Violin Cost – how much should I spend?

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Violin Cost: how much should I plan to spend?

Violin Cost – there is a violin for every budget.  Violin outfits start around $50.  Is that a good value?  Should you spend more?  What do I get for more money?  We’ll try to answer these questions.  We’ll start low and work our way up.

Violin Cost under $100

  • Most parents don’t want to make a big commitment to violin cost until they know their child is going to want to continue playing.
  • It truly doesn’t make sense to spend a great deal of money on the small fractional violins that will only be used for a short time.
  • Many, many violins are available in this price range.  It is much cheaper than renting.
  • The primary concern is that these very inexpensive violins are often poorly set up, are difficult to play and sound awful.  Kids won’t practice if the strings hurt their fingers.  They aren’t motivated if the violin can’t produce good tones.
  • If you decide to buy an inexpensive  violin, see your local Luthier or violin shop to see what they will charge to reshape the bridge, check the sound post and adjust the nut height so the strings are easy to press down.  Consider adding Dominant strings – these will make any violin sound better.

Violin Cost $100 to $1,000

  • With violin cost in this price range you can expect to buy a New Chinese or old German student violin. This is a common budget for a middle school violin. Whether new or used, these need to be set up by a Luthier at a cost of $50-$600.  An $200 eBay violin may be a bargain, but not if you have to pay $300 so it plays properly.
  • Violins in this price range will probably not appreciate in value over time and will more likely depreciate just like a used car.

Violin Cost $1,000 – $3,000

  • This is a common budget for High School students.
  • In this price range you can buy an advanced German or French violin, or a high quality Chinese violin.
  • Violins in this range should already be properly set up and playable.  Even a novice should be able to hear the great improvement in sound quality over a less expensive instrument.
  • Violins at the upper end of this price range should hold their value well.  You should be able to get near full value for this violin if or when you decide to trade up to a better instrument.
  • The sound quality is more important than who made it.

Violin Cost $3,000 – $6,000

  • Serious high school players who intend to play in college will have a violin in this range.
  • The biggest difference is sound quality: sweeter with greater projection for solos.
  • Generally these violins will be made by a known maker.
  • If you choose well, these violins should appreciate in value over time.  Fine violins appreciate at 4% per year on average (over a long period of time).
  • You may want to consider getting an insurance valuation from your local Luthier and adding this instrument to your policy.

Violin Cost over $6,000

  • College students and professionals will spend this amount or more.
  • Professional orchestras generally have a minimum expectation that you spend $15,000 or more on a violin.  They may require you to specify what violin you play when you apply for an audition.
  • Once you have played a Fine Violin, you will find it very difficult to go back to something under $5,000.
  • Who made the violin begins to come into importance.  However, you are still selecting the violin based on it’s sound and playability.

Violin Cost over $20,000

  • Professional soloist violinists will probably add a zero to this number, or perhaps two zeros.
  • You can find amazing sound quality in violins that range from $10-20,000.
  • When you spend over $20,000, you are also paying for the rarity and beauty of the instrument.  You are buying an antique that has value because of his age, heritage and provenance.
  • Cost and sound quality above $20,000 are not linear.  I heard a $500,000 Amati that didn’t sound as good as a modern Italian that cost $35,000.  But the Amati is far more rare, far older and in greater demand.
  • So ask yourself which is most important to you: the quality of the sound or the quality of the investment?  With careful shopping, you should be able to meet both goals in your violin cost.

What about a violin bow?

violin cost