If you’ve been scouring the internet trying to find perfect new violins under $1000, then I’m happy to say you’ve finally found the right place!
It’s so difficult to find a great instrument online because, of course, you don’t get to try before you buy.
Don’t worry though, that’s exactly why I’ve put together this list of the best violins under $1000.
So I get to do what I love and rant about instruments and you get to order the perfect violin for you – it’s a win-win!
Snapshot: Top 7 Violins Under $1000 In 2023
- D Z Strad Model 220 – Best Overall
- Louis Carpini G2 Violin – Most Popular
- Franke Henner Violin (Henner R) – Highly Rated
- Cremona SV-1240 Maestro
- Scott Cao Violin Outfit 1/2 Size Model STV017
- Sky NY100 Bird’s Eye Vintage Violin
- Cremona SV588
Shopping for Great Violins Under $1000
The violin was actually the first “proper” instrument I ever learned to play (you know, aside from the tin whistle), so I was really excited to write this blog. It really takes me back! You will most likely already have noticed that there’s actually a lot of pretty cheap violins on the market.
However, the violin is a tricky instrument to get right, so it’s important to know what to look for. If you’re paying between $500 and $1000 for violins, you should be assured of its quality. That’s why I always take materials, details of craftsmanship, the type of bow and hardware that it comes with, and most importantly, how it sounds into consideration when I’m shopping for a great violin.
If you want to spend a bit less you can take a look at my post on the best violins under $500, there are 10 fantastic options there to take a look at. Alternatively if you are feeling in the mood to splurge you can take a look at the best violins under $5000 on offer.
Only when all of my points have been hit will I recommend a violin to my readers. So, you can rest assured that by the end of this blog, you’ll know exactly what violin to go for. Plus, I might throw in a few jokes along the way just for you if I’m feeling funny.
The Best Violins Under $1000 in 2023
1. D Z Strad Model 220 Review – Best Overall
- Features boxwood or Ebony fittings including pegs, tailpiece, chinrest, and end button with an Ebony fingerboard
- This outfit includes a case, a brazil wood bow, shoulder rest, and rosin. Setup with Dominant strings
- Warm and round tone, playability, hand-feel and consistency will keep you motivated.
My top pick from the best violins under $1000 is the D Z Strad Model 220. It is beautiful, budget-friendly, and sounds fantastic. D Z Strad is an award-winning brand; most community members love its violins. I love their instruments; they’re one of my number one trusted brands regarding craftsmanship.
Body & Neck
I have to say, this guy gives it a run for its money. Made from a gorgeous Englemann spruce tonewood and hand-varnished to a beautiful warm honey color, it is verging on being just as beautiful. Here’s the thing: there’s a long-running unsolved question within the violin community about whether a two-piece or a one-piece back is better.
Personally, I don’t think it makes a difference to the sound, so it really just comes down to what look you prefer! I absolutely love a perfectly book-matched two-piece back, but I know some of you are shouting at the screen right now. So, if you prefer the one-piece look, the 220 will be right up your street.
Bow & Hardware
This guy comes with a great quality hardware. Plus, a single fine-tuner on the E string, that’s what I like to see! I know all you beginners may just have had a minor panic at the thought. So, here’s a tip from me. If you love this violin but like the comfort of having all four fine-tuners, just take your violin into your nearest music shop and ask them to fit 3 more. You can find good quality fine tuners for around $10-$20, so there’s nothing to worry about my beginners!
This gorgeous violin sounds perfect but doesn’t produce much volume, and the resonance isn’t quite the same as the more expensive version. That being said, it has a pretty, warm tone, and seeing as it’s a couple of hundred dollars cheaper, I’m surprised it sounds so great. It produces such a beautiful, fluid sound as the bow glides across the strings and has such a colorful ring to its voice.
Final Thoughts on the D Z Strad Model 220
Although this model is geared towards intermediate to advanced players, I think beginners would get a lot of joy out of it as well. Maybe not complete beginners, but it would serve as a lovely upgrade or gift for an advancing learner! I mean, you’d be silly to buy another beginner’s violin when they’re around about the same price anyway, right?
2. Louis Carpini G2 Violin Review – Most Popular
- [HIGH-QUALITY] This instrument is marked down due to a slight cosmetic defect that does not affect playability or sound in any way. Kennedy Violins is proud to offer this beautiful violin in an outfit...
- [THE COMPLETE OUTFIT] We have included the QUALITY accessories that professional players recommend. This includes your violin, a Giuliani Brazilwood bow, high-quality Rosin, Portland Classic case,...
- [ASSEMBLED AND QUALITY CHECKED IN THE USA] Our final assembly and set-up are in the USA, NOT in China. Quality set-up equals LONG-TERM performance. Improper set-up can lead to poor quality sound and...
