the space between the finger board and the strings was too narrow and could hurt the fingers. It is also a beginner’s violin and so is meant for early to younger players even though it is touted as full size.
15) Mugig Violin 44 Soli Wood Violin Kit
The Mugig violin is comprised of a Spruce top and the rest of the body and sides made from maple. This wood selection gives the violin great resonance compared to violins made from tonewood. The rest of the parts are made from ebony (the finger board) and special alloys for the fine tuners that help you with adjusting the strings.
The violin is strung with premium steel strings and the bow with genuine Mongolian horsehair that will stay in play once you tune them using the fine tuners. Beginners can take the violin to a music shop to have it tuned for playing.
The Mugig kit contains one bridge, a rosin and a carrying bag that offers great protection in case the violin falls. Mugig also provides a manufacturer’s warranty of 6 months where they would change defective violins or offer a refund. This Mugig violin is a full-sized instrument and is ideal for learners at low cost.
The quality is impressive given the price and it should suffice for most beginning learners. A shoulder rest is not included so you would have to buy one yourself. The sound is great, the build is excellent and looks really beautiful and durable. Extra strings are included so you are not stranded in case the pre-strung ones break.
16) Aileen Solidwood Ebony Violin Kit
This Aileen violin comes with a complete outfit that is easy to set up and play for any beginner. It contains the violin, a sturdy bow, a strong carrying case for storage and transportation, rosin, sticker for the finger board and a nice shoulder rest. The violin is finished with an antique gloss varnish that gives the impression of a handcrafter work of art.
This violin is great for students and beginners. The sound produced is cheery and warm. It offers great acoustics, excellent frequency response and like we previously mentioned, is quite easy to tune. Some of its great features are the pre-strung D’Addario Prelude strings that provide a nice tone to the violin and some users reported that the bow should be upgraded to get the best out of this violin.
It is perfect for beginners but it needs to be professionally tuned before using to make sure that the strings stay in place. It is a very solidly-built instrument and the one-piece solidwood ebony back is a nice touch. An issue a lot of users reported is that the strings should be farther from the fingerboard to ensure that the sound comes off work.
17) YMC Full Size 4/4 Violin Starter Kit
The YMC violin starter kit is another beginner-oriented violin that is made of a spruce top and hard maple wood back and sides. The choice of maple wood for the construction makes it a solidly built violin that is ideal for people that are starting to learn to play. It is also quite cheap.
The violin starter kit comes with everything that a new player needs to have for the violin. This included a carrying case, a brazilwood bow and polishing linen to keep the violin gleaming. It is an entry level violin but it gives off a warm tone when tuned properly.
An electronic tuner is included to help you tune the violin better. A shoulder rest is also included, this is adjustable and feels comfortable when playing. This violin is great with all typesof music and it has a full set of steel strings.
The YMC violin is great value for money and is great for learners and those playing as a hobby. The sound of the YMC student violins is nice and the violins look good too. One thing to take note of is that this violin comes in several colors to suit a lot of personalities.
18) Cecilio 4/4 CVNAE White Electric Violin
This is one of the most highly recommended Cecilio violin models for beginners. It looks really classy for a cheap violin, it is well built and the spruce top is carved by hand. The rest of the body is made of maple which is a preferred choice of wood for most violins in this category.
The strings included are steel, you can have these replaced with something more expensive. The fine tuners provided with this violin kit is nickel-plated. An AUX cable is part of the package to help amplify the sound if you’re playing to a large audience.
One of the best features of this violin is the clarity and responsiveness of the sound. It is one of the best violins you can buy as a student that is just learning to play the violin. It offers a lot of functionality and the colour is very stylish for performers. A hard carrying case is included. The case lining is made from plush nylon.
The shoulder rest can be adjusted and is padded with a comfortable foam pad and gentle rubber feet. There is hardly any bridge work required from the box and it is one of the best violins you can spend on as a gift for your child or new students.
19) Cecilio 4/4 CEVN-2BK Electric/Silent Violin
This a well-made guitar from solid maple on the back and sides. It is an electric violin and requires a 9V battery. There is one included so no need to buy. It comes in several colours; black, blue, white and mahogany among others.
A pair of headphones and AUX cord are also included. This is one of the best violins to consider if you want something that can last you from beginner’s level to advanced level without needing to do much replacements.
The output headphone jack connects to majority of sound systems and there is also a line-in jack where you can listen to a background track during practice. The attached strings are professional quality and don’t need to be replaced. A rosin is provided as part of the kit so tuning is quite easy to do.
You might however need to buy better headphone because the one provided is just adequate. If you want better sound, get something else of better quality. The lacquer finish is awesome and it looks great. The bow is also solid and should last for with constant rosining. Something to note is that the carrying case does not offer much in terms of storage. There’s barely enough room to fit anything else besides the violin. Otherwise, it’s a great buy.
20) TMS 4/4 Full Size Natural Acoustic Violin
This quality violin is great as a practice instrument and for early beginners. The build quality is nice, the bowstrings are made from real Mongolian horsehair. One thing is distracting about the TMS violin is that the fingerboard, chin rest and tailpiece feel cheap and plasticky. This is not a violin you can use professionally.
The strings could be difficult to adjust but overall, it is great for a first violin. If you are having issues with the bow, there’s a free rosin provided which you will definitely need. The top of the carry case is plush and will not damage the bridge even when they come in contact. The design is really nice and you can forgive the plastic parts because of the price.
The good thing about the TMS full size violin is that it is true to size and is crafted excellently, reminiscent of the old French fiddles from around the 1870s. There are no extra strings included and if the ones that come with it break, it is recommended that you get high quality strings to improve your playing experience. Overall, it works as a learner’s violin.
