Summary: This violin price range guide will explain the different bracketed price ranges for violins and what quality you can expect in each.
Purchasing a violin can be very rewarding but knowing exactly how much you should spend on your investment is crucial. It’s always good to do some homework and figure out how much money you need to invest based on your situation.
A parent buying a fractional-sized violin for their five-year-old does not need to invest as much as a 25-year-old who needs an intermediate-level violin they can use in private lessons and concerts.
For this reason, I have put together this violin price range guide to prepare you for the different categories of prices, what to expect in each, and when you might consider such an investment.
Bottomline Up Front
Choosing a violin should be, in some part, based on budget. No matter who you are, you probably have a limit to how much you are willing to spend.
Certain classes of price ranges overlap, meaning they contain options for beginners and intermediates or intermediates and professionals, so you get to choose the one that works for your situation. This violin price range guide will show you the main categories and who they are for based on musical skill.
For this violin price range guide, I divided my price ranges based on who the instrument is intended for, whether a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player, the quality of craftsmanship, and what you get with that purchase in terms of materials and accessories.
Violins come in many sizes, colors, and prices. But how much do you need to spend to get the violin appropriate for your situation?
Using this price range guide, I’ll explain what the main groups are for violin prices, what to expect when spending that much, and who they are best suited to. No matter how much money you spend, the goal should be to find the best value for your investment.
Before I go through the different price ranges, you need to understand the sizes because some price ranges cost less money just because they represent a less standard fractional size. You may or may not need to purchase a fractional size.
Different violin sizes are based on the measurement of the violin. So, you can measure your arm span from wrist to shoulder and determine whether the violin would fit in that space comfortably with your elbow slightly bent.
|Size Violin||Who is it best for?||Measurements|
|4/4 or “full size”||Anyone 11 through adult||Arm lengths of 23.5 inches or longer|
|3/4||Children 10-11||Arm lengths between 22 inches and 23.5 inches|
|1/2 or “half size”||Children 8-10||Arm lengths between 20 inches and 22 inches|
|1/4||Children 6-7||Arm lengths between 17.6 inches and 20 inches|
|1/8 or “mini”||Children 5 years old||Arm lengths between 17.1 and 17.5 inches|
|1/10 or “mini”||Children 4 years old||Arm lengths between 15 ⅜ inches and 17 inches|
|1/16 or “toy violins”||Children 2-3 years old||Arm lengths between 14 inches and 15 ⅜ inches|
Violin Price Range Guide: Under $200
Whether a child or an adult, you don’t need to overspend as a beginner. As this violin price range guide mentioned, I don’t recommend you spend beyond what you need but instead, look for inherent value in what you pay.
For beginners, especially children, you don’t want an instrument that’s too advanced because it will contain design features that don’t help them learn their initial technique. This is one of the only situations where you might consider violins on the cheapest end of the spectrum.
In this price range, you will discover fractional sizes for students. This is also where you will find a toy violin, the smallest fractional sizes, for toddlers. These toy violins are actual toys and teach children how to hold a violin and pretend to make music by pressing different buttons.
With these smaller, beginner models, don’t expect a lot in quality. You might have cheap synthetic strings that break within a few months or weaker wood for the violin’s body instead of more robust maple or spruce.
You don’t typically get a lot of accessories at this level, and if you do, they are very cheaply made. But again, this is also where you find toy violins that are perfect for children, and the much-smaller fractional size is like 1/16 or 1/8.
What you get: Fractionalize sized beginner models or toy violins.
Who should consider it: Parents buying for very small children not yet in school or toddlers who want to “play” just like their older siblings.
Violin Price Range Guide: $200-$300
In this category, you still find beginner or student models, but they are of slightly higher quality in the material used. You might find a beginner violin with a brazilwood violin bow with Mongolian horsehair instead of a synthetic alternative.
In this category, you also get a lot of accessories. This is the price range where you can get a primary hard case that protects your instrument, a spare bow, rosin, a cleaning cloth, and maybe even a foldable music stand or digital music lessons. Because of the price, none of these accessories is incredibly high-end.
