The 10 Best Cheap Violins in 2021: Reviews and Buying Guide

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Are you looking to buy a violin but worried about how much they cost? Are you wondering which budget brands are any good and which ones will break after a month? In this post, we’re going to share everything you need to know about buying an affordable violin in our buyer’s guide.

We also review 10 of what we think are the best cheap violins currently on the market in 2021. Let’s jump in!

Quick Answer: The Best Budget Violins

Preview
Our Favorite
Bunnel Premier Violin Outfit 4/4 Full Size - Carrying Case and Accessories Included - Highest Quality Solid Maple Wood and Ebony...
Cremona SV-175 Premier Student Violin Outfit - 4/4 Size
Stentor, 4-String Violin (1500 4/4)
Mendini By Cecilio Violin - MV500+92D - Size 4/4 (Full Size), Black Solid Wood - Flamed, 1-Piece Violins w/Case, Tuner, Shoulder...
Cecilio Silent Electric Solid Wood Violin with Ebony Fittings, Electric Violin Kit in Various Colors and Styles (Cut Out - Black)
Name
Bunnel Premier Violin
Cremona SV-175 Premier Student Violin
Stentor 4-String Cheap Violin
Mendini By Cecilio Violin - MV500+92D
Cecilio CEVN-2BK Electric Violin
Rating
Reviews
188 Reviews
144 Reviews
328 Reviews
1,567 Reviews
459 Reviews
Our Favorite
Preview
Bunnel Premier Violin Outfit 4/4 Full Size - Carrying Case and Accessories Included - Highest Quality Solid Maple Wood and Ebony...
Name
Bunnel Premier Violin
Rating
Reviews
188 Reviews
Price
Preview
Cremona SV-175 Premier Student Violin Outfit - 4/4 Size
Name
Cremona SV-175 Premier Student Violin
Rating
Reviews
144 Reviews
Price
Preview
Stentor, 4-String Violin (1500 4/4)
Name
Stentor 4-String Cheap Violin
Rating
Reviews
328 Reviews
Price
Preview
Mendini By Cecilio Violin - MV500+92D - Size 4/4 (Full Size), Black Solid Wood - Flamed, 1-Piece Violins w/Case, Tuner, Shoulder...
Name
Mendini By Cecilio Violin - MV500+92D
Rating
Reviews
1,567 Reviews
Price
Preview
Cecilio Silent Electric Solid Wood Violin with Ebony Fittings, Electric Violin Kit in Various Colors and Styles (Cut Out - Black)
Name
Cecilio CEVN-2BK Electric Violin
Rating
Reviews
459 Reviews
Price

The Best Inexpensive Violin Reviews

When you’re on a tight budget, it may seem like you can’t get a good violin. Fortunately, there are some excellent options at a lower price point and below we’ve revied some of our favorites.

#1. Bunnel Premier Cheap Violin

Bunnel Premier Violin Outfit 4/4 Full Size - Carrying Case and Accessories Included - Highest Quality Solid Maple Wood and Ebony...
188 Reviews
Bunnel Premier Violin Outfit 4/4 Full Size - Carrying Case and Accessories Included - Highest Quality Solid Maple Wood and Ebony...
  • [HIGH-QUALITY] Our customer service team is on hand to answer ANY question and to help with your stringed instrument! Kennedy Violins is proud to...
  • [THE COMPLETE OUTFIT] We have included the HIGH-QUALITY accessories that professional players recommend in your outfit. This includes your violin,...
  • [ASSEMBLED AND QUALITY CHECKED IN THE USA] We are different than the competitors because our final assembly and set-up are in the USA, NOT in china....

The Bunnel Premier Violin is an excellent option for new violinists. It uses maple and spruce for the body, while there are also ebony and carbon fiber fittings. Bunnel finishes the instrument setup process in the US to make sure you get a great violin.

A satin oil finish makes the violin look good, so you can fit in with any violin section. Plus, you get some accessories, such as a bow, rosin, a chin rest, and a backup set of strings. That way, you can play the violin right out of the case.

