The Search for the Best Intermediate Violin

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It’s often a good idea to upgrade your beginner violin for the best intermediate violin you can get, once you’ve progressed beyond the newbie stage in your violin-playing skills. After all, a beginner violin isn’t really all that impressive. It’s often cheaper and of lower quality, and it’s meant to simply help you get used to the basic skills for playing the violin.

When you’ve become a better violinist, you won’t really like the beginner violin, especially in comparison to the intermediate violin. The sound of the intermediate violin is much better, while it also offers features that let you use your enhanced skills. At the same time, the intermediate violin still lets you develop your skills even further, so that you can become an advanced player or even a professional violinist.

The intermediate violin is more affordable than the professional violin, which saves you money. As an intermediate player, you still don’t have the necessary skills to justify buying the more expensive professional violin. But with enough training with the intermediate violin, who says you can’t get even better?

What’s the Right Size of Violin for You (or Your Kid)?

Various experts have different opinions as to what violin size is best for you, depending on your age. But if you’re an intermediate violin player, you’re probably at least 11 years old. That means you’re best served by a full size, 4/4 violin. This is best for those who stand at least 5 feet tall and whose arm length is at least 23.5 inches.

How Much Should You Spend on Your Intermediate Violin?

For beginners, it’s common to start with affordable violins with a price within the range of $100 to $270. That way, you don’t lose a lot of money if your kid loses interest. A good beginner violin simply lets newbies learn the proper skills first to start playing.

Once you get to the intermediate level, you may want to match your violin with your current skill level. Most intermediate violins cost anywhere from $350 to 1,450. It all depends on the brand and on the quality of the violin. The violins that cost in the upper range of this price range can actually be good enough for more advanced players.

When you’re an advanced player or even a professional, you need a top-quality violin that can make full use of your terrific playing skills. The prices of these professional grade violins can go over $1,450 with some violins even going near the $25,000 price.

Other FAQs

Why do kits come with rosin?

Violinists need rosin to help provide friction between the bow hair and the strings. Without that friction, you’ll barely be able to hear what you’re playing. The friction permits greater vibrations from the strings for a fuller sound.

What are the best strings you can use for the violin?

Most people recommend the D’Addario Prelude set, though others prefer the Thomastik Dominant strings.

How long does it take you to get to the intermediate stage?

You can learn about the basics by playing the violin for 3 years or so. By your 4th year, you will learn more sophisticated techniques that can give you a wider variety of sound, with greater range and higher notes. At this point, you won’t be needing your beginner lesson book anymore.

Are there any famous modern-day violinists?

You can start with Lindsey Starling, who has 2 million subscribers to her YouTube page. Her album sold 100,000 copies.

What’s the most important rule about taking care of your violin?

Perhaps the most important rule is to invest in a good case. A case is absolutely necessary, and you need one that can protect the violin while also offering convenient storage compartments.

Additional Tips to Take Care of Your Violin

To make sure your expensive intermediate violin lasts a long time, heed the following tips:

  • Don’t put too much rosin on the bow hair. This may shorten the lifespan of the bow hair, plus the rosin might stick to the violin body.
  • Wipe off the rosin from the strings and the violin after playing. You need to get off the white dust (the rosin dust), using a soft, lint-free cloth. You can buy these in a pack, since they’re fairly inexpensive.
  • Never clean your violin with solvents or alcohol. Don’t even use hot water. These things van just strip the varnish from the violin.
  • Make sure your violin is stored in a temperature range of 60 to 70 degrees, with a relative humidity of 35% to 50%.
  • If you have any trouble with the violin, consult a luthier. Sometimes, DIY efforts can do more harm than good if you’re not sure of what you’re doing. If you see a problem that you can’t research online, a local luthier can help.

Top Intermediate Violins: Reviews

​In a hurry? Check the Best Intermediate Violins from Amazon.

