In this post, I’m going to share the best intermediate violins on the market in 2021.

I’ve been a violin teacher and performer for over 20 years, and I’ve heard and played hundreds of intermediate violins during this time. There are so many different brands that it can be hard to know where to start to find the best intermediate violins.

I’m going to help you out by giving you some information on what to look for and which violins are best for an intermediate player. By the end, you’ll know which features you’ll want and have an idea of the best brands and best instruments to try.

Quick Look: Best Intermediate Violins

#1 Best Intermediate Violin Overall: DZ Strad Model 365


You’ll have to make a few decisions along the way based on what kind of music you like to play, what sort of sound you want, and how much your budget is. I’ll give you all the information you need in order to make the best decision on which intermediate violin to purchase.

What Is an Intermediate Violin?

To me, an intermediate violin is for a student who has been playing for a few years already and is looking to get an instrument that responds to their musical needs more.

An intermediate violin and a music book

It should sound beautiful and be well made, often by hand.

What’s the Difference Between Beginner, Intermediate & Professional Violins?

Beginner violins are for somebody just getting started who isn’t sure what sort of commitment they want to make to the violin. Intermediate violins are for somebody who has played for a few years and wants something better.

Beginner Violins

If you’re new to the violin, you’ll want a beginner violin, which will cost from $150 to $400. They’re best for beginners because they’re an entry-level instrument and come in smaller sizes for younger players.

Intermediate Violins

Intermediate violins are the next step up and can range from $450 to $2000, including a bow and a nice case.

If you’ve been playing for a few years, it’s a good time to make a bigger commitment to the violin and find an instrument that will respond to more advanced techniques and provide musical expression.

Professional Violins

Professional violins can range from $2000 up to several million, can you believe it? The best advanced violin is something super old and antique, and totally unaffordable for most people.

But, for the regular person, you can find the best advanced violin that fits your budget for anywhere from $2000 to $5000. You should look for something that responds to you and produces exactly the sound you want.

Types of Intermediate Violins

Most players will be looking for an acoustic violin, but I included a few electric violins on this list since the popularity of electric violins is increasing. Some people want to own both kinds of violins in order to have the most flexibility.

Acoustic Violins

If you think of a “normal” violin, you’re thinking of an acoustic violin. Acoustic means that the violin itself produces the sound and that you don’t have to worry about any plugs or wires.

Electric Violins

Depending on the type of music you want to play, you might want an electric violin. These violins need an amplifier in order to produce a good sound, but are played in the same way as an acoustic violin.

10 Best Intermediate Violins

There are many different brands and types of intermediate violins, and it can be overwhelming to try to figure out what is best. Even using this list, make sure whatever you buy has a good return policy in case it turns out the violin doesn’t have the fit or sound you were hoping for.

DZ Strad Model LC101

  • Size: 1/32, 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 7/8, 4/4
  • What’s included: One brazilwood bow, case, shoulder rest, D’Addario Prelude strings, rosin
  • Material & finish: Spruce top, maple back and sides, ebony fingerboard
  • Best for: Intermediate levels players needing a smaller size or wanting a nice open sound.

The DZ Strad Model LC101 is a good all-around violin for an intermediate player who’s just starting to need a better violin. It comes in a variety of sizes and has a beautifully open sound with a nice ring and a bit of depth to it.

I love that this violin comes in so many different sizes. 7/8 is an odd size, but it’s great for adults who are on the smaller side, and it can be hard to find.

✅ Many sizes to choose from
✅ Built-in fine tuners
✅ Great value
✅ Beautiful depth of sound
❌  The case is more unusual looking
❌  The bow is on the cheap side

Why I Recommend It

This intermediate violin is a good all-around value with a variety of sizes, a nice sound, and easy playability.



Louis Carponi G2

  • Size: 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 4/4
  • What’s included: Brazilwood bow, Portland Elite case, rosin, string cloth, Portland string set
  • Material & finish: Maple back, ebony purfling, spruce top and sides, ebony pegs, chinrest, and fingerboard
  • Best for: Good for all types of music

The Louis Carpini G2 is another great all-around violin. The shop will send it to you fully set up, so you know it’ll sound great right out of the box.

I think the case is really beautiful too, and while that doesn’t matter to the sound, it can matter to you!

✅ High-quality craftsmanship
✅ Antique looking finish
✅ Professional looking case
✅ Includes an extra set of strings
❌ Not as many size options as some violins
❌ No shoulder rest included

Why I Recommend It

This is another good value package for an intermediate violin. You’ll get what you need out of the box except for the shoulder rest, and you may already have one of those.



