Best Violin for Professionals (7 Instruments in a Range of Budgets)

If you’ve been inspecting the internet for an amazing professional violin, then I’m happy to say you’ve found the right place.

Finding a great violin for advanced players online can be pretty difficult.

For one, there aren’t actually many online and any you do come across don’t have many reviews!

Nobody wants to splash the cash on an upgrade without doing their research, right?

Well, that’s where I come in.

I’ve bought a few professional violins online in my time, so I know exactly where to look and what to look for!

So, let’s go ahead and find you the best professional violin.

Snapshot: Top 7 Professional Violins

  1. D Z Strad Gasparo da Salo
  2. D Z Strad N615Most Expensive
  3. Yamaha AV5
  4. Snow SV200
  5. Snow SV100
  6. Antonio Giuliani EtudeLeast Expensive
  7. SKY VN401

Shopping for a Great Professional Violin

Best Violin for Professionals

Companies churn out beginner violins left, right, and center but when it comes to more advanced models there’s not so many out there.

As I said, there are very limited reviews because not many players make it to the professional level.

So, first of all, well done!

Those practicing hours clearly paid off and you have gone from an intermediate violin to needing a professional one.

When I’m shopping for a great professional violin, I always buy from brands whose craftsmanship I trust. If it’s made of amazing materials that have been crafted with great attention to detail, then I know I’m onto a winner.

“How do you know?” I hear you asking… Well, you want to make sure the wood has been aged properly and for the right amount of time. You’re also going to want to check they’ve got good quality fittings that won’t give up on you after a month of playing.

We’ve all been there. Slipping pegs and dodgy tailpieces will be a thing of the past, don’t you worry.

Oh, I’ve also thrown a few (slightly) affordable options in for those of you with tight budgets.

Yay!

The Best Violin for Professionals in 2020

1. D Z Strad Gasparo da Salo Copy Review

D Z Strad Violin – Gasparo da Salo, 1590, “Adam” Copy
  • Gasparo Da Salo Violin Full Size-D Z Strad Model 326. Set up by our luthiers with a Rock Maple bridge and Dominant strings.

If you hit the stage quite often you’ll love this show stopper. Not only does it have a beautiful sound that holds notes perfectly but it’s so striking. This is definitely one of the best violins for professionals.

Body & Neck

If you’ve been in the violin game for a while then you will have heard of D Z Strad. Their craftsmanship is to die for and their instruments are known for their durability. My main tip if you’re really stuck on what to go to? Stick to what you know. Strad might not be the most glamorous of brands, but they make some damn good violins and this copy of the 1950 “Adam Collection” by Gasparo da Salo is no exception.

Gasparo da Salo was known for his intricate inlays, they were a symbol of perfect craftsmanship in his era. So, the fact that Strad has copied them perfectly without compromising the build of the violin is remarkable. This violin is certainly something to see, but wait until you hear it!

Bow & Hardware

At first glance, I thought the fittings were made of rosewood which would be enough to put most professionals off. Don’t worry though, they’re Parisian-eye ebony tuning pegs and the tailpiece and chinrest are made of ebony to match. You can breathe again now! Aside from the first week or so of consistent tuning as you break the strings in, these pegs hold intonation like there’s no tomorrow.

Like, seriously. If you’re like me and hate having to remove extra fine-tuners from a new violin to stop the pesky buzzing, Strad has got you covered. The Gasparo da Salo comes with just one fine-tuner on the E string. Thank god, huh?

Sound

If you’re looking for a violin that has enough color for solo performances, but that’s mellow enough to blend in with other instruments when you’re part of a group, you may have found your guy. I absolutely love how the Adam copy sounds. It’s really sophisticated and is definitely malleable enough for professional players. Your vibrato will be the talk of the town soon, I can tell you that much!

