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Fiddlerman OB1 Violin Review [4/4 Size]

The Fiddlerman OB1 Violin Outfit is known for being a very good instrument for new violinists to start on. But is it really as good as they say? Find out for yourself in our comprehensive review!

Fiddlerman OB1 Violin Review

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The Fiddlerman OB1 In Review: One of the Best Built Violins for Beginners

OB1 Violin Outfit ratings at a glance:

Fiddlerman OB1 Violin Outfit

Fiddlerman OB1 Violin Outfit

EASE OF USE

3.9 out of 5 stars

3.9 / 5

Though comfortable to play, it does need more maintenance.

BUILD QUALITY

4.2 out of 5 stars

4.2 / 5

Solidly built with a lifetime manufacturer’s structural warranty.

SOUND QUALITY

4.1 out of 5 stars

4.1 / 5

Offers more than enough tonal clarity and projection for young students.

VALUE FACTOR

4.3 out of 5 stars

4.3 / 5

Good mix of entry-level pricing, durability, and quality accessories.

Fiddlerman OB1 Overview

The craftsmanship on the OB1 is nothing short of impressive, given its very low-entry cost. Although it comes in limited sizes, the OB1 is a staple for learning the very basics of playing the fiddle from a very young age.

Fiddlerman OB1 Violin Outfit

Who is the OB1 for?

The Fiddlerman OB1 outfit is for very young students. Its 1/4 and 1/8 sizes cater to those between the ages of two and seven. This makes it a good choice for any parent that wants to start their kids learning a prestigious and complex instrument very early.

It’s also a solid choice if money is an issue, as the OB1 outfit is among the cheapest entry-level violin kits. The violin is also good for those without any musical or violin experience; because it’s so well-adjusted from the factory, it won’t need additional fiddling at home or immediate teacher input.

What’s Included with the Fiddlerman OB1 Outfit?

Fiddlerman does a good job of creating violin outfits that have everything you need for playing and practicing. Yet this kit lacks two accessories in the form of a chromatic tuner/metronome and an Ultra Practice Mute. The latter isn’t available for 1/4 and 1/8 OB1 violins.

That said, the outfit comes with a good quality bow, a lightweight oblong case, Fiddlerman rosin, shoulder rest, and even a polishing cloth.

Fiddlerman OB1 Violin Outfit

OB1 Violin Outfit Features

  • Carbon fiber bow
  • Lightweight and sturdy case
  • Great default adjustments
  • Good tuning retention
  • Decent projection

It’s not often that you get to say many good things of such an inexpensive violin, and the Fiddlerman OB1 is inexpensive, whether you get it alone or as part of the OB1 outfit.

As an entry-level fiddle for kids as young as 2 years old, it sounds better than expected and feels very smooth.

The violin also comes with either Prelude or Fiddlerman strings and meets NAfME and Suzuki student standards. The accuracy in measurements is also spot-on, something that makes this a comfortable instrument to play with very small hands.

Fiddlerman OB1 Violin Outfit

Fiddlerman OB1 Violin Outfit

Fiddlerman OB1 Violin

Even the wood has been dried for at least 4 years, which is another trademark of a quality fiddle. It gives the little instrument durability and enough volume for its size.

Also worth praising is the use of carbon fiber for the bow as opposed to Brazilwood. The tailpiece is also carbon and features four built-in fine tuners for quick and accurate adjustments.

The French Despiau bridge is a nice touch, although it does have a tendency to come loose at times. But all things considered, it also helps novice players understand the hardware of the violin and how to service it too.

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The pegs, fittings, and fingerboard are all made of ebony. A nice touch in terms of style that also improves the playing comfort. The Fiddlerman premium wood shoulder rest is another nice addition that takes some of the load off the violin and allows for practicing in longer sessions.

Fiddlerman OB1 Violin Review Key Points:

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What We Like

      • Good price to performance ratio
      • Lifetime structural warranty
      • Very accurate measurements for young students
      • Quality accessories included

What We Don’t Like

      • No tuner included
      • Practice Mute not available for these sizes

Fiddlerman OB1 Violin Outfit

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Compare Alternative Violins

The biggest drawback of the OB1 outfit is that it usually only comes in 1/4 and 1/8 sizes. This means that adults can get very little use out of them. But if you’re bigger and want an entry-level violin in a standard size, or even for a teen, the Fiddlerman Concert Violin Outfit is a good choice.

It’s also a complete fiddle kit with a bow and storage case. Its craftsmanship is good, and it even comes with wood dried longer than the OB1 violin. Yet it is pricier and may not be the best option if you’re budget-constrained.

For more information, you may be interested in our complete Fiddlerman Concert Violin Outfit review.

The Fiddlerman Apprentice, on the other hand, falls right in between the OB1 and Concert models. Its tonal qualities are pretty much in line with the OB1 and it comes in sizes 4/4, 3/4, and 1/2 too. Therefore, it has more variety and caters to a wider audience.

Yet the Fiddlerman Apprentice Violin Outfit doesn’t share a lifetime structural warranty as the OB1, and Concert violins do. So, its overall build quality and longevity are more questionable.

Of course, one of the best-sounding violins that come in 1/2, 1/4, and 1/8 sizes is the Scott Cao 500 Violin. This one has inlaid purfling, a fine tuner for the E string, great craftsmanship and superb tone. It even comes fitted with Thomastik Dominant strings, as opposed to the more common Prelude strings.

That said, Scott Cao 500 is more expensive than the OB1 and it comes as a standalone instrument too. So, it’s not as good as a first choice but rather a second, as a transitional instrument.

Still, it’s worth keeping an eye on when the time comes for more projection and a more refined tone and play style.

Final Thoughts On The OB1 Violin Outfit

There isn’t much one can argue against the Fiddlerman OB1 violin, especially as part of its own outfit. The violin itself sounds very good for its intended purpose, even though it clearly lacks projection over its more expensive competitors.

The feel of the fingerboard is as smooth as they come, and the tuning retention should really help beginners. There’s also a lot of value in the carbon fiber bow and the lightweight yet sturdy storage case, which even contains a thermometer to help gauge storage conditions.

All in all, the OB1 is a very good starter instrument for kids between two and seven years old. But it’s also an instrument that quickly loses value as kids tend to outgrow it fast in both size and technique. Luckily, it maintains a good resale value because of its build quality.

Fiddlerman OB1 Violin Outfit

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  • Ease of Use
  • Build Quality
  • Sound Quality
  • Value Factor
4.1

Summary

Overall Score:

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