The 9 Best Violins

Updated November 09, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

9 Best Violins
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 34 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. Whether you are just starting out on your musical journey or you are already an accomplished artist, you'll find one of these elegant and rich-sounding violins perfect for practicing or for your next performance. We've included models better suited to beginners through to concert-ready instruments ideal for any professional musician. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best violin on Amazon.

9. Stentor 1500

The Stentor 1500 produces deep, rich tones in the low register and bright, shiny notes up high that are sure to impress everyone who hears them. It's a good choice for beginners who are willing to spend a little more, as it is forgiving to your technique.
  • comes with bow rosin
  • full ebony fittings
  • accessories are poor quality
Brand Stentor
Model 1500 4/4
Weight 4.4 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

8. Cecilio CVN-300

The affordable Cecilio CVN-300 is surprisingly good-quality considering its price point. It features a solid spruce top and a maple back and sides, each of which is hand-carved, and it's finished with beautiful inlaid purfling.
  • chromatic tuner with metronome
  • adjustable shoulder rest
  • included bows aren't great
Brand Cecilio
Model DA_4/4CVN-300+SR+92D+FB
Weight 5.8 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. Crescent VL-NR-PW

The Crescent VL-NR-PW isn't the finest violin available, but it is more than adequate for the amateur musician trying to decide whether or not they like to play. It's durable; produces a rich sound; and has a smooth, glossy finish.
  • digital e-tuner included
  • setting up the bridge is easy
  • doesn't stay in tune well
Brand Crescent
Model VL-NR-PW
Weight 4.5 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0


The ADM VLP13-BLACK is both a decent instrument and a great conversation piece, thanks to its striking coloration. It has an alloy tailpiece with four integrated fine tuners, and its neck, back, and sides are all made from handcrafted maple.
  • unbleached white horsehair bow
  • good balance of price and quality
  • included strings sound dull
Brand ADM
Model VLP13-BLUE
Weight 3.2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Mendini MV500+92D Flamed

The Mendini MV500+92D Flamed has a striking tiger-stripe finish that makes it look every bit as good as it sounds. It comes with two Brazil wood bows with unbleached genuine Mongolian horsehair, and a hard case to protect everything.
  • hand-carved 1-piece maple back
  • holds its tune for weeks
  • needs to be restrung once you get it
Brand Mendini
Model 4/4MV500+92D
Weight 5.3 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

4. Kennedy Violins Ricard Bunnel G2

The Kennedy Violins Ricard Bunnel G2 is a fine mid-range instrument that is available in every size from 1/16 to full 4/4. It's good enough for use in performances and is an excellent choice for devoted students who want their sound to stand out.
  • solid maple and spruce tonewoods
  • intro to violin book included
  • backed by a lifetime warranty
Brand Kennedy Violins
Model pending
Weight 7.3 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

3. Kennedy Violins Louis Carpini G2

Made by professional luthiers in Washington state, the Kennedy Violins Louis Carpini G2 comes completely setup with no assembly or adjustments required. It comes with a luxurious hard-shell case that can measure an environments moisture level with its included hygrometer.
  • ebony frog is metal-mounted
  • hand-carved french aubert bridge
  • 45-day money-back guarantee
Brand Kennedy Violins
Model pending
Weight 11.5 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Cecilio CEVN-2BK

The Cecilio CEVN-2BK is an electric violin that brings a classical instrument into the modern age. It can produce rich, raucous electronic music from its hand-carved solid maple wood body that still retains its traditional elegance.
  • good for silent practice
  • unique and attractive design
  • ebony fingerboard and chin rest
Brand Cecilio
Model 4/4CEVN-2BK
Weight 5.1 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. D Z Strad #509 Maestro

The D Z Strad #509 Maestro is a full-sized, concert-ready instrument, perfect for the serious musician looking to make musical performance their life's work. It is handmade by prize-winning luthiers, and is meticulously graduated.
  • wood sourced from italian alps
  • completely hand-oil varnished
  • malleable sophisticated sound
Brand D Z Strad
Model D Z Strad #509
Weight 5 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

The Violin Takes Form

The violin is a descendant of the the viol, an early renaissance instrument. More predecessors include the medieval fiddle, rebec, and lira da braccio. Paintings from the era indicate that types of stringed violin instruments were in existence by at least 1520; with the the top E string added shortly after. The viol became a class of instruments; also including the violin, cello, and viola.