Fiddlerman Master Violin Outfit

  • Size: 1/2, 3/4, 7/8, 4/4
  • What’s included: Carbon fiber bow, shoulder rest, premium rosin, practice mute, cloth, tuner, violin case
  • Material & finish: Spruce top and sides, maple back, ebony fingerboard and pegs
  • Best for: All types of players, but somebody a bit more serious

You get a lot with this violin, and the bow is a step up from some of the others. The Fiddlerman Master Violin Outfit comes with a good instrument for a student who loves to play.

The other cool thing about the violin is that it comes with a lifetime warranty and is set up really well at the Fiddlerman shop. It’s another option for people who need a 7/8 size violin too.

✅ Great accessories
✅ Professionally set up with a warranty
✅ Easy and comfortable to play
✅ Higher quality strings
❌ Not too many sizes to choose from
❌ Case is bland

Why I Recommend It

The Fiddlerman Master Violin Outfit has amazing reviews, and people love its sound and playability. You can’t go wrong with this package.



Yamaha YSV104 (Electric)

  • Size: 4/4 (25.98 x 10.63 x 5.12 inches)
  • What’s included: Headphone jack, earphone
  • Material & finish: Spruce body, plastic frame, lacquer finish
  • Best for: Playing music when you need amplification or when you need to be able to play silently

The Yamaha YSV104 is a great electric violin for somebody who wants an electric that feels like an acoustic violin. You’ll find that it’s easy to play, and you could also switch back and forth between this and an acoustic violin and feel totally normal.

An added advantage is that there’s an earphone option if you need to be able to practice silently but still hear yourself.

✅ Easy to play
✅ Can be played silently
✅ Looks really cool
✅ Shaped like a regular violin
❌ No case or extra accessories included
❌ No natural sound to hear without plugging in

Why I Recommend It

Yamaha makes great electric instruments, and this violin is no exception. It’s a cool looking violin and easy to play.


DZ Strad Model 365

  • Size: 1/2, 3/4, 7/8, 4/4
  • What’s included: Case, two bows, Pirastro Goldflex rosin, shoulder rest
  • Material & finish: Spruce top, maple bottom, boxwood fittings, ebony fingerboard
  • Best for: Advanced/intermediate players who want more depth and sophistication in their sound

The DZ Strad Model 365 is another step up in the DZ Strad intermediate violin category. The 365 has great consistency of sound across the violin and has a beautiful, warm tone.

Although this doesn’t come in smallest sizes, it still has a great variety of sizes, including the 7/8. The reviewers say the sound is “amazing.”

✅ Boxwood fittings
✅ High quality strings
✅ Comes with two bows
✅ Very beautiful violin
❌ No extra set of strings
❌ Case is nothing special

Why I Recommend It

This is a great package for somebody who wants an absolutely gorgeous and unique looking instrument. The sound quality is fabulous for the price point as well, and it comes with high-quality Dominant strings.



Yamaha Electric Violin YEV 104

  • Size: Full size, but only 1 pound, very lightweight
  • What’s included: Just the violin
  • Material & finish: Six different kinds of woods
  • Best for: Anyone who plays with a band and needs volume

The Yamaha Electric Violin YEV 104 is different from the previous one because you can’t plug it into headphones, but it’s super lightweight and really cool looking. If you’re playing with a band, you’ll be heard with the right amplifier.

It comes with two different finishes as well, natural and black. The instrument is really beautiful and modern looking.

✅ Lightweight
✅ Really cool!
✅ Simple and clean sound
✅ Easy to use, easy to play
❌ No headphone jack
❌ No case or bow

Why I Recommend It

I love the look of this electric, and isn’t that a big part of playing an electric, looking super cool? The reviews on this instrument are great, and people really love using and playing it.

If you want a good electric violin to be heard in your band, this is a good one to get. It sounds good and is easy to play.



Fiddlerman Soloist Violin Outfit

  • Size: 1/2, 3/4, 7/8, 4/4
  • What’s included: Case, strings, carbon fiber bow, shoulder rest, rosin, practice mute, cloth, tuner
  • Material & finish: Choice of red brown or medium brown vanish, spruce and maple woods, ebony fittings
  • Best for: Intermediate players who are getting serious about their love for the violin

The Fiddlerman Soloist Violin Outfit is another great outfit from Fiddlerman that’s jam-packed with accessories. The shop will set up the violin well so you can play it right out of the box.

The carbon fiber bow will help you play beautifully with an articulate sound, and the violin will respond to whatever you give it. You’ll love this intermediate violin.

✅ Choice of finish and choice of case
✅ Lots of accessories
✅ High quality strings
✅ Clear and beautiful sound
❌ Only one fine tuner
❌ Not as many size choices for smaller players

Why I Recommend It

I love the look and sound of this violin. If you want to buy a really good quality violin with a few choices to make it even more special, this is the one.