This little gem from Kennedy Violins is incredibly crafted and perfect for all you learners out there. The Louis Carpini G2 is a beautiful handmade instrument and is great value for money.
Body & Neck
This violin has the most beautiful flamed back and neck. I’ve never seen anything like it! I’ve fallen in love a little… The great thing about buying an instrument from Kennedy Violins is you always know it’s going to be great quality. I love the brand and always trust that their violins will be excellently crafted. You can tell that the Louis Carpini G2 is brilliantly crafted just by looking at the F-holes on the body. See how it almost looks as if there’s no gap at the top and bottom? Don’t worry, there’s a gap, they’re just shaped to perfection.
Bow & Hardware
This little beauty comes with a Giuliani Brazilwood bow which is excellent for balance and playability. Now, the one thing I will say is that the Louis Carpini G2 has fixed in fine tuners which I don’t particularly love. Don’t get me wrong, they’re great quality, I just prefer having the option to take my fine tuners off. Sometimes they can cause a little bit of buzzing but that’s not really a big deal for beginners. In fact, beginners quite often prefer having fine tuners and wouldn’t want to take them off. It’s just worth thinking about if you’re more towards the intermediate side of learning!
This violin has such a rich, mellow sound. It’s like butter to the ears, honestly (I’ve not heard that phrase before either, can we make it a thing?). If you like playing chords on your fiddle, you’ll absolutely love this one. Having a violin that sounds so great makes learning a lot easier I’ll tell you that much!
Final Thoughts on the Louis Carpini G2 Violin
The Louis Carpini G2 is one of the perfect violins under $1000 for beginner to intermediate players. The only thing I’m unsure about is the fixed fine-tuners. However, beginners would most likely keep theirs on anyway. I’m probably just picky after all these years!
3. Franke Henner Violin Review (Henner R) – Highly Rated
- [HIGHEST QUALITY RATED] Ranked at #1 for customer service, Kennedy Violins is also proud to offer our Franke Henner full-size violin with accessories as the highest-rated stringed instrument!
- [THE COMPLETE OUTFIT] Your Franke Henner 4/4 violin purchase fully includes your violin, a Giuliani Brazilwood bow, cleaning cloth, Artcraft Rosin, Portland Elite Case, and extra Portland strings.
- [ASSEMBLED AND READY TO PLAY] We make sure you are ready to play your new violin by assembling and setting up the instrument for you. Final setup and assembly is performed by our professional luthiers...
If you’re an advanced player, you’ll love this violin. This is another diamond from Kennedy Violins so, again, we can already expect the highest quality. Plus, it comes with a 45-day guarantee, so you actually try it out and see how it works for you! What more could you ask for?
Body & Neck
I just love the attention to detail on this Franke Henner violin’s body. Its beautiful ebony purflings really frame the body and make it look that bit more expensive. We all know I like a bargain, but I don’t want people to know I’m tight-fisted!
Bow & Hardware
Like most instruments from Kennedy Violins, this one comes with a Giuliani Brazilwood bow, which I think is great. A good quality violin needs a good quality bow in order to get the best sound out of it. I love that the Henner R is only fitted with one fine tuner at the E string. There’s less risk of buzzing or squeaking that way! Plus, the tuning pegs are amazing quality. After the first few weeks (when the strings have settled), you’ll notice your violin will hold its tuning really well which is brilliant. We don’t want to be retuning all the time now, do we?
The Henner R sounds so smooth and beautiful. It has amazing clarity and such a beautiful tone. Listen to a demo of someone playing and you’ll honestly fall in love. Its resonance is just wonderful. You really need to hear it to believe it!
Final Thoughts on the Franke Henner Violin (Henner R)
This Franke Henner violin is the perfect instrument for advanced players. It’s probably a good option for an intermediate player who’s looking to upgrade as well.
4. Cremona SV-1240 Maestro Violin Review
- Clarity and volume come with a handcarved, properly graduated, select solid spruce top
- Handcarved and graduated select solid flamed maple back, sides, and neck assure a focused sound and attack
- Solid maple neck, boxwood fittings, Cremona bridge, Anton Breton VNS-150 Perlon strings, VP-14 finetuner, Sacconi-style tailpiece hanger
When it comes to violins under $1000, Cremona do some of the best. They’re affordable but still excellently crafted. I mean, that’s what we’re after, right? Having said that, I certainly have my favorite models from Cremona and this SV-1240 is up there.
Body & Neck
This gorgeous violin has been crafted from spruce and maple. These are pretty standard solid woods when it comes to instruments at this price point, to be honest. What really sticks out to me about this violin is its perfectly book-matched back. Everyone knows I love details like these, especially when it comes to affordable instruments. My rule of thumb has always been that if an instrument is well-crafted, it will sound great too.
