Best Violin Brands Review in 2018
With countless violin brands available on the market, your first venture into violin buying can be arduous. From dealing with the local music store sales staff who are mostly interested selling you a brand that they carry to the online stores that often sell counterfeit or remanufactured violins, it can be difficult to know if you're getting a good deal. This guide is intended to help you make an informed decision and become more knowledgeable about the multitude of options available. After you've successfully choose a violin, you can then come to our violin tuner article to learn how the tuning works.
Succinctly put, the best violins for a beginner or intermediate are Stentor, Cecilio and Cremona. For the professional, there is the more affordable Yamaha brand and the top-ranked Stradivarius brand. With this in mind, there is one important caveat. The best violin brands aren't actually brands at all. They are made by specific artists known as luthiers, and violinists will refer to the violin by the maker's name since a brand doesn't typically exist. Two famous luthiers are Antonio Stradivari of Cremona, Italy, and Giuseppe Guarneri of Cremona, Italy. For this reason, this review will focus on the best beginner and intermediate violin brands that a professional may conceivable use for their ensemble playing. However, keep in mind that the very best violins go for millions of dollars.
When it comes to the best violin brands, Stradivarius is the undisputed leader. However, a true Stradivarius violin is rare and extremely expensive. Advancements in the way we manufacture instruments has made it possible to replicate the features of a Strad at a more affordable price. For this reason, it's best to save some money and buy a lesser-quality violin. If you are at intermediate and advanced level, you can also look into electric violin.
If you make it to the point where you're being paid to perform at high-profile venues, a large and benevolent company may just gift you a Stradivarius. Until then, stay strong and realize that your playing technique and sound is only partially influenced by the instrument. Your message and playing style is far more important than the instrument you play on. The best violin may sound like a toy in the hands of an amateur while the professional can use it to produce profoundly beautiful music.
Choosing from one of the established violin brands reduces some of the risk associated with buying a violin. When you buy a violin from an unknown or lesser-known name, you don't always know what kind of quality you can expect to get. Purchasing from a respected brand gives you additional options for support, warranty claims and replacement parts. Buying an instrument from Yamaha virtually ensures that any part you need will be available at one of your local music stores.
Brand name instruments with high rankings will provide you with a more carefree and enjoyable playing experience. You won't have to worry about whether you're getting a quality instrument, and the resale value of your instrument will also remain high since your instrument will be considered a worthwhile purchase 3, 5, 7 and even 10 years down the road. Paying a little more for one of the best violin brands will ensure you enjoy a lifetime of playing.
When looking for violin brands, it's important to choose a violin that meets certain criteria. A true violin measures about 35 centimeters wide, and it generally plays about an octave higher than the viola. The violin has a wider range than other string instruments, and the size of the violin will affect the timbre. Don't buy a violin that exceeds 37 centimeters wide since it will start to take on a darker tone more akin to a viola.
The violin also has thin strings compared to the other members of the string family. This enables the violinist to play quickly and it helps to give the violin its characteristic tone. String instruments are the most versatile instruments next to the human voice. It's important to purchase a quality brand to ensure that you're able to effectively play all of the techniques and the musical repertoire that await you.
Care and Use
While all violin brands need appropriate care, it's important that you understand the requirements of maintaining a violin. If you don't have experience taking care of a violin, you can inadvertently damage the instrument. This is a costly mistake, so it's important for you to have someone to show you how to care for your violin properly.
Make sure your violin comes with a case. If it doesn't, you're going to need to purchase one separately to protect the instrument. The case not only protects from accidental falls and knocks, it also protects your instrument from environmental conditions like humidity and heat. Additionally, you need to make sure you have enough rosin, extra strings and the right cleaning supplies to keep your violin in good condition.
There is some argument about the very best violin brands and the violin that you ultimately fall in love with is a personal choice. However, there are some brands that simply produce better-quality instruments and will provide you with a more enjoyable playing experience.
