Cheap vs Expensive Violin: Can you hear the difference? | Violin Lounge TV #323

by | Sep 11, 2019 | Beautiful Sound | 29 comments

Do the blind test and find out if you can hear the difference between a cheap $ 67 violin and a professional $ 10,000 violin!

Let’s see if you can hear the difference between a cheap violin and an expensive violin!

The cheap violin in this video is a Glarry violin made in China that comes as a complete outfit including the case, a bow, tuner and anything you will need for under $ 50.

While the expensive violin is an antique German violin built in 1840. This violin alone is $ 10,000 and unlike the cheap violin it doesn’t include the complete set. This bow is around $ 8,000.

So can you REALLY tell the difference?

Watch this video to do the blind test and find out for yourself!

Let me know in the comments below if you think Violin A or Violin B is the cheap violin.

Hi! I'm Zlata

Let me help you find a great bow for your violin, so you can improve your bowing technique and sound quality:


  1. Fred

    B is the German

    • Name *anja

      Om eerlijk te zijn hoor ik praktisch geen verschil…….
      Of mijn oren zijn niet goed of mijn muzikale( viool )gehoor is nog niet voldoende ontwikkeld.
      Voor mij is het prijsverschil dan ook te groot ten opzichte van het kwaliteitsverschil.

      • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

        Klopt wel, Anja, laat ook zien dat een investering in je speltechniek belangrijker is dan een instrument tot op zekere hoogte.

    • Robert Donkor

      Violin A is the cheap $ 67 Glarry and the one i would buy and worth every penny, lovely sound for the price.

  2. Nancy Seltzer

    I believe A is the cheap violin although they both sound pretty good with a professional playing. But B sounded purer and sweeter. Am I right?

  3. Fernando

    A) definitely sounded like the cheap one, but B) did not sound that much like the German one you played. It did sound more focused played, as though A) and B) were both on the cheap one.

    Earlier in the vid, the German violin has a richer, fuller sound, as though the soundbox is a perfect fit for the sounds produced and as if the strings were fitted to perfection.

  4. Leah Hamdaoui

    B is the German violin. Has far more resonance and timbre.

  5. Valerie Rothwilson

    No matter what you play it is beautiful!

  6. José Verbruggen

    For me (I think) the violin A is the cheap violin.
    (B violin more resonance).

  7. Tom

    For me who have never played but would like to start, it was difficult to tell the difference. But it did seem that B had a better tonal overall.

  8. Rina Chan


  9. Rina Chan

    But Zlata, you make any violin sound wonderful!

  10. Maris

    A is the cheap one ( I think )

  11. Lida Schaap

    Hello Zlata,

    Violin A is the Glarry-violin. Violin B sounded richer however, I have to agree with Fernando, the German violin sounded richer and fuller earlier in the video.
    Another difference I noticed earlier in the video was you could hear the bow on the strings more clear on the Glarry; I didn’t hear this background noise when you played on the German violin.
    By the way it’s amazing how beautiful a nearly 180 year old violin still sounds. I bet you cherish this beautiful old instrument!

    Best wishes from Lida.

  12. Paul Smith

    It really is close. The B violin just sings slightly more and in the sustained notes, you can just hear a fraction more tone and depth. It’s more of an emotional quality rather than a technical quality. It just shows that every detail from bow to rosin to strings can get you closer.

    I would defintitely add that there is so much tone in your fingers and because you play so beautifully, it makes it harder to tell the difference because you can extract a very good performance from the cheaper violin. Perhaps in the hands of a novice like me, the differences might be more apparent although maybe I wouldn’t be able to extract a good performance from either violin 😉

    • Violinist Zlata Brouwer

      Thanks for your compliment, Paul, I definitely had to do a lot of effort and work arounds to make the Glarry sound good. On the other side: there were more takes necessary to record something with my own violin as it’s more sensitive.

  13. neil may

    I once had the privilege of playing a student Stradivarius thought I did not know at the time, with a single bow pull the hairs on my neck stood up, the quality was highly notable even against my Gliga . The cheap violin was scratchy and harsh as they are designed to produce a sound rather than project a sound, this poor quality was very notable in the timber used which gave one a tinny sound while the old violin had depth and quality.
    Thanks for this, a good little test


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