Other than possibly the Cello, is there any other instrument that can dictate our emotions like a violin? It can reduce us to deep sadness or great highs of joy, it can even rock n’ roll if you want it to as Vanessa-Mae and Nigel Kennedy has proved.
But what is it about this instrument, the instrument of Vivaldi, Paganini, Strauss, Brahms and Mozart and of course those in the present day. It is a unique instrument where even at the beginner level, technique is vital. No effects pedals here to cover up inadequacies.
The violin, along with its cousins the Viola and Cello were first manufactured in Italy in the 16th Century. It has gone through a few subtle changes in design since then. But the instrument we know today arrived in the 17th Century.
One of the prime movers in its final designs being Antonio Stradivari. And if you happen to have one of his originals lying in your garage, neither you or the next three generations of your family will ever need to work again.
Today the instrument in its basic classical form has changed little since those days. But now there are electric versions with strange shapes. For instance, Vanessa-Mae plays a classical Guadagnini all-wooden violin (don’t ask the price). But she also uses a White quartet Series Jazz electric with MIDI for some pieces.
Our expectation levels, though, are not that high in these reviews, and we are looking for the best violin for beginners & Intermediates; the Guadagnini can come later.
- Top 10 Best Violin For Beginners And Intermediate 2020 Reviews
- 1 Cremona SV-500 Premier Artist Violin Outfit
- 2 Cecilio CVN-300 Solidwood Ebony Fitted Violin
- 3 D Z Strad Viola Model N2011
- 4 ADM Acoustic Violin
- 5 Cecilio 4/4CVN-EAV+SR 4/4 Full-Size Violin
- 6 Mendini 4/4 MV300 Solid Wood Satin Antique Violin
- 7 Windsor 4 Violin Super Kit
- 8 Yamaha Model 5 Violin
- 9 Crescent 4/4 Full-Size Student Violin Starter Kit
- 10 Cremona SV-130 Premier Novice Violin Outfit
- Best Violin For Beginners & Intermediate Buyers Guide
- So, What’s The Best Violin For Beginners & Intermediate?
Top 10 Best Violin For Beginners And Intermediate 2020 Reviews
1 Cremona SV-500 Premier Artist Violin Outfit
Cremona, Italy. Not far from Milan, is the most famous center for the production of stringed instruments in the world. The city claims it was the birthplace of the violin. And it was where Stradivari built his famed instruments while studying under the tutelage of Andreas Amati.
They are not made in Italy anymore, but these days in China where they produce these outstanding instruments. They are then shipped to the US, where they are inspected by violin people before despatch to ensure they are set up correctly.
When you are making instruments that are essentially acoustic and rely on their own sound, then the woods used have to be high quality. On this Cremona model, they certainly are with solid maple wood back and sides and a solid spruce top.
The neck is also maple and finished with an ebony fingerboard. To enhance the look, it has been given a brown varnish. The quality of the workmanship cannot be overestimated.
The fittings also match the quality of the build of the instrument. There is a lightweight tailpiece with fine tuners and of course, a chin rest. The bridge is made from maple, and it has inlaid wood purfling, which adds to the authenticity and style of this violin. Fitted with D’Addario strings, it has a real wood bow with traditional horsehair.
It comes with a hard fitted case that holds four bows and a hygrometer for atmospheric protection. The all-important rosin is included for the bows.
The sound they produce is clear and crisp, and they have an easy action, although the bridge can be a little high for some people.
As an instrument for a beginner and certainly a player who wants to move up a level of instrument, these are a very good option. Beautifully made from quality materials and with good fittings. They represent good value from this renowned manufacturer.
They may have started their journey in Italy may hundreds of years ago, but you can still rely on them for a quality instrument. Will be certainly be considered as the best violin for beginners & intermediate players currently on the market.
- Quality manufacturer.
- Made from high standard materials.
- The bridge is considered a little high.
2 Cecilio CVN-300 Solidwood Ebony Fitted Violin
Cecilio is a musical instrument company that manufactures not only stringed instruments but also woodwind and brass. They are based in California, but this particular instrument is made in China.
The CVN -300 is a budget range of full-size violin that has been specifically designed and is great for beginners. It is built using quality woods. This is so important for the sound and the resonance of the instrument, using maple for the back, neck, and sides.
It has a solid spruce top on which there is inlaid purfling. And it is finished in an antique varnish that shows off the grain of the woods used. There is an ebony fingerboard and tuning pegs, and of course, the chin rest. Ebony wood is also used for the tailpiece, where there are four nickel-plated tuners. They have added quality stringing using D’Addario Prelude strings.
This is a great violin for someone starting out on the instrument. And what makes it even better is that it comes as part of a package. Included with the violin is a lightweight hard case and a chromatic tuner with a beginner’s lesson book.
