New violins generally cost between $200-$5000, but the violin price will depend on the level (beginner, intermediate, advanced) of the violin and the quality of the craftsmanship used to make the violin. One of the main factors that affect violin prices is how it is made, whether the instrument is machine or hand-made. This article explains the difference between the violin levels.
Violin Price by Level
Violins come in different levels for players on different stages of their musical careers. Many beginners start by renting violins to make sure that they want to continue playing long-term. This is definitely a cost-effective way, especially if you only play for a year or two in school. However, long-term buying makes much more sense so here is an overview of the different violin levels.
Essentially, violins fall into three categories:
- Student and Beginner Violins: Beginner violins are typically machine made since mass production allows these violins to cost less. These instruments are best for those just learning violin since the sound quality isn’t the best, but the cost makes up for it. Beginners tend to be rough on their violins so maple (dyed black to resemble ebony) is sometimes used for the pegs and fingerboards, areas that are exposed to more friction, to make them stronger. These violins are quite affordable and prices range from $200 to $2,500.
- Intermediate to Advanced Violins: With elaborate craftsmanship by hand, intermediate violins generally sound much better. They offer stronger projection and richer tones. The pegs and fingerboards are crafted with ebony and most of the instrument is handcrafted which also makes them more expensive. Prices for intermediate violins range from $500 – $10,000.
- Professional Violins: Professional violins are made from the finest quality wood, which gives them an even richer tone and wide dynamics, perfect for a concert hall solo. Masterpieces like these are expensive. Prices generally range from $10,000 and onwards. Some of the most expensive violins have sold at auction of tens of millions of dollars.
Typically, a better quality violin will be more expensive. A cheap violin that costs only a few hundred dollars may be great for a beginner or student who is unsure whether they will continue playing but is virtually unplayable by a professional. Of course, the violin price is not always merely an indication of product quality.