Once you've selected your violin, you can begin practicing so that one day you'll be able to play this famous tune as well:
20 Best Violin Brands
When it comes to quality violin brands for the student violinist, Stentor offers an exceptional option that won't break your budget. When possible, it's best to purchase your own instrument in lieu of renting. It ultimately saves money over the long run, and it prevents the possibility of you having to shell out for a lost or stolen violin.
Stentor controls every aspect of their production process. They carefully carve their instruments out of hardwoods for the best quality sound. The thickness of the violin is carefully controlled to ensure that all of their instruments produce a consistent sound. Additionally, the bridge and soundpost are custom items designed by the company.
While there are many options to choose from, one good violin for a beginner that will last through the intermediate level is the Stentor 1550. It's a full-size violin, features a solid maple back and uses full ebony fittings for the best effect. The instrument comes with all that is needed for an enjoyable musical experience.
This is an ideal instrument for the student who is just learning, the intermediate who needs something more substantial or the alumni of a music program who wants to get back into playing without spending a lot of cash.
Music teachers and professional violinists alike tend to have an affection for few violin brands, but this is not the case with the Cecilio line of violins. The company produces superior quality violins for players of all levels. They company is named after St. Cecilia, who is the patron saint of music and musicians.
The company uses top quality wood for all their violins. Maple and spruce are the most commonly used woods, and the company tends to use only high-quality ebony for the rest of the fittings. The company also uses D'Addario strings, which means you won't have to spend a lot of money replacing broken strings.
When it comes to presentation, the entire product is exceptional. The company uses high-quality rosin and each violin tends to come with extra bridges so you can stay productive. The violins produced by this company will last for several years and can even be used in larger families as a hand-me-down instrument.
While Cecilio offers a full line of violins for players of all levels, one of the most impressive in the line-up is the Cecilio CVN-700. It's made from solid maple that is aged for at least seven years. The top uses spruce, and it is hand-carved to provide an exceptional bit of artistry. The bow uses Mongolian horsehair and an ebony frog on an octagonal bow.
Cremona violins make the list of top violin brands due to their extreme playability. The company is a rather young company, and it first came on the scene in 1989. They are internationally recognized and produce violins suitable for all levels of students at varying price ranges. The company has even won two VSA silver medals for the tone production of their instruments.
As a small company, they devote a large staff to quality control with 22 people who monitor the standards set forth by the company. Serving as 8.5 percent of the total company, these select individuals are charged with ensuring every component and procedure is followed.
As one of the top violin brands, the company keeps their violins in top condition by keeping all of the parts needed for assembly in carefully controlled environments. Temperature and humidity are expertly adjusted to provide optimal conditions for violin-making, and the company keeps violins in a queue for at least 30 days before shipping to ensure that the instruments don't warp.
The Cremona SV-1400 Maestro Soloist option is one of their finest violins. You'll enjoy a hand-carved instrument with a solid spruce top and solid maple throughout. The violin is expertly crafted to give it an aged look, and it comes with a medium-quality Brazilwood bow. At beginner level, you can consider Cremona SV-75 Premier Novice Violin.
Yamaha is an undisputed manufacturer of quality violins and musical instruments of all types. When you buy a Yamaha violin, you know you're getting an instrument from a company with an exceptional track record and extraordinary attention to detail. The violins are often fully hand-carved by trained luthiers, and the company uses an exceptional quality-control system to ensure no weak instruments are released.
High-quality materials are used in their violins, and you can get an exceptional violin for less than $600. While there are some models that well exceed that number, you can be certain you're getting a solid instrument when you purchase an instrument from the Yamaha brand.
Special features on many of their violins include inlaid purfling, oil varnishes, ebony fittings and quality Glaser bows. The company ages the wood on most violins, including the student level violins. Overall, Yamaha provides a good value at a reasonable price.
