Purchasing a violin is a big decision for either a beginner or advanced violinist because it is an expensive investment. However, many musicians and violinists are now opting for modern instruments because of their cost, ease of use, and great quality. For this reason, instruments by the best modern violin maker and bow makers are gaining popularity worldwide.

Here is a straightforward and simple guide to help you know more about the best makers of violin, whether you're a beginner violinist or an intermediate one, considering the quality and affordability of the violins.

Why Modern Violin Makers?

Modern violins can be played by young soloists, orchestral players, and chamber musicians. It is this versatility of the modern instruments that make them attractive among musicians. In addition, all modern viola makers feature incredible craft and dedication to their work of art, unlike the old Italian makers.

Furthermore, the quality of their instruments is exceptional, whether a contemporary instrument or one for classical music. Like the old masters, as the instruments continue to age, they also become better.

To help you find the best modern violin maker or bow maker, we have compiled a list of the five best brands in the violin-making industry that you need to watch out for. The following brands include some established brands as well as some who are still trying to make a name for themselves in the violin-making industry.

1. Cecilio

Cecilio is one of the violin makers, and they attract violinists from all levels with their high quality and handcrafted violins. This brand is named after St. Cecilia, a patron saint of music and musicians. Although their products may not be as heavenly as the Stradivarius or Guarneri, they definitely come at an affordable cost. Here are some of the quality instruments from this brand;

Cecilio CVN-300 Violin- Best for Beginners

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Mendini By Cecilio Violin For Kids &...
  • Great Violin For Beginners: The beginner violin is an ideal stringed musical instrument for any student who has dreams of playing music. The set includes all the necessities to start learning how to play.
  • Elegant Design: As beautiful as most stringed musical instruments, these violins for beginners have a solid spruce top and antique finish with inlaid purfling. Along with an ebony fingerboard, pegged chin rest, and tailpiece, it is a work of art
  • Violin Learning Kit Includes: Cecilio violin dressed in D'Addario Prelude strings, 2 bows, an extra bridge, a quality rosin, adjustable shoulder rest with padding, a chromatic string tuner with metronome, and a lightweight hard case for transport.
  • Basic Technique: Set includes a Mendini Violin First Lesson book with instruction on basic techniques and lessons on how to read music. Also, a companion download (available online) has exercises and pieces recorded with solo violin and piano accompaniment.
  • Handle With Care: The adult or kids violin, like most band & orchestra musical instruments, is delicate. Please note the bridge will not be setup to avoid damage during shipping. NOTE: Tuning pegs must be handled with care and pushed in when adjusting.

The Cecilio CVN-300 violin comes at a very reasonable price, considering it comes with all the necessary items required in violin playing. Beginner violinists tend to benefit more from this Cecilio violin; however, it can be played by both starter violinists to intermediate players.

PROS

  • Includes D’Addario Prelude strings
  • Designed with a solid and durable maple side and back
  • The violin fitting and fingerboard are made from an attractive ebony
  • Antique varnish finish

CONS

  • Sometimes the pegs may slip, causing a challenge to beginners
  • The bow and rosin are a bit substandard.

Cecilio CVN-600 1-Piece Back Solidwood Violin- Best for Advanced Users

Cecilio CVN-600 Hand Oil Rub Highly...
  • Size 4/4 (Full Size) violin with hand-carved highly flamed 1-piece maple back & sides (wood aged for over 7 years), solid grained spruce top
  • Beautiful inlaid purfling & hand rubbed oil finish, with ebony fingerboard, pegs, chin rest and tailpiece with 4 detachable fine tuner
  • Strung with D'Addario Prelude Strings. Avoid direct or extended exposure sunlight, rain, heaters, air conditioners
  • Includes: Cecilio chromatic tuner, lesson book, oblong case with hydrometer, 2 x Brazilwood bows with unbleached genuine Mongolian horsehair, quality rosin cake, adjustable shoulder rest, and an extra bridge
  • 1 Year Warranty Against Manufacturer's Defects

The Cecilio CVN-600 1-Piece Back Solidwood Violin boasts a great violin quality that does not only last longer but is also one of the beautiful instruments in the violin-making industry. Professional users can attest to the additional quality that ensures you won't have to change the bowstrings frequently.