Product Name

Rating & Highlighted Features


Cecilio CVN-600 Hand Oil Rub Highly Flamed 1-Piece Back Solidwood Violin with D’Addario Prelude Strings, Size 4/4 (Full Size)

maple and spruce make the violin more durable

Cremona SV-500 Premier Artist Violin Outfit – 4/4 Size

Preset to stringent standards

Scott Cao Violin Outfit 3/4 Size Model STV017

Nice size and weight for kids

Louis Carpini G2 Violin Outfit 1/4 Size

Terrific craftsmanship & Rich sound

D Z Strad Model 220 4/4 Full Size Violin

Made with premium-grade materials

Carlo Lamberti Sonata Violin

Durable and reliable

Kennedy Violins Bunnel Premier Violin Clearance Outfit 1/16 Size

Intermediate quality for beginner violin price

Ricard Bunnel G2 Violin Outfit 3/4 Size

Great value for money

Cremona SV-800 Premier Artist Violin Outfit – 4/4 Size

Looks like a true classic

D’Luca Violin, 4/4 (PROJBV44)

Great affordable price

With lots of violins available out there, here are some of your best prospects if you’re looking for the best violin to match your intermediate playing skills.

Of course, it all depends on the intermediate violin you get. To help you find the best intermediate violin that suits your preferences (and your budget), here’s a list of the best intermediate violins that really gives good value for your money.

Cecilio CVN-600 Hand Oil Rub Highly Flamed 1-Piece Back Solidwood Violin with D’Addario Prelude Strings, Size 4/4 (Full Size)

Cecilio CVN-600 Hand Oil Rub Highly Flamed 1-Piece Back Solidwood Violin with D'Addario Prelude Strings

There are plenty of reasons why this Cecilio CVN-600 option is first on our list. Not least of these reasons is that it comes with plenty of terrific accessories as part of the package. These save you the effort of getting them separately on your own. Also, this makes it a nice option for beginners, since they won’t have to upgrade their violin once they progress to the intermediate level.

Your package includes a nice oblong case with premium grade velvet interior and compartments to store the accessories and the rosin. It also features a padded neck restraint, a bridge protector, and a hygrometer to measure humidity.

You also get 2 brazil wood bows, with ebony frog and unbleached genuine Mongolian horsehair. There’s a lesson book here that helps if you’re still a newbie, along with a chromatic tuner metronome. The package also includes a violin bridge, a premium rosin cake, and an adjustable shoulder rest with nice soft foam padding and rubber feet.

The violin itself is good enough that you may even stick with it even as you become more advanced. It certainly looks gorgeous, as it’s been made with wood that’s been aged for 7 years. Craftsmen carved the 1-piece maple for the back and sides, while you have solid grained spruce for the top wood. With the inlaid purfling and the hand-rubbed oil finish, along with the ebony pegs and fingerboard, this Cecilio violin is quite beautiful.

The sound is great, and it doesn’t hurt that it comes with D’Addario Prelude strings. The aged wood makes it sound great as well, and the violin is also nicely playable. The 4/4 size is best for adults, which we assume is what you are if you’re good enough to consider yourself an intermediate player.

You will like the warm sound of this Cecilio violin, with a quality that you sure won’t believe at first if you’re only used to beginner violins. With the beauty and quality of the CVN-600 and the convenient accessories that go with it, you will appreciate this purchase as it offers full value for your money.


  • Fantastic looks
  • Enhanced sound
  • Comes with accessories
  • The maple and spruce make the violin more durable


  • The quality control may be a bit off, with a few customer complaints about missing pieces in the all-inclusive bundle

Cremona SV-500 Premier Artist Violin Outfit – 4/4 Size

Cremona SV-500 Premier Artist Violin Outfit

Of course, while these intermediate violins are normally more expensive than their beginner violin counterparts, it doesn’t mean that you have to spend a fortune for them. That’s why we made sure we listed only the violins with the most reasonable prices. That way, you can be sure that your intermediate violin will give you full value for your money.

Yes, this is another full-sized violin that’s ideal for adults, with its 23-inch length. But it’s actually available in smaller sizes, if you’ve started young and you’re now in the intermediate level even though you’re still a kid. The smallest size available here is the ¼ size, but the 4/4 full size is actually recommended for teens.