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Spruce top, lightly flamed maple back and sides
  • Neck & Fingerboard Material: Maple neck, ebony fingerboard
  • Strings & Tuners: Dominant strings, ebony Parisian-eye tuning pegs and one fine-tuner on the E string
  • Bow: Brazilwood
  • Nut & Saddle Material: Ebony
  • Bridge: Rock maple
  • Tailpiece & Chinrest: Ebony

The perfect violin for both professional soloists and group players with a sophisticated sound

Final Thoughts on the D Z Strad Gasparo da Salo Copy

The reason I love this D Z Strad copy of Gasparo da Salo’s masterpiece is just that – it’s a masterpiece. Its sound is interesting enough to really push you above your competitors but mellow enough that it will blend really nicely with other instruments as well. It sounds great just out of the box, but once you’ve had it for a couple of months you’ll fall in love.

2. D Z Strad N615 Violin Review

D Z Strad Model Full Size 4/4 N615 Violin Handmade by Prize Winning Luthiers with Bam Case, Bow,...
  • Violin Handmade by Prize Winning Luthiers with Bam Case, Bow, Shoulder Rest and Rosin

If you’re a professional soloist looking for a gorgeous violin to take your performance to the next level, get excited! The D Z Strad N615 is my go-to for solo performances. Everything about it is completely unforgettable. So, whether you’re at the start of the lineup or the end, everyone will remember your set.

Body & Neck

Want to know what my dreams are made of? Violins with backs that have been so highly flamed they look like tiger stripes. Sorry to sound like a crazy violin lady but I have to admit it. The reason this fiddle sounds so good is that the wood was air-dried for over 30 years. Now that’s a commitment to craftsmanship!

I really can’t fault the N615. Its purflings are beautifully inlaid and the grain of the wood shines through the varnish beautifully. Also, you can just tell how intricately those F-holes have been carved – wow. I also love that the neck is flamed too! I sometimes think the finishing on necks gets a bit neglected, so I love the attention to detail from Strad.

Bow & Hardware

Nothing to report, really! The N615 comes complete with high-quality 100% ebony fittings, which do the job well. Wait until you hear this though… Its fine-tuner is gold-plated. Ba-bling! I have to say, if I’m going to pay this much for a violin, those little details really make a difference.

Sound

Okay, here’s my favorite part. The N615 violin has such a full and even tone. You know when you’re listening to someone play the violin and you can’t even tell when one note stops and the other starts? I mean, that takes some seriously good playing but this fiddle honestly sounds seamless. You can achieve really beautiful phrasing with this guy, it’s such a go-to for me. Its sound is strong, but not piercing (if that makes sense) and it has a beautiful, warm tone.

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Spruce top, highly maple back and sides
  • Neck & Fingerboard Material: Flamed maple neck, ebony fingerboard
  • Strings & Tuners: Dominant strings, ebony tuning pegs and one gold-plated fine-tuner on the E string
  • Bow: Brazilwood
  • Nut & Saddle Material: Ebony
  • Bridge: Rock maple
  • Tailpiece & Chinrest: Ebony

The most beautiful violin for professional soloists, its warm and powerful sound is to die for

Final Thoughts on the D Z Strad N615

This is the perfect violin for professional soloists. You just can’t beat its warm and powerful sound. It’s an investment, but I think every professional violinist should have one in their collection. Plus, D Z Strad is reliable, so at least you know it will last!

3. Yamaha AV5 Review

Speaking of brands we know and love… Here’s a brilliant violin, optimized for professionals, and built above and beyond the National Musical Education Standards. You’re probably not a student anymore, but these certifications always give you peace of mind when you’re ordering online.

Body & Neck

This violin is a bit more on the affordable side, which is great, but it’s still impeccably crafted. It’s made from aged spruce and maple which are, of course, the best tonal woods for violins. People are often put off by Yamaha violins because they’re crafted in China rather than in America. Chinese made violins are quite often churned out in high volumes, so sometimes they don’t have the same finesse as American made violins.

However, the Yamaha AV5 is a hand-crafted instrument, so you can rest assured that it has been given just as much attention as any Strads or other American models. I know it’s not as glamorous as some of the other models on this list, but I think it’s a great option if you’ve got a tighter budget. Maybe you’re just starting out as a professional. If that’s the case, this is an ideal professional violin.