This top-quality Cecilio violin is known to last for a good number of years, and you can hand it down to the family. This makes it a great sentimental buy as well as one instrument that will provide greater music for a good number of years.

PROS

  • Hand rubbed beautiful finish
  • A good quality case is included
  • Nice ebony fittings
  • Solid spruce top
  • Solid maple sides and back
  • Amazing D’Addario Prelude strings

CONS

  • Expensive

2. Mendini

If you're still wondering what the best modern makers of violin are, then you may want to consider the Medini brand. Mendini is another brand that makes low to mid-budget violas that are ideal for beginners and intermediate users.

While these violins might be factory-made, the new instruments provide a good value for money and offer medium quality. All the Mendini violins were made because of the company’s desire to make good quality and cheap stringed instruments for musicians and performers.

Mendini By Cecilio Violin For Kids & Adults - 4/4 MV300 Satin Antique

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Mendini By Cecilio Violin For Kids &...
  • Great Violin For Beginners: The beginner violin is an ideal stringed musical instrument for any student who has dreams of playing music. The set includes all the necessities to start learning how to play.
  • Elegant Design: As beautiful as most orchestral string instruments, this sleek violin has a hand-carved spruce top with maple back and sides. A finish of metallic varnish, maple fingerboard, chin rest and an alloy tailpiece with 4 fine tuner make this a work of art.
  • Violin Learning Kit Includes: Cecilio violin, 1 bow, extra set of violin strings, 2 violin bridges, a quality rosin, adjustable shoulder rest with padding and soft rubber feet, clip-on tuner, and lightweight hard case with pockets, backpack and shoulder straps.
  • Basic Technique: Set includes a Mendini Violin First Lesson book with instruction on basic techniques and lessons on how to read music. Also, a companion download (available online) has exercises and pieces recorded with solo violin and piano accompaniment.
  • Handle With Care: This beginner violin, like most band & orchestra musical instruments, is delicate. Please note the bridge will not be setup to avoid damage during shipping. NOTE: Tuning pegs must be handled with care and pushed in when adjusting.

The Mendini By Cecilio Violin For Kids & Adults - 4/4 MV300 Satin Antique is probably one of the best Medini violins, especially for people who are on a budget. This Medini violin comes with a wide range of cases and colors that are appealing to the violin user. It is a fun and functional violin, and above all, it offers great value for money.

However, because of the low price, you're more likely to replace the strings after some time because the quality is not the best. Moreover, since the violins are not handcrafted, there may be a need to do minor adjustments and fine-tuning to achieve the best sound possible.

PROS

  • Includes a hard case, an extra violin bridge, a brazilwood bow, and rosin.
  • Has an alloy tailpiece with fine tuners
  • Antiquated satin finish
  • Great maple fittings
  • Solid spruce top and maple back

CONS

  • Reduced quality control
  • The extra layers of paint and varnish may affect the sound quality

3. Cremona

Cremona is another best modern violin maker that we can't leave from the list because of its amazing playability at an affordable price. Their instruments are made in Asia, and some Chinese violins are considered one of the first violin brands to import in the USA.

Additionally, Cremona is an award-winning brand founded in 1989 and well known for making high-quality violins. Although their violins might be a little expensive for beginners, they are the best if you're looking for high-rated intermediate violin.

Cremona SV-175 Premier Student Violin Outfit - 4/4 Size- Best for Beginners

Cremona SV-175 Premier Student Violin...
  • 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
  • Set-up to MENC Standards at our Cremona workshop in California
  • Properly fitted Swiss-style ebony pegs and quality lightweight composite tailpiece with 4 smooth fine tuners for easy tuning

The Cremona SV-175 Premier Student Violin is one of the top-rated beginner violins since it offers great value when it comes to specification, price, tone quality, and playability. However, some users of this violin say that it requires constant tuning because of the slipping of the pegs, but with a great violin tuning guide, that should not be an issue.