21) ADM Acoustic Violin 4/4 Full Size Handcrafted Solid Wood Student Started Kits
This is a lovely full-sized violin that is intended for students and entry level players. The black varnish finish makes it look elegant and classy. It is hand crafted so expect a nice streamlined body with maple. The neck, sides and back are made of strong maple while the fingerboard is carved from rosewood.
The starter kit comes with a foam hard case that is well-padded on the inside to protect the violin during transport or storage. A quality brazilwood bow is included as well as extra bridge, rosin and strings. The shoulder strap for the carrying case is also quite comfortable as the violin does not weigh much, about 3 lbs to be exact so it is portable.
The tuning pegs can be a bit loose and you would need to retune to violin often but most players should be able to get smooth tones from it. Overall, it is an excellent first violin and comes highly recommended. It also comes with a lot of extras that will keep you happy for a long while.
One thing to note is the strings could come loose. Once you have issues with the strings, it is recommended that you take it to a music shop and get it restrung with preferably better quality strings like D’Addario Preludes, have it tuned and you’re ready to go again.
22) Windsor MI-1006 Full Size Violin
The Windsor Violin is one of the best violins you can buy for a beginner or a student learning the rudiments. It comprises a spruce top with ebony pieces like the tuning pegs and fingerboard. The rest of the body is made from ebony.
The sound produced from the Windsor MI-1006 is a vibrant, mellow tone that is well-tuned from the box. The chin rest is also made from ebony and easily adjustable. The carrying case is well-lined with foam and contains a compartment for books, accessories and other items. It has a strap is comfortable to carry.
The violin kit comes with a ‘Absolute Beginners’ violin book to help with initial lessons. While it comes pre-tuned, you should also take some time to set the tune yourself. This violin is not high quality but it is sufficient. The rosin comes with it.
You may need to buy a shoulder rest as none is included. If you want to stretch the quality, you can also replace the strings on the bow or simply buy another one. For a starter violin, it is competent and will suffice from beginner into intermediate level for most players.
You should however note that the tuners could be difficult to set and could lose tension after a while. They need to be tightened properly when restringing to ensure that the correct notes are produced.
23) Crescent 4/4 Full Size Student Violin Starter Kit
This violin kit consists of a full-size violin made of maple which has pearwood fingerboard and steel strings. It is rated as a learner’s violin so it is ideally suited for beginners. It is ideal for most users who are new and just need something for the initial lessons.
The bow is included as well as a carrying case that is lightweight and solid. There is a Velcro strap included that holds the violin. The sound from this violin is described as seasoned and natural.
Out of the box, you may be unable to get a tune out of the violin so you need to get it tuned first. Once that is done, rosin the bow also and then give it some time to adjust. The stock strings are impressive and you may not need to add new ones. The strings when properly tunes sound nice.
There’s a digital tuner included with this kit to help you pick your tunes easily. If you have any small items, there’s a compartment in the violin case where you can add things to carry around with your violin. While this isn’t a violin that you can play up to intermediate level, it does the job of helping with the rudimentary stuff quite efficiently.
25) Ohuhu Full Size 4/4 Natural Acoustic Violin
Ohuhu violins are made of composite wood and this one comes in a natural antique varnish. Some of the other parts are made from plastic If you are looking for a solid violin that will give great sound at an affordable price, this is one of the best violins that you can buy.
The violin is protected during travel and storage by a black carrying case. The carrying case is well-lined and you won’t have any issues with breakage using it. A bow and rosin are included in the kit to help you get started. You would have to buy a shoulder rest yourself.
The violin does not have additional strings included but the ones provided are of high quality. The fine tuning pegs are solid and should help keep the strings in tune for a good amount of time. It is a student’s violin so the bow needs to be rosined often and also you can have the violin tuned at a music store to get the best from it.
Users reported that the strings lasted for more than two months which is fine. Once those are no longer useable, you can replace them with higher quality strings. The Ohuru violin is real value for money and highly recommended for starters looking to learn the violin on a budget.
25) Kaizer Student Acoustic Violin
This is arguably one of the best student violins sold in the US. The back and sides are made from hand-carved maple while the top is made from spruce. Kaizer prides themselves on the fact that their violins are environmentally friendly. Most of the wood materials are sourced from North Asia and Europe forests and manufactured without the use of toxic materials.
This violin package comes with a molded carrying case for storage, original horsehair bow, a shoulder rest and rosin. A violin bridge and extra strings are also included so that you have all you need to start playing right out of the box.
Kaizer also offers the advantage of 45 days of free trials where you can receive a full refund if you don’t like the violin within the warranty period. There is also a lifetime manufacturer warranty that promises to supply free parts once you have proof of purchase. This is excellent and helps keep you covered if anything goes wrong. The included shoulder rest is also well-padded to give maximum comfort when playing.
Choosing the Best Violin from the Best Violin Brands
Buying a violin today goes beyond the price. Knowing exactly what you’re buying is important and that it works for your level of skill. Buying a concert level violin might set you back more than a thousand dollars but if you don’t maintain it well, it will sound just as bad as a $50 violin. It is therefore important to always have your violins tuned at a music store by a professional where possible. Once this is done the first time, it gets easier and just minor adjustments will be needed.
Also try to look for violins that have extended warranties so that if it does not fit your style, you can easily get a refund or replacement. If you are buying a violin online, make sure to use a reliable vendor so that getting your money back in cases of dissatisfaction is not an impossible task.