Are you in search of a quality violin without breaking the bank?
You’ve landed at the right spot.
Because today we’re going to review six great violin options to help you find the very best violin under 500 dollars.
The list below is based on the cost, quality, and sound.
So whether you’re a beginner or expert, you’ll love the violins in this guide.
Let’s dive right in.
1. D Z Strad Violin Model 101 4/4 – Full Size
This brand is also known as D Z America. It is a popular American violin manufacturer as well as for other string instruments.
D Z Strad produces a range of both classic and contemporary instruments.
The model 101 violin is perfect for beginner players. However, we do not recommend it for intermediate players.
- Curved top
- Made with carefully chosen tight grain spruce
- Violin back and sides are made of maple
- Fingerboard construction comprises Ebony material
- The violin is available in full size 4/4 and 3/4, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32
- D Z Strad 101 has fortified its place among private violin tutors and Suzukis
- The easy playability of this violin keeps the student motivated
- The hand-feel is appropriate for students
- The violin is hand-carved from seasoned tonewood
- The violin comes as a set of a bow, rosin, shoulder rest, and a case to carry everything inside.
- This is not a professional violin, and it’s exclusively for beginners
2. Forzati FZV600 4/4 Full Size Violin Set
Even though Forzati is an Italian name, this violin isn’t made in Italy. This is probably the only disappointment that you will encounter with the FZV600.
- The violin is handcrafted with careful craftsmanship
- The top is carved solid spruce tonewood
- The sides and back are made of flamed maple
- Black ebony fingerboard and an ornamental mother of pearl inlay makes the Forzati a good-looking violin
- The varnish is a unique Copal gum finish
- The ebony chin rest is ergonomically designed
- The tailpiece is constructed with a lightweight composite material. Four fine tuners are attached for easy tuning
- The tuning knob is made of durable wood
- The sound quality of this violin is exceptional for a budget violin. You can describe it as loud and bright
- Forzati violin provides video samples to let buyers know what the violin sounds like before purchase. The sound is as close to the original as possible
- This is one of the purchases that you will feel justified and get value for the money
- The violin is shipped with an installation manual. If your case is missing one, the manufacturer recommends that you get in touch with them before you attempt to fix anything
- It’s not assembled before shipping as a precaution. Transporting a fully-assembled violin may cause damage to the body in transit. You have to find a professional to assemble the bridge and the strings.
- The soundpost is another part that may be affected during shipping. Bumps on the road may loosen the soundpost. It is also susceptible to cold, the wood will contract, and it will expand when it is hot. These changes may cause the soundpost to drop off.
Note: A luthier will easily fix your soundpost if it comes in loose. It is nothing to worry about except the extra fee you’ll spend on repairs.
Another separate cost you’ll spend after purchasing the violin set is on a 3-volt CR2032 battery for the tuner. It is not included as part of the package.
The whole set shipped contains a lightweight, rigid foam violin storage case—a bow made of octagonal Brazilwood and high-class rosin.
Other items in the set are an adjustable wooden tuner and shoulder rest. There is an extra bow, an extra set of violin strings, an e-book, and a bridge packed as a bonus.
Forzati FZV600 violin is suitable for learners, intermediate players, and advanced/professional violinists.
3. Bunnel Pupil Violin Outfit 1/4 Size Clearance By Kennedy Violins
Mr. Joel Kennedy, the founder of Kennedy violins, observed that beginner violin students tend to use VSOs (Violin Shaped Objects).
VSOs are essentially very cheaply-made violins that can be found for very low prices on the internet – much lower than $500. Mr. Kennedy felt that VSOs can actually hinder the ability of a student to learn how to play the violin.
That’s where the Bunnel pupil violin outfit comes in. It is great for all ages who are trying to learn how to play.
And this violin is no VSO. Even though it costs less than $500, the quality of the Bunnel matches that of higher-priced violins. It is considered one of the best starter violins for both kids and adults.
- Produces a sweet sound that can be described as warm and mellow
- The exterior construction is a beautiful chocolate color with a hint of red polish and a matte finish
- The violin comes packed in an oblong Portland case
- Bunnel pupil violin set includes a classic shoulder rest, a polishing cloth, and a Giuliani Brazilwood bow and rosin
- Violin uses prelude strings. These are the best choice for student strings because they are durable, affordable, and sound good
- The 1-year warranty included is a sign of faith in this affordable violin
- Handcrafted with maple and spruce to improve the violin tone
- It comes fully assembled. Students can start playing the violin straight away
- There have been complaints about the shoulder rest. Learners have reported that it can crack or break
- The violin straps are fairly weak
The Bunnel Pupil Violin ¼ by Kennedy Violins offers an excellent choice at a pocket-friendly price. You will spend less than 500 dollars to get yourself started in the world of violins.
4. Bunnel Pupil Violin Outfit 3/4 Size By Kennedy Violins
Kennedy violins are passionate about creating affordable and playable violins for pupils. The Bunnel ¾ size violin is one of them.
- The Bunnel ¾ size violin is handcrafted with maple and spruce
- Ebony fittings
- Polished with a satin oil finish
- It comes with a hygrometer to measure the amount of humidity
- The pupil violin set comes packed with the following items:
- One violin
- Giuliani Brazilwood bow
- Giuliani Rosin
- Pre-installed Prelude strings
- Oblong Portland violin case
- Extra set of Portland strings
- Portland carbon fiber shoulder rest
- Polishing cloth
- The violin is shipped assemble and ready to play out of the box. The assembly is done by Kennedy Violins luthiers based in Washington State.
