Violin

Best Violin Brands :Complete Guide [2021]

Best Violin Brands for Beginner & Intermediate Students
Written by Muhammad Awais

A violin is an expensive purchase, so it is a serious decision that beginner and advanced violinists need to take into account.

In other words:

Violins may appear similar to an untrained eye, but actually there are many different types, including their size, quality and place of manufacture.

It will be beneficial to read about the best violin brands as someone who is just beginning to play the violin.

Our guide has been designed to help beginners and intermediate violinists, including a look at the quality and affordability of Best Violin Brands.

Best Violin Brands for Beginner & Intermediate Students

 

There are fifteen best violin brands reviewed here, including reviews of some of the best student violins on the market.

With the goal of helping you pick the best violin,

we scoured the web, spoke with violin professionals, and read dozens of books to :

 answer the following questions: 

 

Our team has also addressed questions like:

 

  • What’s the Difference Between Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Violins?
  • How Much Money Should You Spend for a Beginner or Intermediate Violin?

If you want to make a good decision before you spend a hundred bucks or more, then make sure you read this violin buying guide.

Editor’s Choice
Austin's Favorite Violin
Austin’s Favorite Violin
  • Ebony fittings
  • Maple tone woods
  • D’Addario Kaplan Amo strings
Best Overall
Bunnel Pupil Violin
Bunnel Pupil Violin
  • Mellow, warm, sweet sound
  • Prelude strings
  • One-year warranty
Premium Pick
Cecilio CVN-300 Violin
Cecilio CVN-300 Violin
  • Solid maple back and sides
  • D’Addario Prelude strings
  • Made from ebony

 

15 Best Violin Brands for Beginners and Intermediates 2021

Our experts have gathered and listed some of the best violin brands for beginners and intermediate students based on price, durability, and sound quality to help you in your search for the best starter violins.

Here are some of the best violin brands available both in stores and online:

  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 (ADM)

Stentor

Stentor produces high-quality, long-lasting violins that are among the most popular on the market.

This Chinese violin brand is proud to offer handcrafted violins that are not expensive to those on a  budget.

One of the best brands of acoustic violins is Stentor. Violinists and violin instructors frequently recommend Stentor.

Mendini

What is the best violin to buy if you are still asking this question?Considering this brand may be a good idea. Mendini is  another affordable violin brand that’s ideal for beginners and those just starting out.

It is a factory-made instrument, but it offers good value for money and produces tone of a medium quality.

The company created the Mendini violins to provide quality stringed instruments at an affordable price for budding musicians.

Cecilio

In our list of the best violins for beginners, we include Cecilio as one of the best violin companies that continue to produce good budget violins.

With their handcrafted violins and best quality bows, Cecilio violins gain attention from violinists of all levels.

Fiddlerman

In a market full of competitors, Fiddlerman instruments are knocking down its competitors because the makers produce the best violins.

Fiddlerman – Pierre Holstein, the organization’s founder, plays and tests each violin himself. In his professional career, he has played in orchestras for more than 40 years.

Franz Hoffmann

Franz Hoffmann violins are beautifully crafted and have a bright, dependable, and consistent sound. When you play one of these instruments in orchestra, you’ll stand out from other beginner violinists. The violins they make are guaranteed to be of the highest quality within their price range.

Among the finest beginner violins available, the Franz Hoffmann line is the only line promoted at SHAR. As a trustworthy violin dealer in North America, SHAR Music can offer  expert advice.

Their goal is to never force you into buying a VSO or violin-shaped object, but a properly functioning  beginner violin.

Carlo Lamberti

Carlo Lamberti, also by SHAR music, is a wonderful stepping-stone out of the beginner to advanced beginner violin category if you are willing to pay a bit more for your instrument.

This Carlo Lamberti violin is regarded by many great violin teachers as the best violin for intermediate and advanced students, which we also agree with.

Kennedy Violins

Joel Kennedy founded Kennedy Violins after observing that many new violin students use Violin Shaped Objects (VSOs). Instead of serving as a vehicle to learn violin playing, he felt that VSOs hindered learning.

D Z Strad

The D Z Strad Company, also known as D Z America, is an American violin maker and string instrument store. They have a wide variety of classic and contemporary violins.