The extra strings you get are perfect for beginners but not necessarily for intermediate and certainly not suitable for advanced players. Again, the rosin is meant for beginners and might not be the kind you need based on where you live.
Who should consider it: Children just starting with the violin in school.
Violin Price Range Guide: $300-$500
This is the category where you start to see upgrades to things like the strings. You might find a violin with high-quality Prelude strings or D’Addario strings instead of basic synthetic strings. This is also where you will find upgrades to the quality of the craftsmanship.
The bridge typically is made of wood instead of a cheaper plastic at this level. You can expect the violin’s body to be constructed from single pieces of wood and handcrafted.
At this point, handmade means the components like the spruce and maple for the top and body of the violin might be machine cut; however, they are fashioned together by hand. This guarantees better quality control. These are still entry-level violins, often manufactured in China, and you don’t have options for adjustments.
What you get: You get a beginner kit and higher-quality accessories, handcrafted, and better quality control.
Who should consider it: Beginners who want slight upgrades over the cheapest models.
Violin Price Range Guide: $500-$1000
Now we did into a significant shift, and you can find a much higher quality grade of timber and hire skilled labor. There is a noticeable distinction between this level and all previous levels, so it’s better for intermediate players.
The violins are hand-finished, the parts they use are better, which means the sound you get is significantly improved. Both of these mean better quality of craftsmanship.
You get a much more mature tone when you reach this level. You can certainly buy at this range if you are a beginner and want to make a single investment, but it would be construed as a luxury item for someone who’s just starting and not a necessity.
If you are trying to upgrade from your beginner violin, this is the level you want to choose
At this level, you’ll get an upgraded violin bow, significantly better strings like dominant strings, and higher quality material for parts like the bridge, which work well with the higher-quality strings to afford you better sound.
What you get: You get a handmade violin with significant upgrades in the materials used for all construction elements, not just the body.
Who should consider it: Intermediates who want a sound investment with better tone and projection.
Violin Price Range Guide: $1000+
Once you reach thousands of dollars, it’s suitable for intermediate players and professionals. This is the point at which the timber grain is a consideration. The wood grain refers to how it’s cut and the natural fibers look.
If you look at a violin that’s a few thousand dollars over a violin meant for beginners, you will see it’s noticeably more appealing. That tightness of the grain is most visible on the front. On the back, you get that nice flame. This doesn’t just look good, it impacts the sound too.
Once you reach this level, you get more expression, and it makes a difference because you can use finer techniques to encourage better projection or more expressive sounds and overtones.
This is much more suited to people doing solo work. You are more likely to find a violin that has professional strings like Evah Pirazzi or Larsen at this level.
For my violin price range guide, I included one example from each of the categories so that you can make an informed decision and get a better idea of what is included when I talk about different price ranges and what they entail for beginners compared to intermediate players compared to professionals.
Violin Price Range Guide: My Top Recommendations
$200 or Less – Mendini
Cecilio owns Mendini. So, Mendini is the remedial level for small children and students, while Cecilio is designed more for teenagers and adults who are just beginning. The Mendini Size 1/2 MV-Black Solid Wood Violin with Tuner, Lesson Book, Shoulder Rest, Extra Strings, Bow and Case, Metallic Black is my recommendation in this category.
This well-known student model has decent quality, reliable hardwoods, and everything you need to get started. I love that the case has space for things like your extra strings, chin rest, shoulder rest, tuner, and the lesson book they include.
Because this is meant for younger children who are undoubtedly bringing their violin to and from school music classes and lessons, it has multiple ways to carry the case.
- It has a bow, case, lesson book, and tuner
- It comes in multiple sizes
- Available in many colors, with colored bows to match
- It doesn’t come with violin rosin
- Meant for children
$200-$300 – Cecilio CVN-600
In the beginner price range (save for children), I recommend the Cecilio CVN-600 Hand Oil Rub Highly Flamed 1-Piece Back Solidwood Violin with D’Addario Prelude Strings, Size 4/4 (Full Size). Cecilio is highly recommended for beginner student models.