Bow & Hardware

Part of the reason the AV5 is a little more affordable is that it’s made with rosewood fittings. Now, if you’ve read any of my articles before, you’ll know I’m not the biggest fan of rosewood. I find that the pegs can slip a little bit, especially if you travel a lot or if you live in a hotter climate. Rosewood chinrests and tailpieces are absolutely fine and are usually pretty durable.

So, here’s a top tip for the tuning pegs – take them out and sand them slightly. This will give them a bit more grip and stop them from slipping! It also has fixed fine-tuners which I don’t usually like, but when you’re working with rosewood pegs I think it’s a good idea to keep all four fine-tuners anyway. They’re more precise and much easier to use than the pegs!

Sound

The Yamaha AV5 violin has such a gorgeous, warm sound. It’s much more mellow than the other violins in this article. I think it would be perfect for professional orchestral players as it blends beautifully with other instruments. Plus, I know not all soloists are fans of colorful or edgy tones, so this is a great option if you fall into that category. It’s incredibly balanced and even in tone. I love violins like this because they have such a reliable sound!

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Spruce top, lightly flamed maple back and sides
  • Neck & Fingerboard Material: Maple neck, ebony fingerboard
  • Strings & Tuners: Dominant strings, ebony Parisian-eye tuning pegs and one fine-tuner on the E string
  • Bow: Brazilwood
  • Nut & Saddle Material: Ebony
  • Bridge: Rock maple
  • Tailpiece & Chinrest: Ebony

A beautiful orchestral violin for professionals with a beautiful, deep, mellow tone

Final Thoughts on the Yamaha AV5

This is the ideal violin for professional orchestral players. It doesn’t have much color or edge at all. Just a beautiful, warm and mellow sound, perfect for blending with other instruments. The price is also a bonus, I’d say!

4. Snow SV200 Violin Review

Violin 4/4 Sv.200 By Snow. With Glasser Bow and Core Case.
  • An Italian spruce top and maple back for a warm and smooth tone All ebony fittings complete the outfit Exceeds all expectations for a violin priced near $1000 Case and Bow: This outfit also comes with...

Snow is a really underrated brand when it comes to violins for professionals. I bought my first Snow violin a couple of years back because, well, I was getting a bit bored with the big names. I’ve never looked back, though! My Snow SV200 is now one of my favorites.

Body & Neck

This beautiful violin has an Italian Spruce top, giving it such a beautiful tone. It’s also got classic maple back and sides. Here’s where things get controversial… It’s got a two-piece back. Now, I happen to love two-piece backs because I think they’re a sign of brilliant craftsmanship. Perfectly book-matching like that takes a lot of skill. Plus, it makes for a stunning violin. One of my favorite things about this instrument is its neck (is that weird?). It has been lightly flamed to blend in with the back. We all know I love a bit of attention to detail!

Bow & Hardware

This guy has 100% ebony fittings, which is why it’s a little more pricy than the Yamaha (though totally worth it if you ask me). It also comes with a lovely Eastman 20 Brazilwood bow. With great balance comes great responsibility (there I go, making myself laugh again). In all seriousness though, I love it when you get a little extra for your money. Yeah, it’s great having spare bows but if you never use them, what’s the point, right?

Sound

I’ve got three words for ya – to die for. This Snow violin is silky smooth guys, silky smooth. It’s another great option for orchestral players but it would make for a lovely soloist violin as well. I’m a huge fan of warm, mellow violins with just a tad of color and this is exactly that. I wish Snow got more attention in the music community because they’d make a lot of violinists very happy.

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Italian spruce top, lightly flamed maple back and sides
  • Neck & Fingerboard Material: Flamed maple neck, ebony fingerboard
  • Strings & Tuners: D’Addario Prelude strings, tuning pegs, and four independent fine-tuners
  • Bow: Eastman 20 brazilwood
  • Nut & Saddle Material: Ebony
  • Bridge: Maple
  • Tailpiece & Chinrest: Ebony

The best all-round professional violin for either soloists or orchestral players

Final Thoughts on the Snow SV200

Snow isn’t a very well known brand amongst professional violinists. I honestly wish I knew about them sooner. I think the SV200 is such a beautiful violin because it’s perfect for either soloists or orchestral players. It does have a little bit of color, but it’s balanced out with a gorgeous warm tone.

