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How Much Does A Violin Cost?

Last Updated on March 16, 2023
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by CFA Alexander Popinker

The violin is one of the most lyrical musical instruments, being one of the most widespread in the world of music, being composed of strings and a bow. The violin made its debut in the first half of the sixteenth century and is an instrument that is intended more for solo performances.

It consists of a resonant box, with 4 strings on one side that vibrate when touched with the bow or when simply pinched.

In the string musical instrument series, the violin is the smallest instrument that emits the highest sounds. The violin makes a beautiful, crystalline sound that is often at the forefront of the orchestra’s instruments.

Many people are overwhelmed by the number of different models available on the market. Obviously, you want to choose the best you can get within your budget, but if you have never played such an instrument, you might encounter small problems.

How much does a violin cost?

The cost of a violin ranges from $100 up to $50,000. Usually, they are categorized for three types of musicians, so a violin’s price for a beginner may have an average price of $500, a good intermediate one can be about $1,000 – $2,000, and for a professional violinist the price can start from $5,000 and go up to $50,000.

The cost varies depending on the materials used, the procedure, and, of course, the workforce. Traditionally made ones are more expensive than industrially manufactured ones. In general, there are three levels of experience you can have, and depending on this, there are beginner, intermediate, and professional violins.

Beginner level $100 – $800

In general, a violin for beginners is made of low-quality materials, and the assembly, shaping, and finishing are made by several mechanized processes. The handwork here is present in a much smaller proportion.

Another feature is the presence of attachments: Chinrest and keys. They are suitable for someone who wants to learn to play this instrument, but isn’t sure he will play it for a very long time and, as a result, he is not willing to invest too much time.

Intermediate level $500 – $3.000

Between the beginner and professional models, we find those for the intermediate level. Some stores and brands omit this category, distinguishing only between student and master models.

However, it is a very practical category for musicians who have begun to realize that they need a better sound than the one offered by the beginner violin.

So, when you don’t have a budget for a professional model, it’s helpful to be able to invest a reasonable amount in a model that can help you get a better sound.

Professional level $2.000+

There are violins for the professional level with the price starting from $2,000, but many say that a good violin for this level costs at least $5,000. At the same time, many music schools in the USA expect you to have an instrument that costs $15,000 to $30,000, in order to achieve the clearest sounds.

The professional violin or the model for masters, unlike the above models, will be built from quality materials. Often it is a type of wood that develops in cold climates and is left to a slow drying process.

You might also like our articles about the cost of a banjo, a harp, or a saxophone.

They are built by a craftsperson and assembled by a master luthier. The varnishing technique is of high quality, with components such as an ebony neck and wooden cord.

Excellent materials and the craftsman’s skill increase the value of these tools and make them suitable for professional use, and for advanced users.

Additional costs

You also need to keep the violin at a mild temperature and moderate humidity, and you need to make sure you keep it clean. Here are the accessories you will need to be able to maintain the instrument, which will also involve some additional costs:

  • Cover – don’t assume that the violin will come in a pouch or box. If you buy a set, you will receive the violin, a case, a bag, and an archer. But if the manufacturer does not offer them in the initial purchase, you may need to buy the box separately, which may cost you about $200-$400.
  • Humidifier – the acoustic violin must be kept in an environment with a relative humidity of 45% – 50% to avoid damage to the wood. If you live in a dry climate area, you will need to purchase a humidifier, especially for instruments. This will cost you another $20 to $40.
  • Cleaning elements – you will also need to buy special solutions and materials to clean the violin, for which you’ll pay around $20.
  • Strings – depending on how much you play the violin, it is recommended to change the strings every 6 or 12 months, adding some extra expenses to your budget ranging from $20 to $90 per set.
  • Chinrest – is a necessary element to allow the violin to be supported comfortably. A chinrest can cost from $20 up to $200.

Factors that influence the cost of a violin

Type of ViolinThe quality of the wood is a part with great influence on the price of the violin. There are several species of spruce that are used for the face of violins. Some users prefer one over the other. Trees that grow in colder climates produce a denser, more resonant sound, which makes this type of wood a high-quality material.

The more a piece of spruce is allowed to mature, the drier and stronger it becomes. So, a spruce that grows at a high altitude, and is treated for decades before being molded into a violin, will produce a high-quality instrument.

Another consideration is the beauty of the wood texture. The most refined spruce will have an appearance similar to a flame. Fine-modeled violins involve several spruce pieces that are meticulously joined to create an attractive pattern.

The quality of the varnishing of the violin will also influence the final price. The refined violins are finished with thin layers of varnish and are carefully polished between each layer. The lakes contain pigments that give the instrument a delightful patina while highlighting the beautiful texture of the wood.

Besides the wood‘s great influence on a violin’s price you should also consider the following ones:

  1. Whether it was built by a craftsperson or in an industrialized factory;
  2. The country of origin of the instrument
  3. The violin’s age & condition, as there are many antiquities that are really damaged;
  4. The violin size;
  5. Who sells it;
  6. Whether or not it includes the bow and the other accessories added.

Is it worth buying a second-hand violin?

A violin, in order to be at a higher technical level, must be used. The longer it stays in the box, the lower its value will be, and it is much more difficult to put it back into operation. If you want a cheap and good violin, a better model, but the budget does not allow you to buy a new violin, then it is more advantageous to try a second-hand violin.

If the instrument has been well cared for and used constantly, then it is clearly a good variant, both for a beginner and an experienced violinist.

It is not easy to play the violin, especially if you have the wrong one in your hands. In order to make your work easier and exercise your passion with a great deal, it is advisable to look for an instrument that is the ideal size for your body. Try several models to find the most comfortable one for you, and if you have any difficulties, ask for help from a specialist.

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