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While looking for the best student violin Mendini is undoubtedly a brand to consider. The Mendini Violins series is Cecilio’s budget alternative and features a range of instruments for beginners up to intermediate players. Having reviewed all the models of the MV series, In this article, I will list out the Best Mendini Violins.
My Bottom Line Up Front
While all Mendini violins offer an outstanding balance of price and quality, the one that stands out the most is the MV400.
It’s an excellent instrument for both new players and those who want to improve on their first cheap instrument with a better student violin. Even though the MV500 and MV650 are superior in the finish and hardware, the playability and tone are very similar. Considering the price of the MV400 is considerably lower than the MV650, I place it on top of the affordable Mendini range as the best beginner violin of the series.
My Top Picks at a Glance
The violin I recommend you buy from Mendini. The violin is affordable and well built to last for years with excellent playability. Even though it has its limits as a budget instrument, surprisingly enough, this violin has a well-balanced mellow tone. Due to the great balance of quality and price, I place the Violin on top of the series.
The best budget violin for first starters. The MV300 is good enough to be everyone’s first violin. It has a classy satin finish and plays well with little to no scratch on the sound. It might not be a violin you will carry for 3+ years, but it’s worth it, considering the price.
Best looking and superior built. The MV500 is not the second most expensive of the MV series without reason. At first sight, you can tell from the finish that it’s made with more care and has better fine tuners installed. Considering that tone-wise and from its playability, it’s not very different from the MV400. I would suggest it mainly for those that like its classier appearance.
Selection Criteria for the best Mendini violin
The selection criteria for any Instrument depends on the player they target. The main thing to keep in mind for student violins is what beginners need.
The main goal is to make learning entertaining and easy for beginners. A good balance between a reasonable price and quality is essential not. The most expensive violins with more features are not always the best for beginners.
It’s essential not to fight the violin while playing it.
Musicians of all kinds share stories of how hard playing their first instrument was and that they didn’t understand if it was them or the gear making it complicated. For me, it was the same with all my first cheap gear. As a self-taught musician with a minimal budget at the time, I did not have a teacher to tell me that my action was too high or I needed to change strings.
For a violin player, the neck has to feel smooth, and there should be as little to no scratch in the sound as possible. A poorly designed bridge is the first thing to blame. Tuning stability is very important as a violin that goes out of tune while playing will not help make learning entertaining.
The main issue I have encountered with cheap violins is that the built quality is poor, and so is the hardware. The violin needs to be well built enough not to affect playability as it’s hard to tell beginners if it is his fault or the violins for the bad sound.
A student violin of a price range up to 200$ is only supposed to last possibly 2-3 years with the premise of purchasing a better instrument. For a relatively short time, the criteria on the build are not the highest. However, the tuning pegs and fine tuners should be in place, and the finish not have visible flaws.
Student violins usually come with plenty of accessories that a beginner needs.
The main ones to look for are the bow, strings, and shoulder rest. In more expensive violins, the strings are not of much concern as 10-20$ to change them is not much compared to the violin’s price. For a cheap instrument that costs 100$, that amount can make the difference between your violin and a better one.
Even though all violins of the MV series are affordable, some are better are more convenient than others. You could buy a better violin from another brand for the same price as one of the MV series. This is why I omitted the MV650, which is a good violin but can easily be replaced by a CVN series model for the same price.
Always consider other alternatives if they are available to you.
Mendini MV400 – Best Overall
Choosing the MV400 as the best Mendini Violin was not an easy task. However, while comparing it to the other, I found it superior in many aspects.
The one element that convinced me was the tone of the Violin. Usually, violins at this price point do not have a tone at all. The MV400, however, has a character of its own and sounds bright while not being tiny and scratchy. It’s not the violin you would choose for a serious show, but it’s fun to play and motivates you to become better.
The Ebony fingerboard on it, Maple body, and Spruce top make it fitting to rival even the MV650 or some violins of the CVN series- which are more expensive. Tonewoods, however, are generally “wet’ wood, meaning that they are not seasoned enough, and tone is likely not to improve in time like on expensive violins.
Mendini MV400 Pros
- Balanced mellow tone
- Smooth to play
- Sturdy enough to last your entire beginners years
- It’s very affordable
Mendini MV400 Cons
- Besides the case and rosin cake, the other accessories are cheap
- The glossy finish is well made but not very authentic
- The bridge is slightly thick
- The bow and extra accessories apart from the case and rosin cake are not the best.