Cremona

We would not leave off this violin brand from the list due to  its remarkable playability at a price that will certainly not break the  bank.

Cremona instruments are manufactured in Asia. One of the first violin brands from China to import violins into the United States is this brand.

The Cremona company has been making high quality violins since 1989 and has received a number of awards for its work. Cremona violins are normally quite expensive for beginners, but if you’d like to own one of the highest-rated intermediate violins, you can’t go wrong.

Scott Cao

The Scott Cao violin is a great option if you are looking for a violin with a maker’s name attached.

Scott Shu-Kun Cao has created top-quality instruments that musicians love all over the world. As a result, he has earned a reputation as one of the best violin makers of the modern era.

With such a reputation, you can relax that any student model sold under his name will be of the highest quality.

Yamaha

Yamaha Corporation is a maker of all types of musical instruments and is one of today’s best manufacturers of violins.

According to Yamaha’s philosophy, the company is dedicated to creating worldwide excitement for the music industry.

Primavera

Primavera violins are also a good choice for students just getting started on their violin journey. Primavera violins are suitable for  both beginners and children.

Compared to other cheap beginner instruments, these instruments offer a lot of value.

Primavera violins are highly popular among schools and music instructors, particularly since they come in a wide range of sizes to accommodate students of different ages.

Knilling

The Knilling brand of violins are reasonably priced and of good quality, making them a great choice for budget-conscious families.

The company sells various violins that are selected and integrated under one brand name, which is made by different luthiers worldwide.

Knilling violins are usually made in Germany, Czech Republic, and Romania from the finest woods. The quality and sound of Knolling violins are known across the world.

Windsor

Windsor violins offer a range of quality instruments that are affordable for the beginner and student market.

Almost all of their violins are factory-made, with a few handcrafted models.

All Days Music (ADM)

The All Days Music company, commonly known as ADM, offers affordable beginner quality instruments from overseas factories.

The company currently offers 1 beginner violin set, and it is perhaps the most affordable beginner violin set available.

Top 10 Best Beginner Violin Reviews

We reviewed the best beginner violins, in terms of cost, durability, sound quality, and best value for the money, in order to aid you in your search for a good quality student violin and a beginner violin for adults.

Here are the 10 best violins 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

Mendini MV200 Violin

Mendini MV200 Violin review-best violin brands

This Mendini MV200 violin is an excellent budget violin. In other words, it won’t produce high-class, music-hall performances, but will be able to provide students with an easy transition into playing the violin.

 

 

 

 

 

They are not only inexpensive, but they are also durable, and will last the students for a few years until it is time to invest in a  higher quality model.

 

Mendini MV300 Violin

Mendini MV300 Violin review - best violin brands

Due to the quality of both the violin and bow, Mendini violins might be frowned upon by some professionals. Since the violins are not handcrafted, small adjustments and fine tuning will need to be done in order to achieve the best sound.

The quality is not as high as it could be, so you may have to replace the strings at some point, even though you may pay a lower price.

When it comes to children learning the basics of the violin, this is not so big an issue because what matters most to beginners is to get them focused and motivated.

 

 

The bright colors and funky cases offered by Mendini may be appealing to reluctant learners. Mendini violins are not only fun to play, but they are also good value for money for what they offer.

Mendini violins are probably the best option for families with a limited budget, who otherwise would put off encouraging their children to learn an  instrument.

 

Franz Hoffmann Amadeus Violin

Franz Hoffmann Amadeus Violin - best violin brands

You’ll find everything you need to meet all your violin playing needs in the Franz Hoffmann Amadeus violin outfit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As each Franz Hoffman violin sold by SHAR is set up in their Ann Arbor, Michigan shop, you can rest assured that your violin will be set up for highest playability with a 1-Year limited warranty and 30-Day No Hassle Return Policy.

 

Bunnel Pupil Violin

Bunnel Pupil Violin review - best violin brands

Bunnel Pupil violins are great for players of all ages. With the quality it offers, many consumers claim it is the best violin for adults as a starter instrument.

 

 

 

 

 

Kennedy Violins’ Bunnel Pupil student violin outfit is a top beginner violin for an affordable price.