The Yamaha Standard Model AV5 is an example of one high-quality student violin in their lineup. The violin comes with plenty of accessories, and it is seasoned for at least five years. This student violin is professionally hand-carved by a luthier, and it will provide years of enjoyment for players of varying levels.
Purists may argue that a Stradivarius by any other name is not a Stradivarius at all. However, many blind research studies have indicated that most professional can't detect the difference in sound between a real Stradivarius and a modern copy. Of all the violin brands, Sky Guarantee may be one of the most controversial for its dedication to reproduces the master violin makers creations.
No two Stradivarius violins will sound the same, which is where the Sky Guarantee models fall short. However, for a high-quality instrument that actually does replicate the sound of a Stradivarius, it would be hard for any serious violinist to ignore their instruments as a possibility. The company uses high-quality materials and a chemical process that is designed to replicate the original sound of a Stradivarius.
The violins from the manufacturer come with high-quality cases and a certain nostalgia for those who have ever had the privilege to hear a real Stradivarius violin. If you can't afford the cost of a high-dollar Stradivarius, you can get the next best thing by adding one of these models to your collection.
The Sky Guarantee Mastero Sound Copy of a Stradivarius is one possible option. The violin is hand-crafted and designed to mimic the look and feel of a real Stradivarius.
D.Z. Strad Violin Shop is one of the leading workshops for violins. The D.Z. Strad store has an enormous inventory of both classic and modern violins. D.Z. Strad is known for their affordable prices for musicians of all levels; they are also known for their consistent quality control. The D.Z. Strad violins have a huge range of prices; some of the prices are affordable, while others are not.
When shopping for violins, it’s always good to keep in mind that it's better not to have too many upgrades. When you buy a D.Z. Strad violin, you will be paying for a quality instrument that does not need to be upgraded; this will save money over time.
The D.Z. violins are a good choice, because they will not need to have the strings and bridge replaced. Having these parts replaced on a cheaper instrument will come at a cost for the buyer. D.Z. Strad Violins are detailed, and this attention to detail sets them apart from other violins that are in the same price range. The D.Z. Strad Violins are made of top of the line tone woods. The violins feature a special construction that allows for deep tones and crisp notes.
Bunnel Violin Brand
The Kennedy Company (the creators of the Ricard Bunnel violin) was created to make student violins that are affordable and are high quality instruments. The Kennedy Violin Company specializes in making violins, and is highly rated for customer satisfaction.
The Ricard Bunnel violins are created specifically for beginners using quality materials. The Ricard Bunnel G2 Violin is great because it is an inexpensive instrument. The Kennedy Violin Company offers upgrades for the beginner and intermediate students; with this option, the students can grow with their instrument and eventually get a better quality violin. The violin features excellent tone woods and comes with a decent set of strings. It is recommended that you upgrade the strings at some point in the future, but the strings are of a good quality to begin playing. The violin itself is made of superior materials; it’s made from tight grain spruce and ebony is used for the fittings. The spruce is special because it is from the Himalaya’s; the spruce is also cured so that it’s durable. The violin also features cured maple; this helps the violin tolerate the humidity. The violin is also attractive to look at and is balanced to be a good weight for a beginning violinist.
The Ricard Bunnel G1 Violin has all of the features of the G2 violin, but it is an upgrade. All of the Ricard Bunnel violins come completely set up, and are ready for the violinst to play.
Mendini Violins was created to allow affordable and quality instruments to be available to aspiring musicians and performers. The Mendini violin models MV200 and MV300 are similar in what they have to offer the student; they are considered the best violins this brand has to offer. These violins are made at a factory, but they used quality wood. Spruce is used for the top of the violin, and maple is used for the back and sides. The bow is made of high quality Mongolian horsehair. The ebony pegs and fittings are also a good quality. This violin features a wonderful warm tone. The violin comes with everything the violinist needs to begin playing their new instrument. The violin comes in several different colors, including: blue, pink, white, and a standard wood-varnished finish. Unfortunately, this violin is not an instrument that will last long if you are an aspiring violinist.
