Best Cremona Violin Reviews – 6 Favorites From Beginner To Pro

Cremona is one of my favorite violin brands.

They make some fantastic, affordable violin models but there are so many to choose from it’s hard to decide which one would suit you best.

That’s why I’ve compiled this list of 6 of my favorite Cremona violin models to help you narrow things down.

Let’s find the best Cremona violin for you!

Snapshot: 6 Best Cremona Violins

  1. Cremona SV-500 Premier Artiste
  2. Cremona SV-75 Premier Novice
  3. Cremona SV-130 Premier Novice
  4. Cremona SV-1500 Master Series
  5. Cremona SV-1220 Maestro
  6. Cremona SV-100 Premier Novice

Choosing a Great Cremona Violin

Best Cremona Violin Reviews

So how do you choose a great model?

In most of my violin reviews, I recommend looking for signs of great craftsmanship and buying from a brand you know and trust.

However, when it comes to Cremona, we already know we can trust their craftsmanship!

So, choosing a great Cremona violin really just comes down to personal preference.

I’ve got some options for complete beginners and for more advanced students, so it completely depends on what your specific needs are.

Don’t worry, no matter what your budget is, I’ve got you covered!

Whether you’re looking to splash the cash on a high-end violin or find a great budget option, I’ve got a brilliant Cremona violin for you.

The Best Cremona Violin in 2020

1. Cremona SV-500 Premier Artiste Review

Cremona SV-500 Premier Artist Violin Outfit - 4/4 Size
  • Strings Magazine reviews SV-500 as "a good choice for anyone looking for a first or second violin" See Video and Product Details PDF file below for the complete review
  • Best tone quality for the advanced student and Cremona's most popular violin for sound.Case: Lightweight oblong rigid foam with four bow holders and hygrometer

The Cremona SV-500 is the best Cremona violin in 2020 by a mile. This model would be perfect for either a complete beginner, an advanced student or any violinist who loves trying out new instruments (like me)!

Body & Neck

Now, although it’s not the most important aspect, we all know how much I love a good looking instrument and this violin is so beautiful! The tight grained spruce top is really eye-catching and I love its deep, warm varnish. As with all Cremona violins, its body has been hand-carved and expertly crafted.

I love its highly flamed maple back as well. I mean, it’s just gorgeous. The varnish has such a nice shine but it’s not a thick lacquer.

Those really glossy violins you see on the market these days tend to have quite a tinny sound, so it’s great to see that Cremona puts some extra love and attention into their violins.

Bow & Hardware

The SV-500 is fitted with genuine ebony fittings, which are great because they’re really durable. Ebony pegs hold your violins tuning really well, so if you do want to spend a little extra on your violin, look for one like this with some great fittings.

As you may know, I’m not too keen on fixed fine-tuners but that’s just personal preference. Students tend to rely on fine-tuners quite a lot, so you’re probably a fan! Plus, composite tailpieces like this one are lighter than ebony tailpieces, so having fixed fine-tuners probably makes the violin lighter overall!

This Cremona model comes with a brazilwood bow as well. It’s not the most amazing one I’ve ever used but it’s a lovely student bow.

Sound

The SV-500 is known for having an incredible tone. Cremona violins always sound so much better than you’d expect them to given their price. This one has incredible volume and resonance, it’s one of the most beautiful student violins I’ve ever heard. It has a gorgeous, mellow tone to match its warm body!

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Spruce top, maple sides and back
  • Neck & Fingerboard Material: Maple neck, swiss ebony fingerboard
  • Strings & Tuners: D’Addario prelude strings, swiss ebony tuning pegs and fixed fine-tuners
  • Bow: Brazilwood bow with unbleached Mongolian horsehair
  • Nut & Saddle Material: Ebony
  • Bridge: Maple
  • Tailpiece & Chinrest: Lightweight composite tailpiece, swiss ebony chinrest

The best Cremona violin with a beautiful, rich sound; perfect for classical players

Final Thoughts on the Cremona SV-500 Premier Artiste

The Cremona SV-500 is by far the best Cremona violin. It has such a beautiful mellow voice and would be perfect for any player but I think classical players would especially love it!

2. Cremona SV-75 Premier Novice Review

Cremona SV-75 Premier Novice Violin Outfit - 3/4 Size
  • Every Cremona student violin comes with US-made Prelude strings, the educator's preferred strings for students
  • Properly fitted hardwood pegs and quality lightweight composite tailpiece with 4 smooth fine tuners for easy tuning

Here’s a great beginner model! The Cremona SV-75 is the perfect first violin for either classical or folk players. It’s incredibly affordable (just what we like to hear) and beautifully crafted.

Body & Neck

Obviously the SV-75 isn’t quite as gorgeous as the SV-500. However, for an affordable beginner violin I’d say it’s about as pretty as they get.