Also included are two bows made with horsehair, the important rosin for the bows and an extra bridge, and an adjustable shoulder rest. Everything that a new player will need as they start their journey on this instrument of instruments.
Well-made with good materials and an attractive finish, it looks and sounds way above its price tag. With all the extras included as well, this must be considered as a contender for the best violin for beginners & intermediate players currently available.
- Well made with good materials.
- Extras included in a package that offers great value for money.
- At the price, nothing.
3 D Z Strad Viola Model N2011
Contrary to some opinions, a Viola is not a ‘big violin.’ It is its own instrument. The Violin, as we know it, first appeared in the 16th century. And the Viola initially around at a similar time lost popularity but then returned in the 18th Century and has been a fundamental part of orchestras since.
Yes, it is bigger than a violin, usually by about two inches in both full-size models. Violin players play from the treble clef, but the viola music is read from an alto clef. The sound of the Viola is lower because the top string is an ‘A.’ This is five notes below the ‘E’ of the Violin in a C, G, D, A formation. The Violin string formation is G, D, A, E.
The DZ Strad is not really a beginner’s instrument, more like an upgrade for a reasonable standard player. A US company based in New York, they offer a range of classical instruments.
We are interested in why they included the word ‘Strad’ in the title. Surely they do not think they had something to do with the master himself?
The instrument itself is hand made in a similar way to which instruments many years ago were fashioned. This includes a wood drying period of twenty years before construction even starts. It is an impressive manufacturing process that produces quality results, and the sound is warm and rich.
Each instrument is made from maple with a spruce top and then rubbed down by hand and varnished. All the fittings are made of wood, and it has a case with two bows, one is a Pernambuco viola bow and one carbon fiber.
It is a well-made instrument and looks appealing with a great sound. As we said earlier, it isn’t really for beginners but players with some mastery of the instrument already. The price will be quite expensive for some.
- Excellent traditional manufacturing process.
- Plays and sounds very good.
- The price might put some off.
4 ADM Acoustic Violin
Instruments like the violin are unique in many ways, but especially so in the level of difficulty in the early stages. With the piano or guitar, you can pick it up and within a few minutes, be able to pick out a single note tune or play a chord.
With the violin, it’s different. Until you’ve mastered the bowing and finger techniques, it sounds like a cat screaming for help. Hardly a pleasant experience for anyone within earshot. It is, therefore, important to make the instrument as easy to play as possible. To make it attractive and authentic for the starter and keep their interest with some extras thrown in.
Manufactured from a solid maple back and sides with a solid carved spruce top and a maple neck with rosewood fingerboard. It looks and feels right. The wooden pegs and the shaped headstock adds to the authentic design that mirrors a four-hundred-year-old instrument.
It has an alloy tailpiece that features four built-in fine tuners. These are built into most learner instruments and are used in conjunction with the tuning pegs to get the pitch exactly right.
Because of the quality of the woods used and build, it has a very nice sound that is warm and precise. You will need to set up the bridge yourself, but that is not a big problem, and use the rosin on the bow, but apart from that, it’s ready to go.
It comes with a lightweight case and wooden bow with white horsehair. It is also supplied with rosin for the bow, and E-tuners. Also, it has a set of strings attached, but you might want to change them early on as they are not the best quality.
This instrument is built to last, but it won’t be the last instrument you buy as the player reaches higher levels of ability. It is great as a starter instrument, and at the price point, it is great value for money — definitely an option for the best violin for beginners & intermediate players.
- Well made with good materials producing a nice sound.
- A few extras are thrown in.
- You will probably need a new set of strings early on.
5 Cecilio 4/4CVN-EAV+SR 4/4 Full-Size Violin
Another violin offering from Cecilio, this is a full-size instrument that has been given an antique finish. Cecilio proves that you really do not have to spend a fortune when acquiring a well-made, good looking instrument, especially for a beginner.
The back and the sides are made using hand-carved maple wood, and it has a spruce top also hand carved. With some instruments in the budget price range, the purfling that is so important to the look of a violin is painted on. With this and all models in the Cecilio range, we have looked at the purfling is a wood inlay, which is how it should be.
The neck is maple with an attractive ebony fingerboard, which is also the wood used for the chin rest and tuning pegs. There is a tailpiece with four fine tuners that are nickel-plated. The completed instrument is given a beautiful antique varnish finish, which gives the impression the instrument belongs in a much higher price bracket.
There is a bow made from Brazilwood that uses genuine horsehair. And rosin is included for treating the horsehair before playing. It also has a hard but lightweight carrying case and adjustable shoulder rest. If you’re looking for a stronger case, please check out our reviews of the best violin cases.
