Cecilio CVN 800 Review and Guide

Cecilio CVN 800 Review and Guide (Cecilion CVN 800se Review and Guide) (Best Violin Around 1000$ – The Cecilion CVN 800se)

After years of playing and developing as a violin player, the time comes to upgrade your student or mid-range violin to an advanced one. This Cecilio CVN 800 review and guide will detail what I think is one of the best violins to consider for superb tone and playability.

cecilio cvn 800

My bottom line up front: The Cecilio CVN 800 is designed for upper-intermediate and advanced players and comes with all the qualities of a high-quality instrument. It’s a handcrafted violin that produces a pleasant, bright, rich tone. In time, the violin’s tone will improve further in the right hands. It will last you for years or as long as you play without the need to replace it. The CVN 800 is an expensive instrument; however, it’s still more affordable compared to others of the same quality.

The CVN 800 is also called CVN 800se, meaning special edition. It stands alone at the top of the CVN series, being the only one that could fit right in the hands of an advanced player. The difference in quality is translated well into the high price. 

Cecilio CVN 800 Specifics

  • Handcrafted violins with quality  aged tonewoods
  • Hand-carved one-piece solid maple back & sides
  • Hand-carved solid spruce top
  • Flamed back & sides and inlaid purfling
  • Ebony tailpiece, chinrest, pegs, and fingerboards
  • One gold plated fine tuner
  • It comes with a Revevelle Raven carbon fiber bow and other extras

Cecilio CVN 800 Pros

  • The built quality is excellent, and the finish is authentic
  • The tone is well balanced, bright, and genuine
  • The bridge is an authentic Maple Despiau Chevalets
  • The tonewoods are well-aged and fit for even more expensive violins
  • The case and bow are both high quality

Cecilio CVN 800 Cons

  • It’s not a light violin considering the price
  • It comes only at a full 4/4 size
  • The bow is great but not on the same level as the violin.

About the CVN Series

Cecilio is a well-known brand among violins players. They are famous for delivering quality affordable violins for every player level.

The Series starts from the most basic CVN100 cheap student violin aimed at beginners up to the CVN 800 fit for beginning professionals. All eight violins of the series share some similarities but become exponentially better when you go up the series. 

If you are a total beginner, you should probably check out the CVN 100, 200, and 300. Intermediate players can fit good value with the CVN 400 and 500. The CVN 600 and 700 are aimed at more experienced players than can bring the great tone out of the violins. The CVN 800 is a special edition of far better quality than the rest of the series. Thus, you can find it sometimes with the name CVN 800se. 

There are many reasons why the CVN 800 is almost double the price of the 700 and stands out right away.

The Cecilio CVN 800 Built Quality and Hardware

The Cecilio CVN 800 is a high-quality handcrafted violin that uses aged tonewoods and reliable hardware. 

The first thing to know about the violin is that it’s not a factory model. It’s hand-carved from a single piece of wood by luthiers at the Cecilio master workshop. As with all handcrafted instruments, there is a lot of attention to detail and no flaws in the build. Rest assured that it will arrive just as you expect it to be. 

In mid-range instruments, you can still sometimes find things that can be improved, such as the angle of the bridge or overall playability. The CVN 800 is one step above that category, and you won’t need to think about improving it.

The finish is beautiful, and it truly stands out compared to other CVN series violins. You don’t have to be an advanced player to notice that the glossy finish on this violin is well made and tells of high-quality instruments. It can match any other professional orchestra instruments in the looks and catch the eye of a violinist.

The tuning pegs are made from dense Ebony, and along with the gold plated fine tuner on the E string, keep tuning stable. Tuning stability is still a crucial aspect to consider in a professional situation. A violin that stays well in tune can make a difference. Any violin player would tell the pegs and tuner on the CVN 800 feel just right on the hand while tuning.

The bridge is an authentic Maple Despiau Chevalets made in France. Small details like the bridge design and materials make the difference between a good and excellent violin. This bridge is truly an excellent one.

Considering the high price, upgrading the CVN 800 for better handcrafted instruments would require considerable money. Fortunately, the built is reliable enough to last you many years, so you should not worry about replacing it anytime soon or ever again as the hardware and built is excellent.

cecilio cvn 800 review

The Cecilio CVN 800 Tonewoods and Tone

The one element all premium violins have in common is quality aged Tonewoods. The Maple and Spruce used in the CVN 800 are of excellent properties and aged for a minimum of 10 years.

Conditioning wood parts used in the violins is essential to achieve an advanced player’s tone. Ten years is a considerable amount of time. However, there are premium violins where the wood is aged up to 50 years. What makes even Stradivarious violins the legendary instrument they are today is the combinations of seasoned outstanding tonewoods and superb crafting quality. 

The tone of the Cecilio CVN 800 is overall loud and bright, ideal for an orchestra instrument that is both exciting to play and fitting for professional situations. As you become a better player, you need a violin tone that matches your skills, out of which you can bring new sounds. 