 

D Z Strad Model 101 Violin

D Z Strad Model 101 Violin review-best violin brands

For intermediate violinists, the D Z Strad Model 101 is not recommended, but for beginners, it is ideal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Due to its sound quality, this violin brand is often considered one of the brands to avoid by advanced and intermediate violinists. However, as a beginner, I would be very happy with it.

 

Cecilio CVN-300 Violin

Cecilio CVN-300 Violin review-best violin brands

It is quite affordable considering that it includes all the necessities to play the violin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Cecilio violin is an excellent choice for beginners as it is affordable and can be played by beginners to intermediate violinists.

 

Cremona SV-175 Violin

Cremona SV-175 Violin-reviews-best-violin-brands

Due to its value – combining playability, tone quality, specification, and price – the SV-175 model has been Cremona’s most popular beginner violin for over 30 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Due to slipping pegs, some violinists say this violin requires constant tuning. We offer an in-depth violin tuning guide that takes care of that.

 

Stentor Student I Violin

Stentor Student I Violin review-best-violin-brands

This Stentor violin is probably the best for learning on. A consistent performance and a high-quality tone enhance the student’s learning experience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

With a good quality hardwood finish and solid tone woods, this Stentor Student I violin is crafted of solid tone woods.

Included in the package is a reliable violin wood bow and a perfect-designed lightweight violin case with external pockets for music sheets, a shoulder rest, and inner bow holders along with backpack carrying straps.

This violin is one of the best Stentor violins for students and it is definitely a top rated beginner violin.

 

Cecilio CVN-500 Violin

Cecilio CVN-500 Violin review-best-violin-brands

One of the most popular Cecilio violins available on the market is the CVN-500. Compared to other cheap violins, it might not be as affordable, but the sound quality is really good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s not as good as some top student violins, but it’s a good way to get your hands on some serious gear.

 

ADM Acoustic Violin

ADM Acoustic Violin review-best-violin-brands

It should come as no surprise that this violin review serves as much as an endorsement as it does as a warning.

Tone woods are used to create this violin, and quality inlaid purfling ensures that the instrument will withstand the test of time and normal abuse.

 

 

 

 

 

Consider this ADM acoustic violin if you’re interested in learning to play the violin but don’t have much of a budget. The instrument is extremely low-risk.

While it is true that many teachers would consider this instrument a VSO, or Violin Shaped Object, it is not as readily accepted by conductors and performers.

We would advise you to skip this one if you have years of experience with subpar instruments.

 

Top 10 Best Intermediate Violin Reviews

After playing for a few months or years, you’ll realize you need either an intermediate violin or an advanced violin.

The manufacturing of some beginner violins is very good, but occasionally the violins need to be upgraded.

Below, we’ve reviewed some of the best intermediate violins available in shops and online.

10 best violins for intermediate students:

  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

Cecilio CVN-600 Violin

Cecilio CVN-600 Violin review-best violin brands

This violin has earned the trust and praise of professional players, and you will be pleased with its durability.

Its D’Addario strings offer superior quality, and you won’t have to worry about changing your bow string often.

 

 

 

 

Buying this top quality Cecilio violin will provide years of great music and can be handed down through the family, allowing it to be a sentimental purchase as well as a good investment.

 

Fiddlerman Concert Violin

Fiddlerman Concert Violin review-best violin brands

The Fiddlerman Concert violin sounds huge and maintains a comfortable hand feel. It has perfectly-functioning components and an eye-catching appearance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re looking for a violin that sounds and looks natural, the Fiddlerman Concert violin can suit your needs.

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

 

Cremona SV-500 Violin

Cremona SV-500 Violin review-best violin brands

If you’d like to go from a beginner to an advanced violin, this one’s for you! Cremona SV-500 is one of the best intermediate violins available on the market.

This violin features a solid body from premium tone woods, as well as precise handcrafted points, which give it the appearance of a violin suited for dedicated violinists.

 

 

 

 

 

Although these violins are made for beginners, they produce surprisingly clear tones and are strong enough to become a reliable instrument for learning.

For advanced beginners, there is no doubt that the Cremona SV-500 is the best violin on the market.

