Tips for Buying a Violin

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Tips for Buying a Violin

A violin, often considered one of the most beautiful music instruments, produces flowing and soulful sounds. Because of the popularity of this stringed instrument, many people strive to purchase and learn the violin. Buying a violin, however, is not always as easy as it sounds. With so many little things that make the instrument work, knowing the difference between different models and brands allows buyers to make informed decisions. When selecting a violin, consumers can keep certain tips in mind to make the process easier, whether they are shopping at a local musical instrument store or online on eBay.

Choosing a Violin Brand

A number of well-known companies manufacture violins. Amongst these are Yamaha, a Japanese company that makes not only musical instruments, but a diverse number of other types of products as well. Yamaha models are popular, especially amongst younger players and students.

Stentor, Cecilio, and Hofner are also popular violin brands, although for different reasons. Stentor, for example, specialises in student violins, and produces them in bulk. Hofner, on the other hand, leaves more to the imagination of the purchaser by selling white instruments, violins that are structurally complete but lack any type of final finish.

Stradivarius Violins

Stradivarius violins , considered the absolute top of the line in terms of quality and sound, are popular throughout the world. Because of this, and the fact that there are actually fewer than 700 genuine Stradivarius violins in existence, fakes do appear from time to time. It is important for consumers to ensure that they are purchasing a genuine Stradivarius violin.

Student and Professional Violins

Although there are two distinctly different types of violins geared toward both professional musicians and students, there are actually few differences between them. The main difference is the manufacturing process and wood finish. Professional violins are often hand-carved from high quality wood, varnished by hand, and painstakingly set up. Student violins are generally mass-produced, given a quick spray of lacquer, and not completely set up at all.

Acoustic vs. Electric Violins

Shoppers need to decide whether to purchase a standard acoustic or an electric model. Both models function primarily the same way. Acoustic violins rely on sound waves inside the body of the instrument to produce the rich sounds, while electric violins use pickups and amps. Acoustic violins, regardless of brand or model, have the same basic shape, which is necessary to produce the sound. Electric violins, however, do not depend on an acoustic chamber, and therefore take many different shapes. Some violins are a combination of the two, using the acoustic chamber for traditional play, and utilising the electric pickups and amplifiers for concerts. A third type, called a silent violin, is a hybrid instrument that does not produce a discernable sound while playing, relying instead on headphones that only the player can hear.

Violin Sizes

Violins are generally not one-size-fits-all, and buyers should measure to determine the size to purchase. Adults generally require the largest size, which is a 4/4 violin. For children or people with smaller arms, however, proper measurement determines which size to purchase. This measurement is the length, in centimetres, of the outstretched arm, from the neck to the middle of the palm.



58 cm


56 cm


50.8 cm


47 cm


42 cm


When in doubt, asking a music instructor for help with measuring for a proper fit is often helpful.

Choosing the Wood

Although the manufacturing process and initial set up of a violin and bow plays a role in the overall quality of sound that the instrument produces, the wood itself is actually the most important factor. Most common violins feature spruce on the top, and maple wood for the sides, back, and neck. However, higher quality wood generally produces better sound. Aged wood, for example, or flamed and quilted pieces, often produce the highest quality sound.

How to Buy a Violin on eBay

The key to purchasing a quality new or used violin on eBay is knowing the intricate details of the violin in question. The consumer should look for information on the brand, type of wood, and manufacturing process of the violin if they choose a professional violin. Those looking for a simple student violin, however, need only make sure that the violin, bow, and case are the proper sizes and condition. Shoppers can find many deals on Music Instruments on eBay, often with no extra postage or packaging costs. With nothing more than a few simple clicks and eBay's search function, music lovers can have the perfect violin delivered right to their door.

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