A Guide To Beginner Violins: Which Violin Should I Buy?

Here at Reidys Home of Music, we stock a wide variety of violins from the industry’s leading manufacturers including Stentor, Primavera and Eastman Strings. If you’re new to the game or if you’re buying a violin for your child then making the right choice can be a real minefield. So, with this in mind here’s a quick blog to point you in the right direction and highlight some of our best selling violin outfits.

So what are you looking for, what makes a good beginner violin? Which violin should you buy? All violins look generally the same, don’t they? They do but it’s all in the detail.

Cut from wood, the violin is made up of a body, neck, fingerboard, four pegs and four strings. The body’s back and sides are cut from maple and the top is cut from spruce. The fingerboard and pegs are made from hardwoods such as rosewood and ebony. The strings are steel, gut or synthetic materials. Generally as a rule, avoid cheap violin outfits under £50.00. These outfits will have a cheap bow which won’t hold tight, will be very thin making it susceptible to bending and warping. The case will be rather flimsy and offer little protection to the violin and the pegs whilst they may be hardwood they will be badly fitting and therefore difficult to tune and keep in tune. But enough of the negatives, there are good quality beginner violins out there! Here’s our top picks.

Stentor Standard

Stentor’s entry level violin, the Standard, is made from selected tonewoods. Solid spruce top, maple back and sides with a maple neck. The violin is fitted with an alloy tailpiece with fine tuners and comes with blackened hardwood pegs and fingerboard, a good wooden bow and all in a solid strong lightweight case. It’s hard to believe this Violin comes in at £79.90 for a full outfit including violin, case and bow. It’s fantastic value and a great violin to start on.

Reasons to buy – price, build quality, well set up.

Stentor Student II

The Stentor II needs no introduction; loved and recommended by teachers throughout the country and our best selling violin. It’s hand carved, has a solid spruce top, maple back and sides with a maple neck and with the advantage of ebony pegs and fingerboard. It’s important to note here that although the wood is always spruce and maple on all violins, it’s the quality of the maple and spruce that makes a violin better. Here on the Stentor II the wood will be a better selection, dried for longer thus producing a better sound than say the cheaper Stentor Standard. It comes with a good student wood bow with ebony frog, rope core strings and is fitted with an alloy tailpiece with fine tuners and comes complete with a strong lightweight case. It’s an exceptional violin outfit that produces a great sound and offers unbeatable value for money. Whether you’re buying it for someone’s first violin outfit, or as an upgrade from a previous model, the Stentor II will be sure to impress. I honestly can’t think of any bad points to this model.

Reasons to buy – The quality of the selected tonewoods – maple and spruce, coupled with the build quality, make this violin good enough to take you through several grades.

Primavera 200

Distributed by The Soundpost Ltd who with their Primavera violins have helped raise standards in the UK student violin market over the last 20 years. The Primavera 200 is a great quality violin outfit with a beautiful satin varnish finish. A somewhat underrated violin and one we really believe in here at Reidys. Superb build quality with expensive ebony fittings, Composite bow and a rugged case design. The Primavera 200 is made to be played and built to last. A real alternative to the Stentor II.

Reasons to buy – Price, high quality hardware including a composite bow.

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