I love that the case comes with the hygrometer so you can verify the moisture levels inside. If you are buying for a teenager or want something affordable for yourself, this is a perfectly good place to start.
- Good beginner set for adults and young children
- It comes in multiple sizes (though this one is full size)
- It has good hardwoods for the construction and a natural finish
- Pieces are manufactured in China
- No varnish, so it looks more like darker brown wood than the antique reddish hue of a varnish
- Not for intermediates
$300-$500 – Bunnel G1 Violin Outfit 4/4 Full Size
For this price range, I like the Bunnel G1 Violin Outfit 4/4 Full Size – Carrying Case and Accessories Included – Highest Quality Solid Maple Wood and Ebony Fittings By Kennedy Violins. These filings are all handcrafted, and I get a nice satin oil finish, so the completed violin has that beautiful dark wood color.
It provides a warm tone and is perfect for beginners and intermediate players with great projection even if you are playing with a group. This is one of the beginner models that has everything you need to get started, including Prelude D’Addario strings, rosin, a soft chin rest, and a case.
You get a brazilwood bow and an oblong carrying case. as a beginner, this is everything you need, and the accessories are decent quality for you to start.
- Solid maple for the construction of the violin
- Ebony fittings
- Comes with accessories
- All handcrafted
- Some buyers have complained about a sharp edge on the bow, which causes the hairs to break regularly. However, this is one of those sets where I recommend buying a new bow anyway.
$500-$1000 – D Z Strad Model 365 Violin
The D Z Strad Model 365 Violin 4/4 Full Size with Open Clear Tone with Dominant Strings, Case, Bow, Rosin, and Shoulder Rest is perfect for this price range. I love that you can see the horizontal wood grain on the back with a slightly different coloration along the bottom of the neck.
You can find this particular model in multiple sizes. The construction uses Maple, Spruce, and Ebony hardwoods for the bottom, pegs, and top. It is handcrafted with a beautiful brazilwood bow. It provides a warm, round tone with synthetic or dominant strings.
- Available in fractional sizes
- Maple, spruce, and ebony hardwoods
- It comes with Pirastro gold flex professional rosin
- Has Dominant synthetic strings
- Provides a warm, round tone
- Some customers have complained that their strings broke immediately
+$1000 – V544 Violin – Full-Size Intermediate Handcrafted Violin
The V544 Violin – Full-Size Intermediate Handcrafted Violin is perfect for intermediate and advanced players. You get synthetic gut core strings designed for professionals. It comes with a Pernambuco bow. You get inlaid purfling ebony fingerboards and fittings and solid wood Maple for the construction.
This is truly a beautiful piece of craftsmanship. It only comes in full size as it is intended for professionals. The varnish brings out the orangish-red hue and helps you appreciate the horizontal grain.
- Maple and ebony
- Artisanal craftsmanship
- Provides a clear, rich tone
- It comes with gut strings
- The pieces are fabricated in Asia and assembled in the U.S.
Answer: If you can’t afford an expensive violin but need one that costs $900, you can rent your violin from many music schools or music shops. Used violins might also be an alternative to buying a brand new model in your local area.
Answer: The average price of a violin is around $500. This is something that offers you a decent standalone model for an intermediate player. An intermediate player is in the middle of the musical skills spectrum, making him a good representation of the average price.
Answer: A $200 violin is a good choice if you buy it for a small child. The beginner sets for $200 or less are intended for children. This is the category where you will find toy violins or fractional violins with all of the accessories a brand new child musician needs.
If you are an adult, you should expect to pay more than this because of the quality investment you plan to make.
The bottom line is that this violin price range guide is just that, a guide. It is intended to show you the main categories for price ranges, who they are intended for, and what quality you can expect from each.
No matter where you are in your musical experience, you can find something that will work for you, and now you can budget accordingly.
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