Review: Mendini MV200 Student Violin

In this video I give my impression on the MV200 violin by Mendini (cecilio). This is a solid starter violin and it produces a nice sound. I give an example of what it sounds like and also give an example of how to use the included tuner. The violin is selling for around $60-$68 and has “1 Year Warranty Against Manufacturer’s Defects”. Check out my affiliate link below for more information.

Tuner 8:00
What it sounds like: 10:48
In the case: 12:06
Final thoughts: 14:21

Mendini MV200:
http://amzn.to/2y0Jo3D

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Comments

Timzart7 says:

I liked your video of this and it helped me in my decision to buy it. So it’s July 2017 and I’ve had my Mendini MV200 for a few days and thought I’d say some things about it here. I don’t know if there was a slight model change, but my case didn’t come with that extra handle yours has, and the main handle is a little different style also. Otherwise, it’s the same.

I got it for $62 on eBay which included shipping. I bought this for the case, to fit an old violin of mine which had a case which was cheap, no padding or lining, and falling apart. But I also thought it might be nice to have a fiddle I could take outdoors, or if went camping or something. If you have a violin which is worth more, it really isn’t good to expose the varnish to sunlight, for example. I’m very pleased with the case. I thought I would have to chop away at the interior to fit my oversized old violin but it just fit, barely.

With an instrument in this price range, I think it’s probably a hit or miss in terms of quality, and you may even get one that is unplayable, a VSO (Violin-Shaped Object). Mine is playable, but the bridge is a little high and the string spacing at the nut is a little too close but perfectly playable. The “nut” is the bridge just above the fingerboard, for any non-violinists/guitarists out there.

The appearance of this MV200 is unshaded, not antiqued and except that the varnish is too thick and probably sprayed on, instead of applied in coats meticulously, it’s an attractive instrument, especially for its price. The non-aged wood has a natural iridescence which shows, and on the back it looks really nice, even with the absence of flaming. They use a colored varnish on it, which is a light orange. I would prefer a light golden yellow, but that’s just a personal preference.

The top is very wide grain spruce, and sometimes violins are graded partly on how fine the grain is on the top — the finer the better — but some makers like Testore of Milan made some violins centuries ago with wide grain tops and they still sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars. Grain width does not always affect tone.

The idea of a cheap instrument with real inlaid purfling also attracted me to this model. The whole package is unbelievable for the price. A violin with fake purfling will crack more easily. Decades ago, most factory violins under $80 or so came with fake purfling. Sometimes it was a plastic decal.

If this violin were the only one you play, the sound would be okay, and even if you have a better sounding instrument, as I do, you could adjust to the sound of this. However, compared to a better instrument, it is stuffy sounding because of the thick wood used in the spruce top. The thickness (as viewed at the f holes) is twice as thick as a better violin. But the thickness makes it sturdy, easier to build without getting cracks, and that’s probably why they make it this way.

It makes so much sense for anyone, student or old person, who wants to try violin, to play something like this for a year or two, to see if violin is something they are interested in enough to invest in something better. Or, you could just end up satisfied with this. If you’re playing for hours a day, you’re not going to be satisfied with this.

Here comes the two best surprises for me though:

1. I put the plastic shoulder rest on and immediately it felt better than my $55 German shoulder rest. It also tilts and stays in position which is a great feature to have. It is VERY high. I have a long neck, and in the lowest position this rest fits me perfectly, so I don’t see how this rest is going to fit any child especially, unless they have a very long neck. So I now know how high the shoulder rest has to be for me, and I can modify my expensive shoulder rest to be the same height. But if this shoulder rest is too high, you can always just use a cheap sponge and a couple of rubber bands, which is shown in several YouTube videos how to do.

2. The Brazilwood bow sounds and works better than my $70 carbon fiber bow. However, the pad (your first finger is draped over the pad when holding the bow) is made of a rubber that stinks to high heaven (like rubber) and I cut it off and replaced it with a synthetic material. If you had some thin tubing that didn’t stink, you could unscrew the frog from the bow and slip that on. If I decide this is going to be my bow, I’ll pay to have leather put on and the fake silver winding replaced also, probably with leather also. This bow isn’t wound with silver thread, but has plastic thread over foil to simulate silver. It works okay though. The bow is a little too heavy but it’s attributes make up for it.

Bows on instruments in this price range are usually throwaway bows. But they vary a lot and I’m probably just lucky to get a good one. Another person might get one that is bent or really unplayable.

As you mentioned, the tuner (which comes with battery) is nice, easier to use than any free software I’ve tried, and it is nice not to have to have the computer on. If flashes green when you’re in reasonable range with the note. I like looking at the indicator at the left rather than the numbers, but you can tune in seconds. It’s probably good to learn to tune the old fashioned way though, from just an A. Again, mind blowing that they include such a thing at this price point.

Another reason I think it would be good to start a kid on an instrument like this, or even an adult starting violin, is that it’s so easy to scrape the violin with the tip of your bow, or accidentally dent your violin by bumping into something. Learning with an instrument that costs about the same as a pair of sneakers, so you gain enough bow control that you’re not having that type of accident, you’ll know how to handle the instrument when you get one that costs $300 or more.

I wonder if in a few years they’ll start making these using CNC, computer-controlled cutting of all violin parts. I’ve looked at videos of 3D printed violins but they sound much worse than the Mendini, so far. But CNC has a lot of promise for standardizing the manufacture of cheap violins so they’re all set up properly, and all the parts fit together perfectly.

Ludwig Van Beethoven says:

Can can!!!

Eduardo Alejandro del Corral Lira says:

Bought one for myself, a friend and even my mom. So far all I can say is I find it holding quite well. I know that there are more refined instruments and this would be a simple case of “your wallet is your limit” if you feel like investing (spending 😛 ). For an amateur musician that enjoys his ABC’s and making small compositions this is more than I could ever ask. Also got a Piezo-Electric pickup and have access to my guitar effects and recording via DAW (not that you can’t do that with a normal mike, but in my case, I’m glad not to pickup my dog barking or cars honking, etc).

Anyway, loved the review as I’m thinking on eventually buying a Viola, and it’s good to see things from someone else’s perspective just to see if you missed something.

Oh mine didn’t come with a book or tuner, but no biggie, have a tuner on my phone and there’s heaps of info on playing to be found on the web.

Brayan Munoz says:

ok thanks do you still have your violin

David Knight says:

Thanks for the review! You helped me alot!!

Rebel Angel says:

I think this is probably the best review ive seen on these cheaper mendini violins.. Just bought one for my daughter whos interested in learning.. its nice to see what pros are saying but its best said from the voice of a beginner when it comes to this.. My question though is this violin good enough to keep student attention.. as a seasoned guitarist ive seen new guitarists quit cuz their axes were so cheap and the action so bad that they got frustrated and quit thinking that they were never good enough to even try when it was the guitar that was the mess and not them..

Brayan Munoz says:

thanks for your oppinion

Ummayad Prince الجزائري says:

nice review ! is it certainly better than an unbranded violin ?

Mario Solano says:

Excellent review. Thanks!

Z ASMR Caveman says:

Good review

Brayan Munoz says:

ok thx bro for taking your time to ansepwer the question I told you

Brayan Munoz says:

answers I put answer wrong

Brayan Munoz says:

is it worth it to buy a violin mendini in amazon

Brayan Munoz says:

one last question I was gonna tell you was that did the violin you order in amazon came in good condicion because I saw people puting that the violin sucks that the bow was ríp that the violin didn’t worck is that true

iflipiguess !!!!! says:

fantastic

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