What Are The Best Violin Brands On The Market?

When you’re looking for a new violin, it makes sense to look for the best violin brands.

Top violin brands usually establish a strong reputation for their instruments after years of experience.

Many of these violin companies have decades of experience making quality violins.

Things to Consider When Buying a Violin

While a violin is a familiar instrument to many people, some less-known facts about it can help guide your choice from these best violin brands.

To play the violin properly, you will need to know a few things and will likely need some accessories aside from just the instrument and the bow.

Here are a few things you should consider.

Rental or Purchase

Studying the violin requires time and effort.

Though the beginning will be awkward and challenging, you will soon find your way to experiencing the reward of playing the violin well.

You should first gauge how invested you are in learning how to play the violin before spending your money on one.

You can save a lot of money by deciding to rent a violin or purchase it.

Many music stores allow you to rent an instrument before you buy it.

This is, so you have the opportunity to try the instrument to see if you like it.

Renting is great for those who want to give the violin a try but don’t know if they want to pursue learning in earnest.

If you are committed to learning, you can buy a violin outright or soon after you rent one, as it will be cheaper in the long run.

violins

Price

A violin’s price range will differ based on the quality of materials used to make the violin, the accessories that come with the violin, and the musician’s skill level the instrument is intended for.

Whether you shop in-store or online, you will find different tiers of violins.

The first tier is beginner or student violins, which are the cheapest.

The second is intermediate, or player violins with higher quality components and are slightly more expensive.

The third tier is professional violins that pride violin brands with the best materials and highest price.

If you are just beginning, you should aim for a violin in the student range.

You might consider a player-level instrument, but a capable beginner violin can help you learn all you need to know to get started for a smaller financial investment.

Material Quality

Though you will save money by purchasing a cheaper instrument, it is always important to inspect the instrument if you have the opportunity.

A cheaper instrument usually means the company used cheaper materials to make it.

Sometimes, cheap violins have damaged bodies or parts that don’t function properly.

Many of the best violin brands take pride in their inspection processes before they sell their instruments.

To make sure you get the best value for your money, make sure you conduct your inspection before buying the instrument.

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Look to see if there are any obviously damaged parts or missing pieces.

All four strings should sit comfortably across the bridge and fingerboard.

Your instrument’s varnish should shine, and there should be no chips or scratches on the violin’s body.

You should also see a chin rest on the body. At the other end of the fingerboard, there should be a scroll and four tuning pegs.

Return any instrument that has missing or damaged pieces.

A violin that has parts that don’t work will affect your ability to learn to play well.

Bow

A bow will likely be a part of an entire violin set or outfit.

It is essential to make sure that your bow functions the way it should.

The hairs of the bow are either natural or synthetic horsehair.

These hairs should tighten as you turn the screw at the bottom of the bow.

You should be able to pull the bow’s hairs enough so a pencil can slide through the gap between the hair and the wood at the bow’s middle.

When you take your bow out of the case for the first time, you likely won’t be able to play the violin yet.

Your bow will need to be rosined so it will stick to the strings.

Rosin is an accessory that usually comes with a violin outfit.

Strings

Quality strings are a significant factor that will affect your violin’s tone.

It is unrealistic to expect the highest quality strings to come stock with your instrument at the beginner range.

You will still want to pick a violin with strings that will play and stay in tune while you practice.

You should purchase a set of replacement strings with your violin.

Strings do not last forever, the prime of their sound depreciates after several months of playing, and strings sometimes break.

At some point, you will want either better quality or at least replacement strings for your violin.

Setup

A setup violin has a bridge in place that holds the strings properly.

Strings should stay in their proper tuning without needing to be adjusted all the time.

If you receive an unset up instrument, you will need to see a specialist or luthier who can set it up for you.

Many people who purchase a violin for the first time break one of the strings when they attempt to tune it for the first time and think it is because of the setup.

This could be the case. However, you need to know how to tune the violin when you first get it to avoid breaking your strings.

There are two sets of tuners on beginner violins.

There are the peg tuners near the scroll, and then there are the fine tuners at the other end of the strings.

Peg tuners will cause your strings to jump larger intervals.

They are useful when your violin is considerably out of tune.

For most cases, and especially if you buy a violin from a store, you will only need the fine tuners to adjust your violin’s tuning.

Fine tuners allow you to tune your instrument in increments rather than larger intervals.

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Violin Outfit

The last factor you want to consider is what the violin outfit you’re purchasing includes.

The accessories in the outfit and their quality affect the price of the outfit.

You will give yourself a head start on the violin by getting an outfit with a violin, a bow, a case, a shoulder rest, and a rosin.

These are the minimum materials you will need to get started playing. Look for outfits from the best violin brands.

8 Best Violin Brands of 2021

Here we have eight of the best violin brands.

These makers match high-quality violins with the lowest possible prices.

You’ll find that many of them offer violin outfits that suit all skill levels.

1. D Z Strad

D Z Strad is a well-known violin, viola, cello maker.

