Lots of people ask this! My main instrument is a Stradivarius copy made by “K & L” in Los Angeles in 2003. I bought it from my friend Les Raww in the Pine Box Boys (I’ve played with them on and off for years).

I have since searched for the maker, but have not found them.

I usually refer people to FiddlerShop for buying violins and bows online. They make good, affordable instruments and have a generous return policy. The fiddles are made overseas and then “set up” by hand at their workshop in Florida. And they are a family-run business.

Tower Strings Entertainer Violin Outfit

Here’s an entry-level fiddle to get you going.

Fiddlerman Apprentice Violin Outfit

Here’s a more expensive violin. It’s a worthy investment if you can afford to spend a little more.

Fiddlerman Artist Violin Outfit

My general advice for buying a fiddle…

Get something good that is also affordable. If you spend $100 on a violin, you’ll pay for it in frustration. It will be harder to learn. You may even give up and miss out on having this gift of music in your life. 

On the other hand, too many people obsess over which violin to buy. They miss a big point: you have to play the thing. If you have a $10,000 violin but barely pick it up, then it may as well be a $100 violin.

If you’re on a budget, I recommend something in the $300-400 range. Think of it as an investment. You’re investing in the peace and happiness that comes with music. You also might see some financial return. If you get into fiddling, you won’t waste money on other meaningless stuff.


Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber Bow

A good inexpensive option at $68.79.


Holstein Pernambuco Bow

Pernambuco wood is the standard for professional violinists. If you can afford this at $199.99, then I think it would be a worthy investment.

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5 responses to “What kind of violin do you play?

    1. Hi Vera, thanks for inquiring.
      I’d trust my senses in seeking out an upgrade like this. And it’s always worth going into the stores/visiting luthiers to try out other instruments/bows so you can have a sense of the difference.
      My experience has been, upgraded instrument between 4-5 years of steady playing, then upgraded again at about 10 years. These decisions were supported/recommended through the teachers I was with at those times.
      Happy fiddling 🙂

  1. Six years ago I bought a Becker 1000 violin at a thrift store for $150. I absolutely love this instrument. I added a new bridge – Paititi – and added Dominant 135B medium strings. The sound was significantly improved. What a joy to play!
    The first fiddle I bought cost $15 new on Ebay, including shipping. I bought a Mel Bay book, ” You Too Can Play The Fiddle!” .For over a year I played with the strings tuned in reverse. Sounded OK at the time – even played at open mike nights. Thankfully, a lot of alcohol was flowing…..
    Ray White
    Spring Hill , Florida

  2. I looked at Fiddlershop, and while they ship free to USA, their shipping cost to Canada would have been crazy expensive. I bought my electric fiddle from Kennedy Violins in Vancouver WA and was happy with the product and the personal, on the phone service answering all my questions before I bought. Same idea as Fiddlershop: made overseas and set up in their Vancouver shop. They also offer free in-home trials for the cost of shipping.

    They are at: https://kennedyviolins.com/collections/all-violins

    For acoustics, I purchased from http://www.fiddleheads.ca/. Rihannon was very helpful. She ships worldwide from Canada (Kamloops, BC). My purchase was craft made in china and set up by a local Luthier.