The violin is one of the most popular stringed instruments. Like any instrument, violins come in ranges, with those being very expensive and those in the affordable range. You need a high-quality violin for your level, which requires having an accurate violin price range to plan a budget. So, how much does a violin cost?
Learning the violin requires discipline, passion, and most of all, is an investment. As you look forward to beginning your violin lessons, we'll guide you on what you can expect regarding how much a violin costs and some of the features to pay attention to. Violins come at prices from $100 to millions of dollars for great Italian collectibles.
It is vital to invest in an instrument that will serve you while paying attention to your budget. If this is your first violin, or you are a parent and your child's performance level is at a beginner level, you don't need to overspend on an instrument that isn't suited to the level. Here are different violin price ranges to consider.
1. Beginner Level Violin Price Range: $200 - $ 500
Violin prices within this range are the most affordable. These are best suited for children, entry-level students, or beginner violin players, and they tend to be factory-made in China. The basic craftsmanship of a student violin will be well made, but they are not set up. They come "out of the box" with no adjustments. For the violins in this price range, it is key that individual parts are either included or upgraded:
- Bridge: Affects the tone of the instrument
- Strings: These should be upgraded to complement the violin and give it a better tone
- Bow: A bow is essential to playing the violin; hence you should look to upgrade to a better quality that will produce a better sound
- Cases: A basic beginner outfit should include a case that allows you to transport and protect the violin
2. Intermediate Student Violin Price Range: $600 – $1000
There's an increase in quality in this category. The quality of wood used here is higher, resulting in a higher quality of artistry. These intermediate student violins are hand-finished, and better parts are used, emphasizing the instrument's quality. Combining the fittings and artistry gives the violins a more mature, resonant tone.
Violins in this category are ideal for an intermediate player. Some features to look out for:
- An upgraded bow: Some intermediate violin outfits will include an upgraded bow, hence improving tone and technique
- Upgraded strings: The most intermediate violin outfits should include at least a set of Piranito strings or better strings like Dominant strings
- Bridge: The bridge quality should at least be an Aubert
3. Advanced Studen Violin Price Range: $1100 – $2000
The artistry and expertise in crafting the high-quality violin are much higher in this category. The quality of wood used is much higher as well. The grain of the wood is something you'll have to begin to consider before you buy. The grain refers to the natural alignment of fibers in the wood and can produce a more visually pleasing aesthetic and improve the tones and overtones of the violin.
When considering your violin, you'll be looking at grain tightness on the front and the flame of the grain on the back. These elements reflect the higher quality of wood used to make the violin, which results in producing nicer tones and overtone. In addition, this wood composition allows for a much more resonant and expressive sound quality when played. Violins in this category can also project their sound better, producing a higher volume than the previous ranges.
This category is better suited for an advanced violinists as the quality of sound allows them to play more solo repertoire and suits more expressive playing. You can find a few antique instruments in this category as well.
Features to consider in investing in this quality instrument;
- An upgraded bow: Violins in this price range rarely include an intermediate bow. Hence, you may expect to spend around $300-$500 on higher quality intermediate violin bows from brands like Coda
- Professional strings: A set of synthetic core strings may be included; however you to get an even better tone, you can consider upgrading to Larsen or Obligato
4. Professional Violin Price Range: $2000+
At this price range, considerations such as the famous violin makers' reputation, the levels of artistry, the type of wood, etc., will influence your decision. The characteristics of the violin's sound become more personal and individualized at this level.
Most violins that are in this price range and above are crafted in European workshops, and this is because Europeans are known for high-quality craft and materials. The wood's quality and grain are something you'll need to consider when looking for a violin strongly. Varnish wear is also something worth noting. Ensure that the varnish is of high quality and is applied uniformly across the instrument and that it comes with all high-quality accessories.
Features That Determine Violin Prices
a) Size of the violin
Violins come in different sizes. As you do your research, you'll come across the terms "full-size" and "partial/fractional size violins."
Full-size violins are better suited for most adults, while partial-size violins are better suited for smaller-bodied adults or children.