 

Scott Cao STV017 Violin

Scott Cao STV017 Violin review-best violin brands

Scott Cao violins are among the best violins you can buy because of their quality.

This intermediate violin by Scott Cao has hand-carved tops, scrolls, and backs; its finish is hand-varnished. It is unlike other intermediate violins that are available at this price point.

 

 

 

 

 

A Scott Cao STV017 violin outfit is one of the best choices for intermediate violinists under $600.

 

Fiddlerman Artist Violin

Fiddlerman Artist Violin review-best violin brands

Fiddlerman Artist is one of the top violin sets available on the market. The product is covered by a lifetime warranty and includes lifetime free adjustments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are concerned about using this instrument for a long period of time, the Fiddlerman Artist could be the best outfit for you. What is the reason? Fiddlerman instruments include a lifetime structural warranty and free lifetime adjustments.

You only need to contact the manufacturer to save on repairs and maintenance!

 

Louis Carpini G2 Violin

Louis Carpini G2 Violin review-best violin brands

The Louis Carpini G2 violin is considered one of the best violins for advanced players by several violin instructors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Louis Carpini G2 is definitely a good violin for intermediate students. You can never go wrong with Kennedy Violins, because they are made by committed violin makers and luthiers!

 

D Z Strad Model 220 Violin

D Z Strad Model 220 Violin review-best violin brands

This model of the Strad Model 220 is an excellent choice for intermediate students. In addition to its best quality, it is popular with advanced violinists who are looking for a violin with a sophisticated tone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In terms of value for money, the D Z Strad Model 220 violin won’t let you down. It is, after all, one of the finest violins in the country.

 

Yamaha Model 5 Violin

Yamaha Model 5 Violin review-best violin brands

Model 5 by Yamaha is a good example of how a violin works best for students. Violin outfit featuring all of the materials a student needs to easily travel with their instrument, practice and perform.

In addition to being nicely priced, it comes with Yamaha’s 5-year standard warranty!

 

 

 

 

 

Yamaha offers finely crafted instruments with a tradition of excellence if you are interested in buying a first violin.

Teachers and conductors have recommended Yamaha for many years – they belong to the list of good violin brands for beginners.

 

Cremona SV-800 Violin

Cremona SV-800 Violin review-best violin brands

This Cremona SV-800 features a clean, neat inlaid wood purfling. Cremona violins are crafted in the finest Italian tradition to ensure an exceptional tone that is suitable for frequent playing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cremona luthiers take pride in their work, which is evident in their violins’ use of quality spruce, maple, and ebony wood. They train all of their luthiers according to the old tradition of the German and Italian masters.

The bows included in this outfit are crafted by Master Shang C. Guan, a French method bow maker. Each violin and bow represents the continuity of the traditions that have resulted in the best and longest-lasting violins and bows.

 

Carlo Lamberti Sonata Violin

Carlo Lamberti Sonata Violin review-best violin brands

Handcrafted at SHAR Beijing Workshop and set up at SHAR Ann Arbor Workshop, the Lamberti Sonata violin sets the standard for intermediate level violins.

The Carlo Lamberti Sonata violin is indeed the best violin for students who are serious about learning the instrument.

With these violins, new students are able to enjoy a violin that is exceptionally bright, clear and sweet-sounding.

 

 

 

 

It is an excellent choice for a student trying to become a leader in a youth orchestra or score top marks in exams.

 

What’s the Difference Between Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Violins?

Like other instruments, violins are also classified according to quality level aside from size, or type (acoustic or electric). In general, the classifications are as follows:

Beginner

Many critics use the term ‘beginner violin’ as synonymous with low-grade quality violin. Some equate it to cheap price.

Indeed, in the past, beginner violins are just viewed as a Violin Shaped Object (VSO) because they are made with generally low-grade wood, built in a factory, and may be of low quality.

And while it doesn’t sound something that you would buy, beginner violins are perfect for students who are not fully decided to go down the road of continued violin playing in the next couple of months/years.

In recent years, however, quality manufactured starter violins that can inspire and help encourage new student progress are made available in the market.

Intermediate

In response to a growing concern about the quality of mass manufactured beginner violins, some violin companies decided to create a new classification of violins for more dedicated students.

