Which Violins Are Best?


Emerging from Italy in the 15th century, the violin has long been considered one of the noble instruments. Choosing the right violin for you can seem overwhelming; there are many makers to choose from. Decide how serious you are and how much you want to spend before you begin looking at violins.


  • Although they are the most expensive, these violins are considered the top of the line offering the best quality sound. Other violin makers have tried to mimic the sound in their violins but have been unsuccessful. This is credited to the unique craftsmanship of Antonio Stradivari, the creator of the Stradivarius violin.


  • Dating as far back as 1720 in Europe, the Glaesel family has received much notoriety for their craftsmanship and specialization in bows and instrument restoration. The family business moved to the U.S. in 1953 and has since provided affordable instruments crafted in the old world tradition.


  • Founding violin maker Andrea Guarneri apprenticed alongside Antonio Stradivari in the Amati music workshop in Italy. Guareni violins are considered the second best violin by many virtuosos. In fact, the Guarneri del Gesu violin of 1743 was the favorite choice instrument by famed violin virtuoso Nicolo Paganini.


  • Located in St. Paul, Minnesota, Fein is a string instrument shop that specializes in hand-made violins, violas, cellos and bows. The company has provided stringed instruments for both students and music professionals since 1982. One favorable quality of this company is that it guarantees a 100 percent trade up value, and a one year warranty from date of instrument purchase.


  • Based in Clarksburg, Maryland, Eastman offers hand-crafted violins for three levels of musicians; beginner, advanced and master. The company boasts using the techniques and tools of European workshops of the 19th century and offers a lifetime warranty.

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