PROS

  • Comes with an ebony fingerboard and fittings
  • Quality craft
  • Comfortable chinrest
  • Comes with a violin bow, rosin, and a violin case
  • Lightweight tailpiece with four fine tuners
  • Oiled neck for better and smooth playing

CONS

  • May require tuning time to time
  • The hygrometer on the case doesn't work well

Cremona SV-500 Premier Artist Violin Outfit - 4/4 Size- Best for Professionals

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Cremona SV-500 Premier Artist Violin...
  • Strings Magazine reviews SV-500 as "a good choice for anyone looking for a first or second violin" See Video and Product Details PDF file below for the complete review
  • Best tone quality for the advanced student and Cremona's most popular violin for sound.Case: Lightweight oblong rigid foam with four bow holders and hygrometer
  • Flamed maple with a rich, hand applied reddish-brown varnish finish, hand carved solid spruce and solid maple body
  • Set-up to MENC Standards at our Cremona workshop in California with French-made Aubert bridge and US-made Prelude strings
  • Low profile, lightweight and well designed Stradivarius-style chinrest, deluxe Brazilwood bow and oblong case

If you're looking for a modern-era violin to help you transition from beginner to advanced violin playing, then you should check out the Cremona SV-500 Premier Artist Violin. It features a solid body made from premium tonewoods and comes with an amazing finish.

It also features handcrafted points that provide it the look of a violin that is made for dedicated violinists. Although most violins from the Cremona violin makers are made for beginners, this option is sturdy and produces a surprisingly clear tone to be used as a learning instrument.

PROS

  • Attractive and transparent varnish finishing
  • Produces a very open sound
  • A high-quality case, an extra violin bridge, rosin cake, and a brazilwood bow are included
  • Handcrafted from great tonewoods to provide smooth tones
  • Comes with storage compartments, shoulder straps, and neck restraint.
  • Quality D’Addario Prelude steel strings

CONS

  • Pricey

4. D Z Strad

D Z Strad also called D Z America, is a well-known and leading American maker in the violin society. It is a music store for string instruments, and they are amazing for classical violin making and contemporary instruments.

D Z Strad Violin Model 101 with Solid Wood- Best for Beginners

D Z Strad Violin Model 101 with Solid...
  • Carved top violin made with select tight grain Spruce
  • Beautifully figured Maple back and sides with an Ebony fingerboard
  • Set up with Wittner-style composite tailpiece with four built-in fine tuners
  • Completely set up and ready to play. Fit with Ebony pegs, chinrest, and end button
  • Outfit package includes case, Brazilwood bow, shoulder rest and rosin

While the D Z Strad Violin Model 101 may not be recommended for professional players, it is a perfect violin for starter violinists. It comes with the amazing build quality. However, intermediate and advanced violinists find that this violin doesn't have sound quality.

PROS

  • Comes with a brazilwood violin bow, shoulder rest, violin case, and rosin.
  • Available in a variety of sizes
  • Made from a carved select spruce
  • Quality maple back and sides.
  • Ebony fittings and fingerboard
  • The tailpiece is well set up using the Wittner-style and four fine tuners

CONS

  • A questionable sound quality

D Z Strad Model 220 4/4 Full-Size Violin- Best for Advanced Players

D Z Strad Model 220 Violin with Dominant...
  • Features boxwood or Ebony fittings including pegs, tailpiece, chinrest, and end button with an Ebony fingerboard
  • This outfit includes a case, a brazil wood bow, shoulder rest, and rosin. Setup with Dominant strings
  • Warm and round tone, playability, hand-feel and consistency will keep you motivated.
  • Englemann Spruce top with Maple back and sides
  • A favorite among Suzuki and other private teachers

The D Z Strad Model 220 4/4 Full-Size Violin is a great intermediate violin. Besides its amazing quality, it is a great option for advanced violinists that are looking for a violin that offers sophisticated tones. It provides excellent value for money and is one of the highest-rated violins.

