Which violin is best for intermediate players when it’s time to upgrade? Find answers to your most common questions with our expert reviews.
Once you’ve established that violin playing is something that you really enjoy, and you’ve advanced to an intermediate level, it may be time to get yourself a better violin.
What is the best intermediate violin on the market though? How can you be sure that you’re looking at the best violin brands for intermediate players?
Below we’ll do our best to answer common questions those shopping for a violin ask, as well as provide a review of the top intermediate violins on the market today.
We certainly hope you benefit from the information we provide in this article! Just so you know, we may receive compensation if you use the links on this page. If you do, thank you so much!
Best Intermediate Violins & Brands: Ultimate Guide with Reviews
Quality mid-level violins at a glance:
#1 Best Intermediate Violin
#2 Best Value Model
#3 Best Tone
#4 Most Complete Package
#5 Highest Quality
Our Top 5 Intermediate Violins and Makers Reviewed
1. Best Intermediate Violin: Fiddlerman OB1 Violin Outfit
Fiddlerman OB1 Violin Outfit
This Fiddlerman OB1 comes in at an excellent price as well, so if you are on a tight budget, it is well worth considering. We felt that the darker brown varnish used here added a more vintage look overall, and we loved that.
It is hand-carved – the back is made from maple that has been aged for at least four years. The front is made from spruce. Everything is beautifully finished and presented in a decent-quality case.
The case does have a detachable shoulder strap and handle and various useful compartments.
The tailpiece is Wittner-style and has four fine tuners built into it. The fittings are all made from real ebony and designed with maximum durability in mind.
Each violin is fitted with D’Addario Prelude strings and is carefully inspected during setup. The company uses a ten-point checklist to ensure that everything is in order before shipping the instrument.
You will be able to play it straight out of the box. The tone of the OB1 outfit is rich and clear and ideal for the intermediate user to improve their playing on.
It comes in two sizes: 1/4 and full. No premium is charged for ordering the smaller size.
Fiddlerman OB1 Violin Outfit Review
What We Like
- Price is very attractive
- High-quality construction, made from maple, spruce, and ebony
- Attractive vintage finish
- The maple is perfectly aged for maximum utility
- Produces clear, rich notes
- The case is useful with a number of cleverly appointed compartments
- The company prides itself in offering a full pre-shipping check
- The rosin provided is of higher quality than in most other cases
What We Don’t Like
- We would have liked to find out what warranty applied if any, but those details weren’t available as far as we could find
2. Best Value Model: Antonio Giuliani Etude Violin Outfit 4/4 Full Size
Antonio Giuliani Etude Violin Outfit
Antonio Giuliani is famous for producing great quality musical instruments at exceptional prices. Add this in with their lifetime warranty, and their 45-day money-back guarantee and you know that you can buy one of their violins with complete confidence.
This model is extremely popular for intermediate students and is highly rated.
The features include an attractive oil finish, fittings made from real ebony and a handcrafted base made from spruce and maple. The maple is naturally aged, and the spruce is sourced from the Himalayas. This makes for a highly durable instrument that will last for many years.
This outfit comes with the case, a bow made from Brazilwood, a shoulder rest made by Portland Gold, a detachable tuner, and a spare set of D’Addario Prelude strings.
The bridge is available with a German Teller or French Aubert option. Each violin is carefully inspected in the United States by experienced Luthiers before being set up in accordance with MENC standards.
The Etude comes in four different sizes: 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and full size. You can expect to pay a premium for the half and quarter size.
Our overall view of this model is that it is highly playable and comes in at an excellent price. The tone is rich and well-balanced. We’re sure you’d be pleasantly surprised at the results you get with this model.
Antonio Giuliani Etude Violin Outfit Review
What We Like
- High quality & durable at a good price
- Finished in the United States
- Strung with D’Addario Prelude strings, and you get a spare set
- Lifetime warranty against manufacturer’s defects with a 45-day money-back guarantee
- Includes Brazilwood bow, shoulder rest, rosin, French Aubert or German Teller bridge
- Good tone & looks as good as it sounds
What We Don’t Like
- Would be nice if the case was more like the Louis Carpini G2 Violin Outfit
3. Best Tone: Cremona SV-500 Premier Artist Violin Outfit – 4/4 Size
Cremona SV-500 Premier Artist Violin Outfit
This model was reviewed by Strings Magazine as being a good choice for those looking for their first or second violin. This is the manufacturer’s most popular option for intermediate to advanced users because of the quality of the sound it produces.
