Unveiling the Best Acoustic Violas for Your Budget and Needs

6 Best Electric and Acoustic Violas Review

The market for violas is considerably smaller than that for other string instruments like guitars and violins. As a result, many of the high-quality products tend to be quite pricey, which can be a significant barrier for beginners or those just starting out. While renting may be an option, it has its limitations. Renting does not allow for the customization of the instrument to fit your specific needs, and it can also end up being quite expensive in the long run.

Top 4 Best Acoustic Violas

The market is flooded with low-quality violas that compromise sound and music quality. However, several quality options offer these two primary qualities. Besides, they can be favorably priced for beginners of any age.

D Z Strad 1014
Mendini MA-Purple4.1
Cecilio CVA-4004.4
Cremona SVA-1304

1. D Z Strad Acoustic Viola Outfit – Model 101

D Z Strad Viola Model 101 with Case,Bow,Shoulder Rest, and Rosin Size 16.5

When I decided to start learning the viola, I was searching for the perfect beginner instrument that wouldn’t break the bank. That’s when I came across the D Z Strad viola, and I’m so glad I did!

First of all, I was impressed with the quality of the craftsmanship. The two-piece maple back body and spruce top were beautifully constructed and gave the instrument a professional feel.

As a beginner, it was important for me to have an instrument that was easy to handle and comfortable to play. The D Z Strad viola exceeded my expectations with its soft hand feel and flexibility.

But the best part about this viola was the sound. Even though it’s a beginner instrument, the tone was surprisingly rich and full. It was easy to produce a warm and resonant sound, which made practicing and learning even more enjoyable.

Overall, I highly recommend the D Z Strad viola for any beginner looking for a quality instrument that won’t break the bank. It’s comfortable, easy to play, and produces a beautiful sound that will inspire you to keep practicing and improving.


  • Wittner style tailpiece
  • Full-size viola with a height of 16.5″
  • It weighs just 7 pounds


  • Professional build quality and parts
  • Produces excellent tones
  • The case comes with extra storage space


  • Quite heavy
  • The shoulder rest does not fit properly and may require replacement

2. Mendini Solid Wood Acoustic Viola

Mendini 16-Inch MA-Purple Solid Wood Viola with Case, Bow, Rosin, Bridge and Strings

I recently got the chance to try out the Mendini 16-inch viola, and I must say, I was pleasantly surprised. The vibrant purple color of the sturdy body immediately caught my attention, and I was excited to see how it would perform.

Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the entire instrument was hand-carved, and the top was made of spruce, giving it a smooth and polished look. The viola’s fingerboard was made of ebony, which added to its durability and sturdiness.

When I started playing, I could immediately feel the quality of the sound. The tone was rich and deep, with a clear projection that was perfect for playing solo or in an ensemble. The sound quality was especially impressive for a beginner’s instrument, and I could see how this viola would be an excellent choice for anyone starting out.

Overall, the Mendini 16-inch viola is an excellent choice for beginners looking for a reliable and affordable instrument that doesn’t sacrifice on quality. The hand-carved body, spruce top, and ebony fingerboard all come together to create a beautiful instrument that delivers a rich and deep tone.


  • In-built fine tuners
  • Quality bow with pure Mongolian horsehair
  • Maple body
  • Available in five other colors, including white, black, natural varnish, satin antique, and blue


  • Handmade product
  • It comes with extra strings
  • Excellent sound quality with deep sounds
  • Offers easy playability


  • It requires tuning, which can take a while to hit the right sound quality.


3. Cecilio Solidwood Viola – CVA-400

Cecilio CVA-400 Solidwood Viola with D'Addario Prelude Strings, Size 16-Inch

The Cecilio CVA-400 viola is truly a work of art. When I first received it, I was blown away by the quality of the hand-carved spruce top and maple back and sides. The satin varnish gives it a smooth and elegant finish.

But it’s not just the appearance that impressed me. The inlaid purfling adds a level of comfort that is often overlooked. Playing for hours on end can be hard on the fingers, but the Cecilio CVA-400 viola made it so much easier.

One of the best things about this viola is the accessories that come with it. The package includes a lightweight case, bow, rosin, and a set of strings, which are all high-quality and help you get started right away.

Overall, the Cecilio CVA-400 viola offers excellent value for the price, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a beautiful and high-quality viola.


  • D’Addario Prelude strings
  • Flexible fine tuners
  • It comes with a Cecilio chromatic tuner and 2 AAA batteries


  • Well-equipped for a professional experience
  • Excellent build quality
  • Produces well-rounded, rich sounds
  • 1-year warranty


  • It does not come with any replacement strings
  • The bridge will need plenty of adjustment to work


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4. Cremona Viola Outfit – SVA-130

Cremona SVA-130 Premier Novice Viola Outfit - 16"

This viola is a masterpiece of craftsmanship, utilizing various styles and materials to create an exquisite, sturdy, and high-quality instrument.

What I appreciated most about the Cremona SVA-130 viola is the use of ebony for both the fingerboard and fittings. Ebony is known for its durability, ensuring that the instrument can withstand the test of time. The body of the viola is made from quality spruce and maple woods, giving it a rich, warm sound that is second to none.

What sets the Cremona SVA-130 viola apart from other models is its versatility. It is one of the few violas that work well both as a beginner and an advanced student instrument. As a beginner, the viola is easy to play, and it produces a beautiful, smooth sound that can inspire anyone to keep playing. As an advanced student, the viola’s quality construction and tonal range make it a suitable instrument for more complex musical pieces.

Overall, the Cremona SVA-130 viola is an exceptional instrument that offers a perfect balance of beauty, quality, and versatility. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced student, this viola is worth considering.


  • It has Swiss-style ebony pegs that assist in tuning
  • Fully assembled with correct spacing between strings


  • Extremely lightweight construction, weighing only 1.4 pounds
  • Quality craft
  • Requires less maintenance
  • Easy setup and tuning


  • Bow quality is average
  • It does not come with a warranty.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the favorable age limit to start playing the viola?

Ideally, children can start learning the viola from a very early age 3-5 years or older. The emphasis should be on when they are ready and showing enough interest. Most programs suggest children from grade three as they have better attention and retention abilities.
However, it is never too late for adults to learn the viola. There are students as old as 70 years, taking up lessons and becoming skilled players.

How do I pick the right viola size?

The right viola size is determined by the distance from your neck to the wrist with the hand fully stretched perpendicular to the body. This length determines the size of the viola that you can comfortably hold.

How often should I clean my viola?

You can clean the viola every time you play it. Cleaning is necessary to remove fingerprints and oil, and also to prevent any build-up of rosin dust.

Our Top Pick

The Cecilio CVA-400 Viola offers the best bargain, and it is an ultimate value for money. That’s because both beginners and advanced students will enjoy the build quality, range of accessories, and sounds. Its D’Addario Prelude strings offer quality sound, and you also get the security on a one-year warranty.

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