2021 Guide: Antonio Strad Model 4H Violin Review

The Model 4H is a great starter violin to purchase for beginners.

If you’ve decided to buy a beginner violin you’re probably looking for an instrument that is both affordable and high quality but still meets the needs of a beginner like easy-to-play and a clear uncluttered sound. When faced with the full brunt of the violin market an instrument that meets these criteria can be hard to find, but it’s not impossible!

We’ve tested the Antonio Strad Model 4H, a beginner violin that costs a little over $400 and we think it’s an excellent solution to the above problem. Let’s get into the details so we can get a better picture of why that is.

Defining Features of the Antonio Strad Model 4H

The Antonio Strad Model 4H is one of the Antonio Strad violin models that’s intended for beginner violinists along with the Model 3 and Model 5H. The Model 4H differentiates itself from the other two by existing in the middle ground between them, in terms of both, skill advancement of its intended player, and quality.

Materials – The Model 4H is made of spruce and maple wood that has been aged for 5 years — not quite as long as for the Model 5H, but still long enough to guarantee a beautiful resonant sound from the violin, which will continue to improve the longer it is played. Further, the spirit and oil mixed varnish adds a nice finish that is both a beautiful, durable, and mainatinable shine, with the soft touch of the oil varnish that promotes a great resonant sound.

Sizing – The available sizing for certain models can tell you something about an instrument’s intended players. Of course, you can’t read too much into it, (there’s plenty of reasons why certain sizes might not be available) but it’s worth considering. The Model 4H for example has ¼ size up to a full. The Model 3 on the other hand goes all the way down to 1/32 — Antonio Strad must expect that very young players will want to play the Model 3. Therefore, Model 4H having ¼ size as its smallest has certain expectations of its players. Likely that ¼ size players usually around 7-9 years old might be on the upper end of beginner skill, more likely to advance to that level quicker, and/or more likely to treat a nicer instrument with the care and appreciation it deserves, and the Model 4H reflects that. Not to say that an adult couldn’t play the Model 4H, that’s not at all the case. Instead, it’s simply that it’s better suited to a mid-upper level beginner, is a nicer, slightly less “child-safe” instrument that can handle the quick advancement of enthusiastic beginners.

Antonio Strad Model 4H Overview

Upon play-testing the Model 4H we found it has a sweet that will appeal to beginners to developing their musical ears. It has a distinct tone that avoids the potentially messy sound that advanced violins can have when played by a beginner, which means it has high playability. It holds up well when playing any variety of musical styles, types, and techniques, so both beginners who want to explore the wide world that music has to offer, or have a specific style in mind will find the Model 4H amenable. Ultimately, it is a beginner violin, for those buying their first instrument or upgrading from a beginner rental who want a higher quality violin that still meets the needs of a student violinist, without leaning too far into catering for beginners who are very young children and have a different set of needs.

For just over $400 it’s a great value for a high-quality student violin, that will last well through its player’s beginner years and enrich them with its clean, resonant sound.

Key Features:

What to Expect from the Antonio Strad Model 4H

Bow – The bow included with the violin is the Antonio Carbon Fiber Violin Bow. It’s a fairly standard student carbon fiber bow with real horsehair. It’s well-balanced and is a good pair for a student violin like the Model 4H.

Outfit – The outfit that the Model 4H violin comes with includes the bow mentioned above as well as a KPE Violin Shoulder Rest, RDM Woodframe Dark Violin Rosin, an Ultra Rubber Practice Mute, a Korg PC2 Tuner, and the Antonio Triangle Case. The case has space for two bows, a couple of storage compartments and pockets, a tube for your strings, and back straps. It zips shut and has a clasp with a lock. 

Ordering – If you order the Model 4H from Antonio Strad free shipping is included nationwide (U.S.) and depending on what time of day you order you can get your violin sent out on the same day. They also have a 45-day return policy.

Should You Buy an Antonio Strad Model 4H Violin?

If you are a beginner or buying for a beginner who is looking for a quality violin with an incredible dollar value that will support its player through beginner stages with good sound and playability, then you should definitely have the Antonio Strad Model 4H at the top of your list of best beginner violins to choose from. 

We believe the Model 4H will prove to be a beautiful and lasting companion for any beginner student that is exploring new depths in violin. Its playability and versatility will make it difficult to beat, especially at $419 and being handmade. Any violin that’s cheaper than this likely will lack the same clear sound and easy-to-play feel. 

If you are a violinist whose already advanced pretty far into the intermediate range, this might not be the violin for you, but most beginner students will find that the Antonio Strad Model 4H is a great fit and improves their playing experience. And for those violinists, we recommend the Model 4H.