If you’re here, you’re probably ready to make an investment into a quality student violin but aren’t sure where to start looking. The options can seem endless, but sometimes having a knowledgeable eye take a look at your choices can help, and that’s what we’re here for.
We’ve given a bunch of violins a test run — all of them under fifteen hundred dollars so we can rank the best violins under $1500 for you and help narrow down your choices. Scroll down to see our top three violins, our reasons for choosing them, and the criteria you will want to consider when making your choice.
OUR TOP CHOICE
The best choice for a student instrument under $1500.
How We Chose Our Top Choice
The Antonio Strad Dynasty Violin is our top choice for the best violin under $1500. The Dynasty is the best advanced violin Antonio Strad offers. It has great projection for recitals and concert halls without sacrificing a warmness of tone, and at a killer price. It doesn’t hurt that it’s also a beautiful instrument. The Dynasty comes in two finish varieties, a fiery scarlet, and an autumnal auburn, both look fantastic. We’d recommend this instrument to any intermediate or advanced student, but especially those with their sights set on great improvement in their playing.
What makes this violin stand out from the rest is that it’s a great handmade instrument that is simply on the next level all at a very affordable price for its quality. That’s why it’s our number one choice for the best violin under $1500.
Please read our review of the Antonio Strad Dynasty Violin.
OUR SECOND CHOICE
The next best option for a student instrument under $1500.
How We Chose Our Second Choice
The Antonio Strad Heritage Violin is our second choice for the best violin under $1500. The Heritage also made it onto our Best Violins Under $1000 guide, but we couldn’t help put it here too. If your budget is up to $1500 there’s just no passing the Heritage up because it’s such a good deal. It’s designed for violinists that are advancing quickly, intermediate to advanced cusp players who want to delve into new techniques and harder pieces. It has a powerful tone that allows for nuanced dynamics and musicality. Its defining feature is the brilliance of its sound — the Heritage is bright and precise, giving improving violinists a fresh voice to express themselves with.
The beautiful, handmade quality of the Heritage is hard to beat at its price. Its ability to adapt to new playstyles, skills, and techniques, as well as its strength as both a solo and orchestra instrument, make this our second pick for violins under $1500.
Please read our review of the Antonio Strad Heritage Violin.
OUR THIRD CHOICE
The last option for a student instrument under $1500.
How We Chose Our Third Choice
The Scott Cao 750e Violin is our last choice for the best violin under $1500. It’s an advanced student violin with a refined tone, returning to the higher end of our price range. This one would be higher on our list, but we personally didn’t enjoy the slightly muted voice that this model has. More effort is required to get a powerful sound than for the other models listed here. So if you’re playing in any bigger auditoriums or halls, it might come across as precise, yet on the soft side. Besides that, it’s still a beautifully crafted instrument that will be a credit to anyone who plays it.
Picking the Best Violin for You
Now that you’ve seen the models we recommend, here are some factors that are most important to consider when making your decision. Some may apply to you more than others, and those are the ones that will be most valuable when it comes to narrowing your options down.
When choosing the best student violin for you, size is often an important factor because many student violinists are also children. Making sure that a violinist has the correct size instrument is imperative as playing on the wrong size can damage not only your technique but also cause physical harm. If a model doesn’t carry the size you need right now, it is not worth buying. Save it for when you’ve grown into it, or find a similar model that carries your size.
You may have noticed that all of our picks are handmade or hand-carved in some capacity, this is because it makes a world of a difference over factory-made instruments. The expert touch of an experienced luthier means each instrument is optimized for its intended player. The construction, in general, will also be better; you can expect a handmade instrument to stand the test of time as long as it is maintained regularly.
A violin outfit is essentially a bundle of everything you need to start playing including, of course, the violin and bow, but also often things like mutes, tuners, rosin, and more. If you are upgrading from a previous violin, you may already have some of these things, and therefore do not need an outfit. Or if this is your first violin, you may need these things and won’t have to buy them separately thanks to the outfit. Think about what you need beyond just the violin when making your decision. Often, but not always, you can get a specific violin model with or without the outfit. Checking if an outfit is or is not available and what is included may be worth your while!