You even get an introductory guide to the violin to help you start learning to play. This model comes with a 45-day money-back guarantee and a lifetime warranty. It comes in multiple sizes, including 1/16, 1/10, 1/8, 1/4, 3/4, and 4/4. That makes it a great choice for players of all ages.

#2. Cremona SV-175 Premier Inexpensive Student Violin

Sale
Cremona SV-175 Premier Student Violin Outfit - 4/4 Size
144 Reviews
Cremona SV-175 Premier Student Violin Outfit - 4/4 Size
  • Music Inc. Magazine reviews SV-175 as "designed to meet the needs of beginning and advancing students."
  • Select tonewoods for the finest possible sound. Model SV-175 is Cremona's top selling student violin for more than 30 years
  • Every Cremona student violin comes with US-made Prelude strings, the educator's preferred strings for students

Another fantastic model to consider is the Cremona SV-175 Premier Student Violin. It features maple and spruce as the two main tonewoods, and those materials offer a great sound. The violin includes a set of Prelude strings, which are perfect for students.

This model has an ebony fingerboard and fittings, and the entire instrument is lightweight. That makes it a good option for students of all ages. What’s more, you can choose from sizes 1/16 to 4/4, which means you’ll get an instrument that fits you and is easy to play.

Cremona follows national music education standards, so you can be sure you’ll get a good instrument, even on a budget. You’ll also get a bow and a light case to protect the violin. This model features a hygrometer in the case, so you can make sure there’s enough water vapor to keep the wood from drying out.

#3. Stentor Student II Budget Violin

Sale
Stentor, 4-String Violin (1500 4/4)
328 Reviews
Stentor, 4-String Violin (1500 4/4)
  • Hand crafted with fine-grained solid spruce top
  • Solid maple back
  • Full ebony fittings. Composite tailpiece integral adjusters

The Stentor Student II features a solid spruce top and a maple back. Both woods offer a warm tone, which can help you sound good from the start. This model also has a maple neck and ebony fittings, which look good and make the instrument easy to play.

The tailpiece includes fine tuners that make tuning the violin quick. Meanwhile, the brown lacquer finish can make the violin look much more expensive than it is. You’ll also get a good quality bow, and a protective case and an instrument bag.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with rosin, so you’ll need to buy that separately. Other than that, this model comes ready to play when you get it. As long as you’re big enough to play a 4/4 violin, you may find the Stentor Student II meets your needs. It may not work for young kids, but it can be a great model for adult beginners or as a backup for more advanced violinists.

#4. Mendini 4/4 MV500 + 92D Affordable Violin

Sale
Mendini By Cecilio Violin - MV500+92D - Size 4/4 (Full Size), Black Solid Wood - Flamed, 1-Piece Violins w/Case, Tuner, Shoulder...
1,567 Reviews
Mendini By Cecilio Violin - MV500+92D - Size 4/4 (Full Size), Black Solid Wood - Flamed, 1-Piece Violins w/Case, Tuner, Shoulder...
  • ELEGANT DESIGN: As beautiful as most stringed musical instruments, this violin for kids and adults has a hand-carved 1-piece maple back, neck and...
  • 4/4 VIOLIN LEARNING KIT INCLUDES: 2 bows, extra set of violin strings, a quality rosin, adjustable shoulder rest with padding and a chromatic string...
  • THE RIGHT SIZE: To measure which size violin is best, measure from the neck to the middle of your left-hand palm (as if holding an invisible violin in...

If you’re looking for a violin with plenty of accessories, check out the Mendini 4/4 MV500 + 92D. The body, neck, and sides are maple, so you can get a warm tone. There’s also a nice varnish that makes the violin look great, so you’ll fit in with a violin section.

Along with the violin, you’ll receive two bows, rosin, strings, and a shoulder rest. You even get a string tuner and metronome to help you tune the violin and practice. This is a fantastic violin for beginners as well as players with more experience, and the protective case makes it easy to store and transport the violin.

Now, you will need to set up the bridge yourself, or you can take it to a local luthier for help. That way, you can position it correctly. And you can choose between a 1/2, 3/4, and 4/4 violin to help make the instrument more comfortable for you.