You can really tell by the lovely glow of the wood that this violin has been hand-oiled (sounds sexier than it is). I know these little things seem as if they wouldn’t make a difference but, trust me, they do. Hand oiled and varnished violins will differ in color from instrument to instrument, which is great. It means special care and attention has been given to each violin. Plus, yours will be entirely unique!
Bow & Hardware
The Cremona SV-1240 comes with a really nice, balanced, and stable bow. It’s strung with genuine horsehair and has a gorgeous ebony frog (that’s the little bit you rest your thumb on). For any beginners wondering why the heck you’d want a horsehair bow – horsehair grips the strings and clings onto rosin much more than plastic fibers.
You know when you go to play the E string and all you hear is that horrible screechy whistle that sounds worse than a dying cat? That’s usually down to a poor quality bow or a lack of rosin. It’s always good to know your violin is coming with a great quality bow. Not only does it tell you the company knows what they’re doing, but you’re getting more bang for your buck. We all love a good bargain!
Thanks to its maple back and sides, this violin has amazing resonance. I just love the way the sound echoes through its body, it’s really pretty. If you’re a beginner, you probably can’t play with vibrato yet, so it’s great to find a really resonant fiddle that will give you the same sort of effect. As I said, a lot of violins at this price point are made from the same tonal wood – spruce and maple.
So, you’re probably thinking they’d all sound the same, right? Well, not quite. The shape of the F-holes, body, and neck, the way your violin has been varnished, and how long the wood has been aged for all have an impact on the sound as well. It’s a good idea to keep that in mind as we review some more fiddles!
Final Thoughts on the Cremona SV-1240 Maestro
I think this is an amazing violin for beginner and intermediate players. It’s not quite fluid enough for pros, in my opinion, but it’s great value for money and sounds really sophisticated. Remember, it will sound better the more you play it!
5. Scott Cao Violin Outfit 1/2 Size Model STV017 Review
The Scott Cao Violin Outfit in 1/2 size, Model STV017, is a fantastic option for aspiring violinists. From its entirely carved body to the hand-painted lacquer that enhances its aesthetic attractiveness, it perfectly exemplifies excellent craftsmanship. The violin is the perfect instrument for those wishing to start their musical adventure because it is playable and sensitive.
Body & Neck
The body and neck of the Scott Cao 1/2-size violin outfit, Model STV017, exhibit exceptional craftsmanship. A warm, deep tone emanates from the exquisitely carved spruce top. The ebony fingerboard, chinrest, and pegs improve the instrument’s longevity and playability while adding to its exquisite appearance. The attention to detail in the construction is evident, making this violin a fine example of traditional violin-making artistry.
Bow & Hardware
It’s a beautiful surprise that this costume includes a Brazilian bow. It gives players of all skill levels a wonderful feeling and is responsive and well-balanced. The ebony fittings enhance the instrument’s overall appearance and feel, and the tailpiece’s integrated fine tuners make tuning adjustments simple. This violin’s high-quality hardware, which includes the tailpiece and fine tuners, contributes to its general practicality and use.
Any violin’s tone is one of its most essential features, and the Scott Cao Model STV017 does not fall short. Using Thomastik Dominant strings with a spruce top together results in a crisp, even, and warm tone. Even at a lesser 1/2 size, the violin’s capacity to convey its sound is astounding. Different playing styles work well with it, from delicate and expressive to forceful and energetic. It’s an instrument that may develop with a pupil as their abilities expand.
Final Thoughts on the Scott Cao Violin
The Scott Cao Model STV017 is a violin that may inspire and support musicians throughout their learning and playing process rather than merely being a student violin for anybody looking for quality, craftsmanship, and a lovely sound in a 1/2-size violin outfit.
6. Sky NY100 Bird’s Eye Vintage Violin Review
- Beautiful 4/4 full size one piece back birds' eye PTVNNY100 Professional violin perfectly made for intermediate to Professional Violin players.
- 100% hand made and 100% hand oil varnished by master-level violin maker with great care, professionally set up in California and ready to play.
- It comes complete with a luxurious Brazilwood bow, a premium oblong violin case, and a high quality rosin.
I know that feeling when you really want to switch things up with a new instrument, but all the advanced violins seem to be out of your price range. I came across this beautiful instrument from Sky Music (a brand I don’t have much experience with) earlier this year and I absolutely fell in love with it.
Body & Neck
I don’t tend to try out many new brands where violins are concerned, especially when I’m shopping for an upgrade online. However, this gorgeous instrument caught my eye and I couldn’t pass it up when I saw the price. I was pleasantly surprised by the craftsmanship, you’ll be glad to know.