NS Design WAV-4 (Electric)

  • Size: 4/4
  • What’s included: Hard foam case
  • Material & finish: Gloss black finish, ebony fingerboard
  • Best for: Anybody playing in a band or needing amplification

I included this electric violin on my list to give you an idea of a different sort of violin. The shape of NS Design WAV-4 instrument is unique and really modern looking.

The NS Design uses a unique system of pickup called the Polar pickup, which works with your string vibrations to create the best sound. It’s easier to play than an acoustic violin!

✅ Modern looking
✅ Comes with a case with room for bows and a variety of extra gear
✅ Easy to play
✅ Very comfortable and great sound
❌ Might be an adjustment period to learn how to play it
❌ Doesn’t come with a bow

Why I Recommend It

I’d be remiss making a list of electric violins that didn’t include one by NS. They have unique and fantastic instruments, and this is one of them.



DZ Strad Maestro Old Spruce

  • Size: 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 7/8, 4/4
  • What’s included: Case, bow, shoulder rest, rosin
  • Material & finish: Alpine spruce top, maple back and sides
  • Best for: Intermediate students who want consistency across all the strings

The DZ Strad Maestro Old Spruce is the highest quality DZ Strad I put on my list. You’ll get an amazing warm and full sound, and you’ll be able to play with greater nuance.

Like all the DZ Strad intermediate violins I’ve mentioned, this one also has the option for a 7/8 and other sizes. You can also choose a one-piece back if you want a really unique instrument.

✅ Exquisite playability
✅ Beautiful depth of sound
✅ Gorgeous craftsmanship
✅ Well set up
❌ Case is boring
❌ May be fluctuations from violin to violin

Why I Recommend It

It’s good to have a violin to grow into, rather than one you’ve already grown out of. If you aspire to be a professional violinist someday, this might be a good violin to have, as you’ll get used to having a full, rich sound.



Scott Cao 750 Violin

  • Size: 4/4
  • What’s included: Just the violin and strings
  • Material & finish: Maple body, spruce top, ebony fittings, Italian oil finish
  • Best for: Somebody who loves choices!

The Scott Cao 750 violin is all about choices. There are eight different styles to choose from and even a few with a one-piece back.

All of these sound great, with a beautiful tone, nice response time, and wonderful depth of sound. The shop will make sure your violin is well set up to play when you take it out of the box.

✅ Lots of choices
✅ Beautiful sound
✅ Handmade
✅ Award-winning tone
❌ No accessories or case included
❌ Only available in a full size

Why I Recommend It

I wanted to include this violin because it’s a little step in the direction of more advanced violins, but it’s still affordable in the intermediate category. It’s a well made violin with an award-winning tone and is simply beautiful to look at.



Best Intermediate Violin Brands

There are many different brands of violins, each with its own specifications and qualities. You’ll notice that I chose instruments from several brands, but some stand out more than others for high quality and service.

An intermediate violin with bow

DZ Strad

DZ Strad Violins is a high-quality string shop for violins, violas, and cellos. They’re primarily an online seller, and their instruments consistently have high ratings and high quality.

Louis Carpini (Kennedy Violins)

The Kennedy Violin Shop is located in Vancouver, WA, and prides themselves on a high quality of customer service. The Carpini line is one of many lines of violins that they carry.


Yamaha is a well known Japanese brand that has an international presence. You can be guaranteed a high quality product from them.


Fiddlerman is a family business that has grown into an international shop now named Fiddlershop. They pride themselves on customer service and craftsmanship.

Things to Consider When Choosing an Intermediate Violin

Here are some things you should think about before purchasing and choosing an intermediate violin.


Make sure you know what size you need. Some violins only come in a full size, but others are as small as a 1/32 size. You can find sizing help online and measure your arms if you don’t know what size you need.


Most acoustic violins are made with a spruce top and a maple back and sides. If you like a one piece back, it doesn’t make a difference to the sound but can be very beautiful.

For the fittings, the tailpiece, chinrest, and button, ebony is standard but boxwood is also used and is very attractive. The fingerboard is usually made of ebony.


The finish is better if it’s applied by hand, and it can be made to look more antique or more modern. Sometimes it will be darker or lighter as well.

The Bow

Bows can be made of carbon fiber or wood. Often a good carbon fiber bow is a better choice with an intermediate violin, but usually the packages come with a nice brazilwood bow.

The Overall Tone & Sound

You want a beautiful and clear sound that sounds similar all over the violin, up high and down low. You also want it to project and be heard from farther away.


All the violins I listed are between $450 and $1500, but you can pay a little bit more or less for a good intermediate violin. Look at your budget and decide what you can afford, and then choose the best instrument for your budget.