#5. Cecilio CEVN-1NA Low Cost Violin

Sale
Cecilio Silent Electric Solid Wood Violin with Ebony Fittings, Electric Violin Kit in Various Colors and Styles (Full Body -...
650 Reviews
Cecilio Silent Electric Solid Wood Violin with Ebony Fittings, Electric Violin Kit in Various Colors and Styles (Full Body -...
  • Size 4/4, style 1 electric / silent violin in mahogany metallic varnish (full size)
  • Hand-carved solid maple wood body with ebony fingerboard, pegs, chin rest and tailpiece with mother of pearl inlay
  • Powered by a 9V Alkaline battery (included)

Cecilio’s CEVN-1NA is yet another affordable violin to try. It’s an electric violin, which is fantastic for practicing without disturbing others. If you want to learn and play in an apartment, for example, a silent violin is great.

But you can also hook the violin into an amp to help project your sound. Then, you can make sure that people can hear you when you play with a loud band. And if you want to use an amp to play at home, you can connect the headphones that come with the model.

The violin comes in 3/4 and 4/4 sizes, so it’s great for adults and teenagers. It also comes with a bow, rosin, and other accessories. And you can choose between different colors, so you can stand out on stage. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the weight of an acoustic violin, so it can be an excellent choice for anyone with joint problems.

#6. Mendini MV400 Cheap Violin

Sale
Mendini by Cecilio Violin Instrument – MV400 Size 4/4 Acoustic Violin with Bow, Case, Tuner, Metronome & Extra Strings, Kids...
1,005 Reviews
Mendini by Cecilio Violin Instrument – MV400 Size 4/4 Acoustic Violin with Bow, Case, Tuner, Metronome & Extra Strings, Kids...
  • A great violin for beginners, these hand-carved, solid wood, half-size violins are charming starter stringed musical instruments for students of any...
  • Our Mendini violin kit also includes a lightweight, hard carry case with backpack and shoulder straps, two Brazil wood bows, two bridges, violin...
  • This full size violin is a symphony of artistry - designed with inlaid purfling, an ebony fingerboard, an alloy tailpiece with 4 integrated fine...

The Mendini MV400 is one of the most affordable violins on the market. Maple and spruce make up the body to offer a good tone, even for beginners. Ebony fittings look good and help you play the instrument and keep it in tune. A light varnish makes the violin look unique as well.

Along with the violin, you get plenty of accessories to help you start playing. The outfit includes a shoulder rest, strings, rosin, two bows, and a tuner and metronome. You also get a book, CD, and DVD covering the first violin lesson. Everything comes in a protective case so that you don’t have to worry about damaging the violin during storage or transportation.

Like many of the best cheap violins, this one comes in different sizes, including 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and 4/4. That makes it an excellent choice for beginners of all ages. You shouldn’t have to be uncomfortable to learn how to play the violin.

#7. Bunnel Pupil Budget Violin

Bunnel Pupil Violin Outfit 4/4 Full Size Clearance By Kennedy Violins - Carrying Case and Accessories Included - Solid Maple Wood...
392 Reviews
Bunnel Pupil Violin Outfit 4/4 Full Size Clearance By Kennedy Violins - Carrying Case and Accessories Included - Solid Maple Wood...
  • [HIGH-QUALITY CLEARANCE] This instrument is marked down due to a slight cosmetic defect that does not affect playability or sound in any way. Our...
  • [THE COMPLETE OUTFIT] We have included the HIGH-QUALITY accessories that professional players recommend in your outfit. This includes a Giuliani...
  • [ASSEMBLED AND QUALITY CHECKED IN THE USA] We are different than the competitors because our final assembly and set-up are in the USA, NOT in china....

The Bunnel Pupil is a violin that’s perfect for anyone wanting to learn the instrument. It comes with a carbon fiber shoulder rest, a Brazilwood bow, and rosin. You also get an extra set of strings along with the set that comes on the violin.