Their products range from beginner to professional instruments at affordable prices and high value.

The violins at D Z Strad are some of the most popular and well-renowned violins on the market today.

You can count on quality products and customer service.

Though they have no physical location for you to try their violins, customers do enjoy flat rate shipping for domestic and international orders.

They also sell complete violin sets with the instrument, case, and any other accessories you need to begin playing.

Pros:

  • Well-known classical instrument maker
  • Affordable Price range
  • Full range of classical, stringed instruments

Cons:

  • No physical location to try violins
  • 20% restocking fee on returns

2. Stentor

Stentor is a violin brand known for its student and professional-level violins.

Across the board, violin players, teachers, and orchestra directors have high praise for the Stentor line’s sound and quality.

The company focuses on matching high quality with affordability.

As a leading manufacturer of quality instruments, their mission is to create instruments that students love to play and keep learning with.

They feature a complete line of violins, violas, cellos, double basses, and necessary accessories.

Pros:

  • Quality and affordable violin maker
  • Instruments range from beginner to professional
  • Over a century of experience

Cons: 

  • Stock rosin and strings need replacing

3. Knilling

Many of Knilling’s instruments use European wood for their tone.

Their luthiers focus on providing instruments that have solid-construction but offer an affordable price.

Knilling features violins from the beginner to the professional level.

The Knilling brand is about creating instruments that invite new musicians to begin and develop along their musical journey.

Since 1922, they’ve been producing violins that offer their craftsmanship experience for great aesthetics, playability, and longevity.

Pros:

  • Solid construction
  • Known for quality sounding instruments
  • Great price

Cons:

  • Beginner violins have some cheaper materials

4. Fiddlerman

Fiddlerman’s mission is to allow anyone who wants to learn how to play an instrument to have the opportunity to do it.

Through their store, Fiddlershop, Fiddlerman makes a complete line of classical instruments from violins to cellos.

They aim to cater to any genre of music you want to play.

Fiddlerman violins range from beginner instruments to professional instruments.

You’ll find the best prices for quality instruments.

They also specialize in personalizing your instrument and set their standard with a 10-point setup inspection before shipping an instrument to ensure its quality.

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You can count on them to give you a reliable violin no matter your experience level.

Pros:

  • 10-point set-up inspection
  • Affordable prices
  • Warranties available

Cons: 

  • Replace strings
  • Sometimes falls out of tune

5. Yamaha

Yamaha has a strong reputation in musical instruments.

Their online violin shop focuses on student violins.

You will find excellent quality beginner violins for learners to choose from.

Violins will come with the instrument, rosin, bow, and other accessories available for purchase.

They have great playability, allowing students to excel with practice.

These are also great instruments to try for those who are curious about the violin but aren’t sure if they want to pursue it until they’ve tried it.

At Yamaha, you can get a capable instrument at a good price to get you going on your violin journey.

Pros:

  • Trusted instrument brand
  • Great value instruments
  • Low price for beginner violins

Cons:

  • Stock accessories need replacement
  • Low-quality stock strings

6. Cremona

Cremona began in 1989 and is an internationally distinguished violin brand.

They have won awards for their violins’ tone and are proud of the German and Italian-trained luthiers.

With decades of experience, Cremona brings you violins that ensure expert craftsmanship quality.

Their violins allow musicians to explore the full dynamic range and explore their styles as players.

They use high-quality building materials for even their beginning violins.

You will find dated wood finishes, quality varnish, and complete violin sets.

Pros:

  • Internationally recognized brand for violins
  • Beginner to professional instrument lineup
  • Award-winning tone

Cons:

  • Cheaper violins fall out of tune

7. Franz Hoffman

Franz Hoffman produces violins that are great for beginners.

These are reasonably priced violins made of suitable materials that new players can use to study the violin on.

Their violins have a capable tone that gives new players a reliable option for a good student violin.

Hoffman also has warranties available for their instrument.

Their products undergo a three-point inspection to ensure playability and setup.

You can count on this brand to help you get going with the violin.

Pros:

  • Pleasant sounding tone
  • It uses maple, spruce, and ebony wood
  • 3-point quality inspection

Cons:

  • Cases may need replacing
  • Not for professionals

8. Kennedy

Kennedy’s team has violin luthiers who craft great violins for beginners and intermediate players.

Their website hosts tons of educational content for people who are just beginning to play the violin.

As a brand, they focus on building violins with high-quality materials and using their precise measurements for their instruments.

They focus exclusively on classical stringed instruments, so you can count on their expertise in crafting great violins.

Their violins come with a lifetime warranty.

Pros:

  • Quality customer service
  • 17-point inspection for violin shipping
  • Website and store have educational materials

Cons:

  • More focus on beginners, less on professionals

Final Thoughts

There are many violin makers out there.

The ones listed here will help you narrow your search for a great violin to begin learning or to continue your studies.

Be sure to inspect the instrument you buy and try the instrument for yourself before purchasing it if possible.

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