New vs Used

At this level, I recommend a new violin because you don’t know how the person before you might have cared for the instrument. For a more advanced level, antique instruments are appealing, but those are more for professionals.

What’s in the Intermediate Violin Box?

Often the violin will come with a variety of accessories, and you should know what’s common and what’s normal. You can purchase any of these items separately, but do consider this as part of your price comparison.

An intermediate violin in a box


Many of these intermediate violins come with a bow, and you definitely need one in order to play! You can buy it separately if not, so just consider that as part of the price.


You’ll need a case to keep your violin stored in when you’re not playing it. Most intermediate violin cases are oblong shaped with room for accessories and a music pocket.

Shoulder Rest

Most players use a shoulder rest to play, and some violins come with one. This can be a more personal decision, so you may just prefer to buy this separately.


You’ll need rosin to put on your bow in order to make a sound. You may have one already, but if you’re upgrading your violin, you should also upgrade your rosin, as there are many different brands.


You’ll need a set of extra strings, a cleaning cloth and a metronome/tuner. (You can use an app on your phone or device for this.) You may also want more than one bow, a mute or practice mute, a music stand, and more.

Intermediate Violin Brands to Avoid

There are some brands that I don’t think have as good of quality. I hate to give specific names, though, so just check the reviews before you buy anything and make sure that the return policy is good.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What type of strings are best? This will likely be a whole post in the future, but there are many good brands that are good for intermediate violins. Many of the recommended violins use D’Addario Prelude or Thomastik Dominants.

How often should I rehair my bow? Most students find it’s more cost-effective to simply buy a new bow, as a rehair can be nearly the same cost, but once you get a nicer bow you’ll need to find a violin shop to rehair it every year.

How do you know if the violin is right for you once you have it? Play it as much as you can for yourself and for your friends and family. If it feels comfortable and makes you sound good, then it’s probably right for you.

How Much Do Intermediate Violins Cost?

You can get a good violin with almost any budget. I do recommend spending at least $450 or more, but don’t despair if you can’t afford that, just keep looking around.

If you can afford more than $1000, you can get a really nice instrument, but there are many excellent options in the $450 to $800 range. If you’re really stuck, you can look at used instruments as well, or even consider renting instead of buying.

What Are the Best Intermediate Violins?

To sum it up:

DZ Strad Model 365

This is the best all-around instrument, with good value and good sound, and it’s easy to play. You’ll love the sound you can get.

DZ Strad LC 101

This is your best value instrument from my list. The playability, quality, and sound are great for the price.

Yamaha YSV 104

This is the best electric violin on the list. You’ll find it easy to use and play, and a it’s great introduction to the world of electric violin playing.

Where Are the Best Intermediate Violins Made?

These days, good instruments are made all over the world. You’ll find quality instruments from the US, China, various European countries, and more. Don’t let the country make your decision for you.

What Is the Best Sounding Intermediate Violin?

I love the sound from the Scott Cao 750. It’s complex, beautiful, and dark.

Where to Buy Intermediate Violins

There are many places to buy violins. The world’s most popular retailer is Amazon, but there are many other places, including FiddlerShop, Shar Music, Southwest Strings, and more.


I know many people like to shop on Amazon, and for good reasons. You know it’ll be a great price, you can read the reviews and questions, you can get free shipping, and usually you’ll find an excellent return policy.

I definitely recommend reading the reviews and making sure the place you’re getting the instrument from is reputable and will send a violin in good condition, not one that needs to be set up by a local shop.

If the price looks too good to be true, it probably is, but if you follow my recommendations you’ll have a wonderful experience.

Online Music Retailers

Other online music retailers may also have reviews, good recommendations, and excellent return policies or even “try before you buy.” Read the small print and make sure you know what your options are.

Never purchase an intermediate violin that you can’t return, because no matter how good the reviews are, you might get it and not like it as much as you hoped, and you do want to be able to return it to try a different violin.

Your Local Music Store

If you have a local music store, it’s a great place to try instruments, if they’re doing that these days. Many shops will let you try out several instruments and give good advice in person as well.

I know not everybody has access to a good local shop, though, so it’s great to use the other options as needed! Just keep in mind that there are many options out there.

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In Conclusion

There are many types of violins out there, and many good intermediate violins. If you keep looking and figure out exactly what you want, I guarantee you’ll find something nice in your price range.

One last thing is to make sure to ask your teacher for their recommendation if you have one. As a teacher, I definitely love helping my students find violins to better express themselves and their musical ideas, and I’m happy to help people who aren’t my students too.

I hope my lists and recommendations helped clear up some of your questions. Please share or comment with additional thoughts or questions to help other readers.