Lots of extras are included, and it has an authentic and antique feel about it that is going to enthuse any young player. Being made for the beginner, it is not going to possess some of the attributes or much more expensive instruments. But it is well-made, has a nice warm sound and has everything the young player needs.
Great value for money and could be the best violin for the beginner and intermediate player.
- Well made with good materials producing a nice sound.
- Nice antique varnish finish.
- Some may prefer a lighter color finishing varnish.
6 Mendini 4/4 MV300 Solid Wood Satin Antique Violin
This will be one of the cheapest violins you will find as a starter instrument. It is made in China by Cecilio, who has a reputation for quality instrument production. This, though, is significantly cheaper than the Cecilio instruments and seems to represent a specially introduced budget range of the instrument.
A good idea for people that do not want to see a violin purchased used once and then stored away. It does, though, need to be more than just cheap.
It seems to tick all the manufacturing boxes quite well. It is a full-size instrument with the back and sides made from solid maple wood, and it has a solid spruce top that is hand-carved. The fingerboard, chin rest, and the tuning pegs are also maple wood. The spruce top has inlaid purfling.
The tailpiece is made of an alloy, and it has four built-in fine tuners. It has been given an attractive varnish finish that gives it a very pleasant look.
It comes as part of a starter package that includes a case, a Brazilwood bow with horsehair. As well as a bridge and shoulder rest and some rosin for preparing the bow and a spare set of Cecilio strings.
The price point we have already mentioned is very low. And with an instrument like this, which takes a lot of skilled craftsmanship to produce to a decent level, you only ever get what you pay for. We think this is the case with this violin. It is quite cheaply made and put together, and yes, it will serve a purpose for a starter who has never played before.
There will, though, probably need to be an upgrade quite quickly.
- Attractive looking Violin.
- Very cost-effective.
- Quite cheaply put together.
7 Windsor 4 Violin Super Kit
Windsor was originally set up in the 1990s in Cambridge, in the United Kingdom, where they design stringed instruments. Those instruments are now made in China and imported to the UK, where they are checked before being delivered. The Windsor is another budget violin that comes with a package of extras. It gives you not only the basics but also a few extras as well.
This is a full-size violin that has a basswood back and sides and a traditional solid wood spruce top. The design is all-wood with ebony colored tuning pegs, fingerboard, and bridge. It is finished in an attractive light brown, almost orange varnish, and comes fitted with a set of Manuel Raymond strings. It also comes with a wooden bow with horsehair.
Considering this is very much a starter budget instrument, the sound is quite pleasing. This is a product of the quality woods used in its construction.
There are actually quite a few and some very useful items at that. It comes with a case, of course, which is soft but stiffened to protect the instrument. It also comes with two sets of bridges and shoulder rest and two packs of rosin for the bow.
But it also has included an extra set of strings in case you happen to break one and a music stand, which is a great idea. A further great idea was the inclusion of a digital violin tuner that you can actually fix to the instrument.
..you will have to set up the bridge yourself, which is a slight negative, but instructions are provided. This is a good instrument for starters only at a very competitive price, and with lots of extras, we particularly like the music stand and the tuner. Not expensive items but quite necessary.
Oh, and did we mention there are some free lessons included? Not a bad deal for the price as long as you don’t expect too much from the violin itself.
- Very good price point.
- So many extras included.
- Some assembly to do.
8 Yamaha Model 5 Violin
Of course, Yamaha is going to produce Violins, and you can be certain they will have a real quality about them as all their instruments do.
The first thing to recognize is the quality of the woods used. The Maple back and sides are hand-carved, as is the Spruce top. The top Spruce wood has been selected for its attractive tight-grained appearance. The body is given an oil-based polish, which is carefully individually applied.
The fingerboard is made from Ebony and the tuning pegs from Rosewood, and there is a tailpiece with fine tuners. The chin rest is also made from Rosewood. Yamaha produces some high-end violins, and the same construction techniques are used with all their instruments.
At first sight, the thing that attracts your attention with this instrument, other than how good it looks, is the quality of the workmanship. Made at Yamaha’s new factory in China, the construction or materials cannot be faulted.
It is set up ready to play though the position of the bridge may need adjustment due to personal preferences. The tuning pegs are well-fitted, and the fine tuners allow accurate tuning of the instrument that does not need adjustment every five minutes.
It is delivered with a case and Rosin with the brazilwood bow and is fitted with D’Addario strings. It’s a quality bow, but if you’re looking for an upgrade, please check out our best violin bows reviews.
The Violin is listed as being designed for a starter, and it can be for that use. But its quality says it will also suit players with more experience. A great Violin from a quality manufacturer and certainly must be considered as the best Violin for beginner and intermediate.