- The Bunnel pupils line of violins is all guaranteed a lifetime warranty.
- The 45 days money-back guarantee in case you are not happy with the product.
- The company is known for having the best customer care service in the state of Washington.
- There have been complaints the bow is heavier than the average violin bow
- Good luck finding this product in stock. It is a hot commodity that sells out fast
5. Electric Violin Bunnel Edge Outfit 4/4 Full Size (BLUE)
This is yet another highly rated product from Kennedy Violins. The electric violin plays with a clear tone and high amplification.
- Set-up and assembled by luthiers. This explains the impressively rich and clear tones
- Power supplied by the piezo ceramic pick-up
- The amp has a ¼-inch output jack
- The headphones jack is ⅛ -inch output
- The whole set includes:
- a Portland carrying case
- Giuliani Brazilwood bow with horsehair
- Over-the-ear headphones
- Prelude strings
- Rosin by Kennedy Violins
- Accessible control sliders for easy volume control and tone change
- This is a quality product that guarantees a high performance
- Backed by a lifetime warranty
- Money-back guarantee within 45 days
- The violin is frequently out of stock
- It is available in only one size
6. MH Master Handcraft Violin Professional Fiddle 7/8 Geige Violin
The MH handcrafted professional fiddle is suitable for solo, expert, and concert players.
- The violin is fully handcrafted with expert artistry
- The back is a construction of handpicked and air-dried, and flamed maple
- The top is a delightful symmetrical construction of spruce
- A luthier professionally does the bridge cutting and set up
- It spots an antique finish that enhances the warm tone of the violin
- Made with Perlon strings
- Ready to play by the time it leaves the shop
- The antique finish is carefully applied and layered to enhance the tone. It ends up creating a good-looking instrument as well
- Excellent construction with handpicked tonal woods
- The process of drying and assembling the Maple and Spruce is intentional in a way that enhances the tone
- Professional set-up by luthiers
- The bridge has a parchment protector, which makes the string last longer
- One of the most expensive violins on the list
Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced Violins – What is the Difference?
Apart from size and type, violins are also classified according to the skill level it takes to play.
The classification according to skill level is as follows:
Beginner violins have repeatedly been the object of many misconceptions.
The term “beginner violin” keeps being associated with low-quality violins. In turn, low quality is associated with budget violins. This is not necessarily true.
In the recent past, beginner violins are branded VSOs (violin-shaped objects). This is because manufacturers usually mass-produced them in a factory with the cheapest tonewoods that they could find.
Many violin brands have changed the game with better and yet affordable beginner violins.
Beginner violins are for learners who are trying out their hands in playing. It is also for anyone who is experimenting with instruments to see what they like.
The progress in making better quality violins encourage students to make better progress.
The production of intermediate violins began as a result of beginner violin players.
Since the reputation of learner violins was so bad, companies created a new category. The intermediate class is for dedicated students who want to step their game up a notch.
Intermediate violin sets are generally made of tonewoods of average to high quality. They are intended to last longer than VSOs.
Playability rather than the cost factor guides the choice of strings. The sound will be above average.
Intermediate violins generally have excellent construction from Maple and Spruce. The fingerboards are made of ebony.
Bridge and string fittings are made by violin masters so that it is ready to play at the time of purchase.
You are an advanced violin player when your playing technique develops significant character.
Advanced violins can handle the demanding requirements of the performance. They are ideal for graduate students as well as professional performing artists.
Final Thoughts on Violin Classifications
Classification of violins varies from manufacturers to regions.
In some places, the student violin is the beginner, and all else are professional violins. Advanced and intermediate instruments fall into the same category.
Since classification tends to vary, the only way to make an accurate comparison is subjective to the buyer.
Buying the Best Violin Under 500 Dollars: In-Store vs. Online
So you have identified the kind of violin you want, and the next step is to look for a shop selling one.
You have two choices to consider. You can either visit a music shop or buy it online. Both of these options have their own merits.
Whatever you choose, it is essential to do your due diligence. It would be best if you found out whether the store is genuine and authorized to sell violins.
Customer reviews will help you know whether a store is trusted or not.
Once you know what you’re looking for, you can have the assurance that you’ll get a quality product.
The main advantage of purchasing a violin in-store is that you can perform a sound test.
You can get the feel of the violin and ask the luthier questions. If a luthier is not present in the shop, then an equally skilled shop owner will help.
When you are in a shop, check for the following items:
- Violin case
Once you are happy with everything you see, you can move on to the music it makes. Maybe your perfect violin will choose you instead.
Online Violin Purchase
Buying things online saves one the inconvenience of having to go to a store.
Browsing in different online stores helps you to compare prices and choose the best deal.
The best part of online shopping is reading unbiased reviews from verified buyers. Reviews influence purchases by helping you to make an informed decision.
The downside of buying a musical instrument online is that you can’t test the instrument beforehand.
Some stores offer an option of sending video sound samples to navigate around this problem.
Other companies go a step further to offer prospective clients violins for home trials. Others offer refunds if you do not like the product.
Our advice on buying online is to do a lot of research first. This article already gives you a head start by listing some brands that you can trust.
We went over some of the best violins available for a relatively low price. You now know about the types of violins you ought to consider.
Although what we have compiled is extensive, it is not exhaustive, so keep on researching.
Purchasing a violin is a personal experience. As you make your choice, let your ears do the judging.
Sometimes the lowest price tag creates the most beautiful sound. We hope you’re now able to find the best violin under 500 dollars!
And make sure to check out some of our other buying guides and product reviews!