They realized that some cheap VSO don’t last long, and that some students decide to pursue further violin studies, hence they called these set intermediate violins.

These are the kits that are made of average to high quality tone woods, as well as strings, and with playability that is not subpar.

Most intermediate violins feature maple or spruce wood finish with ebony fingerboards, and fittings, and are usually been checked out by a qualified violin master or luthier.

Advanced

Advance violins are a classification where some aspects of playing character start to show. They are sometimes considered as performance type violins that are used by graduate violin students to professional performers.


Depending on companies and countries, violin classifications may vary, in some areas, people tend to classify student violin as beginner and the rest are all professional (they consider advanced and intermediate as one).

While classification varies, there isn’t any straight to the point accurate comparisons. It is generally subjective to a listener, viewer, or individual buying the violin.

A Guide for Choosing the Right Beginner or Intermediate Violin within Your Budget

It’s crucial that we always choose the best option for every decision we make.

 Getting a starter violin is something you should seriously consider, since shopping on a whim may end up costing an awful lot of money.

The violin market is generally flooded with different violin brands priced from $40 (yes, it’s true there are affordable violins! ), to $6,000 (professional violins) and above (handcrafted violins with high price tags).

The desire to own the best violin, or the coolest violin, is undoubtedly strong. However, for starters, stop and consider how realistic it is for you, in terms of affordability and frequency of use.

For example, if you’re just checking out violin playing and not sure if you’ll keep at it permanently, you might be better off with a cheap violin – ranging between $80 and $300.

In general, more committed violinists can invest more in their first violin by getting a best-sounding instrument.

Where can I buy a violin? Online vs. in-store

A violin is an excellent instrument to buy, 

but one thing to keep in mind is where to purchase it?

To get the best experience when buying a violin online or in-store, you need to check that the store is reputable, legitimate, and authorized to sell violins.

By doing so, you can be sure to buy a quality product. 

The following tips will help you whether you buy a violin from a physical or an online store.

In-Store

Buying your violin from a physical store has the advantage that you can do a test sound – you can hold the instrument in your hands and maybe ask some questions about the violin to its luthier or company.

While shopping in-store, ensure that its sound quality and finish are both good. Make sure the bow, strings, violin case, and rosin are inspected as well.

Hearing is sometimes more credible than seeing. It can happen that the perfect violin just finds you – like a first love.

Online

Buying or ordering things online is indeed much more convenient than traveling to a physical store. You can compare violin prices from one website to another and read violin reviews.

The challenge with buying a violin online is that you are choosing an instrument based on its sound quality. There are some online stores where video sound samples can be requested, but it is best to hold and test the violin personally. There are a few violin companies that offer home-trials and refunds.

However, you should always be careful that some bad apples exist, sometimes you can’t tell whether it is a scam or not. Our advice is to research first before buying online.

You’ll benefit from reading this article to ensure you begin your violin journey with the absolute best violin.

Conclusions

As much as I’d like to pick one of the best student violin brands from the list, I’d rather not to. Why? Because purchasing a violin is exciting and is a very personal experience, what one person may see as a must-have feature, others are not so keen.

To get a general idea of violin types and some of the features offered by the brands, this list can be helpful. However, it is not limited to what is written here.

Make your choice based on your ear. There’s a good chance that a cheaper instrument will also have a more beautiful tone.

You can also find out which violin brands to avoid from your friends. A violin teacher or someone who has experience buying musical instruments can also be of assistance. Ask them what the best violin is for beginners.

The most difficult decision usually has to do with your budget and whether you are willing to compromise on sound quality so that you don’t blow too much money.

In addition, do not buy an instrument just because of its brand name. Many instruments are sold at a higher price because of the name of a company, although they are made in a low-quality factory.

You might consider taking some time to consider your violin playing goals: do you just want to play for fun, or are you serious about progressing through your grade levels?

Right now, you are looking for the best beginner violin, not the best professional violin.

It’s ultimately up to you or your child to decide what violin brand will work best for them, so trust your instincts.

Thank you for taking the time to read our violin reviews! Hope to see you again soon!

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Muhammad Awais

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