- Real quality in the materials and construction.
- Recognized manufacturer of quality instruments
- The price might frighten a few people.
9 Crescent 4/4 Full-Size Student Violin Starter Kit
If you have someone who shows an interest in learning to play the violin, but you certainly don’t want to go out and spend more than you have to. This package could be the answer.
The cost of violins can vary enormously depending on the manufacturer and the quality of course, but then there are some extras you might have to buy. This package contains most of what you need to get them started and at an extraordinary price.
It is a full-size instrument with back and sides made from maple wood. Just like the more expensive models, it has a solid spruce top. The tailpiece is an alloy rather than wood, and there are four fine tuners. The tuning pegs are quite solid in their fit, and there is a chin rest and bridge made from wood.
The package comes with a bow with horsehair and some Rosin to prepare the bow for use and a carrying case. You are also given an electronic tuner, and it has its strings attached.
It is an attractive looking instrument, and packages such as these are good ways to get people interested in instruments without a large outlay.
…you must be realistic about what you are going to get. When it is delivered, it will take a little assembly and set up. If you know what you are doing, it won’t be a problem, or if not, there are plenty of instructional videos to help. But it does cost less than a decent music stand, and so it is a case of you do get what you pay for.
If you are looking for an easy to play instrument that a child can use for a couple of years while they improve, this might not be it. It is playable, of course, but the sounds and build will mean a change-up in instrument quite soon if the starter loves to play. Regardless of this, it is still one of the best violins for kids you can buy.
- Attractive looking.
- Very cost-effective.
- Quality leaves a little to be desired.
10 Cremona SV-130 Premier Novice Violin Outfit
Let’s finish off, right back where we started, in Cremona again for another quality starter instrument. This is a full-size violin that is made in their factory in China.
This violin features a wooden back and sides made from maple wood. As usual, the all-important sound-reflecting top surface is made from a solid piece of Spruce. It has an alloy tailpiece with four fine tuners that work with the ebony pegs to produce accurate intonation. The fingerboard is also made from ebony, and the neck has been oiled to ensure a smooth feel to the action.
The chin rest is made of wood and has a low profile for comfort, and it comes with D’Addario Prelude strings. The bow is fitted with horsehair, and the instrument comes with a Rosin pack to prepare the bow for use.
This Violin is one of Cremona’s popular starter violins, and it isn’t hard to see why. Nicely made with an attractive finish, it looks the part and is sure to make a student or starter comfortable playing it. It comes already setup to play with Cremona’s standard format for bridge and string heights. It comes with a quality fitted case.
The sound is quite nice and certainly a step up from some other starter instruments, which makes this Violin also suitable for intermediate players.
A very good starter instrument by an established manufacturer.
- Good quality materials and build.
- A good quality instrument for a starter.
- Some may think it expensive for a first instrument.
Best Violin For Beginners & Intermediate Buyers Guide
Choosing The First Instrument Is Never Easy…
It becomes even harder when it is an instrument like a Violin. With a guitar or some other instruments, it can be poorly manufactured, but you can still get some sort of tune out of it while you are learning. With a violin, if it is poor, it is unplayable. That is not what you need for a young player, just starting out on their musical journey with the instrument of Mozart and the rest.
There are some very competitively priced deals out their, with some nice extras added. But the instrument has to be able to produce a sound, and a reasonable one. You can, of course, find some good deals, and there are some included in our review, but it is always safer to go with a manufacturer who has been doing it for a while.
How Much Do You Want To Spend?
This will also have an impact. Unfortunately, the more you spend, the better it will be. Virtually all violins are made from the same woods in the critical places. Maple for the body, Spruce for good sound resonation on the top. So it’s not about the materials, it’s about the quality of the build.
Virtually all of these instruments are made in China these days. They are very good at it, but they can also be not so good at times, with the more cost-effective instruments having corners cut to keep the price down.
What Should You Look For?
An instrument that will serve its purpose for a beginner, but possibly to comfortably stay with them as they move to the intermediate stage. It has, therefore, got to be a decent instrument.
If you are looking for a Violin for someone unsure whether they actually want to play, then you don’t want to spend a lot of money, and there are some options for that situation. However, if they are in it for the long haul, then get the best you can afford. It always pays off.
So, What’s The Best Violin For Beginners & Intermediate?
We have approached making a choice as many people will. That is, not being an expert on what makes a great Violin. You have a basic understanding, of course, read up on it and even tried a few at the local store. You still need the security of a well-made instrument that is actually going to be playable.
Therefore, we have chosen as our choice for the best Violin for beginners & intermediates the…
Well-made by an established manufacturer with some nice extras and a reasonable price. Everything you need in a quality instrument for a starter or an intermediate violinist.