The instrument is absolutely gorgeous. You can tell from the inlaid purflings and hand-carved body just how much love and attention has gone into creating this instrument. It has a solid spruce top and is incredibly light – I’m talking light as a feather kind of light. Playing this violin is an absolute dream.
Bow & Hardware
I’m sorry to say it, but there is one downside to this beautiful fiddle. The bow just isn’t up to scratch. You can’t loosen or tighten the hairs which really isn’t great for an advanced player. However, I’m not mad. This violin is definitely an advanced instrument and, I’m assuming, most advanced players will already have a good quality bow in their collection. I tend to stick to my favorite bow and don’t really stray away from it. Honestly, the violin itself makes up for the lack of quality in the bow.
This is where it gets exciting. The Sky Music NY100 sounds insane. Its voice is rich and powerful and will outshine any other instrument it’s played alongside. This is definitely a violin for solo players and would certainly be a show-stopper at any jamming session. Its deep, mellow sound is genuinely out of this world!
Final Thoughts on the Sky NY100 Bird’s Eye Vintage Violin
This is a beautiful violin for advanced players. Yes, the unadjustable bow lets it down slightly, but most advanced players will already own a great bow. For only costing around $500, this is an incredible violin with an intense, yet delicate sound.
7. Cremona SV588 Violin Review
- The Premier Artist line uses select tonewoods that are carved and graduated for tonal perfection, then meticulously hand varnished to accentuate their physical beauty.
- Violin includes D’Addario Prelude strings, French-made Aubert bridge, African ebony fingerboard and fittings, comfortably shaped Stradivarius-style chinrest and composite tailpiece with 4 smooth...
- Outfit includes an oblong thermoplastic case that is heavy duty but light and easy for children to carry with a sturdy carbon-fiberglass hybrid bow.
I’ll admit it, I saved the best learners violin until last. Beginners, listen up, you’re going to love this little guy from Cremona. I bought the SV588 for my sister and she fell in love with it instantly. Let me tell ya why…
Body & Neck
Here’s what I love about this violin. It’s certainly a beginner instrument but it looks professional. Its gorgeous tiger-striped two-piece back is a testament to Cremona’s craftsmanship. I absolutely love how the grain shines through the top of this instrument. It looks so delicate, almost like an antique. The SV588 is probably one of the most beautiful affordable violins I’ve probably ever seen.
Bow & Hardware
Heads up beginners, you may struggle to produce a good sound when the SV88 (or any new violin for that matter) arrives. As I mentioned earlier, horsehair clings onto rosin much better than other fibers. This violin comes with a carbon-fiberglass hybrid bow which isn’t quite as light or well-balanced as the other bows I’ve written about. That being said, any new bow needs quite a bit of the best violin rosin you can find before it can grip the strings enough to produce a good sound.
As you play more, your new violin strings will collect rosin residue from the bow and the bow itself will cling onto more rosin as well, creating more friction and a better sound. I remember when I first changed my strings and thought I’d forgotten how to play because my bow was slipping and sliding all over the shop! All I’m saying is, don’t be discouraged if, to begin with, you don’t get an amazing sound, it will come.
After your strings have been broken in and your bow is nice and rosined up, you’ll notice the gorgeous open tone that the SV588 can produce. It hasn’t got quite as much volume or resonance as the other violins on this list, but it still does an amazing job. It’s the perfect instrument for beginners because it blends really nicely with other instruments and it has quite a gentle, yet really pretty sound.
Final Thoughts on the Cremona SV588
The Cremona SV588 is the perfect violin for learners. It may not have the same volume and resonance as more professional instruments, but beginners will love it for its professional feel and antique look. I think it would make an amazing gift for an adult learner. Kids will happily play a purple violin that oinks like a piglet, but older learners want something with a bit more class, right? I definitely think this little beauty would do the job perfectly.
Violins Under $1000: You Don’t Have to Pay a Fortune
You really don’t have to fork out loads of your hard-earned cash to find a beautifully crafted, handmade violin.
I know what it’s like when you really want to learn an instrument, or just fancy an upgrade but you just don’t have the budget for it. So, I hope I’ve helped you realize that anyone can find their ideal violin, you just have to know where to look.
This blog being the best place to start, of course!
One thing I love about violins is that as you get better as a player, your instrument will sound better and better as well.
Hopefully, my list of the best violins under $1000 will help you to become a better player and give you the inspiration to make more music!
- Which Wood Is Best For Violin?
- Violin Sizes – Find Out What The Perfect Size Violin For You Or Your Child
- Violin Anatomy – What Are The Different Parts Of A Violin?
- Viola vs Violin Compared – Learn The Key Differences Between These Instruments
- How To Clean A Violin At Home (Body, Strings & Inside)
Fiona is a musician and writer. When she’s not working, she’s either playing the ukulele or finding another instrument to add to her collection.