Violins or fiddles for that matter are known to produce a penetrating, soothing and transcendent sound. These stringed musical instruments are cherished by musicians worldwide. But how much does a violin cost? This is a question asked by many beginner violinists. The intermediate and professionals as well, seek to find how much a good violin costs within their category.
Well, a violin is usually priced between $150 and $10,000 but to put this query to bed completely, we will analyze the price range for each set of violin players. Moreover, we are going to give you some of the common factors affecting the price of a violin.
A beginner violin will cost you between 150$ and $500.
A perfect example of a beginner violin is the Bunnel Pupil Violin.
Intermediate violins usually cost between $500 and $2000.
A great example of an Intermediate violin will have to be the Louis Carpini G2 Violin.
To get a good professional violin, you would have to spend between $2000 and $10,000, sometimes even more.
A good example of a professional violin is the DZ Strad Model N615 Violin.
Factors Affecting the Violin Price
The Violin Brand
There are numerous violin brands out there. Some of the common ones include: Stentor, Mendini, Cecilio, Fiddlerman, Cremona, Knilling, Yamaha and Windsor. The prices of different brands differ depending on popularity, quality and rarity. Stentor are known to make some of the best acoustic violin brands at an affordable price. If you are searching for low and mid-budget beginner violins, then you might consider going for Mendini. Other brands with some reasonable prices are: Knilling, Windsor and Cremona. If you have no problem parting with some extra cash, then you might consider a Carlo Lamberti brand as you advance.
The brands mentioned above, produce some great affordable violins but there are other brands known for their highly priced violins. These brands include the likes of Stradivarius, Guarneri, Amati, Stainer, Snow and DZ Strad. Stradivarius in particular, is hailed as the best violin brand out there. The quality it produces is unmatched, but to get a true one you would have to spend millions of dollars. This is because there are less of them left in the world and the ones made are mostly replicas of the original. The replicas are not sold cheap as well.
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The workmanship or craftsmanship is one of the biggest determinants of the price of a violin. To make a high quality violin, requires tremendous amount of work and time. Violins which are priced at around $2000 are usually made in a workshop by some few individuals, normally 3 to 4. When you go higher, for example $5000 and above, you get violins crafted by a single highly-skilled individual. This craftsman does everything alone by hand, from the beginning to the end. He also does the varnishing and labeling. Such work needs to be done with a certain degree of precision, accuracy as well as creativity.
The wood used should also be of high quality and aged to a certain degree to produce the best sound. That is why we call these people master luthiers. Furthermore, one can have his/her violin customized by them to meet their needs and style of play. So to get a violin crafted by a master luthier, you will have to pay a lot more than the cheap factory-made violins under $150. This will compensate the craftsman for the time and effort used to make the violin while giving you a very high quality fiddle.
The Violin Wood
The type of wood used in the construction of a violin can drastically affect its sound and price. The higher the quality of wood, the better the sound you get and hence the more money you will have to spend. A great violin or fiddle, is usually made with the utmost regard to the section a certain wood type should be placed. Spruce wood should be used to make the top, followed by maple wood for the bottom and then ebony for the chin rest, fingerboard and the pegs.
European wood are considered to be more expensive than the Chinese and American wood because of the warm and lovely tone they produce. Although this has been debated by some few people, you cannot deny the fact that Europeans have been selecting wood for years and hence have better experience. The wood chosen should be dried and aged well or else it won’t be as good. Professional violinists can be able to note the difference in wood and quality at first glance but this may be difficult for a beginner. You can however check the fineness of the grain and the flame/tiger strip at the top and back respectively. Usually, a violin with high flame content will be priced higher than one with less content.
The Violin Strings
As a violinist, you should know that there are numerous different violin strings out there. You should also know that the violin string you use affects the character of sound of your violin as well as the ease of bringing the desired sound to life. The sound character includes both the volume and the tone quality. With this difference in quality, you would understand why violins with certain strings are priced higher.
Violin strings can be classified into three: the gut core strings, the steel core strings and the synthetic core strings. The gut core strings were the first strings to be used on a violin. They are commonly used by professionals and are more expensive. The steel core strings can be bought at a lower price compared to both the gut and synthetic strings, therefore making violins with such strings cheaper. They are usually perfect for jazz and folk musicians. The synthetic strings are considered the most popular strings used by musicians. The pitch produced by violins with these strings is stable. They are cheaper than the gut core strings.
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We hope that with the above information, we have given you an extensive and complete answer to how much a violin costs. We would like to advise you to always go for quality rather than price. The purpose of buying a violin is to enjoy its true beautiful sound and not the one that makes you want to quit playing. If you have doubts about the price or quality of a violin, you should ask your teacher or fellow violin friends to help you pick the right one.