So, you want to enter the world of fiddle! Looking for the right fiddle is a little different from looking for the right violin because standard fiddle music requires a different kind of sound and texture. You’re probably going to want a louder instrument with more reediness than your average violin in order to get that classic folk sound.
Below are our top picks for the best violin for fiddle players. Each of the instruments listed has been personally tested by us, so we’re confident in our picks. Scroll down to see our top three choices, our reasons for choosing them, and the criteria you will want to consider when making your choice.
OUR TOP CHOICE
The best choice for the best violin for Fiddle Players.
How We Chose Our Top Choice
The Antonio Strad Heritage Violin is our top choice for the best violin for fiddle players. The Heritage is a great option for fiddle players because it has a bright cutting sound that makes it excellent for unamplified jam sessions where you need to be heard among a chorus of other instruments often without the ideal acoustic settings of an auditorium. Also, it’s an intermediate-advanced instrument which means it’s capable of playing lots of playstyles outside of classical violin and is open to more ambitious techniques you might want to utilize.
The beautiful, handmade quality of the Heritage can’t be beaten. Its ability to adapt to new playstyles, skills, and techniques, as well as its strength as both a solo and group performance instrument, make this our pick for the best violin for fiddle players.
For a more in-depth look, please read our review of the Antonio Strad Heritage Violin.
OUR SECOND CHOICE
The next best option for the best violin for Fiddle Players.
How We Chose Our Second Choice
The Antonio Strad Legacy Violin is our second choice for best violins for fiddle players. It holds this position thanks to its warm, and resonant sound. If you’re a fan of rich, full-bodied fiddle music, then you’ll love the Legacy. It has a voice we can only describe as comforting, and it fills a space without being overbearing making it a great accompanying instrument.
The reason that this isn’t our first choice is that the Legacy is a slightly less advanced violin than the Antonio Strad Heritage, but that’s also reflected in the difference in price. If you’re on a tighter budget or if you’re not looking for a more advanced violin the Antonio Strad Legacy is a great pick for the best violin for fiddle players.
For a more in-depth look, please read our review of the Antonio Strad Legacy Violin.
OUR THIRD CHOICE
The last option for the best violin for Fiddle Players.
How We Chose Our Third Choice
The Scott Cao STV-017E Violin is our last choice for the best violin for fiddle players. This Scott Cao model is the cheapest of our top 3 violins, but don’t let the price make you think it’s not good quality. This is an excellent upper-beginner violin. Its outfit does not include all the bells and whistles that the Heritage and Legacy do, but as a fiddle player, you may not need all the same things. It comes in every size under the sun so regardless of what age or size you are there is a Scott Cao STV-017E for you. Further, it has a great bright sound — similar to the Heritage, but more beginner-friendly, so you can still cut through and be heard by your audience without having to take a more advanced instrument than you’re prepared for.
What differentiates this model from the other two is again, the level of player that it’s intended for as well as the price. If you are looking for a nicer beginner instrument for around $500, the Scott Cao STV-017E might be the best violin for fiddle players for you!
Picking the Best Fiddle 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 fiddle for you, make sure to pay attention to the sizing. Making sure a player 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!