PROS

  • Naturally, air-dried for over ten years.
  • Includes rosin, shoulder rest, bow, and a violin case
  • An ebony fingerboard and boxwood fittings
  • 100% Handmade
  • The bottom plate and violin sides are made from maple
  • Set up with dominant strings

CONS

  • Expensive for people on a budget

5. Franz Hoffmann

Franz Hoffmann violins, made in China, are crafted beautifully with a dependable, brilliant, and consistent tone. Their instruments are guaranteed to come with the best quality and durable violin making for their price range. Here is the best modern violin from the Franz Hoffmann modern maker you should consider;

Franz Hoffmann174; Amadeus Violin - Instrument Only - 4/4 size

Franz Hoffmann174; Amadeus Violin -...
  • Features/Specs: Body Material: Maple Top Material: Spruce Fingerboard: Ebony Finish: Nitro Varnish Chinrest: Ebony / Guarneri Style Pegs: Ebony Tailpiece: Composite with Built-in Fine Tuners Strings: Overture Premium

The Franz Hoffmann174; Amadeus Violin - Instrument Only - 4/4 size provides one of the highest playability and one of the fine violins any violinist can use, whether it is a student beginning the course or an experienced player.

Together with other Franz Hoffmann instruments, this instrument is sold by SHAR and is set up in their Michigan shop, Ann Arbor. The product features a one-year limited warranty as well as a 30-day no-hassle return policy.

What Do You Consider Before Choosing the Best Modern Violin Maker For You?

1. Level of Experience

Before choosing your new violin, it is important to ensure that the brands best suit your level of experience. There are three main levels of ex[eriences when it comes to violins including;

  • Beginner- These violins are generally made from low-grade wood and are perfect for students who are learning how to play.
  • Intermediate-These are designed for more dedicated students and come with an average to high-quality tonewoods.
  • Advanced- These are performance-type violins and are generally used by professional performers and graduate violin students.

However, the classifications may vary based on the company and the brand. In addition, some brands might not have options for intermediate players, and therefore it is important to consider your experience.

2. Accessibility

Some brands are more accessible than others. Fortunately, you can always buy a violin in-store and online. But first, it is important to ensure that a store is genuine and reputable in violin selling. While some brands are easy to find online and in local stores, others are not that easy.

3. History

Since buying a violin is a very exciting and personal experience, getting to know about the history and inspiration of the violin makes it even more interesting. For example, some violins that are sold are by old and contemporary Italian violin makers. The traditions of Italian violin making have an undeniable history.

There are many famous and talented luthiers who have lived and established themselves in workshops and schools across Italy. Cremona is widely known as the world's capital of fine violin makers and Italian violins. Apart from Cremonese violin making, there are other well-known violin making areas, including Brescia.

4. Prices

A common question that arises when looking to purchase several instruments is; How much should you spend for a beginner or an intermediate violin? Different violin brands around the world have violins and bows that vary in price based on the material, quality, size, and accessories.

Luckily, there are different violin brands for all budgets. Some beginner violin brands start from around $35, intermediate brands from $100 to about $500, up to $8,000 for professional violins, and sometimes above for handcrafted violins.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Violin Making

1. Who is the best violin maker?

Antonio Stradivari is the greatest violin maker and other stringed instruments in the golden period and now. His instruments were highly rated because of their unique sound, amazing design, and esteemed history.

2. Are modern violins better than Stradivarius?

Research has shown that modern violins have better sound projections than ancient ones. As a result, many artists prefer to hear the sounds made by modern instruments, although it might be hard to distinguish the two. At the same time, Stradivarius are well known for their prestigious craft.

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