Frequently Asked Questions

String instruments are made in many different sizes to fit students as they grow.  Generally speaking, a 4/4 or full size instrument is for someone who is close to an adult size or an adult.  The bow and the case should fit the instrument.  If you would like advice about choosing an instrument size, please call us at 877.858.6222 or contact us through the website.  We are more than happy to help you.

InstrumentSizes Available
Violin 1/16 size, 1/10 size, 1/8 size, 1/4 size, 1/2 size, 3/4 size, 4/4 full size
Viola  12" size, 13" size, 14" size, 15" size, 15.5" size, 16" size, 16.5" size 
Cello  1/16 size, 1/10 size, 1/8 size, 1/4 size, 1/2 size, 3/4 size, 7/8 size, 4/4 full size
Double Bass  1/4 size, 1/2 size, 3/4 size

About Violas -  A 14" viola has the same body length as a full size violin; however, the body of the viola is normally deeper in order to accommodate the resonance of the lower pitched strings.

We don't recommend buying a size they can grow into.  Choosing the correct size for a student is essential for the young string player. Although parents will wisely choose clothing in a larger size for a child to "grow into," this is not a good practice in choosing an instrument size. An instrument that is too large will contribute to poor technical habits and frustration.

We recommend contacting us if you are unsure about the correct size to order online.

Our entry level instrument outfits come with a bow and case.  If you are just purchasing an instrument or bow separately, use this graphic to make sure your bow matches your instrument.  As always, we are here to help.  Call us and we would be ahppy to assist you.

Market value of an instrument is determined by many factors, but primarily by the quality of the workmanship and materials used and the country or school of the maker or shop.

Good Sound?  Some people believe the price of an instrument is determined by the quality of the sound it produces. The assessment of sound quality, however, is like the taste of food or preference in color; it is entirely personal.

New or Used?  A good string instrument can last for hundreds of years. Therefore used instruments are not a bargain, and often more expensive than new ones. Many people feel that old instruments acquire a very desirable and special sound. Instruments from many makers will go up in price as their availability diminishes and their age increases. Therefore, the purchase of a good instrument is also a good investment. An inexpensive, poorly made and poorly sounding instrument is no bargain if it causes the beginner to become frustrated and stop playing, therefore you should never buy the inexpensive, "bargain" instrument just because of low cost.

There are some instruments on the market that are so poorly made that they will never sound good, they do not hold up well to even normal use and are hard or even impossible to play well. If a person is not familiar with string instruments, it is very hard to choose a good one or an appropriate one. A. Cavallo Violins can help with the choice and demonstrate various instruments for the prospective student.

With our entry level instruments the Academia or Conservatory instruments you don't have to wait to experience a hand-carved instrument with hand-applied spirit or oil varnish, inlaid purfling and professional level fittings.  You will hear the difference in our instruments and you will save yourself time and money with an instrument and bow that you can count on.

At A. Cavallo Violins we strive to set the highest possible standards for our beginning Academia outfits.  Why?

Because we believe a good sounding instrument that works properly (stays in tune, correct measurements, etc) is essential for good player development, even at the youngest age and beginner level.  

Start out with a good instrument and you won't regret it.  We offer Academia level instrument outfits (violin, bow & case) for purchase, (Violin, $595), or rent (Violin, 32.11/month).  A. Cavallo Violins, LLC also guarantees we will take your instrument back on trade when you purchase a higher grade instrument.

When you purchase in instrument or instrument outfit from A. Cavallo Violins, we will take that instrument or outfit back on trade and give you a credit towards the purchase of another higher grade instrument or higher grade and larger instrument.  The credit will usually be the price you paid minus any maintenance needed to bring the instrument

Here is an example of our Trade-In Program:

The Smiths purchase a 1/2 size Academia Violin Outfit for $595.00 (violin, case, bow) for their son Joe.

Two years later, Joe Smith needs a larger size instrument (he's grown!). He has been practicing and Joe's parents, the Smith's, want to purchase one grade higher in instrument for him (Conservatory).  The Smiths come back in to A. Cavallo Violins and want to trade their 1/2 size Academia Outfit in for a 3/4 size Conservatory Violin.  They have $495 credit ($595 original price minus new strings, bow rehair, and touch up) towards their purchase of the any new higher grade violin, bow, & case.

$595  Academia Outfit (+tax) - original purchase 
$750 3/4 Conservatory Violin - New size and upgrade
$150 3/4 Carbon Fiber Bow 
$100 Basic Case 
$990.00  Total without trade-in credit
$495   New total due after credit applied for Trade-In*

*The amounts are approximate cost depending on the new bow & case selected and condition of traded instrument.

When the Smith's come back for a full size violin they will have another credit from the full price of the Conservatory violin (minus any repairs) to use for Joe's full size violin.

We suggest that you consider renting an instrument if you or your child wants to try learning to play the violin, viola, cello or double bass before you make a long-term commitment to it.

Some parents know for sure that they want learning to play an instrument to be a definite part of their child's education.  For those parents, we say go ahead and purchase your instrument.  If your child decides to play another string instrument that we sell, we will happily take your instrument back in trade.

Other parents want their child to give it a try to see if it is a good fit for their child.  Renting an instrument is the best way to give your child a chance to play and learn without a long term commitment.  Renting is, however, more expensive in the long run so we always recommend purchasing when you have the most rental credit which is at or before the one year anniversary of your rental.

Why Choose to rent from A. Cavallo Violins, LLC?

  1.  Choose from our selection of hand-crafted Violins, Violas, Cellos & Double Bass that are set up using the finest fittings and standards.
  2. Customer Support from a Professional Staff A. Cavallo Violin’s staff specializes in string instruments and includes a full-time workshop with professionals to support your rental or purchase.
  3.  The Confidence to Rent with a Growing Student.  When a student outgtows an instrument during the rental period, it can be exchanged for an instrument of equivilant grade or larger size at no extra charge except the charge to bring the returned rental up to saleable condition.
  4. The Ability to Rent Short-Term.  A. Cavallo’s rentals are a low cost way of trying a string instrument.  Our minimum rental cost is only one month with deposit.
  5. A Rental that gives you Peace of Mind.  Insurance & Maintance Coverage is included with every rental.