As in any similar situation, when you start something new, you shouldn’t buy the top-notch violin as soon as you start learning to play. At the very beginning, you can rent it. Once deciding that the violin is the one, you can purchase it a few months later.
When that moment comes, the primary question is the price of the decent instrument. It’s up to you whether you plan to buy the new or used one, but there is an unwritten rule that the first step should be the violin for beginners. So, leave a Stradivarius violin for later, and let’s see how much does the violin cost.
What Determines the Violin Price?
The first thing to do is determine your needs, budget, and current and anticipated performance level. It is not the same if you plan to purchase the violin for the child who will overgrow the instrument after a year or the one for an intermediate student. So, let’s see what is available related to your requirements and what the price of a violin depends on.
Judging the violin quality by the brand name is not always the wise decision, but some are declared top-notch for a reason. In fact, as for the violin, we can’t talk about the brand in the usual sense since making this instrument is often the family job.
Therefore, always check the reputations of a particular brand before going shopping, and be careful! Makers make violins based on styles and templates. So, cheap instruments labeled as ‘Stradivarius’ are actually created based on the adequate template type.
Keep in mind that almost all contemporary instruments under $1,500 are created in China. Between 1995 and 2005, practically all violins made in this country were of poor quality.
Nowadays, the situation is different, and workshops in China produce some of the best instruments in the decent price ranges. Moreover, many of their makers won Gold Medals in competitions organized by VSA (Violin Society of America).
Except for post-War Germany, only modern China produces such a consistent quality of bow string instruments.
The workmanship is the most significant trait when it comes to the violin. Its price mostly depends on craftsmanship and wood age. The higher quality and older wood will determine the overall instrument cost. Keep in mind that only a well-selected wood used for violin production is over $400.
Be aware that old, top-notch violins are rare and costly. On the other hand, you can find an older model with varnish wear and cracks, which will affect its value.
Experienced and awarded luthiers who studied at famous violin making schools, make excellent and pricey violins. Regardless of age, mass-produced violins are not highly valued, so they are much cheaper.
Buying a new violin is an excellent investment, but you can also find a high-quality used instrument at a lower price. In most cases, the used violin cost can be at least 30 to 50% lower than the new one.
In fact, it is not recommended to purchase both the new and used violin without consultation with someone who understands instruments better than you, especially if you are a beginner.
As you have probably known, a few standard violin sizes are available on the market, including baby 1/32 model and fractional 1/16, 1/10, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and 7/8 instruments. In the end, every player comes to a full-size 4/4 violin.
The chosen size will depend on the average arm length of the player. Fractional-size violins are less expensive than full-size ones since they produce less quality sound.
Experience of the violinist
Your experience in playing will dictate the quality of the violin you need. There is no need to buy a highly expensive instrument before becoming a virtuoso or at least an excellent performer.
A cheaper but solid model with a decent sound will be enough at the start. However, avoid buying the violin under $200 since their quality is unacceptably low.
You can purchase your new instrument in a luthier, online auction, and boutique, chain, or second-hand store. Sometimes, you can negotiate with a seller about a price, but avoid those without a well-documented policy and possibility to return the product.
Keep in mind that instruments offered on online auctions probably don’t include necessary case, bow, and accessories. Purchasing in reputable stores always includes accompanying accessories and assistance in choosing the appropriate violin size.
Except for the violin itself, the price will also depend on necessary accessories, including:
You will also need spare strings that cost $5 to $50 each. If you purchase a set of four, it will cost you approximately $20 to $200. If a bow is not included in the price, you should count on an average cost of $100 to $200. The price for a high-quality model is at least $1000.
The overall violin price will depend on several issues, and it will range this way:
$200 to $500
You can find the cheapest violins at a music store. That is the price for an entry-level instrument typically made in China. The basic structure is usually well-made, but it comes without any adjustments.
$600 to $1000
For making the violin at this price, you can get a better quality, hand-finished instrument made of a higher-grade wood. It will be the right choice for an intermediate player.
$1000 to $2000
Such a violin is hand-finished and requires refined craftsmanship and higher expertise. It includes the timber grain, which is a more aesthetic and visually pleasing feature. Plus, it will improve the instrument tones and overtones and offer better sound quality. Advanced students usually need this model.
$2,000 to $3,000
At one point, you will start considering different workshops and more reputable makers. With a higher level of playing, you will tend to buy the instrument made of quality wood, uniform varnish, and the desired grain.
Such a violin will produce improved tones and overtones. Keep in mind that you will need to buy a case and bow separately in this price range.
$3,000 to $5,000
Beginners can’t notice the difference from the previous range, but professionals will appreciate better quality and improved sound. It is an excellent backup violin for a professional or the instrument for someone who regularly plays for more than five years.
$5,000 to $10,000
When purchasing the violin in this price range, you should look for the one made in Europe. If you are a semi-professional or play for over ten years, you should find an excellent hand-crafted model made in the 20th century.
Approximately 2 to 3% of sold violins are from this price range. You should find the instrument from a reputable maker and test various options. Semi-professional and professional players should look for such a violin.
How Much Does the Violin Cost?
For the very beginning, you can find a violin made of cardboard and then buy a 1/32 model. Purchasing a low-quality, $100 instrument will be enough until your child decides whether playing the violin is or not the real passion. You can also rent that first violin for $23 to $43 a month.
Violin for beginners
Most violin makers have at least one beginner violin on offer. If renting is not an option for you, you can purchase one of the models for $70 to $270. You can also find a more expensive violin, but there is no need for such an investment for a start.
If you decide to buy a used instrument, you should look for possible cracks, check the ribs, if the neck is straight and bridge centered. It will be ideal if a case and bow are included in the final price.
The violin price
|Student level||Price range|
|Kid||$70 to $200|
|Beginner||$100 to $270|
|Intermediate||$350 to $1,450|
|Advanced||$1,450 to $25,000|
|Electric and electro-acoustic||>$170|
Violin for intermediate students
The variations in price when it comes to this violin are vast. You can find the cheaper models for $350 with included case, bow, and strings. However, some handmade violins can reach $1,450.
Violin for advanced students
At this level, you will know what you need. Once you master the violin, it is time to think about the instrument for $3,000 to $6,000 with a better dynamic range.
The most expensive are well preserved antique violins with pedigree made in the 1900s because the wood maturation adds value to the instrument. Many students appreciate Stradivarius replicas since these instruments are of excellent quality.
Electric and electro-acoustic violins are the top modern variation of the traditional acoustic violin. You can find an excellent model at a starting price of $170. However, you should add approximately $130 for a quality amplifier.
Instead of Conclusion
If you are super rich, you can look for one of the most expensive violins in the world. Be prepared that their prices are measured in millions of dollars. However, their sound is extraordinary, and they will take your breath away.