The size in question signifies the length of the violin's neck compared to the length of the violinist's arms. Partial size violins are not charged the same as full-size violins mainly for two reasons:
- A child is constantly growing; hence it accounts for their growth and the fact they will need to trade in the violins for ones that fit their growth
- They often don't produce the same quality of sound as that of a full-size violin instrument
If you're not sure what size of violin musical instrument would be ideal for you, your violin teacher can help you in this respect. They can also help demonstrate the difference in sound in each violin.
Purchasing a violin is one thing. There are also added accessories that come with the instrument that is key in helping you play. These tend to be considered additional items to the purchase price. They include:
- Extra strings
- Violin books
- Music stand
- Shoulder rest
c) Choice of Seller
You've probably come across violins while you're in a mall, boutique stores, luthiers or seen them advertised online auctions and newspaper classifieds. Many people can sell you a violin instrument. Even though you can negotiate lower prices with some of these sellers, such as second-hand stores, it's essential to know what exactly you are looking for and how to recognize it.
Its also key to check if the violin shop has a well-documented policy of allowing returns without any issues. Something else to keep in mind is that your choice of the seller, e.g., online auctions, might not include all accessories required to play the violin, such as the bow case in the purchase.
Instruments at reputable music stores or violin shops may cost more, but they do come with the benefits of the seller's guidance. The seller will guide you in finding the proper size violin and accessories you need, and the good thing is that you can always return them if you need help.
When buying any musical instrument, violins included, you want to pick the best brands. This choice does not always mean better quality, but a brand offers a quality guarantee compared to buying from any violin shop. If buying from a shop like a carriage House Violins, you are guaranteed to find the best string instruments for different playing levels.
However, it would help if you were cautious with brands, especially the top brands since they sell violin family instruments at a higher cost. As such, make sure your skill matches the cost of the violin and if not, only buy an expensive model if you want to continue improving your skill.
e) Violin age
Yes, violin prices also rely on the age of the musical instruments. Wondering how? The best violins from reputable brands tend to sell quickly, meaning specific models keep getting rare and harder to find. If the violin society rates one violin highly, this can trigger a higher cost as demand goes high.
Violin age is evident in the case of newly mass-produced violins, but it can also apply to antique instruments which have a classy look, feel, and good playability. While buying antique violins, keep a sharp eye on the wood and string quality.
You can also enjoy a good violin cost if you want to buy a second-hand instrument. If you find a good deal, inspect the condition of the whole instrument, from strings, bow, wood, and more. Keep in mind the wise saying; cheap is expensive. It is best to buy a second-hand student violin if it comes at a lower price, knowing you will upgrade to a better quality instrument as you hone your skills.
Violin prices are often dictated by how well-built the instrument is. Chances are you will need to spend more money on a violin made with top-quality wood where the artistry spent great skill on a refined and smooth appearance.
g) Type of violin
We cannot provide a definite answer about how much a violin costs, but we can provide a general violin price guide depending on which type you want. There are over ten types of violins, including Classical violins, Baroque Violins, Electric violins, Fiddle, Stroh Violins, Acoustic-Electric Violins, and more.
These and more types of violins have different features that lead to different prices. Nevertheless, you can find a cheap violin in any category, but the cheapest violins will often have a lower sound quality than the pricier options.
How to Get the Best Quality Violin
As we have seen, violin prices are affected by many factors such as materials, craftsmanship, accessories, size, brand, and more. While these are vital factors to consider before buying any violin, you must tailor other factors to your needs.
For instance, thinking about how you want to play the violin, either as a hobby or professionally, how many hours a day you will play, and how far you have to travel with your violin will help you make a sound choice. So let's explore how you can get your instrument here.
There are several reasons you can opt to rent a violin rather than buy one. The first one is if you want to save for an expensive violin. If the violin price is too high, renting one gives you the opportunity to hone your playing skill as you save for an excellent professional violin.