5. Snow SV100 Violin Review

If you fancy the Snow SV200 but don’t quite have the budget, you’re in for a treat. The SV100 is almost identical to the SV200, it’s just a couple hundred dollars cheaper. I don’t know what sort of glitch in the matrix this is but I love it!

Body & Neck

Honestly, the SV100 and the SV200 are like identical twins. I’m going to assume that the wood this guy is crafted from wasn’t aged for quite so long. It’s also just bog-standard spruce, rather than Italian, but I’m okay with that. It has the same book-matched back and flamed maple neck. There aren’t many professional violins out there for under $1000, so when you find one you just take the bull by the horns!

Bow & Hardware

Another difference between the SV100 and the SV200 is their hardware. This violin comes with fixed fine-tuners, which is a bit of a pain. If you know how to change your tailpiece, you could always switch it out in order to fit some independent style fine-tuners. It also comes with a standard brazilwood bow. So, it’s really up to you if you want to pay extra for the SV200 with it’s added bonuses.

Sound

Okay, so here’s the main difference between the two I’d say. The SV100 is a lot more colorful. It’s still got that lovely warm tone, but it’s got quite a bit of edge too. Being a Scottish lass, I tend to play quite a bit of folksy “fiddle” music and, for that style, this guy is perfect. So, if you go to little jam sessions at your local pub as well as playing professionally, you’ll have so much fun with the SV100.

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Spruce top, lightly flamed maple back and sides
  • Neck & Fingerboard Material: Flamed maple neck, ebony fingerboard
  • Strings & Tuners: D’Addario Prelude strings, ebony tuning pegs, and four independent fine-tuners
  • Bow: Brazilwood
  • Nut & Saddle Material: Ebony
  • Bridge: Maple
  • Tailpiece & Chinrest: Ebony

An affordable violin that’s perfect for folk musicians with a playful sound

Final Thoughts on the Snow SV100

The Snow SV100 is like the SV200’s little sister. It looks almost identical, but it’s a lot more playful in sound. It’s perfect if you’re a “fiddler” rather than a “violinist” or if you just enjoy playing a bit of folk music on the side. Plus, it’s so darn cheap for a professional violin!

6. Antonio Giuliani Etude Review

Antonio Giuliani Etude Violin Outfit 4/4 Full Size Clearance By Kennedy Violins - Carrying Case and...
  • [HIGHEST QUALITY RATED] The following instrument is listed on clearance due to a slight cosmetic defect that does not affect playability or sound in any way. Ranked at #1 for customer service, Kennedy...

If you thought the Snow SV100 was affordable, wait until you see the price of this guy. The Antonio Giuliani Etude is incredibly good value for money. If you’re looking for volume and projection, boy have you found it…

Body & Neck

The Antonio Giuliani Etude violin is honestly unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It’s deep, warm color would definitely stand out to a crowd if that’s what you’re after! This violin is a gem from Kennedy Violins. If those options from Snow weren’t for you and you’d rather stick to a brand you know, this fiddle will be right up your street. Its wood has been aged for over 30 years (yeah I know, wow) and it’s very intricately crafted.

I have to say, the back of the one in the picture isn’t perfectly book-matched though. However, no two violins are the same, so that may just have been an unfortunate choice of display pictures. It still looks great though, I’m just picky (It’s my job, I can’t help it).

Bow & Hardware

Instruments from Kennedy Violins always come with amazing bows. This one comes complete with a Giuliani Brazilwood, of course. It comes pre-rosined, which is amazing. It’s such a time-saver when you don’t have to sit for a good 30 minutes clarting your new bow in rosin. Plus, there’s nothing worse than having new violin strings and a new bow – squeak central, right? This one does come with fixed-in fine-tuners.

Kennedy Violins has great customer service though, so if you send them an email after you’ve ordered they’d happily fit it with independent-style ones instead. Oh man, I love Kennedy Violins.