The biggest difference between the SV-75 and the SV-500 in terms of aesthetics is the varnish and the spruce grain (never have I ever spoken in depth about wood grain). It’s spruce top doesn’t have quite as defined a grain and it has a much more vintage look about it (which, of course, I love).

Although we’re not getting a lovely flamed back, we have got a beautiful retro looking varnish. For some reason brands tend to neglect the necks of their cheaper violins and make them from some strange wood. Don’t worry though, this guy’s as sturdy as a high-end violin with its maple neck.

What more could you want?

Bow & Hardware

Unfortunately, when you’ve got a smaller budget you have to be prepared to compromise with your hardware. Generally, ebony fittings bump up the price of the violin, so it’s common for models under $150 to have standard hardwood fittings instead.

The SV-75 has darkened rosewood fittings (I mean, at least they look like ebony) and a composite tailpiece. The tuning pegs and fingerboard might not be quite as durable as ebony ones but, to be honest, that’s fine for beginner models. Beginners (especially kids) usually need to upgrade their violins quite soon after starting, so it’s okay to go for a cheaper one off the bat.

If you’re an advanced player, I wouldn’t recommend this one but I’d say its a fantastic little beginner fiddle.

Sound

Considering how cheap this violin is (I probably shouldn’t describe one of my favorite brands as “cheap”, but here I am), it sounds lovely. I mean, it’s not as mellow or as warm sounding as the SV-500 but it does have a pretty voice.

It’s a little brighter and doesn’t have quite the same resonance but it’s a great sounding beginner violin!

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Spruce top, maple sides and back
  • Neck & Fingerboard Material: Maple neck, darkened rosewood fingerboard
  • Strings & Tuners: D’Addario prelude strings, darkened rosewood tuning pegs and fixed fine-tuners
  • Bow: Brazilwood bow with unbleached Mongolian horsehair
  • Nut & Saddle Material: Ebony
  • Bridge: Maple
  • Tailpiece & Chinrest: Lightweight composite tailpiece, darkened rosewood chinrest

A really lovely beginner violin, the perfect first model for your kid

Final Thoughts on the Cremona SV-75 Premier Novice

I thought it would be beneficial to compare my favorite affordable Cremona violin with my all-time favorite model. That way, you can see the differences between the two.

Although it’s not quite as fancy or as mellow as the SV-500, the SV-75 is an fantastic little violin. I think it would be the perfect first violin for a child!

3. Cremona SV-130 Premier Novice Review

Cremona SV-130 Premier Novice Violin Outfit - 4/4 Size,Traditional Brown
  • Properly fitted Swiss-style ebony pegs and quality lightweight composite tailpiece with 4 smooth fine tuners for easy tuning
  • Correct string height and string spacing for accurate finger positioning and intonation

I know a lot of people get confused about the differences between the SV-75 and the 130, so I thought I’d set the record straight. The SV-130 is another amazing beginner violin. If you don’t mind spending a little extra on a more durable model, this guy’s for you!

Body & Neck

The SV-130 has an oiled neck for better playability. This essentially makes it easier to change hand positions as you move between the strings. I’d say its definitely a good feature to look out for if you’re not a complete beginner and want a violin that will enhance your playing.

Aside from the oiled neck, these violins bodies are basically the same. They both have that lovely vintage-looking varnish and a beautiful spruce top.

Bow & Hardware

Okay, here’s where some more differences come into play (can you tell how obsessed I am with Cremona violins yet?) Unlike the SV-75, this guy has solid ebony fittings.

As a result, its resonance and volume is slightly better and its generally more durable. If you’re an adult beginner (woo, go you!) then this is a great option for a first violin.

You won’t have to upgrade as quickly as young beginners do (you know, growth spurts and all), so I’d recommend spending a tiny bit more on a violin that will last you.

Sound

Let me tell ya, this violin sounds bloomin’ great. It’s got a nice smooth voice, so transitioning between strings sounds really beautiful. Those ebony fittings give it really nice resonance as well. As cringy as it sounds, I think you’d have a more enjoyable learning experience with this model.

You can feel the vibrations from the violin much more which will really help you to teach your ear.

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Spruce top, maple sides and back
  • Neck & Fingerboard Material: Maple neck, ebony fingerboard
  • Strings & Tuners: D’Addario prelude strings, ebony tuning pegs and fixed fine-tuners
  • Bow: Brazilwood bow with unbleached Mongolian horsehair
  • Nut & Saddle Material: Ebony
  • Bridge: Maple
  • Tailpiece & Chinrest: Lightweight composite tailpiece, ebony chinrest

The best, most durable violin from Cremona’s novice series with a gorgeous antique look

Final Thoughts on the Cremona SV-130 Premier Novice

I think the SV-130 is the best violin from Cremona’s Novice series. It would be a lovely first violin for any adult or teenage learners. Spending a tad more to begin with will save you money in the long run!

