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Top 10 Best Student Violins For The Money 2023 Reviews

No instrument is easy to learn at the outset. Be it strung, blown, or keyed, they are all a mystery in the early days. For some, that is the fascination.

Some instruments, though, are easier to get a tune out of quite quickly — keyboards, for example. You can pick out a tune with one finger the very first time you sit in front of it. Others, though, are quite demanding.

Orchestral strings are one of the hardest in the early stages. And it is not just the finger positioning that has to be right. How you hold it is vital. And then there is the action of the bow. With the violin where it is under your chin not on the floor, it’s hard. Getting a good quality student instrument is important for the starter and early learner.

So, let’s take a look at the best student violins and find the perfect one for you…

Top 10 Best Student Violins For The Money 2023 Reviews

Top 10 Best Student Violins In 2023 Reviews

1 Cecilio CVN-300

Cecilio is an instrument manufacturing company that is based in California. They include many orchestral instruments in their catalog. This violin for beginners is one such item. Made in China, it is designed and made for the beginner.

This is a full-size violin that would fall into the budget category — having called it a budget range instrument; it is still made from quality materials. Cecilio understands that using cheap woods will affect the sound. Care has, therefore been taken to use the best available.

A warm, rich sound…

This instrument is built using maple for the sides and the back of the body. It is also used for the neck. The top of the violin, which is where a lot of the higher frequency sounds come from, and it is made of spruce. The maple body is, therefore, generating a warm, rich sound. When that is combined with the crisp spruce sound, you get a nice resonance.

On the body is an attractive purfling that is inlaid, and to show off the grain of the wood, it is given an antique varnish.

The maple neck is fitted with an ebony fingerboard. Ebony is a strong wood that can withstand a lot of use. It is also used for the tuning pegs, the tailpiece, and the chin rest. At the tailpiece, there are four tuners that are nickel-plated.

What’s in the box?

The violin comes as part of a starter package that includes a chromatic tuner and two bows made from Brazilwood that are fitted with horsehair from Mongolia. A carrying case, lesson book, extra bridge, and shoulder rest are also included. Also the important Rosin cake for preparing the horsehair on the bow for use.

This is a well-made and equipped instrument for the young player as they start their musical journey. Well made, nice sound, and with an attractive authentic look, it will certainly make students want to play. The cost will also make everyone happy at this price point, With all that is included it must be considered as one of the best student violins

Cecilio CVN-300

Our rating:4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)


  • Quality build with good materials.
  • Plenty of extras included in the package.


  • Tuning with the wooden pegs can sometimes be an issue with budget violins.

2 Louis Carpini Primo Clearance Violin Outfit

The Louis Carpni Violin is an instrument from Kennedy Violins. They are based in Washington State and produce a range of Violins, Violas, and Cellos to both starters, intermediate and professional players. Kennedy does not make the instruments themselves. They are brought in from the manufacturer and then prepared and sold.

This particular model is a beautiful instrument. We think this violin is possibly made in China, but we are not sure. This is purely a manufacturing cost issue. To have a violin made in Italy… well don’t even think about it.

Crisp and resonant…

The Chinese Violin makers have become very skilled in their manufacture, so this should not be viewed as a negative. But as we said earlier, they are bought by Kennedy and likely assembled, set up, and tuned in the US.

The body is made from maple, and it has a Spruce top. The combination of these woods producing a rich, warm sound that is crisp and resonant.

Hand-carved bridge…

The fingerboard is made from ebony, as are the tuning pegs. There is a very special hand-carved bridge. The Violin is given an oil-based finish that is hand-rubbed to create a lasting, authentic look. A set of Prelude strings by D’Addario are installed, and the string height is prepared before despatch to ensure easy playability.

The bow is made from Brazilwood with genuine Mongolian horsehair. Rosin is included to allow the player to prepare the horsehair for playing.