Sound

I actually laughed at how much volume and resonance this violin has. I mean, the projection is just insane. When is packed full of projection, I usually prefer a more mellow tone. I mean, color and edge are great and all, but it’s easy for your violin to sound a bit harsh when there’s too much going on. That’s why I love this instrument. Its tone is warm and sweet, perfect for playing your heart out on stage!

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Spruce top, highly flamed maple back and sides
  • Neck & Fingerboard Material: Maple neck, ebony fingerboard
  • Strings & Tuners: D’Addario Prelude strings, ebony tuning pegs, and fixed fine-tuners
  • Bow: Giuliani Brazilwood
  • Nut & Saddle Material: Ebony
  • Bridge: Maple bridge custom fit by Kennedy Violins
  • Tailpiece & Chinrest: Ebony

The most amazing affordable violin, perfect for soloists or band players who need volume and resonance

Final Thoughts on the Antonio Giuliani Etude

If you’re looking for a violin with volume and projection, this one is by far the best. I think it would be perfect for professional soloists or band players who need to be heard over the drums! It’s an incredibly affordable option for professional violinists.

7. SKY VN401 Professional Handmade Violin Review

SKY 4/4 Full Size Antique Style Professional Handmade VN401 Violin Kit w Case Bow Rosin Mute
  • Beautiful 4/4 full size SKYVN401 Professional violin perfectly made for intermediate to Professional Violin players.

I love instruments from Sky Music, they always look unique and sound wonderful. The VN401 has to be one of my favorites from them. This violin would make the perfect gift!

Body & Neck

I don’t know why I love flamed necks so much. Please tell me I’m not alone? This 401 model from Sky Music definitely ticks all my boxes where necks are concerned. So, moving onto the body. I love how wide the grain it on its top. I think it makes the violin look vintage and rustic like someone should be playing it in a farmhouse somewhere. It’s flamed maple back is so gorgeous as well. It’s giving me tiger stripe vibes, and we all know how much I love tiger stripes! I really like how the sides are flamed too. Sometimes the sides get missed out. I know, it’s sad!

Bow & Hardware

Sound the alarm, we have rosewood fittings! Just kidding, the pegs are made of ebony. Phew! I understand why craftsmen use lighter-colored pegs because they do look beautiful on vintage-looking violins like this one. The tailpiece and chinrest are rosewood too and are a really beautiful addition. We’ve got one fine-tuner on the E string, yay! If you’ve never played the violin without the fine-tuners I’d highly recommend trying it. Sometimes you don’t notice how much they buzz until they’re gone!

Sound

This is another violin with brilliant projection. It’s really lovely to hear and to play. It’s deep and powerful, perfect for both soloists and orchestral players. It’s really nice and smooth too. It’s one of those violins that sounds really beautiful in your ear as you play. The way the sound vibrates up the fingerboard is lovely too. Feeling the music is just as important as hearing it sometimes!

Spec Summary

  • Body Material: Spruce top, highly flamed maple back and sides
  • Neck & Fingerboard Material: Maple neck, ebony fingerboard
  • Strings & Tuners: Sky music strings, ebony tuning pegs and one fine-tuner on the E string
  • Bow: Brazilwood
  • Nut & Saddle Material: Ebony
  • Bridge: Maple
  • Tailpiece & Chinrest: Rosewood

A beautiful antique-looking violin with great projection – the perfect gift for a violinist

Final Thoughts on the SKY VN401

The Sky VN401 is really beautiful, but it’s not one many professionals would think about buying for themselves. That’s mostly because Sky Music isn’t one of the big names in the violin world, but I think they should be! I think this violin would make a really lovely gift.

Affordable Upgrades for Everyone!

Professional Musician Playing the Violin

I was really surprised at how many great violins for professionals there are.

It’s a shame that they don’t have many reviews but that’s just because there aren’t many professionals out there!

Whether you’re a soloist, orchestral, or folk player, there’s a violin on this list to suit your budget, whatever it may be! I hope this article has helped you narrow down your search.

I really enjoyed writing this one, so I hope you enjoyed reading it.

Happy music-making to all my fellow violinists out there!

Further Reading: