Did you listen to Antonio Vivaldi’s ‘Winter’ and become absolutely mesmerized?
Or is it one of the orchestral arrangements of Mozart or Beethoven that’s implemented the desire to learn the violin?
If you’ve got the ‘I want to learn the violin so bad!’ flame deeply ignited within you and looking for your perfect violin match, Stentor brand, a well-known high-end student quality violin manufacturer will never fail to satisfy.
What is Stentor?
Stentor is one of the pioneering worldwide orchestral stringed instruments manufacturers. They produce top-notch student quality violins, violas, cellos, and double basses.
The company’s name is actually inspired by Greek mythology, in which according to it, Stentor was a herald during the Trojan War. It’s also said that Stentor’s voice is as powerful as fifty voices of other men combined together.
Founded by Edward C. Doughty, a professor of Music and teacher of the violin. Stentor’s been around since 1895, it was found in South London and now headquartered in Reigate, Surrey in the UK. Stentor’s established their own violin manufacturing company in China since 1995 with over 200 workers now hand making violins.
No robotic machinery, just ancient European know-how passed down from generation to another. For 300 years, Stentor’s quality remains constant.
How Does Stentor Make Its Violins?
Let’s discuss briefly the laborious process of the making of a Stentor violin a bit.
Wood, particularly Spruce and Maple is obtained. Spruce and maple are specifically chosen for their tonal qualities in the making of a Stentor violin.
Stacks of spruce and maple are then stored at the Stentor’s own wood drying facility, where they get subjected to fans that maintain air circulation.
They’re left like so for at least three years. This process is essential to ensure that the moisture content of wood is marginally reduced, that is to maintain the produced violins’ stability and tonal quality.
After the wood is dried and seasoned, we move on to the shaping processes.
First, the famous curved shape of the violin, as well as the supplementary wood pieces are cut by hand using a traditional bow saw just like 300 years ago.
Craftsmen and women use a craft knife to cut the ‘f-holes’.
Stentor violins are also known for their strengthened edges due to the inlaid purflings present.
Using a strong natural adhesive, workers then glue together all these cut parts.
In the end, several layers of lacquer are expertly applied and reapplied on multiple rounds. It’s not just down to stroking the surface with a brush, and simply applying varnish.
It’s about technique, where the varnish deeply affects the tone, particularly how sound vibrates within the violin’s body.
After the violin’s body is all set and prepared, all accessories are applied. This includes the tuning pegs, tailpiece, the bridge, the strings.
Each and every violin produced is checked before being sent out to Stentor violins’ network of distributors in more than 30 countries.
The company always wants to make sure that the violin is of exemplary quality capable enough to last with a student from the very first day he lays his hands on it till reaching his intermediate and professional levels.
We’d like to point out that,
Many would believe that because Stentor’s violins are made in China, they’re just automatically bound to possess hideous quality and dreadful defects with absolutely no value whatsoever.
However, that’s absolutely the farthest from the truth. Stentor’s ancient know-how is properly taught to all Chinese workers, with impeccable quality control as every instrument is thoroughly checked on multiple rounds.
In case you don’t know, China actually assembles iPhones and many Apple products and not the US. Did that ever devalue an iPhone or an iPod? Not in the slightest. Not only Apple but actually a lot of major companies assemble and produce their products over there.
5 Best Stentor Violin Reviews
We made up a list below of 5 of the best Stentor violins, check it out!
Stentor 1500 ½ Sized Violin
Stentor’s 1500 ½ sized violin is the perfect choice for beginner children as its size is suitable for their small bodies.
Stentor 1500 ½ sized violin is handcrafted just like all other models, with a solid spruce scroll that endures string tension well. Supported edges with inlaid purfling, and hardwood chinrest.
It also features a solid, maple wood back for good tone quality. The tuning pegs, fingerboard are made out of ebony; making them durable and adding to the overall violin quality.
Also, it includes an alloyed tailpiece which, opposed to plastic tailpieces, is cost-friendly whilst ensuring quality.
It also comes with ‘Red Label’ strings which have good enough projection; in which the sound is very pronounced.
However, we do advise to change any student-quality violin strings, most preferably, ‘Dominant’ strings as they’re of top-quality. They’ll greatly improve the tone of a Stentor that already has amazing tonal qualities.
The bow is made out of authentic brazilwood, which is the perfect choice for beginners.
Weight and Dimensions
The Stentor 1500 ½ Sized violin weighs 0.7875 pounds with dimensions of 6.2 x 27.5 x 9.8 inches.
Stentor 1500 ½ sized violin comes with a lightweight canvas case, student-quality rosin, and an adequate strap.
Regarding rosins, we also do advice to discard student-quality rosins and opts for slightly higher quality rosins. The most preferred ones are the ‘Super-sensitive’ rosins.
Stentor also offers a full-sized version of the Stentor 1500 ½ Sized violin, which is the Stentor 1500 4/4 Size violin. It features almost the exact same features with some enhancements in tonal quality.
Stentor 1542 2/2 Violin
This Stentor 1542 2/2 violin is very reliable for beginners and intermediates alike as It features a great tone and amazing quality relative to its price.
A sturdy, spruce wood scroll and a solid maple body. It also includes ebony tuning pegs and fingerboard as well as bow frog, which enhances overall bow quality.
Hardwood chinrest, not a nasty plastic one.
Metallic tailpiece with 4 fine tuners; they’re a perfect aid to tune your violin precisely.
It’s also equipped with synthetic gut strings delivering a rich, complex tone. However, changing the strings will provide you with a boost in the violin’s tonal quality, which makes it almost on par with ones of higher price-ranges.
Weight and Dimensions
It weighs about 3.31 pounds, with dimensions of 6.5 x 30.2 x 11.2 inches.
It comes with an excellent hard case, lined with satin from the inside and inclusive of a humidity sensor, and finally, a locking hanger that secures the bow. Student-quality rosin comes with the set as well.
Stentor 1550 4/4 Conservatoire Violin
It costs a bit extra but if you don’t mind expanding your budget a bit, this Stentor 1550 Conservatoire won’t fail you.
Stentor 1500 4/4 Conservatoire is handcrafted from tonewood, with a fine-grained spruce scroll and the standard Stentor’s handcrafted maple body.
It features a beautiful flame appearance with pegs, fingerboard, chinrest, and frog that are made out of ebony. The Stentor 1500 Conservatoire also features a composite tailpiece and a wooden bow with genuine horsehair.
The violin is sturdy and does stay in tune quite well.
Weight and Dimensions
The Stentor Conservatoire Violin weighs about 3.31 pounds and is of dimensions 5.5 x 31.5 x 11 inches.
Stentor 1550 comes with an excellent hard rectangular case with high-quality rosin included, as well as humidity sensor, carrying strap and a case blanket.
This model also made our list of best violins for beginners & students.
Stentor 1401BK-4/4 Harlequin Series Black Violin Outfit
This is a very unique-looking violin if you’re looking for some variety that deviates from the classic violin shape and color. This violin suits both entry-level and intermediate level students alike.
The Stentor 1401 BK includes tuning pegs made out of Pau Rosa. With a hardwood chinrest, and a lightweight metal tailpiece with 4 fine tuners.
It also features a high-class rosewood fingerboard, with the back of the violin made out of tonewood, as well as maple sides, and a spruce scroll. A good-quality wooden bow with genuine horsehair is, of course, included.
Stentor 1401 BK is featured in elegant black color.
Weight and Dimensions
Stentor 1401 BK weighs 3.31 pounds with dimensions of 32.3 x 17.4 x 28 inches.
The violin comes in a stylish lightweight, grey-colored case, with a humidity sensor, and high-quality rosin. The case itself includes a music pocket, external shoulder rest and phone pocket.
We’d like to congratulate you in advance on your new Stentor violin. Stentor’s craft is sure to deliver you outstanding quality and finish at a relatively small price.
Stentor honors all entry-level students. It acknowledges that a violin must be worthy enough to be held by its player. Violins also have to be good enough so as to not turn off the player from the instrument due to its possible clunkiness.
Stentor’s been widely acknowledged by numerous violin teachers especially in the UK for its amazing tonal qualities.
Get your set, be the judge yourself, and most importantly, start practicing!