You can also rent a good violin to play at an event. If you are a professional violin player but don't have your own violin, renting one for a show or event can save you money.
You can also rent a violin for a child. Violin prices are not always generous, especially when you need to keep updating models. Children outgrow musical instruments fast as they grow up, which means you could end up buying three or four violins as their lessons continue. Renting violins can be a great alternative if you want to save money. You can get a size-appropriate violin for your child until they are old enough to use a larger violin.
Similar to how violin prices change with quality, renting models will also be different. As such, make sure you know the quality of a violin before renting it and carefully inspect its condition so you can return it without problems. For example, ensure the body has no cracks and that the ribs do not bulge beyond the edges, a factor that would indicate poor-quality wood which also didn't dry properly.
At this stage, you want your own violin, one that you can tune to your playing style and carry with you anywhere. So, how much does a violin cost? It is the most critical question to answer since you want the best features to guarantee playability and durability. Here are tips for buying the best violin for your price range.
- Consult experts. If you have a violin teacher, you can ask for their recommendations for top-notch violins. While the best violins cost more than Stradivarius replicas, you have better chances of getting better performance, including a greater dynamic range from your violin.
- Understand the type of violin you need. As seen earlier, different violins come in different price ranges. Whether buying a classical or electric violin, ensure you get one with the best tonal variations for your playing style.
- Get the correct violin size. The violin cost will also depend on which size you get. So, if buying for your child, you can find small cheap violins. Intermediate-level violins are bigger and can cost more.
- Get refined craftsmanship. Most beginner and intermediate level violins are mass-produced for consistent quality, but they may not be enough when looking for the best quality materials. You can look to the best brands trusted by most professional players when you need improved tonal quality.
- Understand the setup process. It is best to understand how to manipulate the nut, strings, and bridge setup to reach the anticipated performance level. While a violin's price can dictate the quality of materials used, which affects performance and durability, you need to learn how minor adjustments can improve playability and performance.
- Test it before buying. If you are not buying a new violin online, you can go to the store with a few more listeners who can give feedback about the tonal abilities of the violin. It is also best to have one of your friends play it for you to understand the adjustments you need to make or decide whether to buy the violin or opt for another model. When buying, it is best to understand that not all violins are made for the same sound quality, even if they are from the same brand. Thus, testing a good violin before buying is crucial in your buying process.
Frequently Asked Questions About A Violin Cost
a) How much does a violin cost?
The average cost ranges from $100 to $100 000. The violin's price is determined by the size, craftsmanship, construction materials, and other factors. In addition, there are violins for students and professionals and hobbyists who need the best and antique violins to add to their collections. When buying a violin, determine how you want to use it, and you will find a suitable price range for your needs.
b) How much does an electric violin cost?
As some of the best instruments, these violins come at a higher price than other models, excluding acoustic violins. You can find an electric violin costing anywhere between $350 and $3,000.
c) What is a good violin?
If you love playing beautiful music, you understand how powerful any instrument is. It can make the music more enjoyable or completely ruin it. As such, you need an instrument designed to improve any performance, which is the criteria you use when buying a new instrument like a violin. Good violins have play deep and rich sounds that complement any tune you are playing.
d) How much should good violins cost?
Generally, good violins are made for intermediate students and professional players. These violins can cost anywhere above $1000, and you can trust they are made with the best craftsmanship and using the best solid tonewoods available.
e) Is a used violin suitable for beginners?
A used violin is ideal for beginners. Often, any used instrument helps you hone your playing skills, and, luckily, it also comes in excellent condition so that you can use it for a longer training period. So, if you are a beginner looking for the best budget deals, you can buy a used violin.
f) Are Chinese-made violins worth the money?
You can determine the cost of violins based on where it is made. Beginner and intermediary violins are often made in China and priced below $1500. If wondering if Chinese violins are good, we are happy to tell you they are. Many Chinese-manufactured violins have won Gold medals in Violin Society of America organized competitions. So, if looking for a budget violin, you do not have to break the bank looking for an American or European-made violin that is quite expensive despite having better quality.