Best Acoustic Violas Reviewed

Best Acoustic Violas Reviewed post thumbnail image

The Viola market is relatively small compared to the other string instruments like guitars and violins.

The effect is that most of the quality products are expensive. Thus, the price proves prohibitive for most beginners, especially those just starting or experimenting. While being an option, renting still has limitations. This option does not offer room for tailoring the instrument to your needs. It also ends up being costly 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

The D Z Strad viola comes with the reputation of a well-known music instrument maker. It emphasizes the comfort of the player. The viola features a two-piece maple back body along with a spruce top.

It is the ideal beginner viola with its flexibility and soft hand feel.


  • 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

One of the best violas comes from Mendini. Having a 16-inch long purple-colored sturdy body, this model stays several steps ahead of others, especially for beginners.

The whole instrument is hand-carved and features a spruce top.


  • 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 comes with a hand-carved wood spruce top, while maple is used for the back and sides. It is an object of grace with satin varnish. Moreover, the inlaid purfling takes comfort to the next level.

It is also one of the best accessorized acoustic violas, thus offering more value for your money.


  • 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


4. Cremona Viola Outfit – SVA-130

Cremona SVA-130 Premier Novice Viola Outfit - 16"

The Cremona SVA-130 viola uses several styles and materials to create a beautiful, sturdy, high-quality viola. The use of ebony for both the fingerboard and fittings further ensures durability.

It is one of the few violas that work well both as a beginner and an advanced student instrument.


  • 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
  • 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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