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Summary: This best 4/4 violins guide will explain violin sizing, what makes a good violin, and the top manufacturers.
If you or someone in your family is looking to play the violin, you need to have the correct size. There are many terms thrown around in violin descriptions like “half size,” “full size,” “¼,” or “4/4”. What do they all mean? This best 4/4 violins guide will explain.
Bottomline Up Front
I recommend the Bunnel Pupil Violin Outfit 4/4 Full Size. This is one of the absolute best you could buy, and if you are looking for a 4/4 violin, it is likely you are buying it for yourself.
Adults are much more likely to stick with new hobbies or musical skills, so I think it is worth the investment upfront to get the most quality and craftsmanship.
All instruments considered for this best 4/4 violins guide were evaluated by the quality of materials, craftsmanship, and price. You don’t need the best materials or the most expensive violin on the market to find the “best 4/4 violin” for you.
What is a 4/4 Violin?
Firstly, a 4/4 violin is also known as a “full” violin. It is the largest violin, used primarily by older teens and adults. If you are an adult, you might hear “standard” size too. All of this means a 4/4 violin. Only in rare circumstances as an adult do you need a fractional size smaller than the 4/4 violins.
Let’s take a step back, though, and let this best 4/4 violins guide explain the sizing system in more detail. You can also watch this video of choosing violin sizes:
Violins are crafted in eight different sizes, measured to fit your arm span from neck to wrist:
- 4/4, which is 54cm
- ¾, which is 52cm
- ½ which is 48.5cm
- ¼ which is 44cm
- 1/8, which is 38.5cm
- 1/10, which is 36cm
- 1/16, which is 33.5cm
Having the right size prevents wrist discomfort or an instrument too heavy. Most petite sizes are meant for children, and many of them are toy violins. These numbers might seem confusing, but thankfully all you need to worry about is whether you are buying for yourself or a child.
If you are buying for yourself, you only need to know what the best full-size or 4/4 violins are. If you are buying for a child, measure their arm span from neck to wrist and match it to the eight sizes in the table.
What Makes the Best Violin?
Violin students and adults alike struggled to figure out what features are most important in a new violin. If you are unfamiliar with stringed instruments, it’s easy for them all to look the same, so it can be next to impossible to figure out why there are drastic differences in price tag.
Understanding what contributes to a high-quality violin will help you determine which components influence your sound and are there for aesthetic purposes only.
The construction and materials used have the most considerable influence on the sound. Even if you are a brand-new musician, you want something that makes the most out of your limited skill rather than holds you back.
Poor quality craftsmanship or plywood materials can inhibit your learning, making the violin more difficult than it should be.
Spruce is a typical dense wood design for the top part of the violin, called the table. It’s pretty standard for good violins to be constructed with spruce on top and to have the sides and bottom of the instrument made from maple.
Maple holds its structural integrity well, and it offers a great deal of resonance that helps project your sound.
When you look at the fingerboard, chin rest, and pegs, those are usually made with a very dense hardwood like ebony. If you have accessories that come with your violin, like a violin bow, you want a brazilwood bow with Mongolian horsehair.
Starting with the best quality for your accessories will make it much easier to familiarize yourself with your instrument and produce good quality sound from the beginning.
No matter what materials are used, avoid anything that doesn’t explicitly say it is solid wood construction. You want a full-size violin that uses solid wood construction. This means each section for the top, the sides, and the back are crafted from a section of wood rather than particleboard.
A great deal of craftsmanship goes into making any stringed instrument. For the violin, the first stage of construction is cutting the different components, and the second stage is delicately putting everything together.
Technology can make it so that the components are all manufactured on a large scale, but handcrafted construction means that all the pieces are put together by hand. This part is significant because it means better quality control during the construction process, which equates to better sound quality when you play.
Signs of the best 4/4 violin:
- No creaking when you press down on the top or sides of the violin
- Symmetrical sides which mirror each other exactly
- Straight neck
- No visible gaps for the seams or joints
- Maple, ebony, and spruce wood
- Solid wood construction
Now let’s look at some of the top violins on the market. This best 4/4 violins guide reviewed violins based on their craftsmanship, excluding models known for poor craftsmanship or had lots of customer complaints about the quality. I also checked the materials used and left out any made from cheaper wood or synthetic materials.
If you are looking for the best, you want something made with robust and dense wood that adequately supports the integrity of your music.
Best 4/4 Violins Guide: My Top Picks
Mendini Solid Wood Violin with Hard Case, Bow, Rosin, and Extra Strings (4/4, Antique)
Mendini is one of the top brands for smaller stringed instruments, and their antique 4/4 violin does not disappoint. Each of the components used in the body of this violin is crafted from a single piece of wood so that you won’t find any particle board here. It comes with four built-in tuners along with the tailpiece.
You get a brazilwood bow with unbleached horsehair. You get a hard case as well in which to store all of your accessories, including the extra set of strings and rosin that come with your investment.
I strongly recommend this for beginners who are still in school or those of you on a budget because it produces a clear, warm sound perfect for student musicians. It’s a reputable brand known for quality control and comes with everything you need if you are starting.
- Solid wood spruce for the top
- Maple for the back, neck, and sides
- It has extra parts, including strings, rosin, and a bow
- Everything fits into the accompanying carrying case
- Intended for adult beginners or intermediate musicians
Goobest 4/4 Acoustic Violin Set Full Size
The Goobest 4/4 Acoustic Violin Set Full Size is fun if you don’t want a wood finish. It is a 4-string full-size violin made with maple but has a black finish, so the entire violin, except for the bridge, is a rich black color.
