How Much Does a Violin Cost?

Are you past the stage of renting a violin and would like to have your own? If you have already learned the basics and would like to develop your skills further, having your own violin is the next logical step. But how much does a violin cost?

The cost of a violin ranges from about $100 to $100,000. Some rare violins that are centuries old can cost several million dollars. If you are a beginner, you will need a more suitable violin to your present level without being too expensive. A budget of about $400 to $2,000 will be decent enough.

There is a wide range of violin costs because of the many factors that come into play in determining their prices. For instance, violins for students are definitely more affordable than violins for professional musicians who play in symphony orchestras.  

Read on to learn more about the cost of a violin, factors that determine the cost, and the price range for different types of violins.

How Much Does a Violin Cost?

how much does a violin cost

The price of violins ranges from $100 to $100,000. Violin prices are that broad and wide because many factors determine their actual costs. Not all violins are the same. There are violins for students and violins for professional musicians.

Obviously, it is not wise for a beginner to buy a very expensive Stradivarius as they are just starting to learn how to play the instrument – unless they are wealthy. Likewise, it is wrong for a violinist in a professional symphony orchestra to use a student violin during a paid performance. That’s why the prices of violins are that wide apart.

As a student learning the violin, it is wiser to spend between $400 and $2,000 for your first violin. To economize, you can also start with a smaller violin. And then, as you develop your skills further, you can upgrade to a larger violin that is a bit pricier.

It is best to buy your own violin once you have reached a certain skill level. When you are at this stage, you can consider violins that range from $1,000 to $3,000. This is the recommendation of Matthew Fritz, the director of sales at Carriage House Violins.

Average Cost of Violins According to Skill Level

It is best if you could match a certain violin to your current skill level. Here are the prices of violins that you can expect for players or violinists’ particular skill levels

Children

Parents who want to see if their children will take to the violin can buy a cardboard violin. For small children, the size is 1/32. If you have the money, you can buy a real violin in the same size. This will be enough until your kid shows interest in playing the instrument. The most you should budget for this is $100.

Beginners

A beginner violin is best for those who really want to play the instrument. The price of this type of violin ranges from $70 to $270. There are more expensive ones, but at this point, there is really no need to buy them because of quality.

If someone is selling you a used violin, check if there are warps or cracks on the instrument’s body. Check if the neck is still straight and if there’s no problem with the ribs. It’s best if the bow and the case are included in the price.  

Intermediate Students

There is a wide range of prices of violins for intermediate students. Some cheaper models can be had at $350, including the bow, strings, and case. The more expensive ones, some of which are handmade, will cost you around $1,450.

Advanced Students

Those who reach this skill level already know what they need. They have mastered the fundamentals and are now developing an artful way of doing it. Quality and craftsmanship are the order of the day when you reach this level.

The price range of violins at this level is from $3,000 to $6,000. These violins offer a better and wider dynamic range. Violins at the top price level are typically antique instruments that are well preserved.

They are often with a pedigree in the 1900s. When wood matures, the value of the instrument rises. Stradivarius replicas are the most appreciated by violinists at this skill level because of their sound quality.

Professionals

These types of violins are the modern ones you see being used by many pop music artists. They are the modern versions of the classical violins. You can get a good violin of this type at around $170. But, it won’t produce any sound unless you hook it up in an amplifier. A good quality amp usually costs around $130.

Factors That Determine the Cost of a Violin

Many things influence the final cost of a particular violin. As you can see from the above, the prices of violins are very dissimilar and very wide.

Here are the factors that influence violin prices:

1. Brand

Buying a musical instrument because of its name recall is not always a good thing. However, there is also some value in considering the brand. The top brands in the industry have made a name for themselves because they have proven their musical instruments‘ quality and durability through the years.

It goes to say that the more respected and popular the brand of the violin is, the higher its price will be. So, remember to check the brand of the violin that you are thinking of buying. But don’t ignore cheap imitations because they are also built based on the template of the original. Just don’t forget the quality of the craftsmanship and the sound the violin produces.

2. Size

Violinists have different sizes ranging from small to large. The violins’ size that each of them plays will have to be adjusted according to their body sizes. This is the reason why violin manufacturers build different sizes of violins.

There are violins for short people, violins for tall people, and violins for average-sized people. So, there are baby violins, partial or fractional size violins, and full-size violins. Baby violins are for small kids, partial violins are for children and smaller adults, and full-size violins are mostly for adults.

Baby and partial size violin don’t cost as much as full-size violins because of two reasons. The first one is that children using baby and partial size violins may need to trade their starter violins as they grow up. And then these violins do not produce the same sound quality as the full-sized ones.

The violin sizes and the people that they are designed for are the following:

  • 1/32 size – the smallest violin for children aged 1 to 3 years old.
  • 1/16 size – for children from three to five years old, with an arm length of around 14 inches.
  • 1/10 size – for four to five years old child, with an arm length of around15 inches.
  • 1/8 size – for children from four to six years old, with an arm length of 17 inches.
  • 1/4 size – for five to seven years old musician, with an arm length of18.5 to 19 inches.
  • 1/2 size – for children seven to nine years old, with an arm length of 20.5 inches.
  • 3/4 size – for children nine to twelve years old, with an arm length of 21 inches.
  • 7/8 size – this is a rare violin size and not easy to find, with an arm length of 22 to 22.5 inches
  • 4/4 size – this is the full-size violin, with an arm length of 23 to 23.5 inches. This is the violin size for people who are taller than 5 feet.
how much does a good violin cost

3. Origin

Most of the violins that are under $1,500 are made in China. From 1995 to 2005, the quality of the violins made in this country was below standards. Now, things have changed. China workshops that produce violins turn out the best instruments within their price ranges.