What is great about the CVN 800 is that the more you play it, the more the wood shifts and improves the low end of the violin’s tone. A tone review of a premium violin is better done months or years into playing it as it’s most likely the best tone is yet to come out of it. 

Maple is a highly regarded tonewood that produces a loud and bright tone. It’s very dense and robust, making it perfect for great-sounding sturdy violins. On cheaper Maple instruments, the tone can sometimes be too bright. The high quality of the wood used and the aging helps to balance out the tone and make it just bright enough.

Often, the tonewood on the top is considered to affect the tone more than the sides or back. 

The solid-aged Spruce is also a bright-sounding tonewood with a unique characteristic of projecting the tone towards the listener. Spruce is known for its tight grain pattern and high stiffness, making it a perfect choice for the top of a premium violin.

All this said, there is a wide variety of different types of Spruce and Maple, some of which can be superior in similarly priced violins. However, If faced with an orchestra of fine players or a recording session, rest assured the CVN 800 will deliver what’s expected. 

The Cecilio CVN 800 Accessories

All the CVN series violins come as a package with extra accessories that fit the price range of the violin. 

The CVN 800 comes with an impressive Deluxe Crescent-shaped Case that’s worth detailing.

  • Pro-deluxe durable plush-lined nylon covered hardshell case
  • High-quality velvet interior
  • Compartment for shoulder strap & accessories
  • Padded neck restraint, bridge protector
  • Built-in hygrometer measures humidity

A Revelle Raven Carbon Fiber Bow comes with the violin. It’s a quality, well-balanced bow, but I don’t think it’s at the same level as the violin. It’s just at the limits of being considered, and advanced players bow. To bring out 100% of the tone of the Cecilio CVN 800 a better bow would help.

A set of Thomastik Dominant Strings,  extra bridge, and rosin cake are included in the box.

Considering the violin is oriented at advanced players or ones that just made the step to an advanced player, it’s easy to judge the quality of the extra accessories just by trying them. I think you will love the case as it’s great for working musicians that need to keep the violin safe and have extra accessories with it

Cecilio CVN 800 alternatives

There are many quality alternatives in this price range, all of which differ in the materials and tone. If you want to find a violin of similar quality, but for children, our guide on how to find the best 1/2 violin will help you.

Cecilio CVN 800 vs Cecilio CVN 700

Cecilio CVN 700

Considering another CVN series violin might be appropriate if you don’t have the budget to go for the 800 or are not yet that advanced of a player.

The CVN 700 comes half the price of the 800 and continues the reputation of Cecilio of reliable value violins. Compared to the CVN 800 it does not have the aged tonewoods and the extra elements that make it a premium instrument. However, it makes the cut to serve an intermediate player or even an advanced player well for some years.

Cecilio CVN 800 vs. The Chang Lee Violin

chang lee violin

You can purchase the Chan Lee Violin at about the same price range, an expensive instrument of the same quality as the CVN 800.

However, the CVN, I believe, is the better one as the Tonewoods used on it are conditioned better. That is not to say that the Tonewoods on the Change Lee are cheaper. The main difference between the two instruments you should consider is the tone. The CVN is a brighter-sounding violin, while the Chang Lee is warmer.

Cecilio CVN 800 vs. Ming Jiang Zhu 903 Violin

ming jiang zhu

The Ming Jian Zhu 903 violin stands out as another quality instrument made from a top-rated luthier. Compared to the other two alternatives, the Ming Jian Zhu 903 is the only one that matches the CVN’s tonewoods quality and 10-year aging.

Since the Tonewoods are almost the same, the tone of the CVN800 si similar to the Ming Jian Zhu. Both violins have a clear, bright tone that will become warmer in time. However, it’s more expensive than the CVN 800 and does not come with a hard case or any of the valuable accessories the CVN comes with.

Final Thoughts on the Cecilio CVN 800

The Cecilio CVN 800 deserves to be a special edition model of the CVN series as it is a great improvement to all the previous violins. It’s perfect for an upper intermediate player and cuts it for advanced players with a rich, bright tone, great looks, and built quality.

For the price, it offers a highly playable great sounding instrument that will improve its tone over time. It might be a violin you can keep for the rest of your playing years. The tonewoods are of great quality, and the hardware is reliable.

However, if you are looking for a premium violin that can fit even in the most premium orchestras, you should aim higher.

Also, keep in mind that you have to order this violin directly from the company by contacting them.


Question: Do expensive violins sound better?

Answer: Yes, even though from a non-violinist standpoint, it might not be as clear. The aged tonewoods, superb built quality attention to detail translate into a much richer tone than reveals itself fully in the hands of a good violinist.

Question: What are the levels of violin?

Answer: Violins come with many different specs. Depending on the level of the player towards which they are aimed, there are beginner, intermediate, performer (advanced), and top-liner violins. Violin size is also essential to consider.

Question: Is Cecilio a good violin brand?

Answer: Cecilio is a well-known violin brand focused on making affordable violins that sound and play well. They are great violins for beginners and intermediate players with some alternatives for advanced players.
However, they are not the brand to look out for if you are looking for many premium options.

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