Whether you are looking for your first string instrument, a well deserved upgrade, some new accessories or maybe you want to see what silent strings have to offer – at Normans, we aim to have you covered with a great variety of options. I decided to put together this guide on the top brands that we sell, so that you know exactly what each one of them has to offer. If you do have any questions or need further help and advice, please do not hesitate to contact myself or my colleagues on 01283 535333 option 1.


1. Forenza – Best Value for Students and Advanced Players





Forenza Prima 2

Forenza Prima is our brand that is created for Normans and supplies quality violins, violas and cellos. The specification of these instruments are made by students’ first choice, Stentor II range. Forenza instruments produce an excellent sound quality, have proven to be very durable and have received outstanding feedback from our customers. The great thing is that, typically, Forenza equivalents are almost half the price of Stentor II and have, therefore, become a very popular choice with the budget conscious musicians and education services. You can see a more detailed comparison between Stentor and Forenza Student models below:


Student Violins – Stentor Vs. Forenza


Forenza Secondo


When you are ready to move on, Forenza Secondo series will be sure to fit the needs of an intermediate to advanced violinist. The Secondo range includes Series 4, dedicated for intermediate students, Series 6 crafted for the advanced player and Series 8 which would be perfect for the young professional. Again, these models are crafted using very similar specification to Stentor Conservatoire and Messina models, delivering sound, performance and, more importantly, price that will blow you away. Read further about our Forenza Intermediate to Professional violins below:


Intermediate and Professional Violins – Stentor vs Forenza 




Alongside their well-built instrument range, Forenza also supplies musicians with great quality spares and accessories.


2. Stagg/Rocket – Great value Silent Strings that will make you stand out from the crowd




Double Bass EVN Cello


There is often some confusion with Rocket/Stagg branded instruments, however, they are exactly the same – the only difference is that some Stagg instruments have been re-branded as Rocket, which again is our own brand. Rocket/Stagg produce a fantastic range of quality silent strings. So, if you are looking for something a little different for you to experiment with, this is the manufacturer you can trust. From colourful quality violins to cellos and even electric double basses, these instruments offer any string player to get creative and put a different twist on their performances.

You can watch a video review on the Stagg/Rocket EVN violin below: 





In addition, the Rocket by Stagg brand supplies some good quality instrument cases and chromatic tuners.


3. Primavera – good quality violins for students on a budget




The Primavera brand offers a range of quality student violins that are popular teaching instruments. They are designed to cater to any budget so that everyone has a chance to learn on a great instrument with quality fittings that already comes supplied with everything you need including a bow, rosin and a case.

Primavera range of violins can be divided into 3 categories:


VF002N – the budget range of lovely-sounding beginners’ violins:



VF001N – mid range student violins that offer a great playability:



Prima 200 – one of the best student violins we sell, perfect for keen beginners up to intermediate level:



Primavera violins are typically supplied in sizes 1/4 to Full Size, however, smaller sizes are available on order – contact us for more details.


4. Stentor – the leading manufacturer of orchestral strings for beginners up to professional players




Stentor has been one of the musician’s best options in terms of stringed instruments for just over a century whether you are looking for a professional quality orchestral instruments or the best possible student outfit – Stentor will definitely have what you need.




Stentor offers their popular Standard range violins, starting at just £79.90, that are perfect for beginners at a price that will suit most budgets. A truly great choice for someone who has just started learning.





Moving on to the Stentor I range, that includes Violins, Violas and Cellos, Stentor offer the perfect mid-range instrument that is a highly commended teaching instrument all over the world. If you are learning the double bass, the 1950 range of outfits will be perfect for you.




At the top of Stentor student instruments you will find the Stentor II Series, crafted to provide you with the best quality, most confident start in your studies, whether you have decided to undertake Violin, Viola, Cello or Double Bass – you certainly will not be disappointed and Stentor II instruments will be able to successfully take you up to intermediate grades.




If you are looking for an intermediate level instrument, Stentor Conservatoire is perfect for you! These are high quality, well-built instruments, with great fittings that produce a wonderful sound and playability. Perfect for a keen musician who is moving swiftly through their grades and is looking to upgrade whether you play a violinviola, cello or double bass.




Finally, for those of you who are ready for a professional quality instrument, Messina will be an excellent choice. This is Stentor range of advanced orchestral instruments, designed for a musician that will not compromise for anything less. Beautifully crafted from quality, solid tone woods, fitted with professional Pirastro strings and supplied with outstanding quality bow, the Messina range will truly stun you and your audience.




Another great instrument in the Stentor range is the 1515 Electro-Acoustic violin. This is a fantastic hybrid instrument for the violinist who loves the natural sound of an acoustic instrument but wants to experiment creatively or is looking to amplify their instrument for live performances with much more ease than using a pick up mic.


5. Yamaha – industry standard silent strings






Yamaha are known to provide top quality instruments for any musician and strings are no exception. One of our most popular silent strings available at Normans is the exceptional Yamaha SV130 Electric Violin. This is a beautiful, eccentric and great-sounding instrument that has gained exceptional feedback from our customers and among other musicians. Perfect for stage as well as silent practices, this violin is supplied in Antique Brown as standard, however, is also available in candy apple red and metallic black. We are able to source the instrument you would prefer, therefore, please do not hesitate to contact our sales team and we will be happy to help.


Here’s a video review on Yamaha SV-130 Violin from Alison, the online piano and violin tutor.


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About the author

Diana was Normans Piano & Strings specialist for a number of years. She is a singer songwriter, plays piano and speaks 3 languages. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling as well as blogging about anything.