The Mendini MV500 and MV650 models are another step up from the MV200 and MV300. The biggest difference you will find is that the violin will have a better tone. This particular model is handcrafted from one piece of wood; this superior construction gives the violin a better tone quality as well as durability. The violin has a beautiful gloss that looks like it belongs to an orchestra. Unfortunately, the higher quality violins come at a price.
Franz Hoffman violins are well made and are a good price. All of the Franz Hoffman violins are made in China; the quality may not be as high-end as some of the other violin companies. All of the Franz Hoffman violins are affordable. The Franz Hoffman violins are made with solid wood to ensure the best performance and longevity of the instrument. Franz Hoffman offers several different sizes of violins.
The Amadeus, Maestro, and Prelude violin models are available in 1/16-4/4 sizes. The Amadeus and Maestro violins do not come with an outfit included; this has to be purchased separately. The Prelude violin features enhanced arching; this arching gives the instrument a warm tone and better projection. The Prelude model comes with an outfit included. The Concert violin is a full-sized violin; it features a special hand carving and a high quality varnish. The Etude violin is Franz Hoffman’s “step up” model; this violin is more expensive because the materials are made from higher quality wood.
Merano Musical Instruments was established in 2000. All of their instruments are hand crafted; making each one unique. All of their violins are affordable. Merano Violins offers several different violins at varying prices and levels. You can find a beginners violin at an affordable price as well as an intermediate violin. The student violins also come in several vibrant colors. Merano’s brand is recommended more for beginner or intermediate students. The outfit is not of the best quality, and the student might need to upgrade the outfit after a few months.
Scott Cao Violins are used by soloists, professionals, and students. The company was established in 1989. Their violins have been recognized for their quality, tonality, and excellent workmanship. Scott Cao Violins have three levels of violins. The violins made by Scott Shu-Kun Cao are owned by famous soloists, orchestra players, and concertmasters. These violins are the most expensive and you will have to wait longer to receive your instrument. The next level of instruments are in their California workshop, and are featured in a few of the world’s leading violin shops. The violins made in Scott Cao’s Factory are distributed by world renowned string instrument companies. The violins are made to replicate famous violins. There are several different models to choose from; the models all have different woods, varnishes, and fittings that set them apart from each other. These violins are beautiful for professionals, but are also recommended as a great option for a beginner who does not want to upgrade.
Knilling was founded in St. Louis in 1922; their instruments are made of quality materials, and are known for their unique tone as well as longevity. These violins feature Perfection Pegs; these pegs are special planetary gear tuning pegs that look like traditional pegs, but allow for easy and precise tuning. Most of their violins are created in their factory. The only part of the violin that is not created in their factory is the bridge. The bridge on every Knilling Violin is hand carved; this ensures that the bridge will be an exact fit for the height and spacing of the strings. Each peg on the violin is also hand-fitted and individually lubricated.
Knilling Violins are known for their expertise in creating quality violins. They have affordable violins for all players, and have a variety of models available. The company produces an extremely high quality of violin for the price.
All Days Music Violins
All Days Music Violins are produced overseas in factories. The company produces quality violins for beginners at affordable prices. Their violins are offered in several different sizes. The violins also come with a warranty for a year. The violins are typically sold with a complete outfit, and come fully set up. The violin might need improvements as the student progresses through the early stages of learning. The actual instrument is made of material that is meant to last the day to day abuses of the instrument.
