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Fiddlerman Apprentice Violin Review [Is It Still A Good Fit?]

A long time favorite for beginners, the Fiddlerman Apprentice Violin has been known to offer a lot of value for new violinists. Find out if it still does in our expert review!

Fiddlerman Apprentice Violin Review

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The Fiddlerman Apprentice Violin In Review: Is It The Best Outfit For Novices?

Apprentice Outfit ratings at a glance:

Fiddlerman Apprentice Violin Outfit

Fiddlerman Apprentice Violin Outfit

EASE OF USE

4.5 out of 5 stars

4.5 / 5

Very beginner-friendly instrument available with accurate sizing.

BUILD QUALITY

4.3 out of 5 stars

4.3 / 5

Well made, good varnish, and moderately dried wood.

SOUND QUALITY

4.2 out of 5 stars

4.2 / 5

Good tuning retention but lacks some projection and warmth.

VALUE FACTOR

4.5 out of 5 stars

4.5 / 5

Doesn’t cut corners on quality and offers a lot for a starter outfit.

Overview of the Fiddlerman Apprentice Violin

The Apprentice Violin Outfit is one of Fiddlerman’s most popular entry-level violin outfits due to its affordable pricing and high-quality playing accessories. It also competes directly with one of Fiddlerman’s better Concert series, at least in terms of sound and tuning retention.

Yet it is a limited violin in terms of how long you can play on it before you need something better to improve sound and get more longevity out of an instrument.

Fiddlerman Apprentice Violin Outfit

Who is the Apprentice Outfit for?

If not already evident from its name, the Fiddlerman Apprentice Violin is a must-have for beginners. It can be used at all ages, since it comes in the four standard sizes from 4/4 to ¼. Therefore, it’s suitable for the youngest practitioners too.

The violin caters to players with limited budgets and those just learning or still learning the instrument. It’s a first violin but not a second violin as it offers very little as a transitional instrument.

And since this is a complete outfit, it clearly works for anyone that doesn’t have a case or bow lying around.

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What’s Included in the Fiddlerman Apprentice Outfit?

Although it doesn’t come with all the bells and whistles of many beginner violin kits, the Fiddlerman Apprentice Outfit does have everything you need to start learning the instrument; a quality carbon fiber bow is included.

A case with multiple pockets and compartments is also included. The case features enough straps for ensuring a snug fit. Fiddlerman also adds their own rosin, practice mute, polishing cloth, and shoulder rest, along with the strings.

But only the 4/4 style outfit comes with Fiddlerman strings as fractional sizes feature Prelude strings.

Fiddlerman Apprentice Violin Outfit

Review of the Apprentice Outfit Features

  • Carbon fiber bow
  • Hard case for storage and travel
  • Five years minimum dried wood
  • Fiddlerman strings

The Apprentice Violin is a reliable starter instrument for players of all ages. Its measurements are accurate and ensure a comfortable feel and ease when it comes to learning proper techniques.

Although it lacks resonance and projection, the violin makes up for that with great tuning retention and impressive build quality for its price range. It also helps that the outfit containing the violin is rounded-up by very good accessories.

For example, the carbon fiber bow is strong and responsive and much better than the common Brazilwood bows, typical at this price point. Even the Siberian horsehair is smooth and forgiving enough.

The shoulder rest seems comfortable enough and is a lot more durable than most plastic alternatives. Even the wood, dried for five years, is a surprising addition in a budget-friendly student violin outfit.

Fiddlerman Apprentice Violin Outfit

Fiddlerman Apprentice Violin Outfit

Fiddlerman Apprentice Violin Outfit

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But all things considered, it’s the price point that makes the Fiddlerman Apprentice such a good choice for a wide range of players.

The quality is there, even though it’s not backed by the same lifetime structural warranty of Fiddlerman’s more expensive violins. That said, this isn’t something intended for long-term use.

You should also understand that although the Apprentice model does have a good default setup, the tuning needs some adjusting.

Since a metronome isn’t included, you can mark time with a smartphone app. The fiddle even comes with a professional-looking varnish, which also adds value to the outfit as a whole.

What to Expect Out of the Box

This violin requires some additional tuning out of the box. It may also require more attention to the bridge so that it doesn’t fall off.

Unlike more expensive Fiddlerman models, the Apprentice needs more consistent servicing.

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Fiddlerman Aprentice Violin Review Key Points:

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What We Like

      • Good price to performance ratio
      • Premium build quality
      • High-quality bow and case
      • Smooth fingerboard feel
      • Good tuning retention

What We Don’t Like

      • Fractional sizes have different strings
      • Doesn’t have impressive projection
      • The tone is on the brighter side

Fiddlerman Apprentice Violin Outfit

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Alternatives to Compare

Another beginner-friendly violin outfit is the Fiddlerman OB1 outfit. This one offers sizes 1/4 and 1/8 and thus caters only to the youngest of students. Still, great care was placed in the design and craftsmanship of the violin.

The OB1 is similarly priced to the Fiddlerman Apprentice but also comes with a lifetime structural warranty. Does it sound just as good? Perhaps not. But to some, its higher resale value may be considered an advantage.

Read more in our complete Fiddlerman OB1 review here.

Even the Fiddlerman Concert outfit could be a good alternative for the Apprentice. It’s slightly more expensive – but not by a lot. Its consistent bestseller status should tell you a lot about the quality of the instrument.

A lifetime warranty is available, and the wood dried for at least 1 more year does improve the structural reliability of the violin.

It’s also worth noting that the Concert violin is designed to meet and exceed Suzuki and MENC standards, whereas the Apprentice model is made for NAfME standards.

If you’re looking for a more transitional instrument or a second violin, the Concert model makes more sense. Last but not least, the Concert Deluxe is also a solid option for adult beginners.

It comes in the 4/4 size and is a clear improvement over the Apprentice and Concert models.

Yet, this is already more expensive and not a great choice for someone that’s not sure whether the violin is their preferred instrument. It sounds good and has a richer tone with good projection.

But it can be a pricey gamble as a first-time beginner violin outfit. It’s also worth noting that the Concert Deluxe only features a fine tuner for the E string.

Final Thoughts on the Fiddlerman Apprentice Outfit

Between its features and accessories, the Fiddlerman Apprentice Violin Outfit could be the go-to choice for any beginner. It comes in all four standard sizes and therefore caters to novice players of all ages.

The fact that Fiddlerman uses higher quality materials even in this entry-level violin series is most impressive and offers even more value for money.

The fingerboard is smooth and easy to follow and the superior bow quality should give this beginner violin the edge over many similarly priced competitors.

Of course, barring the lack of a tuner, which Fiddlerman rarely offers anyway, having all the necessary playing and practice accessories, including a hard case, make the Apprentice a value pick.

Fiddlerman Apprentice Violin Outfit

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  • Ease of Use
  • Build Quality
  • Sound Quality
  • Value Factor
4.4

Summary

Overall Score:

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