The violin is a stringed instrument that is in the soprano register of voicing. This enduring and cherished instrument is played with a bow, and can be found in any number of musical ensembles around the world. The cost of a violin can be based on factors such as the condition of the instrument, its construction, the needs of the violinist, and brand name. The cheapest violins ($100-$250) are often poorly constructed and should generally be avoided. Beginning violinists can find an appropriate instrument for between $300 and $500, while intermediate players may be facing violin prices of $1,000 or more. An expensive model priced at several thousands of dollars may best serve expert musicians, and serious collectors may pay over $10,000 for a perfectly aged instrument.
Average Cost of a Violin
While violin cost varies according to several aspects, the average price of a new violin is in the area of $700. The price listed for a violin may or may not include a bow, so it is important to figure it into your analysis before making a purchase. A good bow can usually be found for $100, though the price can range from as low as $25 (bows this cheap are rarely good quality) to the extravagant cost of over $1,000. It is also worth purchasing a case along with your instrument (this may also be included in the listed price). The cost of a violin case can be $200 or more.
Violin Cost According to Condition
Buying a new violin will naturally guarantee its new condition, but buying a well-kept used violin may be a better approach for your particular situation.
Used violin cost is typically 30-50% lower than its store price. You should only purchase a used instrument if you have the experience to properly examine it beforehand. If you are not capable or comfortable with this task, you should get a friend or possibly your teacher to help you with your transaction. Even if the cost is very low, violins that are not in good condition should be avoided if the playability and sound are largely affected. If the problem is purely aesthetic, the cost of repair may be reasonable in comparison to the purchase price, but more serious damage is rarely worth fixing.
Violin Cost According to Type and Construction
Violins come in several sizes ranging from full 4/4 sized for an adult, to the small child’s size of 1/16. Violin cost tends to decrease with the size of the instrument (given that everything else is equal). A violin may be made in a factory or by a trained luthier. It is commonly recommended to buy the handmade instrument, though some retail brands have luthiers to construct their most expensive lines. When purchasing this kind of instrument from a luthier, the bow and case will almost always need to be bought separately.
Violin Cost According to Experience of Violinist
The experience of a musician will commonly dictate their instrumental needs. While it’s not unheard of for a beginner to spend a large amount of money on a top-notch instrument, the purchase of a less expensive model with solid construction and a good sound is usually the better choice. At the same time, you must be aware that cheap often means low quality. In fact, it is advised that violins under $200 be avoided altogether due to their typically low quality. Violinists of intermediate skill will often benefit from an upgraded model. The average violin cost is in the area of $1,000, and this price range will often get you a very nice instrument that an intermediate violinist would be happy to progress with. The most experienced players will almost certainly desire the highest quality instrument that their budget will allow (and beyond). The cost of violins in the elite category can be thousands of dollars due to the high level of craftsmanship involved and the high quality materials used in their creation.
Violin Repair Prices
The best advice that can be given regarding the cost of violin repairs is to save your money by avoiding the need for a repair at all. If a violin is properly cared for, it can last for centuries. However, even among those who treat their violin properly, there often arises the need for minor repairs that may not affect the long-term quality of the instrument. These patch-ups include replacing a string that has broken from age, and replacing a bridge that has succumbed to humidity changes and cracked. An experienced violinist may attempt these maintenances, or they may be performed at a local music shop for approximately $25 and $75, respectively. Only a trained luthier should undertake all other repairs. Worn glue joints, cracks, and sound pole adjustments are examples of such tasks. The costs associated with more serious repairs are understandably higher than simple string and bridge replacements.
Violin Restoration Cost
The complete restoration of a violin can be a costly undertaking, and should be avoided when there is a lot of damage to be repaired. Even often sought after antique violins will lose their value if the expense of restoration needs is too high. The cost of a violin with quality aging is not significantly increased when the only requirement is a refinishing. A full refinish of this instrument will cost under $200 unless custom work is desired. If you are looking for value with age, you should know that restoring an old violin might actually decrease its market value. Of course, this is only important when considering a violin to be a monetary investment.
Buying a Violin
When buying a violin, you should concentrate on the quality of construction and sound, rather than cost. Unfortunately this ideal situation is rarely available, as most buyers are operating within a budget. The cheapest violins are not very good and therefore are not recommended. You should expect the cost of a violin to be at least $300 if you want an instrument that will be worth its price. Beginners will typically pay less for an introductory instrument while more experienced players will find themselves facing violin prices near $1,000. A professional luthier’s shop is the best place to obtain a high quality violin, while some retailers may employ luthiers to craft their upper-level lines. Be sure not to waste money by buying an overly expensive violin for a beginner. At the same time, remember that buying a cheaply made instrument will do nothing to perk a person’s interest in playing.
You can’t always judge the quality of a product by the brand name, but the reputations gained by these brands can often be reliable. In violin construction, the best brands aren’t brands at all. Instead, they are family names. The Stradivarius violin (as built by the Stradivari family) is possibly the most honored violin in history. These instruments can command hundreds of thousands of dollars, while one particular model is estimated to be worth ten million dollars. You will most probably not be getting a Stradivarius.
A name with a good reputation that you may be able to afford is Bellafina. They offer solid, pleasant sounding violins at a range of prices (from beginner violins at $400 to high-quality $1,500 instruments) and can help you deal with violin cost without sacrificing value. Bellafina offers entry-level electronic violins as well, costing $300. Another company that makes electronic instruments is Yamaha. The cost of some of this brand’s more revered models (both electronic and traditional) can be several thousands of dollars. Heimer violins are widely regarded as low quality, and that is expected at under $200. Another brand that is not worth the price is Maestro. Their instruments are slightly more expensive at around $400, but it would appear that in this circumstance the level of craftsmanship is nowhere near equal to violin cost.
Violin Rental Cost
It is quite common for a novice violinist to rent their instrument rather than pay the full price of a new purchase. This approach helps to mitigate violin cost on two levels. From a buyer’s perspective, the primary purpose of the rental system is to guard against losing your money should the player choose not to continue learning the instrument. This is often the case with beginners. Some stores allow the rental payments to go towards the cost of a violin. In this way, people may have a means to obtain a high quality instrument without having to make a lump sum payment that they cannot afford. On the downside, renting-to-own will almost always end up costing you more in the long run.
Where to Buy a Violin
There are several ways to go about buying a violin. You may go straight to a professional luthier, or to a music store. They can also be ordered through the Internet and shipped to you. Do this at your own risk however, as testing an instrument before purchase is a general rule of instrument purchasing. Buying a violin used is always an option, but make sure that someone with experience checks the instrument for flaws before you make a deal.
Cost of Violin Accessories
The violin requires a bow to be played. Unfortunately, a bow is not always included in the price of a violin. This is especially true for more expensive models, and is virtually guaranteed if you are dealing directly with a luthier. A high quality bow can cost $1000 or more, but an average bow will cost $100 to $200. You’ll want a secure case to keep your violin safe, and a good one will be priced in the area of $150. Other accessories that you’ll need include rosin for your bow hair, and a chin and/or shoulder rest. Rosin is cheaply available at under $10 for a good-sized block, while a rest will price at $50 or more.