Mendini MV500 – Best Looking
The Mendini MV500 immediately stands out from the looks. This model is the most authentic-looking Mendini violin with a beautiful Satin finish.
For players that want to spend extra money on a stylish student violin, the MV500 is a perfect choice. However, it is fairly more expensive than the MV400, which shares many similarities. The Ebony fingerboard and gold plated fine tuners contribute to this violin’s higher price and quality. In many retailers, you can buy the Mendini MV500 along with the 92D tuner. A handy tool with a
You still need to change the strings and get a better bow to get the best tone. Considering all the costs, the MV500 might just be a big stretch for just the looks and better-fitting fine tuners.
You could buy a mid-range violin of the CVN series for the almost same budget, which uses better tonewoods and hardware.
Mendini MV500 Pros
- It has a beautiful, classy Satin finish
- The tone is warm and well balanced
- Has the best fine tuners of the series
Mendini MV500 Cons
- The extra accessories are not of the same quality as the violin
- It’s pricey compared to the very similar yet cheaper MV400
- Slightly thick bridge
Mendini MV300 – Best on a budget
If you have a limited budget, the best first violin you can buy from Mendini is the MV300. It’s a good upgrade to the cheapest of the series MV200 and offers great playability for the price.
The Finish on the MV300 is a classy Antique Satin that makes it look more expensive. It is designed to be almost as easy to play as the other models of the MV series. For a complete beginner, it could even feel the same as the MV400 or 650.
Unfortunately, this violin does not have much tone because it is solely Maple. The advantage to that is that the violin is sturdy. However, there is no reason to look for a tone if you are still working on your technique. It’s not as good as the MV650, but it’s hard to beat and has all a beginner needs for the price.
Mendini MV300 Pros
- It’s well built enough to last all your beginner years.
- Very affordable for e first violin
- The finish is nice and classy
- The case that comes with it is convenient
Mendini MV300 Cons
- It might need frequent tuning.
- The bridge is slightly thick.
- There is not much tone on the Instrument.
What are some alternatives to Mendini Violins?
You don’t have to look far as the CVN series by Cecilio has some great student violins.
CVN instruments are considered to be generally better than Mendini; this is true but not for all models. The starting models of each series are very similar. If you want a budget first violin for learning, Mendini is the best brand to pick. The CVN series starts to become something else from the CVN400 and above.
Another good brand to consider is the Stentor Student Violin series. Like Cecilio, Stentoroffersg quality budget violins for players of all levels. If you can get your hands on a Stentor at a reasonable price, rest assured you have a lesser instrument when compared to Cecilio.
A good piece of advice is not to buy a plastic violin even though you might be tempted by the low price and some extra accessories. Even though you might not tell the difference in the first months of playing, you will need to switch to a wooden instrument in time.
Answer: Pay close attention to the violin Size when picking the violin for you or your child. Adults usually don’t have problems as most violins come in 4/4 full size. Kids, however, need measurements to figure out the right size and a Violin that fits their size. The violin tutor can help you if you can’t do the measurements yourself.
Considering the size might change with the child growing, going for an expensive instrument is not a great idea. Aim for a violin that plays smoothly stays in tune, and does not have any significant flaws in the build.
Answer: All tutors recommend affordable violins such as the Mendini MV300 violin or Cecilio CVN300. Do not worry about your child needing a better violin, as all students usually are equipped with similarly valued instruments.
Answer: It all depends on how much you can spend on a violin and changing the violin size frequently. Without considering the budget, the more expensive the violin, the better the playing experience, and the fewer struggles with learning techniques.
If you buy an expensive full-size violin, you might not even need to change it for all your playing years. Expensive violins with adequately seasoned wood have a distinctive quality of getting better over time as the tone becomes warmer and deeper.
Final Thoughts on Best Mendini Violins
The real value of a student violin is how much it motivates you to pick up the instrument. Being a musician with a lot of gear on hand and years behind, I still pick the one instrument that makes me play for hours, even though it might not be the best.
Considering the price, ease of play, decent tone, and overall durability, the best Mendini violin is the MendiniMV400. Apart from my personal preference, I judge it as the best from total beginners or some months into playing violinist standpoint. It could even stay with you up to your intermediate years before feeling the need for an expensive instrument.
If the MV400 is still too expensive for you, right below it in the series, the affordable MV300 is still a good choice for a first violin. The CVN series might have better violins if you aim for a more expensive instrument.
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