The construction is unique, different from most adult violins in that it uses maple for the top wood and basswood for the body. It is a much cheaper model for adults, with plastic used for the fingerboard, pegs, chin rest, and tailpiece.
The bow is made from arbor wood with Mongolian horsehair. You get a relatively inexpensive case and soft rosin with it.
I wouldn’t recommend this for serious musicians because the construction is of poor quality and material. Still, it’s pretty fun for beginners, especially if you want to invest in a black violin.
- Dark black color
- Maple for the top
- Only available in full size with four strings
Mendini 4/4 MV650 Violin
This model is made from hand-carved flamed one-piece construction. As with all Mendini violins, this model uses spruce for the top and maple for the rest of the body. You get an incredible range of accessories that come with it, including a chromatic string tuner, two Brazilwood bows, an extra set of strings, rosin, a metronome, and a case.
However, these are of somewhat poor quality, so I would recommend if you have any musical scale or you are buying for a musician who has played the violin for at least a year oh, that you upgrade the strings as soon as you get it and that you consider upgrading the bow as well.
- It comes with a range of accessories
- It has a beautiful dark varnish
- The bow and strings are often the first to break
D Z Strad Violin Model 101 with Solid Wood Full Size 4/4 with Case, Bow, and Rosin (4/4 – Size)
D Z Strad Violin is another beginner model. This one comes with many of the same accessories as the Mendini, but it is not as popular a brand name.
The construction is good quality, though, with a warm sound and reliable Spruce and Maple for the top and body. I like this one because of the rounder sound and the beautiful varnish finish. This really brightens the appearance of the violin. If you don’t like the bow, you can always look for a more suitable violin bow.
- It comes with a Brazilwood bow, a case, rosin, and shoulder rest
- Produces a warm tone, perfect for beginners
- Beautiful varnish finish
- There is no case included in the accessories
Eastar Violin 4/4 Full Size for Adults
Eastar Violin 4/4 Full Size is designed for adults. This model is entirely handcrafted, with a high-quality wood tuning knob, spruce wood for the top panel, and maple for the sides and backboard.
The neck is also maple with a date wood chin rest and pearwood fingerboard. You get a lot of accessories with this, so if you are beginning your career as a violinist, it is a great package deal with the warranty, bow, shoulder rest, extra bridge, and spare strings.
- Has a hard case
- It comes with a bow, rosin, shoulder rest, and extra strings
- Entirely handcrafted
- Maple and spruce are used for the body and top
- The fingerboard is inlaid with muscovite
- It has an imprinted finger guide on the fingerboard, so you know where to put your fingers as you play, but this can inhibit learning once you get to know your instrument.
Bunnel Pupil Violin Outfit 4/4 Full Size
The Bunnel Pupil Violin Outfit 4/4 Full Size is one of the absolute best. With Bunnel, you get all of the accessories you need, and they are each high quality. You don’t need to settle for beginner-grade accessories here.
You get Giuliani rosin and a Brazilwood bow with Prelude strings already installed, a spare set of strings, carbon fiber shoulder rest, polishing cloth, and a hard case in which to store it all.
One of the selling points for this company is that their parts are made and assembled in America, not China. Compare this to Mendini by Cecilio, whose instruments are all made and assembled in China before undergoing QC at a port in the United States.
It has a solid maple and source design with ebony fittings and a satin oil finish. I love how beautiful this particular model is, with the varnish on the outside.
- High-grade Brazilwood and Mongolian horsehair bow
- The bow has a solid ebony frog and mother-of-pearl inlay.
- It comes with Prelude strings, spare parts, rosin, and a guide.
- More expensive than the other models
This best 4/4 violins guide has covered what makes a high-quality violin and what models are best. But you might still have questions. That’s ok; I have answers.
Answer: Many of the most popular manufacturers for stringed instruments produce all violin sizes. Take Mendini, for example. Mendini is known for producing reputable violins in all sizes, including 4/4. So, if you find a make or model that you like, chances are you can find it in full size.
Answer: The cost ranges based on the materials used and the craftsmanship. However, you can expect to pay between $100 and $150 for a new violin suitable for beginners and intermediate players.
Answer: You should stick with the 4/4, or “full” size “standard” violin if you are an adult. If you are buying for a child, consider a smaller size, like a ¾.
Answer: When you invest in a new violin, even a full-size violin, it’s quite common to get many accessories. Modern manufacturers for beginner violins usually include the essential accessories you need to play with, such as a brazilwood bow, rosin, a cleaning cloth, and a carrying case.
Many manufacturers like Mendini include sets of extra strings and spare chin rest. The accessories are great for small children or students, but if you are an adult, I strongly advise you consider the craftsmanship and quality of the construction above all else. You can always buy the accessories separately to fit your instrument better.
Answer: Yes. The 4/4 or full-size violin is known as the “standard.” It is the orchestra standard for adults. This is almost always the size you need if you are an adult.
As an adult, you are much more likely to stick with your new hobbies or interests because you are the one who invested the money, your money. So, it is better to invest your money in something that is the highest caliber and makes it easy for you to learn to play or perfect your skills.
I recommend the Bunnel Pupil Violin Outfit 4/4 Full Size if you are going for quality. This is one of the absolute best models on the market, and you get the added benefit of all the accessories you need.
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