Cremona SV-500 Premier Artist Violin Review
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Cremona SV-500 Premier Artist Violin Review

Why is Cremona’s SV-500 known as an excellent choice for a second, or first, choice violin? Find out for yourself in our expert Cremona SV-500 Premier Artist Violin Review!

In Review: A Violin Inspired By Classic Italian Luthiery, Meet The Cremona SV-500

Cremona SV-500 Premier Artist Violin Outfit - 4/4 Size

Cremona SV-500 Premier Artist Violin


Ease of Use

4.1 out of 5 stars


Problems with tuning instability affect playability

Build Quality

4 out of 5 stars


Visually pleasing but inconsistent build quality

Sound Quality

4.3 out of 5 stars


Big, bright tones from a small package

Value Factor

4.3 out of 5 stars


Great first or second violin option at this price

Getting to Know the Cremona SV-500 Premier Artist Outfit

Cremona’s SV-500 Premier Artist Outfit is an affordable violin that comes with limited accessories. Hand carved violin features quality tone woods and a worn-in feel thanks to the shaded varnish on top.

Available in four sizes ranging from ¼ to 4/4, the SV-500 is a lightweight, Stradivarious-style instrument. With surprisingly big tones and comfortable feel, Cremona’s SV-500 is a quality first or second violin.

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As part of Cremona’s Premier Artist series, the SV-500 represents an affordable and rich sounding alternative to higher priced options.

Each Premier Artist series instrument is set up in Cremona’s California factory and inspired by historical, high quality Italian luthiery.

Coming in at the mid- to low price range, the SV-500 features quality tone woods, transparent varnish, and quality figuring. Despite some mixed reviews of the build quality, the Cremona SV-500 remains a popular option for new students.

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Who is the Cremona SV-500 Best Suited for?

With a price that generally falls in the $300-400 range, the SV-500 remains a great first or second violin. For beginners, the SV-500 is an affordable option with quality sound and a lightweight feel.

Furthermore, it comes with the bare bones essentials that each student needs to get playing right out of the box. The outfit designation in the name is meant to indicate you’re not getting a lot of extras, but you’ll be outfitted with a quality instrument, bow, and case.

For players not too concerned with getting extras, like more experienced players, this also makes an excellent 2nd violin. And certainly makes a great choice as a good violin for an intermediate player. Especially if you’re moving up in size or quality from another model.

What’s in the Premiere Artist Outfit?

Cremona’s SV-500 Premier Artist Outfit comes with a really nice, durable case, a Brazilwood bow, and a shoulder rest. Unlike some of its competitors, they aren’t a lot of extras included, not even rosin or extra strings.

To be fair, the case seems to be nicer than the average carrying case included with most affordable violins. But otherwise, the cost is kept down by the bare bones accessories.

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Cremona SV-500 Artist Features

The Cremona SV-500 is crafted from figured solid Maple for the back and sides. A hand carved solid spruce top gives the SV-500 that classic, archtop appearance.

Cremona SV-500 Premier Artist Violin Outfit - 4/4 Size

Above the wood, a transparent red/brown varnish is faded to give the appearance of an aged instrument. While the varnish no doubt looks great, some SV-500’s have had varnish clumps around the f-holes, creating a vibrating sound.

The neck and scroll are also made of figured Maple, while the bridge is made of composite. Four built-in-fine tuners and pegs meet the Ebony fingerboard, though the pegs have been known to slip easily.

Genuine D’Addario Prelude strings come stock on the SV-500 as well. Lastly, the bow is a Brazilwood bow with carbon fiber and horse hair materials.

Cremona SV-500 Premier Artist Violin Outfit - 4/4 Size

  • Worn-in, transparent varnish
  • Loud, full sounds from quality tone woods
  • Comes stock with D’Addario Prelude strings
  • Lightweight, comfortable body
  • Ready to play out of the box

Is the SV-500 Ready To Go?

Cremona SV-500 Premier Artist Violin Outfit - 4/4 Size

Beginner’s looking to hit the ground running should have no issues with the SV-500. Despite some build quality issues, the SV-500 sounds great, is comfortable to play, and fairly affordable.

Do note that the Cremona SV-500 doesn’t come loaded with extras like an extra bow, pack of strings, or rosin that others may include.

Competing Violins and Beginner Packs

For comparison shoppers, there are a wide variety of options to check out, all above or below the Cremona SV-500’s price tag.

For a similarly priced beginner instrument with upgraded tone woods, check out the Ricard Brunnel G2 Violin Outfit. The high quality, hand carved instrument is made from Spruce, Maple, and Ebony.

If you’re still looking for a more affordable option, consider the Cecilio CVN-600. The one-piece back of the violin provides excellent sustain and resonance.

The construction is solid, and the hand rubbed oil finish creates this great, aged-look that matches up nicely with the aged tonewoods.

D Z Strad’s Model LC101 is a high quality option that makes a great first or second violin. The excellent tone woods and build quality lead to clear, brilliant sounds and a very playable instrument. Plus the Model 210 comes with all the same features as the SV-500 plus rosin.

The little sister of the Model LC101, D Z Strad’s Model 101 is a more affordable option that comes with all the same accessories. However, the Model 101 has lesser quality tone woods and a less clear and loud sound.

Furthermore, it requires the bridge to be set into the instrument before it can be played. However, the cheaper price and warm, rich tones make it an appealing option for budget-minded players.

Pros and Cons

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Cremona SV-500 Premier Artist Violin Review

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What We Like

      • Impressive sound quality
      • ]Rugged, padded case
      • Quality tone woods like figured maple
      • Red/brown varnish looks great


What We Don’t Like

      • Pegs often slip out of tune
      • Finish flaws sometimes found
      • Bow quality is hit or miss



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Cremona SV-500 Violin Final Thoughts

Cremona’s SV-500 is another quality sounding, beginner friendly violin. While buyers should be aware there are some quality control issues with the pegs and transparent varnish, it is not a bad value overall.

The pleasant tone, size options, and hand carved construction are key highlights. Another highlight is the durable, oblong travel case. Better yet, the Cremona SV-500 is ready to go right out of the box for beginners and students.

While it may not beat the D Z Strad Model 210 overall, it’s a cheaper, still satisfying option.

Cremona SV-500 Premier Artist Violin Outfit - 4/4 Size

What Do Ceremona SV-500 Customers Think? >>

  • Ease of Use
  • Build Quality
  • Sound Quality
  • Value Factor


Overall Score:

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Amanda has been chief editor for NewViolinist since 2016. Since then, she and her team have helped thousands of musicians learn more about their instruments and achieve their own musical goals.

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