This doesn’t come with an assortment of accessories, since this is really meant for intermediate players. Cremona assumes that you already have the accessories for newbies, and that you can get extra accessories if you want to. It would have been nice to get an extra set of strings for this (since you already have the US-made D’Addario Prelude strings here), but you will have to get them yourself.

The case here is actually quite nice, as it’s a lightweight oblong case lined with the necessary foam. It also comes with 4 bow holders and a hygrometer. Your purchase also comes with a deluxe brazilwood bow.

The violin itself is a delight, and in itself it’s why you should consider this violin even without the extra accessories. Yes, it looks great with flamed maple body and sides, along with the hand-carved solid spruce for the top. Then you have the reddish-brown finish that’s been applied by hand.

This has been set up while carefully inspected by Cremona experts, and it complies with the standards set by the NAfME (National Association for Music Education, formerly known as the Music Educators national Conference). Everything’s been preset nicely

The violin features an Auber bridge made in France and a lightweight, low-profile Stradivarius-style chinrest. You also get high-quality Swiss-style ebony fittings, and the ebony fingerboard features a lightweight tailpiece made with composite material. It’s very easy to tune.

The sound here is its most notable feature, as it’s simply head and shoulders above any beginner violin. In fact, among violins made for intermediate players, its tonal quality is regarded as one of the best (if not the best). It’s one of the main reasons why this is one of Cremona’s most popular violins.


  • Preset to stringent standards
  • Fantastic tonal quality
  • Great looks
  • Nice case
  • Stays in tune very well
  • Recommended by plenty of teachers


  • No starter kit for newbies

Scott Cao Violin Outfit 3/4 Size Model STV017

Scott Cao Violin Outfit

We tried out this smaller model, since we’re fully aware that plenty of violin newbies start young. Plenty of kids reach the intermediate level, and they need a smaller violin size to suit their needs. It’s also nicely lightweight, at slightly over 5 pounds.

Despite the smaller size, it sounds very much like its full-size 4/4 counterparts. In fact, if you didn’t know it was smaller, you’d swear that it’s the full-sized version. Amazingly, the sound even improves over time, and after about a year of playing it, the sound is simply much better than before.

It does help that you get a nice set of Thomastik Dominant strings installed here. The quality of the wood also enhances the sound, and makes the violin look impressive as well.

The fully carved body features a spruce top, with ebony used for the fingerboard, chinrest, and pegs. There are built-in fine tuners in the tailpiece as well. Everything’s topped by hand-painted varnish. It looks great, which matches its surprisingly good sound.

Your purchase does come with the necessary accessories, like the case and the brazilwood bow. This would’ve also worked as a beginner violin, if not for the lack of other accessories.  


  • Nice size and weight for kids
  • Sounds as rich as full-sized violins
  • Sound improves over time
  • Looks nice


  • More accessories would’ve been nicer
  • Not the right size for adults

Louis Carpini G2 Violin Outfit 1/4 Size

Louis Carpini G2 Violin Outfit 1-4 Size - Carrying Case and Accessories Included - Highest Quality Solid Maple Wood and Ebony Fittings By Kennedy Violins

Do you have a young prodigy at home? If you have a kid between 4 to 7 years of age who has progressed to the intermediate level, then you want to make sure they get a violin that suits their size. That’s why we opted for the ¼ size this time. But the available sizes actually range from the tiny 1/16 to the 4/4 full-sized version.

Of course, this also works as a beginner violin for young ages. The main advantage here is that once your kid gets better at playing the violin at the age of 4, then this violin will still suit them for the next 3 years.

We opted for the kit for students, which comes with plenty of convenient accessories. These include the Giulani brazilwood bow, Kaplan Artcraft rosin, a Portland string set as a backup for the D’Addario Prelude strings, a cloth to clean the strings, and a luggage tag.

Your violin also nestles nicely and securely in the Portland Elite case. It comes with plenty of compartments, including 4 bows. A large pocket on the outside is for your sheet music, which you secure with double YKK zippers. The zippers and case latch are all protected from the weather with flap covers with snaps. The protective blanket comes with smooth polyester underneath and velour on top. Even the handle is comfortable to grasp for long journeys.

But the violin itself is terrific, and you realize that quickly with its looks. The high-flamed maple back combines nicely with the hand-carved, custom-fitted French Aubert maple bridge. The pegs, chinrest, and fingerboard are all made with premium ebony, and you have inlaid ebony purfling as well. The composite tailpiece is quite durable, and it has 4 fine tuners built in.

The bow is great as well, with the Giulani brazilwood bow featuring premium Mongolian horsehair with the half-mounted completely ebony frog. It comes with silver winding and a genuine leather grip.

The sound is what really sells this violin, and some say you even improve the tonal quality with even better strings. The richness of the sound can really encourage students, and this violin is even recommended for more advanced players. The overall quality is surprisingly high, given the relatively low price.


  • Great value for money
  • Terrific craftmanship
  • Rich sound
  • Comes with lots of accessories


  • For adults, the 4/4 version is better (and not the ¼)
  • String set may have to be replaced as you improve your skills

D Z Strad Model 220 4/4 Full Size Violin

D Z Strad Model 220 4 4 Full Size Violin with Dominant strings, bow, case, rosin and shoulder rest-Open Clear Tone

The price here immediately tells you that you’re not looking at a beginner violin. It’s about 4 times as expensive as a beginner violin with an entire kit of accessories. No, this is definitely for those who have already progressed from the beginner stage. If you’re now looking to upgrade your violin once you’ve become better at it, this is a viable option.

This D Z Strad violin is completely made and varnished by hand. It’s crafted, and not simply manufactured. Great care was taken in picking the materials for the violin, such as the ebony for the fingerboard and the hand-carved maple for the bridge. The top is made with picked Engelman spruce, seasoned and naturally air dried. It’s been aged for 10 years.

That spruce top contributes greatly to its sophisticated sound, which is well suited for intermediate and even more advanced players. The sound feels open, and it rings with great depth and rich color.

You do get extra accessories with this purchase, though these accessories tend to match well only for newbies. The Dominant strings on the violin do work well and help with the sound. You also get the brazilwood bow, the Pirastro rosin, the shoulder case, and a case for travel and storage.

This is already preset for intermediate players, which is quite convenient for you. Take it out in the case and play, and its sound and playability will be much better than any of the other beginner violins you may have tried before. This can even suit newbies, though the cost may be too risky unless you’re a newbie who’s determined to get better at the violin.

Even without the accessories, the violin itself is a great find. It’s no wonder that if you ask your violin teacher about this D Z Strad, they’d recommend it if you’re already in the intermediate stage. This will keep you interested in your violin, and it will match your skills even as it helps you to get even better.


  • Elegant sound
  • Looks great
  • Made with premium-grade materials
  • Preset for intermediate skills


  • Not exactly cheap
  • Accessories are merely adequate

Carlo Lamberti Sonata Violin

Carlo Lamberti Sonata Violin

Since you’re already an intermediate violinist, we went with this “violin only” option. It’s full-sized as well, so it’s great for both teens and adults. This is expressly made for violinists with intermediate playing skills, and it’s great even when compared to other intermediate violins.

Ask the opinion of your violin teacher about the Carlo Lamberti Sonata, and they’ll readily recommend it. In fact, plenty of them will list them on their list of the best intermediate violins, though there may be some concerns about the price. This isn’t cheap at all.

This suits violinists who still realize that they still have more to learn about playing the violin. The design here lets students quickly progress in their skills, for fast passage and tone development. The richness of the tone will reward students for their efforts, and it also assuages parents as well. The tone is quite bright and clear-sounding, and it’s a pleasant surprise compared to the usual sound of even the best beginner violins.

Everything that a more advanced (or even a newbie) violinist wants to see in a violin will be present here. You get a terrific Spirit Varnish finish to go with outstanding performance, along with premium strings and fittings like the pegs, chinrest, and fingerboard.

You have the finest materials here, with maple for the body, spruce for the top, and ebony for the fingerboard, chinrest, and pegs. This will last you for a long while, since it takes a bit more time to progress from the intermediate level to the more advanced stages. You can depend on this to last, even while it helps you to become better.

The violin is a true delight to play, even if you wish it came with free accessories. You can still get them yourself, but you do have to pay extra.


  • Fantastic sound
  • Great materials
  • Helps with playing development
  • Durable and reliable


  • Cost a bit higher
  • Doesn’t come with accessories

Kennedy Violins Bunnel Premier Violin Clearance Outfit 1/16 Size

Bunnel Premier Violin Clearance Outfit 1-16 Size

We now went with something much smaller, since we know that some parents let kids start playing at a very young age. If and when they get better, they may still be young enough to need a smaller violin, hence we tried out the 1/16 size. But this is also available in the 4/4 full-sized version.

The Kennedy Violins brand is known for offering great value for your money, which is why this comes with a very reasonable price. You even get an entire kit to go with your Bunnel Premier violin, which means this can very well be your beginner violin kit. Since it’s actually meant for intermediate players as well, the price is a bit higher than what you’d normally pay for a beginner violin. But then again, you save money as you won’t need a new violin once you get to the intermediate level.

The violin itself is not really for beginners, even though it’s small with the 1/16 size we picked. It’s certainly better than the Bunnel Pupil version, which Kennedy Violins offer specifically for newbies. With the Bunnel Premier, the chosen materials to create the violin are of much higher quality.

The maple used here for the body has been naturally dried. The spruce is tight-grained, and it even comes from the Himalayas. The high-quality maple bridge has been custom fitted, and you also get premium ebony for the polished fingerboard and pegs. Everything’s been hand-made.

The sound you’ll get is much warmer and a lot richer than what you’d get from even the best beginner violin. It has also been setup nicely by professional luthiers. It’s an intermediate violin, with a price that can compare to a high-end beginner violin.

You do get a lot of accessories for your money, as your purchase includes the Giulani brazilwood bow and a shoulder rest. Other extras include the KV clip-on tuner, the “Intro to Violin” lesson book, backup strings, Giulani rosin, polishing cloth, and a Portland Oblong carrying case.

You don’t even have to replace the Giulani bow, as it’s been precisely weighed for excellent responsiveness and balance. You get the genuine Mongolian horsehair, 100% ebony frog with the mother of pearl inlay, and abalone bow slide.


  • Available in many sizes
  • Intermediate quality for beginner violin price
  • Excellent materials
  • Comes with plenty of accessories
  • Rich, warm sound


  • May need to be upgraded after 5 years of practicing

Ricard Bunnel G2 Violin Outfit 3/4 Size

Ricard Bunnel G2 Violin Outfit 3-4 Size

Since we’re determined to find the best intermediate violins for all sizes, we got the ¾ version of the Ricard Bunnel G2. This is a violin for students but not for professionals, but it can help intermediate players progress in their skill development.

You may even choose to get this for a newbie player, so they get a fantastic violin that they won’t have to upgrade as soon as they become much better at it. What’s more, it comes with plenty of accessories that newbies can find useful.

Among the accessories include a Portland String set as a backup for the Prelude strings that are already installed in the violin. You also get the Giulani Premier bow, along with the Giulani rosin too. The other accessories include the tuner, a lesson book (“Intro to Violin”), a polishing cloth, and a Portland Oblong carrying case.

Still, it’s the violin itself that’s the most important, and it doesn’t stint when it comes to the materials used. You’ll find maple tone woods here, along with solid carved (not pressed) spruce. The maple bridge has also been custom-fitted and carved by hand. The fingerboard, pegs, and fittings are all made from 100% ebony. To top it all off, oil-based finish (instead of thick lacquer) was rubbed on by hand.