Klaus Mueller is known for its student models. Despite their German name, most of the violins are made in China. The violins can be found on Amazon or Southwest Strings. It is recommended that you test out this particular instrument before buying it; when you test out the instrument, you’ll be able to tell whether or not it’s a quality instrument. The violins are made by several different makers and factories that are all incorporated under the same label; this causes the quality of the violin to vary per violin. All of their violins have quality inlaid purfling that helps to prevent the wood from splitting over time. Klaus Mueller Violins are known for their warm tone, and have decent clarity for the price. Unfortunately, these instruments are a little expensive for a violinist who has not committed to going to the next level.
iMusic Violins are offered in various sizes and models. The violins come with a full set up, and come in various colors. These violins are meant for beginners, not advanced students. The bodies of the violin are made with spruce and maple. The fingerboard, chin rest, and pegs are also made from maple. When you buy a violin from iMusic, you will also receive a hard case, Brazilian bow, and other great items for your first set up. iMusic makes violins that are recommended for children as young as five years old; these violins are made of lightweight material that make it easy for a young child to hold. Overall, the violins are recommended for beginners, hobbyists, and school kids. This violin will need to be updated in the future if your child would like to continue progress in their violin studies.
Kinglos manufactures electric violins and acoustic guitars, as well as violins. The company was founded in 2009 in Shanghai. The developers and designers of this company combine traditional instrument construction with visual arts. Several of the violins are made with a special patented coloring technology. The violins are known for the beauty as well as their quality; you can personalize your violin to yourself with their variety of colors available. These violins are perfect for display, but not recommended for advanced performers.
Some of their other violins feature beautiful hand-carved surfaces. Even though the violins have carvings on them, they are still made of high quality tone woods in the traditional manner. You have the option to buy several different kinds of violins from this company.
This violin is perfect if you are willing to pay a little more. This is also a recommended brand to buy from if you are looking for a violin for an advanced student. The violins are hand-crafted by the SHAR Beijing Workshop and then set-up at the SHAR Ann Arbor Workshop. This violin is thought to have “set the bar” for intermediate level violins. The violins feature a powerful, rich tone that is pleasing to the listener.
The Primavera Violins are offered in small sizes, and have quality fittings. The violins are aesthetically pleasing, and they also feature built-in durability. These violins have a lot of value for the money you will spend on them. The violins are known for ease of tuning, and are also known to stay in tune. The wood is made of a lightweight material meant for young children. The strings might need to be upgraded to get a better sound out of them, but they are still a good value for the price. Primavera Violins have six different violin models available; the outfit is included with every violin.
This violin is of a reasonable quality for those on a budget. The violins are meant to be used by students and beginners. Most of the violins are factory-made; only a few of the models are handcrafted. Some of the Windsor models come in different colors; the company also has funky cases available. The tone quality in this instrument is not as good as some, but it might not be noticed by a beginner. These violins are not known for their durability; the strings will need to be replaced eventually. Most of the violin kits feature a book called “Absolute Beginners”. These violins may not come with a complete kit, and this might be an extra expense for the buyer. This violin is perfect for those who want to try out the violin, but do not want to commit quite yet.
The Mugig violin has great resonance because the violin is made from spruce and maple wood. The violins are well-constructed with great tuning pins to make tuning easy. The Mugig kit has everything the violinist will need, except for a shoulder rest. These violins have a great sound, and they are well-built for the price. When you get the violin, you will have to put the bridge up. Mugig Violins are only available in the full size.
For the best value and a violin that will meet the needs of every player, the Yamaha Model 5 is an excellent option. Even if you don't purchase the professional Yamaha model, the company also makes a wide assortment of beginning and intermediate violins that will fit your budget and needs. The quality and support of the company are also worth considering, and the company can intervene to help you if you ever experience issues with your violin.
Yamaha has been making musical instruments for years, and it's a well-respected name in the industry. Choosing a violin from the Yamaha brand means you're buying a product that is designed to provide you with a stable, reliable and enjoyable playing experience. The Model 5 is a bit pricey, but the reliability and durability of the instrument mean it's less likely to break down. Buying a better-quality instrument usually pays for itself in the form of time spent waiting for repairs and the cost of getting weak components replaced. While any violinist would like a quality Stradivarius copy, the Yamaha is a practical choice that will suit a range of players.