This is a quality instrument that is made from solid pieces of wood. No laminates have been used. It plays very nicely and has a decent sound. Unfortunately, no price point indicator is listed for this instrument. The distributor lists it at a very high price, which would, unfortunately, put it out of the reach of the majority of students.

Louis Carpini Primo Clearance Violin Outfit

Our rating:4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)


  • Well constructed with nice features and good woods.
  • Plays nicely.


  • No information on price point so cost-effectiveness we cannot comment on.

3 Bunnel Premier Clearance Student Violin Outfit

One of the problems faced when buying a violin for a beginner is how much to spend. Are they going to stick with it? If not and you have spent a lot of money then it is wasted. You do, though, want to get the best quality instrument you can. There isn’t anything more frustrating for the student than an instrument that won’t play.

Cheaper Violins means some corners have been cut. You can’t expect a concert-level instrument. But you can get a decent Violin without selling the house.

The Premier version…

This Violin is hand-made from maple wood with a spruce top. Woods that are known to produce a rich and warm sound. It has been given some purfling that is inlaid. This is a standard inclusion but is still an attractive addition.

This Violin is the Premier version of the instrument, which is an upgrade from the original Pupil version. The body of the Violin has been given an oil-based finish. This makes it look more authentic.

The neck is Maple with an Ebony fingerboard, and the tailpiece is also made from Ebony wood. At the tail are four quality fine tuners that are fitted on to the tailpiece, which is made of a composite material.

Quality additions…

The bow is made from Brazilwood and has Mongolian horsehair and is nicely weighted. A leather grip and Abalone bow slide are nice additions.

This Violin comes as a part of a package for the student. It includes a shoulder rest and Pre-installed Prelude strings by D’Addario. It also has a spare set of strings by Portland and a clip-on tuner. Essential for the treatment of the bow is the Rosin, which is also included.

This is an instrument with a very slight cosmetic defect. It is, therefore, at a clearance price. However, it does not affect the playing or the sound of the instrument.

Bunnel Premier Clearance Student Violin Outfit

Our rating:4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)


  • Well-made using good materials.
  • Some good inclusions in the package.


  • Has a slight cosmetic defect.

4 Mendini 4/4 MV300 Solid Wood Satin Antique Violin

Are you looking for an instrument for a new student but don’t want to spend too much? We doubt you will find a cheaper instrument than this. We doubt you will find an instrument of this quality cheaper anywhere else. For that reason, this must be considered as the best student violin.

Cecilio has a big reputation for producing quality Violins. Their Mendini range is a respected instrument. They manufacture their instruments at every level, and this model is designed for the beginner. A very cost-effective Violin, it is great for a first instrument. Needs to be more than just cost-effective, though. It needs to be playable.

Quality sound…

They have certainly used quality woods in the manufacture with solid maple for the back and sides and a spruce top. The top is an important element to the overall sound of the instrument. Using one-piece of Spruce is not a cheap option and helps to generate a very good sound. Inlaid purfling has been added to the top.

Maple wood has also been used for the neck, tuning pegs, and chin rest. To add some stability, an alloy has been used for the tailpiece that also holds the fine-tuners. All the wooden parts of the Violin are given a varnish finish to create some visual authenticity.

What’s in the box?

It is part of a beginner’s package. Also included are a horsehair bow made from Brazilwood, a shoulder rest, and the bridge. It also has some extra strings and rosin for preparing the horsehair on the bow.

If you are looking for a high-quality instrument, this is not it. Cecilio produces those, of course, but this instrument is designed for the beginner. This Violin is put together as cheaply as possible. To that end, it will act as an introduction to the instrument but not much more. Once they have begun to master it, an upgrade will be required.

It does, though, represent great value for money. It plays nicely with a decent sound. And though the build quality isn’t the highest, it is fine for a starter.

Mendini 4/4 MV300 Solid Wood Satin Antique Violin

Our rating:4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)


  • Nice woods used to produce a decent sound.
  • Very low price.