4. Cremona SV-1500 Master Series Review

Cremona SV-1500 Master Series Violin Outfit - 4/4 Size
  • Extra-choice, 100+ year old, handcarved and graduated, solid spruce top
  • Superb, deeply figured, handcarved one-piece, premium solid maple back and sides

Here we have our first luxury option and, oh boy, I just wet myself (I wish I was joking). This is the best violin from Cremona’s master series, in my opinion.

You’re going to absolutely love it!

Body & Neck

Would you just look at that violin?

Honestly, I can’t take my eyes off it. The Cremona SV-1500 is really something to see. I mean, for a high-end violin it’s actually not that expensive (did I really just become a violin snob?).

One of the things that’s given this gorgeous fiddle its price tag is its spruce top. Now, if you’ve read my blogs before you’ll know I’m all about that aged wood.

Well, this spruce top has been ages for over 100 years (don’t worry, I’ll get to the tone later). It’s beautifully hand carved as well. You can really tell how delicate those F holes are!

Of course, it has a genuine ebony fingerboard as well (oh god, I really need to get a life, don’t I?).

Bow & Hardware

I’m not going to lie, when it comes to high-end violins, ebony kind of goes out the window. Funnily enough, boxwood is actually more expensive than ebony and it’s almost as strong. Ebony fittings usually get all the praise, but boxwood certainly isn’t inferior.

You can’t deny how lovely boxwood fittings look on a warm varnished violin like this. To be honest, I’ve never had any trouble with boxwood tuning pegs, it’s really just the fingerboards I worry about and we’re all good in that department. Plus, the details on those pegs are really pretty, aren’t they?

Okay, I’ll shut up about the pegs now. The SV-1500 also has a lovely, sacconni-style tailpiece with one fine-tuner on the E string. Perfect!

Sound

I’m not going to lie, every day that spruce aged for was worth it. The SV-1500 sounds like butter. It’s warm, it’s resonant, it’s delicious (can you describe a sound as delicious?), and it sings out with so much volume.

I’ve heard some pretty smooth-sounding violins in my time and this guy is definitely up there with some of the best. It’s definitely worth a go if you’ve got the budget! It’s fitted with Anton Breton VNS-150 Perlon strings as well, which are some of my favorites.

No wonder it sounds so silky!

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Spruce top, maple sides and back
  • Neck & Fingerboard Material: Maple neck, genuine ebony fingerboard
  • Strings & Tuners: D’Addario prelude strings, boxwood tuning pegs and one fine-tuner on the E string
  • Bow: J. LaSalle LB-17 brazilwood bow with unbleached Mongolian horsehair
  • Nut & Saddle Material: Ebony
  • Bridge: Maple
  • Tailpiece & Chinrest: Lightweight boxwood tailpiece, boxwood chinrest

The most beautiful violin from Cremona’s master series with a silky smooth, resonant voice

Final Thoughts on the Cremona SV-1500 Master Series

I think it’s pretty obvious how much I love this violin. The SV-1500 is well worth the money if it’s in your budget. I think it would be ideal for advanced students or even professionals. It might be a little bit pricey but boy is it silky smooth!

5. Cremona SV-1220 Maestro Review

Cremona SV-1220 Maestro First Violin Outfit - 4/4 Size
12 Reviews
Cremona SV-1220 Maestro First Violin Outfit - 4/4 Size
  • Clarity and volume come with a handcarved, properly graduated, select solid spruce top
  • Handcarved and graduated select solid maple back, sides, and neck assure a focused sound and attack

We all know I’m all about the options, so I thought I’d give you a slightly more affordable luxury model. It’s not quite as stunning as the SV-1500, but the 1220 is certainly a beautiful violin.

Body & Neck

Honestly, this violin is a folk players dream (or it’s my dream, at least). I love its deep, reddish varnish – it’s really unique. Its spruce top hasn’t been aged for quite as long as the SV-1500, meaning it’s much more affordable.

The only other main difference between the two models on the body is the maple flaming. The SV-1220’S back isn’t quite as highly flamed.

However, I love how you can see the grain of the wood so clearly, despite its darker varnish (love that). It’s really rustic-looking. I can imagine someone sat on their patio playing this bad boy (too bad I don’t have a patio).

Anyway, back to business. The SV-1220 is completely hand carved and its neck is oiled for great playability!

Bow & Hardware

I mean, another big difference between this guy and the 1500 are its fittings. I’m afraid the pegs don’t have any fancy carvings, but I guess we can let them off. It’s only got one fine-tuner on the E string, which is great for minimizing that pesky buzzing noise fine-tuners tend to make.