Italian violin makers such as the Amati family ushered in a new era for the violin. Small family operations such as these were pivotal in establishing the standard proportions of the violin. The Amati family in particular contributed to the art of violin making like none other. These contributions were evident not only in the improvement of the instrument itself, but also in the apprenticeships the family attracted. Renowned makers including Andrea Guarneri and the famous Antonio Stradivari were among their apprentices.

Stradivari is recognized as the greatest violin maker in history and went on to finalize and refine the violin’s form and symmetry. If it was not for the Amati family, Stradivari may never have made the contributions he did. Makers like Stradivari continued to experiment through the 19th century with the size and shape of the violin; adjusting archings, overall length, the angle of the neck, and the bridge height. As the possibilities of the violin expanded, the instrument evolved to meet the requirements of both the soloist and larger concert halls of the day.

By the 19th century, the modern violin had emerged. Its size, length, and balance allowed the player to produce both power and subtlety in the higher ranges. The final addition to the violin was the chin rest, added by Louis Spohr, which made it possible for the player to hold the violin comfortably while playing in the higher positions. This resulted in the rapid advancement of playing technique; allowing the violin to reach its pinnacle as a virtuoso's instrument.

Will Classical Music Make You Smarter?

In societies which increasingly value intelligence and cognitive performance, people are constantly looking for ways to increase their brainpower. One simple way to rapidly boost cognitive activity may be to simply listen to classical music. This often incorporates specialized time signatures and employs many different brass, woodwind, percussive, and stringed instruments. The intricate melodies and layers developed may actually stretch the brain.

While listening to a violin solo is not everyone's idea of a great night, studies show it may actually help improve your ability to be productive. In 1993, Rauscher et. al first coined the term the Mozart effect, after a study they performed indicated that listening to Mozart's sonata for 10 minutes increased the spatial reasoning skills of listeners.

The original findings were heavily criticized, as they were broad and did not account for things such as the appreciation of classical music affecting how much a person's grey matter was stimulated. To circumvent this, a team of researchers played Mozart for groups of rats while they were in the uterus. All factors for the musical bias in humans were thus eliminated, and the groups of rats were then tested for their ability to complete a maze.

The results of the study indicated that subjects who listen to Mozart in the womb showed increasingly higher marks than the control group day after day. This would mean that long term exposure to classical music may have an increased effect on spatial reasoning.

An explanation for these results may be found in the brain activity. Various tests and brain scans have indicated that listening to music activates a wide variety of areas in the brain. Rhythm and pitch are processed by the left side of the brain, whereas timbre and melody are processed by the right. This means the simple act of listening to music activates both sides of the brain, which can increase brainpower.

The Benefits Of Playing An Instrument

The benefits of actually playing an instrument far outweigh the benefits of simply listening to them. A team of researchers set out to find the benefits playing music had on young minds. Groups of preschool children were exposed to either six months of basic piano lessons, computer lessons, or no lessons at all.

Preschool children who were given piano lessons for the duration of the test showed long term increases in the spatial-temporal regions of the brain when compared to all other groups. Their findings suggested that music training produces long-term modifications in the neural circuitry in regions not primarily concerned with music, such as math and science.

A separate study also showed that learning a musical instrument like the violin can actually improve reading, vocabulary, and comprehension scores in as early as primary grade students.

There are also many personal enhancements which come along with mastering an instrument. Instruments take time to learn, and are often difficult. As such, playing an instrument will teach perseverance, discipline, organization, concentration, and even achievement when the instrument is mastered. Playing an instrument also increases hand-eye coordination, encourages self-expression, and can build confidence and a sense of purpose in life.

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Last updated on November 09, 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.

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