  • Only really for a complete beginner

5 Mendini 4/4 MV500

The Mendini range by Cecilio has a number of levels of Violins for beginners. The MV500 is starting to move up the levels to a higher quality. It is designed with its impressive ‘flamed’ look, and it certainly looks the part. It is priced a little higher than most Violins for beginners.

This is because the tone and the pitch are very good. They are a lot closer to what you would expect to hear on more expensive instruments.

You see the quality in the build as well…

The back and sides are constructed from a single piece of maple wood. This is hand-carved. The top has similar qualities. Made from Spruce, it is hand-carved from a solid piece of quality wood. Maple and Spruce together are known to produce a rich, warm tone for Violins. To add to its authentic styling, it has attractive inlaid purfling. The complete body is then varnished.

The neck is made ebony, which is known to be hard-wearing. The pegs, chin rest, and also the tailpiece also made from this attractive dark wood. On the tailpiece are the four fine-tuners. To add to the styling of the instrument, these have been given a mother of pearl inlay.

A warm and rich resonance…

The sound is exceptional and places it in a category of higher-priced instruments. The quality of the build and the materials used produce a great sound. It is warm and rich with great resonance.

It comes as part of a package that also includes 2 Brazilian wood bows. These have Mongolian horsehair. Further inclusions are a chromatic tuner that has a metronome two spare bridges and a spare set of strings an adjustable shoulder rest and rosin for the bow. Supplied is a lightweight fitted case.

Slightly higher price than some starter instruments but superior quality. This makes it not only one of the best student Violins but also one of the best violin for beginners.

Mendini 4/4 MV500

Our rating:4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)


  • Good materials and great workmanship.
  • Sounds and plays like a more expensive model.


  • Price is a little higher than some starter instruments.

6 D’Luca DL-45016 Meister Ebony Fitted Beginner Violin Outfit

Choosing a violin for a beginner is a tricky business unless you are an expert and know what to look for. You want it to be as cost-effective as possible, but it must be playable.

Unfortunately, some violins labeled as starter instruments are not playable at all. Nothing will destroy the confidence and desire of a starter more than an instrument they cannot play. Any starter instrument must cater to the needs of a beginner.

Crisp and resonant…

The D’Luca is a violin that is not like that at all. It must qualify as one of the best student violins. The back and sides are solid maple wood, creating a rich, warm sound. The top is hand-carved spruce delivering the crispness of sound to go with the resonance of the maple body. The Spruce top is decorated with inlaid purfling.

The whole body is then given an impressive varnish finish. A young student is going to take this from the case and know they have an instrument in their hands.

The fittings are also manufactured with quality materials. D’Luca has used a quality ebony wood for the tuning pegs, the neck, and fingerboard, and also the chin rest. On the tailpiece are the fine tuners which are made from nickel.

What’s in the box?

The bow is made from Brazilwood and has Mongolian horsehair. It has an ebony frog for holding the bow and of course, for adjusting the tension of the horsehair. It comes as part of a package that includes the case and some Rosin to prepare the hair on the bow for use.

A very good starter violin and at a reasonable price. This is an instrument that will allow the student to learn as well as develop in the future.

D'Luca DL-45016 Meister Ebony Fitted Beginner Violin Outfit

Our rating:4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)


  • Very well made using good materials.
  • Cost-effective price considering the quality of the sound and build.


  • Some may find the wood dark and prefer maple wood finish.

7 Anton Breton AB-20 Student Violin Outfit

You may be a parent or even a starter musician yourself. You feel that you want to develop your Violin skills to a high level and possibly even have a career path with this instrument.

If so, there is one thing you will need to understand at the outset. That is that as you begin, you will need a decent violin to commence. It doesn’t need to be expensive. It has just got to be a well-built beginner’s instrument. Get that right, and your journey has begun.

Built to last…

This violin is built with a solid maple wood back and sides and has a solid Spruce top. Woods, when combined, have been proven to generate a good sound. The Spruce top has been given an inlaid purfling. The neck is also Maple with an ebony fingerboard for durability.

Ebony is known to be a tough wood that will take plenty of use. Ideal then for the fingerboard but also good for the chin rest and pegs. Included is the Brazilwood bow with real horsehair. The frog of the bow used for holding and applying tension to the hair is also ebony.

Could do with some better strings…

The bridge is made by Cremona from aged maple wood, and there is a tailpiece with fine tuners. It comes with strings fitted but really needs a better quality of string to hear its sound.

Manufactured then from good materials, this is an instrument that will produce a good sound and is easy to play. It has a cost-effective price, so for the starter, it ticks all the boxes. It has a case.

A cost-effective starter instrument that will help you start your journey.

Anton Breton AB-20 Student Violin Outfit

Our rating:4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)


  • Good materials used in construction.
  • It sounds and plays well.


  • Will need its strings changed to get the best from it.

8 Paititi 3/4 Size Solid Wood Ebony Fitted Violin

This is an impressive looking for Violin for a starter model. Most beginners, when they start to learn an instrument like to think they are playing the real thing. They will not be disappointed with this instrument.

Small yet perfectly formed…

It is a three-quarter size Violin that comes as part of a kit. There are some nice extras included but more on this later. The neck sides, top, and back of this Violin are made from selected solid maple wood. Inlaid in the top surface, there is an attractive purfling giving it an authentic feel.

The fingerboard is made of ebony, which is known for its durability. The pegs at the headstock and the chinrest likewise are ebony. It has an alloy tailpiece with four fine tuners built-in.

The bow is made of Brazilwood and has Mongolian horsehair and has a nice inlay on the frog. The bow is straight and well-balanced.

Great looks for a cost-effective instrument…

It is a nice looking Violin with its varnished finish and plays very nicely for a starter model. We often hear people talk about poor quality with less expensive and starter instruments. You must remember they are built to be cost-effective. They are not going to be concert level instruments. If you keep a reality about what you see and hear, you won’t be disappointed.

We mentioned the extras. It comes with a lightweight canvas case and inside a sheet music pocket. There is an accessory compartment and a blanket. Also included is the Rosin for preparing the horsehair on the bow.

It is a nice instrument and very reasonably priced, making it a choice for the best student violin as well as one of the best violins for kids you can buy.

Paititi 3/4 Size Solid Wood Ebony Fitted Violin

Our rating:3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5)


  • Nicely made and presented.
  • Cost-effective price point.


  • The carry bag is only canvas, so care is needed.

9 Cremona SV-75 Premier Novice Violin Outfit

It is very important when buying your first Violin that it has certain qualities. If it is for a child, then one thing to consider is are they are able to hold and play it. The qualities you should look for are firstly the woods that are used. Secondly, the quality of the build. Those two things will determine, to a large extent, how it will sound and play.

Cremona makes quality Violins for all levels and abilities. You know when you buy one of their models that it will be a good instrument for its price point. This is very much a novice Violin being half-size and designed ideally for the younger player. It is stylish and a very good choice because the wood used for the build is high quality.

Centre of attention…

The color of the instrument is quite eye-catching and certainly demands attention. The body, the back, and the sides are made from solid maple wood. The top is made from solid Spruce. These are two of the most popular woods for Violin manufacture. This is due to their resonant qualities.

The pegs are made from hardwood, and it has a Kaufmann-style chin rest. The tailpiece is a composite material and has four fine tuners.

Good overall quality…

It is a nicely balanced and well-made Violin for the complete novice. Not the cheapest instrument for a starter you will find, but it has the Cremona quality of build and good intonation.

Cremona SV-75 Premier Novice Violin Outfit

Our rating:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)


  • Well built using quality materials.
  • Good intonation and playing style


  • Quite expensive.

10 Stentor 1400-1/10 Student Violin Outfit

This Violin is thought of by many people to be the best student violin there is. It is perfect for those just starting out and more, especially for those very young beginners. It measures just 22,5 inches in length, and so is tiny in many respects. This, though, is ideal for someone having their first foray into the world of the Violin.

Nice and attractive…

It has all the attributes of its big brothers and sisters. The back and sides are made from solid maple wood, and it has a carved spruce top. There is purfling that is inlaid, giving it that authentic antique look. The body style is finished off with an attractive brown lacquer.

The neck is maple wood with a rosewood fingerboard that has a blackened effect. Rosewood has also been used for the pegs and the chin rest. The tailpiece is alloy with four fine tuners. It comes with a bow with genuine horsehair and a canvas case.

Real quality…

As a first Violin for a young player, it would be hard to find a better instrument. It is very well-made using quality woods that produce a nice sound. And it has been made to look an attractive Violin. It is not a cheap instrument, however, but it has a real quality about it as a first Violin. Made in China.

Stentor 1400-1/10 Student Violin Outfit

Our rating:5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)


  • Well made using good materials.
  • Nicely presented to look authentic


  • Not cheap.

Best Student Violins Buyers Guide

Buying A First Violin

Not an easy thing to do at all, especially if it is for a complete beginner. But there are some questions you need to answer before you go on your search.

Who Is It For?

I suppose what we really mean is how old is the intended user. Starters are not always children. Sometimes adults decide they want to play. We know a lady who retired from work, kids all married, decided to learn an instrument. If they are young, maybe from about 8 to 12 years, then a near full-size instrument will probably be ok. If they are younger, then you might need to consider one of the smaller versions. Nothing wrong with those Violins at all. They play and sound almost the same and are usually made from the same materials as the larger versions. They are just easier to hold and, therefore, to play for small hands. Choosing the right size is important.

student violins


Most Violins look very much like each other. Some, though, have a different shade of finish. This could be the natural color of the wood or the color of the varnish used. There is the authentic, antique look, and then there are darker instruments. All look good. It’s a matter of personal choice.

The Sound

Not something you can have too much influence over only in the woods that are used. Most have Spruce tops for the bright and lively sound they project. In the case of the body, they are usually either Mahogany or maple. Both produce an excellent sound with possibly mahogany being a little more resonant at the bottom end. Both, though, are great woods for Violins. If you can, do try and get an instrument that is made from one-piece of wood. The description should tell you.


Not something that you should really base your purchasing decision on. There are, though, some things that should be included. We do not consider a bow to be an ‘extra,’ as some manufacturers do. It is an essential part of the instrument and must be included. More than one would be extra and would be beneficial. To find out more about bows, please check out our reviews of the best violin bows.

Rosin cake should be included to prepare the horsehair on the bow for use. Don’t use the bow without it. Tuners and metronomes are also a nice idea and will help the student.

Finally, the case…

This is a must, and it really ought to be quite sturdy. This is a delicate instrument, and it does not take much to damage it. If the student is taking the instrument to a school or a teacher, then it must be protected — not only from getting knocked but from the weather.

Canvas bags then are really not good enough. The case should be quite robust and preferably lined. Some manufacturers include a hygrometer in their ‘extras’ to measure the humidity inside the case. Quite important if you don’t want a twisted instrument.

If you’re interested in finding out more, please check out our reviews of the best violin cases.

How Much?

Decide on a budget and stick to it. It is easy to get carried away when buying. Do a bit of research first just to see what you can get for your money before looking.

So, What Are The Best Student Violins?

We would be looking for an instrument that was easy to play. It must be made of quality materials, and as it is for a complete beginner, it needs to look the part as well. It will need a case and a few little extras, especially the Rosin cake.

We have therefore decided that the best student violins is the…

A great little instrument that does all we need it to do and does it very well.

Our choice as the very best of the best student violins.

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