Essentially, the SV-1220 is an understated version of the 1500. However, it still comes with a beautifully balanced J. LaSalle LB-17 brazilwood bow and my favorite Anton Breton strings.

Sound

Wow! I love the way the SV-1220 sounds. Cremona violins tend to be very mellow and warm but this model has a bit of a twist. Its tone has a little bit of edge to it, which I absolutely love. It’s still silky smooth and it’s not too bright, it’s just right in that sweet spot.

Honestly, it sounds pretty soulful!

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Spruce top, maple sides and back
  • Neck & Fingerboard Material: Maple neck, genuine ebony fingerboard
  • Strings & Tuners: D’Addario prelude strings, boxwood tuning pegs and one fine-tuner on the E string
  • Bow: J. LaSalle LB-17 brazilwood bow with unbleached Mongolian horsehair
  • Nut & Saddle Material: Ebony
  • Bridge: Maple
  • Tailpiece & Chinrest: Lightweight boxwood tailpiece, boxwood chinrest

A unique-looking, soulful violin with a beautifully balanced sound, perfect for folk players

Final Thoughts on the Cremona SV-1220 Maestro

The Cremona SV-1220 is a lovely violin. I think it’s a great high-end option for anyone who’s looking for luxury but can’t quite afford the 1500. I’d definitely say it’s more for advanced players but it would probably suit intermediates as well. I love this fiddle!

6. Cremona SV-100 Premier Novice Review

Cremona SV-100 Premier Novice Violin Outfit - 1/2 Size
51 Reviews
Cremona SV-100 Premier Novice Violin Outfit - 1/2 Size
  • Every Cremona student violin comes with US-made Prelude strings, the educator's preferred strings for students
  • Properly fitted rosewood pegs and quality lightweight composite tailpiece with 4 smooth fine tuners for easy tuning

Okay, we’re taking it back down a notch now. I know the majority of people looking for a Cremona violin are beginners, so I thought I’d better give you a few options. The SV-100 is a very unique beginner model!

Body & Neck

I don’t think this violin will be for everyone but it’s still a great option for your first violin. It’s quite similar to the other models in the novice series, other than its varnish. It has a beautiful hand-carved spruce top and it’s very lightweight.

I think the SV-100 is a little bit lighter than the 130. It’s only 0.8 pounds! You’re probably wondering how much of a difference a few ounces will make but, trust me, you’re arm will be able to tell.

Bow & Hardware

The only reason the SV-100 is at the bottom of my list is because of its rosewood fittings. Rosewood pegs don’t really bother me but, as I said, I’m not a huge fan of rosewood fingerboards.

I mean, your fingerboard shouldn’t warp as long as you take care of your violin. I just think rosewood fingerboards take away from the violins resonance. It’s not a huge deal and if you’re a complete beginner you probably won’t even notice the difference.

However, the SV-100 is the same price as (if not more expensive than) the SV-130. So, if I were you, I’d go for the 130 model instead.

Don’t get me wrong, I think this violin is a good option but you’d get way more for your money if you bought the SV-130 instead.

Sound

This guy sounds much the same as the Cremona SV-75. It sounds quite lively and sweet but it doesn’t have great resonance or projection. The SV-75 has a lovely voice but it’s just a little bright for my taste.

All in all, I’d say it has a lovely sound but I just think the other beginner models on this list take the medal!

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Spruce top, maple sides and back
  • Neck & Fingerboard Material: Maple neck, darkened rosewood fingerboard
  • Strings & Tuners: D’Addario prelude strings, darkened rosewood tuning pegs and fixed fine-tuners
  • Bow: Brazilwood bow with unbleached Mongolian horsehair
  • Nut & Saddle Material: Ebony
  • Bridge: Maple
  • Tailpiece & Chinrest: Lightweight composite tailpiece, darkened rosewood chinrest

A lovely little violin that would be a nice first model for a complete beginner

Final Thoughts on the Cremona SV-100 Premier Novice

I like this violin and it would certainly do the job for a complete beginner. I just think Cremona’s other models are a bit better. At the end of the day, if you can get more for your money, you may as well! I’d go for the SV-130 instead.

Need an Affordable Violin? Cremona’s Got You Covered!

Whether you were looking for your first violin, or an affordable upgrade, I hope I’ve helped you found it.

I love that companies like Cremona are making it so much easier for anyone to be able to play the violin. You don’t need to have deep pockets to learn to play the violin anymore!

To be honest, I was really surprised that even their high-end series of violins were actually still pretty affordable as high-end violins go. I mean, if you need an affordable violin, Cremona’s definitely got you covered.

I hope you love your new violin!

Further Reading: