Best Violas on Amazon

Note: I added a couple of sentences on my selection criteria, and I bolded the whole section on how I chose the violas!

Do you want to play a string instrument but don’t want to deal with the competitive nature of the violin section? You may want to check out the best violas on Amazon.

Then, you can play a string instrument that isn’t too big, but you won’t have as much competition. As long as you choose a good model for you, you’ll be able to practice and improve, and you may just become the principal violist in an orchestra.

Best Violas On Amazon

You may not think of Amazon as a good place to shop for the best viola. However, the website has more options than you may believe, so it’s worth at least considering.

Amazon may not be a specialty music store, but they do sell everything. So why wouldn’t they sell at least a few good violas that you can try?

I looked for violas at different price points and from a few different brands. Then, I made sure to include models that would work for students, pros, and anyone in between.

Other important factors where the available sizes and the tonewoods. That way, there would be something for everyone.

Here are some of the best violas you’ll find on Amazon.

Yamaha AVA5

Yamaha, 4-String Viola-Acoustic

The Yamaha AVA5 is an excellent model for adult beginners and teenagers. It comes in a few sizes, starting at 15.5 inches, so it may be a bit too big for younger students.

Still, it uses maple on the back and sides of the body, and the top is spruce. Rosewood and ebony fittings make the instrument comfortable to play, and the alloy steel strings help you get a resonant tone.

This model also comes with a bow and rosin, so you have what you need to start playing. Plus, everything comes in a case to protect your gear.


  • Easy to play
  • A few sizes available
  • Comes with accessories
  • Good materials
  • Nice sound


  • Not for younger students

Yamaha AVA7

Yamaha Model AVA7 Viola Outfit 16 in.

Another model to consider is the Yamaha AVA7, which is very similar to the AVA5. The AVA7 uses maple and spruce for the body, so you can get the typical viola sound.

However, it uses ebony instead of ebony and rosewood for the fittings and fingerboard. This model only comes in the 16-inch size, so it should work for most players but not all.

You can get a lot of different tone colors when playing this viola, so it will support your studies for a while. That way, you don’t need to spend a ton of money on an upgrade right away.


  • Easy to play
  • Great sound
  • Good materials
  • Comfortable
  • Works for beginners and intermediate players


  • Only in one size
  • A bit expensive for what you get

Cremona SVA-175

Cremona SVA-175 Premier Student Viola Outfit

The Cremona SVA-175 is an excellent student viola for anyone on a budget. It comes in sizes as small as 12 inches and as large as 16 inches, so you can make sure it will fit you comfortably.

Spruce and maple make up the body to help you get a warm and rich sound. Meanwhile, the ebony fittings are comfortable and help you play easily.

This model is lightweight, which is great for anyone with joint problems or beginners in general. Cremona follows national music education standards, so you can use this instrument for a while without a ton of issues.


  • Easy to play
  • Lightweight
  • Different sizes
  • Affordable
  • Good sound


  • Not for professionals

Cremona SVA-500

Cremona SVA-500 Premier Artist Viola Outfit

If you’re ready to upgrade to a better viola, you might try the Cremona SVA-500. This premier artist model has the same tonewoods and features as the student instrument from the same company.

However, it’s perfect for anyone looking for a bit of a different sound and response from their instrument. It has a nice dark varnish, which looks great, and the maple and spruce offer plenty of resonance.

You can choose from 14, 15, and 16 inches as the size, so it’s good for adults and older kids. When you’re ready to upgrade, you should be big enough to make one of those sizes work for you.


  • Easy to play
  • Multiple sizes
  • Good upgrade
  • Resonant sound
  • Affordable


  • Not too different from cheaper models

D Z Strad 101

D Z Strad 101

Another excellent beginner viola to consider is the D Z Strad 101. This viola is perfect for new players who want to get started on something affordable but of good quality.

Maple and spruce are the main tonewoods of the body, while the fittings are ebony. A high-gloss lacquer finish makes the viola look just as good as it sounds without being too expensive.

You can choose from multiple sizes as small as 12 inches or as large as 16.5 inches. No matter which size you choose, you’ll also get a bow, a shoulder rest, and some rosin.


  • Easy to play
  • Great for beginners
  • Affordable
  • Nice materials
  • Sounds good


  • Not for professionals

D Z Strad 400

Professional Handmade D Z Strad Viola model 400

The D Z Strad 400 is an excellent viola for intermediate players and aspiring professionals. It has a lot of the same features as other violas, such as a spruce top, while maple makes up the back and sides of the body.

I couldn’t figure out what wood the fittings are, but I assume ebony is the wood since that’s pretty standard. Either way, you can get a fantastic sound out of this instrument.

You’ll get to choose a size as small as 14 inches or as large as 16.5 inches to get a good fit. Each model also comes with a good viola bow, so you just need some rosin to start playing.


  • Great sound
  • Nice materials
  • Durable
  • Easy to play
  • Different sizes


  • Not for beginners

D Z Strad 600

D Z Strad 600 Violin

If you want a more professional viola, you should try the D Z Strad 600. This model uses maple and spruce to make up the body and give you a rich, warm sound.

The 600 is handmade, so you might want to try a couple of 600s to find one you like. Each individual can have some unique features due to the crafting process.

Like other models, this one comes in a variety of sizes, from 12 to 16 inches. You’ll also get a viola bow and a case to protect everything during storage and transportation.


  • Easy to play
  • Great sound
  • Good materials
  • Handmade
  • Different sizes


  • Relatively expensive

Yamaha SVV200

Yamaha SVV200 Silent Viola

If you ever need to practice late at night, consider getting the Yamaha SVV200. This silent viola doesn’t have your standard body, so it won’t make a sound like an acoustic model.

Instead, you can play it silently or plug in headphones so that you can hear yourself. It also works with an amp, so you can play the viola with an electric rock band.

This model only comes in the 16-inch size, but it’s lighter than a typical viola. I wouldn’t use this as your main viola, but it’s nice to have on hand for those late-night practice sessions.


  • Easy to play
  • Lightweight
  • Good for silent practice
  • Works with an amp
  • Not too expensive


  • Only one size

What to Consider When Buying a Viola on Amazon

Once you decide which viola you want to buy, you may be ready to add it to your cart and purchase it. However, you should consider a few factors before you finalize your decision.

Some of these factors may seem obvious, and you might have already thought about them. But if you’ve never bought an instrument from Amazon, you may not know to consider certain aspects.

While it’s been a while, I have bought an instrument on Amazon. I made sure to do my research, and I checked the following things to reduce the chances of buyer’s remorse (which I didn’t experience).

The Brand

First, you need to make sure you buy a viola from a reputable brand. You can find tons of brands on Amazon, but a lot of them aren’t worth it.

Now, those cheaper instruments may have a place for beginners or casual players. However, they can often be a waste of time and money.

If you buy from a popular brand, you can reduce the risk of your viola breaking after a few months. Then, you will be able to play the model you do get for much longer.

The Model

Within the brand, you may have a few models to compare. Think about your current level as a violist and if you should get a student model or something more professional.

A viola performance major will probably need a different instrument than an absolute beginner, and that’s okay. Along with the level, consider the sizes available.

This is particularly important if you have shorter or longer than average arms. You may need a specific size to be comfortable, so don’t waste your time on a model in the wrong size.

The Accessories

You should also figure out what comes with the viola, such as a bow, rosin, and a case. If a model doesn’t come with a bow, you’ll need to prepare to spend some extra money on one.

The same is true if you’re getting your first viola and it doesn’t include rosin. A current player can use the rosin they already have, but a new violist will need to buy some.

Finally, all players should get a good case for their viola. You can buy a case separately, but it’s nice to get one with your purchase so that you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars extra on something to protect your viola.

The Shipping

Buying on Amazon requires you to deal with shipping, like it or not. Fortunately, Amazon has a good shipping process, so you shouldn’t have to worry about this too much.

However, you may want to figure out where the viola will come from. Then, you can get an idea of how far it has to travel to you and if there may be a bigger chance of delays.

Consider if you can buy from a different seller to reduce those shipping issues. That way, you can receive your new viola without a ton of stress.

The Weather

Another reason you may want to check out the shipping situation is to learn about the weather on the path the viola will take. Because violas are wood, they can crack if they’re in extreme temperatures.

Odds are, the environments the viola passes through won’t all have climate control. The warehouse and any delivery trucks may or may not be the best environments for a viola to just hang out.

I’d recommend upgrading to the fastest shipping possible. Your new viola may not always have climate control, but faster shipping can cut down on the time the viola sits in extreme cold or heat.

The Delivery

Before you place your order, take a look at the expected delivery date. If possible, you should try to be home throughout the day until your instrument arrives.

You can also ask a friend or family member to stay at home if you have to go out for some reason. That way, someone will be home when the viola arrives.

If someone needs to sign for the delivery, you can do so. Or even if you don’t have to sign anything, you can bring the viola inside to avoid more exposure to the weather but also keep thieves from stealing your instrument.

The Price

Of course, you need to think about your budget for a new instrument. The good news about buying on Amazon is that you can apply any Amazon gift cards you have to your purchase.

I saved up gift cards over a few years, and it significantly reduced the amount I had to pay in cash. Whether or not you have gift cards, set a budget for yourself.

Then, you won’t break the bank just to get the best viola. If you can’t afford a good model, you can finance it through Amazon to get it now and pay it off over a year.

The Seller

You may also want to do some research on the seller, which may not always be Amazon itself. If the viola you want to buy is from a third-party seller, check them out.

Figure out their track record for shipping items and if there are any customer complaints. You can also only buy from sellers that are music stores or other businesses instead of individuals.

Then, you may have a better customer experience. If you buy from a new seller, they may not have the logistics in place, so shipping may take longer, or you may receive a viola that isn’t as good as it could be.

The Return Policy

Amazon allows you to return most items up to 30 days after you purchase them. Be sure to check that the listing you want to buy has a note on the return policy and the due date to return it.

That way, you can test out the viola you buy to make sure it’s the right fit for you. If not, you can send it back to Amazon before you lose out on a refund.

After that, you can test another viola that may be a better option. You won’t have to spend more money on instruments that you won’t end up playing.

FAQs About The Best Violas On Amazon

Question: Is it safe to buy a viola on Amazon?

Answer: Buying a viola on Amazon is generally pretty safe. You can benefit from the return policy, and you have access to a decent selection, even though it’s not the biggest selection out there.
Now, that doesn’t mean there aren’t sellers who will try to scam you. But as long as you buy from a reputable seller, you shouldn’t have to worry about that.

Question: Why should you buy a viola on Amazon?

Answer: You should buy a viola on Amazon because it’s easy and convenient. Not everyone lives close enough to a music store to test violas in person.
And even if you do, you may not always have the time to go somewhere. Ordering a viola straight to your house means you can test it whenever you have a free moment.

Question: Why shouldn’t you buy a viola on Amazon?

Answer: You may not want to buy a viola on Amazon because you don’t get to try it before you buy it. Sure, you can send it back if you don’t like it, but you have to have the money upfront just to get the instrument to test.
And while Amazon has a surprisingly large selection of instruments, it still doesn’t compare to that of a music store. If you’re looking for a pro model especially, you may want to shop elsewhere.

Question: Are the cheap violas on Amazon any good?

Answer: The cheap violas on Amazon are good for absolute beginners and casual players on a budget. If you don’t have access to a rental program, you can figure out if you like the viola before spending a ton of money.
Then, you can upgrade if you choose to continue playing the instrument. And you’ll know that you aren’t wasting hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Question: Can you teach yourself the viola?

Answer: You can teach yourself the viola if you have plenty of discipline and time to practice. It will take time before you can get a good, consistent sound on the instrument.
If you don’t have the discipline, you may want to work with a teacher who can guide you. That way, you’ll know what to practice, and you’ll have someone to hold you accountable.

Final Note on the Best Violas on Amazon

The best violas on Amazon may sound like an oxymoron because Amazon isn’t a music store. However, you can find plenty of good options, especially for students.

Be sure to try the Yamaha AVA5 or AVA7, and expand your search if those don’t work for you. Then, you can get the right instrument to help you start playing or get better at the viola.

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