Many Chinese violins have won Gold Medals in violin-making contests organized by the VSA (Violin Society of America). Aside from Germany, the country that produces violins in consistently good quality in China.

4. Age

The age of the violin is also considered in determining its price. Usually, the older a violin gets, the higher its price will be because it is becoming rare. However, this should not be the sole reason why you should buy a violin.

You should also look at its condition. Check for excessive wear of varnish and cracks and warps. If these imperfections are present, the violin should not be so expensive. And always check if the sounds it produces are still vibrant, wide, and dynamic. 

5. Craftsmanship and Material

The appearance of the violin will also determine if its price will be high or low. If the artistry that made the violin high-quality, refined, and smooth, it will command a high price. Additionally, the type and quality of the wood used in the violin will also influence its price.

6. Condition of the Instrument

The price of a brand new and high-quality violin will be high. It is a good investment. However, an old violin, which has retained its original sound quality with a body that remained intact, will also be high-priced.

In general, the price of a used violin is about 30% to 50% lower than a new one. But if the used one’s brand and quality are high, it may still command a hefty price.

7. Store or Seller

The store where the violin is sold also influences its price. All things considered, if it is a reputable store, you can expect the price of the violin to be higher. There’s also some value to buying a violin from a reputable store.

They will likely help you find the right violin for your skill level, size, and budget. The store staff can also help you get the accessories that you will need to play the violin.

8. Accessories

When buying a violin, it is not the only thing you need to buy to play it. You will need a bow, a set of strings, an appropriate case, and all the required accessories. These things will also add up to the final price of the violin.

There are some accessories that you can buy later on. But there are accessories that you need to buy at the same time that you buy the violin.

How much does a good violin cost? The price of a good violin varies from about $1,000 up to the hundreds of thousands of dollars. These really expensive violins are antique or historical instruments made by famous violin makers.

Next, let’s look at the price ranges for different types of violins.

Price Ranges of Different Types of Violins

Now you know why the price of violins is broad and wide-ranging. Here are the types and qualities of violins that you can buy at certain price ranges:

$200 to $500

These are the cheapest violins that you can buy at music stores. They are entry-level violins that are usually China-made.

$600 to $1,000

These are better quality violins, usually hand-finished and made of high-quality wood. They are good for intermediate violin players.

$1,000 to $2,000

These violins are usually hand-finished with refined craftsmanship. Their timber grains are attractive, enhancing the aesthetics of the instrument. They are more suited for advanced students.

$2,000 to $3,000

These are the violins that are made of high-quality wood and built by skilled craftsmen. They produce enhanced tones and overtones. In this price range, you have to buy a separate bow and case.

$3,000 to $5,000

These violins are typically owned by violinists who have been playing for over five years. They are also good backup instruments for professional violinists.

$5,000 to $10,000

Violins of this price range are usually made in Europe. They are for violinists who have been playing the instrument semi-professionally or professionally for more than ten years.

$10,000 plus and over

Only about 2% to 3% of violins existing in the world are in this price range. This is what most semi-professional and professional violinist would like to play and own.

How Much Should You Pay for a Violin?

how much do violins cost

The ideal violin is suited to your current skill level, budget, and the possible performances where you will use it. Choose a violin that will last for many years, even if it is slightly more than your budget.

It should be a violin that you can grow into. The more you play it, the greater should be the complexity of the sounds that you will be able to create. With violins that cost more than $2,000, there will only be about 2 to 4 craftsmen labored to bring it to life.

For a $3,000 violin, it is more likely that only one person created it. It is truly a labor of love. You should also consider the cost of a violin bow because, at this price level, there might be no accessories included.  

With violins that cost anywhere between $400 and $1,000, there is a high probability that before a violin comes into being, it was worked over by many people. That means if there is a weak link in the chain, the violin’s quality will be adversely affected.

Conclusion: How Much Do Violins Cost?

A violin’s cost can range from $100 to $100,000 depending on the size, make, brand, and other factors. Violins that are centuries old can cost as high as several million dollars. The price of a good quality violin can be anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000.  For a beginner, the violin most suited to this skill level can go from $200 to $2,000.

How much does a good violin cost? The price of a good violin varies from about $1,000 up to the hundreds of thousands of dollars. These really expensive violins are antique or historical instruments made by famous violin makers.

Studying how to play the violin and actually getting to play it is a pretty exciting journey! But first, you have to decide what sort of violin you should get. Explore your options, and keep in mind the following factors that affect a violin’s price:

  1. Brand
  2. Size
  3. Origin
  4. Age
  5. Craftmanship and Material
  6. Condition of the Instrument
  7. Store or Seller
  8. Accessories

So, that’s that! Good luck on finding the violin that’ll accompany you on your musical journey!