The violin features a French-made Aubert bridge with a maple and spruce body. It is lightly varnished to reveal the full beauty of the wood. It also has a chinrest that takes on the design of Stradivari violins.
The case is of good quality and has a rigid foam interior. It features four bow holders and also a hygrometer. The strings are high-quality Prelude strings made in the United States.
The bow is made from Brazilwood and high-quality hair. The fingerboard is made from ebony, and the tailpiece is made of a composite to help lighten it.
Tuning is easily accomplished, and set-up is completed by professional luthiers in California according to MENC standards.
It comes in four different sizes: 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and full size.
For the price, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better violin. The SV-500 is not a professional violin by any stretch of the imagination, but it is more than adequate for practicing with.
Cremona SV-500 Premier Outfit Review
What We Like
- Price is not bad – good value for money
- The company has a good reputation
- Good workmanship, durable with fine attention to detail
- Nicely finished and attractive to look at
- Brazilwood bow provided
- Ebony fingerboard, French-made Aubert bridge, high quality strings
- Inspected and set-up in the United States
- Rich sound and comes ready to play
- Can be used by new and intermediate players
- Chinrest the same as Stradivari used
What We Don’t Like
- There is a surcharge for half and quarter sizes
- You have to be careful with the case handle
- No rosin or spare strings provided
4. Good Intermediate Violin for the Money: Cecilio CVN-600 Violin
Cecilio CVN-600 Hand Oil Rub Flamed 1-Piece Back Violin
Out of all the models that we have reviewed, this one gives you the best value for money. This Cecilio model comes with several extras that most do not.
For starters, there are two bows made out of Brazilwood with Mongolian horsehair string. You also get a second bridge, a shoulder rest that can be adjusted, a case that has a hygrometer, a lesson book, and a chromatic tuner.
Now, on to the actual CVN-600 violin itself. It has hand-carved and features a highly flamed back and sides in one-piece maple. The maple is allowed to age for at least seven years. The top is made from spruce. The finish is oiled giving an attractive appearance.
The fingerboard is made of ebony, as are the pegs, and tailpiece. The purfling is inlaid and highly attractive, and the back has a pretty design on it. There is also a fine tuner that can be detached.
The strings on the violin are D’Addario Prelude strings. You get a full year’s warranty against manufacturer’s defects.
Overall, some concerns have been raised about the final finish as it might be a little uneven in places. Still, considering the price paid this delivers a fantastic sound and so is still worth considering.
Cecilio CVN-600 Violin Review
What We Like
- Good value for intermediate players
- High-quality strings
- You get a bow and a backup bow
- Made from maple and spruce for maximum durability
- Excellent attention to detail in terms of the purfling and back detail
- Highly flamed and attractive oiled finish
- Ebony fingerboard, tailpiece, and pegs
- Comes with a case, a hygrometer, an adjustable shoulder rest, a lesson book, a chromatic tuner, and another bridge
- Ready to play when you get it with a years warranty included
What We Don’t Like
- Some people have raised concerns about the final finish, complaining that it can be uneven in places
- The case is a bit on the flimsy side
5. Highest Quality: Louis Carpini G2 Violin Outfit 4/4
Louis Carpini G2 Violin Outfit 4/4
Made by Louis Carpani, this is a high-quality, well-crafted option. It comes fully assembled and ready to play. Even the bow has been rosined for you. This is one of the only options with a full lifetime guarantee.
The sound produced is rich and true. While some models focus only on creating a louder noise, this is more in keeping with the sound produced by much more expensive models.
It comes in a range of sizes including 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and full size. What makes Louis Carpani different from most of its competitors is that they charge the same price for all the sizes they offer.
In many other companies, the smaller models command a higher price, because they are more specialized pieces.
A Louis Carpini will run you more than most intermediate violins, but you get a professional case, an extra set of strings, rosin, and the bow. Everything is ready to go straight from the case.
The case itself comes with three different colored interiors to choose from – red, blue, or emerald green. The primary design consideration was utility here. There is space for four bows, sheet music, a range of accessories, and much more.
The final finish is rich and oiled. This is a musical instrument that won’t disappoint either in terms of look or sound.