To keep the violin looking good, you get a polishing cloth, and the case protects everything. That way, you can take the violin to lessons or rehearsals safely. A maple and spruce top and back offer a fantastic sound, while the ebony fittings are easy to adjust.

The satin oil finish makes the violin look more expensive. And you can even choose from the most popular violin sizes, ranging from 1/16 to 4/4. You’ll also get a 45-day money-back guarantee and a lifetime warranty on your purchase.

#8. Eastar EVA-3 Low Price Violin

Eastar 4/4 Full Size Violin Set Matte Fiddle for Kids Beginners Students Adults with Hard Case, Rosin, Shoulder Rest, Bow, Tuner...
1,402 Reviews
Eastar 4/4 Full Size Violin Set Matte Fiddle for Kids Beginners Students Adults with Hard Case, Rosin, Shoulder Rest, Bow, Tuner...
  • Eastar EVA-3 4/4 violin is made of spruce wood panel, maple back board and side plate with inlaid in antique varnish. This is primary practitioner...
  • Maple wood neck, pear-wood finger board, date wood chin rest and tail nail, aluminum alloy strain plate and four integrated fine-tuning tuners.
  • The whole violin is made entirely by hand, the black line is embedded, the surface is smooth, the vertical line with the high-grade violin is...

You probably won’t find a good violin for cheaper than the Eastar EVA-3. This model has the same design as more expensive ones, with maple and spruce making up the body. Eastar makes their violins by hand, which can help improve the quality of the end result.

The violin features dots on the strings to help you learn first position. That way, you don’t have to worry about sounding out of tune as you learn. Tuning the violin is easy, so you can start practicing within a couple of minutes.

In addition to the violin, you’ll get a bow, rosin, and an extra set of strings. It also comes with a shoulder rest and an extra bridge in case the first one breaks. The tuner helps you get the violin in tune, and you can choose from sizes ranging between 1/4 and 4/4.

#9. Vangoa Reasonable Priced Violin

Vangoa Black Full Size 4/4 Vintage Solid Wood Metallic Electronic Silent Mahogany Violin with Ebony Fittings, Carrying Case, Audio...
422 Reviews
Vangoa Black Full Size 4/4 Vintage Solid Wood Metallic Electronic Silent Mahogany Violin with Ebony Fittings, Carrying Case, Audio...
  • 【Great Material】Quality maple wood body in black metallic varnish produces a crisper, more resonant and brighter sound. Selected mahogany...
  • 【Good Sound】Carbon fiber tailpiece with 4 detachable fine tuners can tune precisely. Robust durable steel strings add richness and power to the...
  • 【Silent Practice & Amplifier Solo】Play the violin whenever you are free without bothering others, speed up your learning process by diligent...

If you’re looking for an electric violin, you may find the Vangoa model is right for you. The violin is very affordable, so it’s great for a casual player or beginner. You can use it to practice silently, which is nice if you live with others and don’t want to annoy them.

It features a lightweight body since you don’t need as much of a body as an acoustic instrument. Plus, you’ll get a pair of headphones and a cable so that you can either listen to yourself practice or use an amp.

This setup also comes with a bow, rosin, and strings. That way, you can start playing as soon as you get the instrument. Unfortunately, it’s only available in a full size, so it’s not the best for kids and smaller adults. But if you’re big enough and want to join a rock band, this is an amazing violin to consider.

#10. SKY VN201 Cheap Violin

SKY 4/4 Full Size SKYVN201 Black Violin with Lightweight Case, Brazilwood Bow, Shoulder Rest, String, Rosin and Mute
678 Reviews
SKY 4/4 Full Size SKYVN201 Black Violin with Lightweight Case, Brazilwood Bow, Shoulder Rest, String, Rosin and Mute
  • Beautiful 4/4 SKYVN201 Black student violin perfectly made for beginning Violin player.
  • Professionally set up and ready to play.
  • Package comes complete with 1 Brazil wood bow, 1 lightweight triangular violin case and 1 high quality shoulder rest.