This violin comes with the oft-recommended D’Addario Prelude strings, and the string height has been precisely measured to provide optimal playability. Everything here exceeds standards set by the NAfME (once known as MENC) and even the Suzuki teaching associations.

To summarize, this is a gorgeous violin that gives you a lot more quality than any beginner violin. While the accessories make it seem like it’s designed for newbies, you won’t have to buy a new intermediate violin once you become better. Stick with this, and you can still develop your skills.


  • Beautiful looks
  • Great workmanship
  • Rich tones
  • Lots of accessories
  • Great value for money


  • Best only for students (and not for pros)
  • Somewhat spotty quality control for accessories

Cremona SV-800 Premier Artist Violin Outfit – 4/4 Size

Cremona SV-800 Premier Artist Violin Outfit

Now we’re back to the somewhat pricier options, but then again you need to reserve serious money if you’re taking your violin playing development seriously as well. This is a new model, but it’s a modern version of a classic design. In fact, that’s highlighted by the aged patina and even some random marks of wear. It’s as if it’s been constantly used for the last 200 years.

This uses carefully picked solid spruce for the top, with well-flamed solid maple for the back. These have been carved by hand and graduated meticulously. The best boxwood has been used for the trimmings, made in the Hill-style with black pips and collars. You also get real ebony for the fingerboard, plus a French-made Aubert bridge.

This comes with popular Thomastik Dominant strings, with a finely balanced J. LaSalle LB-40 Brazilwood Premium student violin bow. Your purchase also includes a lightweight oblong rigid foam case, with a plush interior and blanket.

The violin plays very well, as it’s quite responsive. The tone you get from all these materials will be quite rich and free. It sure sounds clear, with excellent carrying power that works well for public exhibitions.

You’ll like the case as well, as it has lots of space on the outer zip pocket for your music books. You also have space for 4 bows, a compartment for the shoulder rest, another for the rosin, and for other accessories.


  • Looks like a true classic
  • Rich tone
  • Responsive
  • Nice case


  • A bit pricier than other violins
  • Quality control may be somewhat iffy

D’Luca Violin, 4/4 (PROJBV44)

D'Luca Violin, 4-4 (PROJBV44)

This may seem like a violin for newbies as first, with the reasonable price and the inclusion of quite a few freebies. This, of course, comes with a horsehair bow complete with silver winding, plus a chin rest. There’s a free case as well, though the one here is a terrific SKB professional violin case. The purchase also gives you rosin, a tuner and a backup set of D’Luca Perlon violin strings.

But D’Luca has done a topnotch job with this violin, as it comes with professional features that intermediate students will appreciate. For the back and sides, they’ve used highly figured Tiger flamed maple. The top is carved from dark-brown close-grained solid spruce, with a nice oil varnish finish. The chin rest, peg, and fingerboard are all made with pure ebony.

Show this to your violin instructor and they’ll be impressed with the sound quality as well. For its price, the sound is fantastic, since you’ll often find the same sound quality in violins that cost several times as much as this one. The sound is rich and full, though it’s a bit mellow and not really as bright as more professional models.

Of course, if you’re a newbie then you need to understand that it will need a lot of tuning at first. That’s normal for any new violin, but then the strings will settle and you can then rely on this to provide you with that expensive-seeming sound. Basically, it sounds almost like a pro violin with the price tag of a student violin.


  • Great affordable price
  • Nice materials
  • Comes with lots of freebies


  • Needs breaking in
  • Packaging came with bubble wrap instead of a felt cover for the violin

Intermediate Violins: Conclusion

You don’t really need to spend a lot of money on beginner violins, since the main focus for the first lessons will be about the most basic skills. You don’t need advanced violin models for that. It’s like buying a Porsche for your teenage student driver when a second-hand Honda will do.

But when you do become better, you want something that will match your skills. The intermediate violins will offer better sound quality, as long as you actually have become better. The best of these intermediate violins can still help you to improve your skills as well.

But, If you’re a professional you may check best violin for professionals.

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