Louis Carpini G2 Violin Outfit Review
What We Like
- Attractive flaming on the back
- Brazilwood bow with an ebony frog and Mongolian horsehair
- Hand-crafted bridge
- Ebony fixtures
- Comes with an innovative case
- You can return for any reason within 45 days of purchase
- Should anything go wrong because of a manufacturer fault during the lifetime of the piece, the company will repair it or replace it
- Finished by hand in the United States
What We Don’t Like
- Higher price
- There have been some complaints about the varnish peeling off
Buyer’s Guide for Choosing Good Intermediate Violins
How much is a good quality violin?
For a good quality violin, bank on paying at least $300. The models that we review here range from $300 to around $600. You might be able to find cheaper student models, but these are usually only good for absolute beginners. As an intermediate player, you’ll want better results when you play.
Expect to pay between $300 to $600 for a decent intermediate violin.
Unfortunately, that does mean paying a bit more upfront. On the bright side, though, if you look after these violins properly, they could very well last you a lifetime.
If you want the best of the best, it doesn’t get much better than a Stradivarius, but you’ll need deep pockets to get your hands on one of those – they come in at millions of dollars.
How much are violins for beginners?
Violins come in at a range of prices. You can pay anywhere between $100 and a couple of thousand dollars. At $100, though, you are getting a very basic model and taking a chance with the kind of results such a low-price bracket offers.
Those at the very low end of the market are not going to produce a high-quality sound but might be useful if you have a child who is unsure of whether or not they will enjoy playing. An alternative to consider in this instance is to rent a violin for a few weeks and then make the final decision.
Inexpensive beginner violins range between $100 to $300.
This allows your child to be sure that this is the right instrument for them without you having to waste money. From there, do consider spending a little more money on a better brand. While you might save a couple of hundred dollars by going as cheap as possible, you’ll need to replace the violin a lot sooner.
So, in the long run, you’re not saving any money, and your child is not getting a proper idea of what a well-made violin can actually do. You have to weigh these arguments when considering the potential for savings.
After all, what happens if your child turns out to have a real knack for playing but gets frustrated by having to use a poor-quality instrument? The pros and cons must be carefully considered here before you make a final decision.
For more information on beginner violin prices, read more here.
What is the best brand of violin for a student?
If you were to ask any connoisseur of musical instruments, it would have to be the Stradivarius. There is no denying that this master craftsman perfected the art of creating perfectly toned instruments. Interestingly enough, the sound a Stradivarius produces is something that we in the modern world can’t duplicate.
Of course, in case you don’t have a few million to drop on a violin, there are some other more affordable options. All the brands that we have listed below are excellent choices and won’t let you down.
We recommend Fiddlerman and Louis Carpini as the best brands of violins for intermediate students.
They’re not Stradivari, but they do offer a modern, affordable alternative. Each has been been rated in terms of the sound they produce and the value that they provide. They’ll help you to advance to a more professional level of playing.
If we had to choose the best brand out of the lot, that honor would have to go to Fiddlerman. They produce excellent quality instruments and are willing to stand behind their products 100 percent. With a full lifetime guarantee against manufacturer’s defects, it doesn’t get much better than that.
If you are a beginner, and not sure whether or not these are a good fit, check out this post to find out which brands are the best for beginners.
Compare Featured Intermediate Violins & Brands:
Best Intermediate Violin
Best Value Violin Outfit
Brand with Best Tone
The Verdict: Which Is The Overall Best Violin Brand?
At the end of the day, each of the options we listed above should prove to be a good investment. When compiling our list of top options, we wanted models that sounded as good as they looked. We went for models that had been expertly crafted and that produced reliable results.
However, if we were forced to choose just one out of the whole lot, our first choice would be the Fiddlerman OB1. It does come out as one of the more expensive instruments of the lot, but has fine detailing, a fantastic case, and is backed by an excellent guarantee and warranty.
We Recommend Fiddlerman Violins
Not only that, but Fiddlerman violins as a brand come in an exceptionally wide range of price points to match every level of player. This gives intermediate players a much better choice in finding an instrument that suits them perfectly.
If you are looking for the best value for money option, the Cecilio is the best choice. It has a range of additional extras included that give you a lot more bang for your buck.
If we were working purely on finesse, the Louis Carpini would come first for us. We love the darker varnish as it is a more unusual color. It makes the violin look more like a cherished older piece than a brand-new out-of-the-box model.
Which model is right for you? Check out all the reviews above and consider your options. We do hope that this review proves to be extremely useful for you and that it makes finding your perfect intermediate violin an easier task.
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