The SKY VN201 is an amazing violin for anyone on a budget. It features a maple back and top, so you can get a nice tone from the instrument. You can choose between black, pink, bronze, and natural wood, so you can either fit in with an orchestra or stand out as a soloist.

No matter which color you select, you’ll also get a bow, rosin, and strings. The violin even comes with a mute to help lower your volume when you practice. But the mute is easy to remove when you want to project your sound more.

Everything comes in a protective case, and you also get a shoulder rest to make playing the violin comfortable. The violin also comes in different sizes, from 1/16 to 4/4, so it’s great for players of all ages. It’s an excellent choice for new players or musicians returning to the violin after years of not playing it.

How to Choose a Cheap Violin: A Buyer’s Guide

Shopping for a new violin is an exciting experience that can lead you down a rabbit hole of seemingly endless violin options.

There are violins that are for sale across a range of prices and some of them can be scarily high with the most expensive violins in the world selling for millions!

But, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to purchase a good violin and there are lots of great budget brands serving people on a budget.

So, if you are shopping for a new violin but don’t want to spend too much, don’t worry, we’ll talk you through all the options and what you need to consider before hitting the buy button.

Materials Used

The first thing to talk about when you are searching for a cheap violin is that you will need to pay attention to the materials that it’s made of.

Cheaper woods tend to be brittle and don’t allow violins to produce the best sounds.

However, there are a variety of materials, both good and bad, that are used for cheap violins.

Wood

When you are shopping for a cheap violin, look for violins that are constructed with solid wood, such as spruce and maple.

Solid wood resonates better than lower-quality wood, ultimately allowing the violin to produce a better sound and tone.

As can be expected, solid wood also has more rigidity than most other materials, providing violinists with the confidence that their violins will last for long times under a variety of conditions.

Plastic

You can also find plastic being used to make violins and most of them cater to lower budgets.

Plastic, unlike wood, is not very susceptible to the harmful effects of humidity and temperature changes so plastic violins can last much longer than wooden violins. 

However, a plastic violin will not produce the same deep and rich tones that a wooden violin can produce as plastic does not resonate and vibrate in the way that wood does.

Wood, while still rigid, also has an absorption factor to it that works to its favor when sound is involved.

Plastic, however, is rigid but is unable to absorb and reflect sound as elegantly as wood.

Size

The size of a violin is another thing that can affect its price due to the amount of material that is used to make the violin and the complexity that is involved with making a larger-sized violin.

A 1/4-sized violin, for example, will cost less than a comparable full-size violin. 

But, when you are searching for a cheap violin, you should still shop for violins that are the right size for you.

The proportions of your body will have an effect on your playing technique as a violinist, and selecting a violin that is the wrong size for you can potentially worsen your technique or force you to develop improper habits that you will then need to correct later.

It is important for you to develop proper playing habits early as a violinist so don’t sacrifice choosing a violin of the wrong size to meet the demands of your budget.

Mass Produced Violins vs Handmade Violins

To meet increasingly growing demands for violins and other musical instruments, many manufacturers have been mass-producing their instruments.

Mass production allows brands to meet the large demands of consumers while keeping manufacturing costs low and producing more products.

There are a few differences between violins that have been mass-produced and violins that have been handmade from start to finish.

Mass Produced

Mass-produced, also known as factory-made, violins are violins that are constructed in a factory using a variety of machines and workers to construct the violins.

Most mass-produced violins are created using pre-developed molds, where the shapes and structures of the violins all follow the same patterns.

The use of these machines, workers, and molds allows mass-produced violins to be developed much cheaper and quicker than most handmade violins.

Handmade Violins

Handmade violins are crafted piece-by-piece by luthiers who have perfected their crafts over several years. 

These violins are typically crafted over many weeks and months, allowing the materials of the violins to properly age and set.

If a problem is detected or an adjustment needs to be made to a violin, a luthier can skillfully make the adjustment to the violin.

There are many quality checks that are involved when hand-making a violin and manufacturing it in this way allows a luthier to also personalize the sound of the violin and make specific adjustments to the violin based on the desired outcome.

If desired, luthiers can also custom-build violins.

When you purchase a handmade violin, you are also paying for the time and skilled craftsmanship that has gone into the violin during its creation, in addition to the quality materials that the violin is crafted with.

The differences and gaps that exist between mass-produced violins and handmade violins have been getting smaller over the years with advancements in technology.

You can certainly find good violins that are mass-produced and cheap, however, there are many qualities that handmade violins have to offer that can’t be replicated by mass-produced violins. 

While you are shopping, take note of the quality of the violins that you are looking at and the sound that they produce.

Best Budget Violin Brands

There are several well-known and popular violin brands that produce good low-budget violins.

If you are shopping for a cheap violin, identify its brand so that you can research the brand online and read the reviews of its previous customers.

Mendini is a popular violin brand that offers a selection of cheap violins within the $100 to $200 range.

Cecilio is another violin brand that offers a selection of cheap violins for customers who are shopping on low budgets.

Then at a slightly higher price point (but still cheap), you’ve got brands like Bunnel, Stentor, Cremona.

How Much to Spend

When you are shopping for a cheap violin, there isn’t a set price point that will determine the quality that your violin will have. 

And how much does a violin cost is a question that has lots and lots of answers.

Depending on where you shop, who you talk to, and any sales that you may encounter, you can find decent violins for as low as $25.

However, you will surely need to be diligent in your testing and research of violins that cost below $50.

When you are shopping for cheap violins that are below $50, listen to how the violin sounds and examine the build quality of the violin.

As you inspect a cheaper violin, check to see if its parts are solidly attached to the body of the violin and that the violin won’t fall apart unexpectedly as a result of poor construction.

Alternatives to Violin Shops

When you are looking for a cheap violin, do not limit yourself to the places that people typically purchase violins from.

Expanding your search will allow you to come across many hidden gems.

There are numerous places that sell violins, both new and used, that you may have forgotten about or may have not even thought about.

Pawnshops are common places where you can find a variety of instruments for sale at large discounts, including violins.

Violins are typically brought to pawn shops by people who no longer play the instrument, or may have never used the instrument, in exchange for cash or loans.

The quality of violins that you will find in pawnshops can vary, as the violins are brought in by a range of people, from musical enthusiasts to professional violinists.

If you have some time during your weekends and are not in a rush to purchase your next violin, you may also find cheap violins at garage sales.

At garage sales, you will find many great bargains and can negotiate on a personal level with the sellers.

Conclusion: Which One Should You Buy?

When some violins cost millions of dollars, it can be easy to think that you have to spend a lot to get a good instrument.

Fortunately, there are lots of great cheap violins on the market as you can see from our reviews above.

If you’re on a tight budget, and you’re still on the fence about which one to go for, we’d recommend the Bunnel Premier Violin.

The sound quality, durability, the fact that it comes with a case, bow, and other accessories, and of course the affordable price makes it a great choice.

But don’t be afraid to compare it to some other options to make sure it’s the right instrument for you.

Bunnel Premier Violin Outfit 4/4 Full Size - Carrying Case and Accessories Included - Highest Quality Solid Maple Wood and Ebony...
188 Reviews
Bunnel Premier Violin Outfit 4/4 Full Size - Carrying Case and Accessories Included - Highest Quality Solid Maple Wood and Ebony...
  • [HIGH-QUALITY] Our customer service team is on hand to answer ANY question and to help with your stringed instrument! Kennedy Violins is proud to...
  • [THE COMPLETE OUTFIT] We have included the HIGH-QUALITY accessories that professional players recommend in your outfit. This includes your violin,...
  • [ASSEMBLED AND QUALITY CHECKED IN THE USA] We are different than the competitors because our final assembly and set-up are in the USA, NOT in china....
Photo of author
Written by Izaak Walton
Izaak Walton is a violinist and violin teacher based out of Denver, Colorado. Izaak received a Master’s in Violin Performance at the University of Denver, and a Bachelor’s in Violin Performance from the University of Georgia. Exposed to a variety of violin methods and musical styles, Izaak built passions for music history, literature, and violin technique.