Buying an electric viola is a great life decision. Electric violas are stylish, “cool,” and downright fun to play. Since electric violas are harder to find at local music shops and usually must be purchased online, we have consolidated a list below of the best electric violas.

Shopping for an electric viola is a very different experience than shopping for a regular viola. Whereas sound quality plays a huge role in buying a regular viola, it is not as important of a factor for electric violas because all of the sound travels through electric wires and is amplified anyway. So instead of just sound quality, we evaluated each electric viola on the following criteria.

 

Our Criteria

We looked at a lot of different electric viola brands and narrowed our list to only the top 10 electric viola brands by setting up relatively strict criteria to adhere to during the reviews.

Here is what we considered:

  • How other users ranked the brand (Amazon reviews, etc)
  • Brand reputation
  • Options and features
  • Price points
  • Usability

Even popular brands had to work hard to get our approval by providing great customer care and offering quality products.

We looked at how other users had reviewed the product to determine whether it was high quality.  However, being able to look at what others users had to say did not really drive our final opinion about any one brand, but it did help us to know what to look for in an electric viola that was either critiqued or talked about in the positive.

Options and features were things that we considered when we whittled down our recommended brands. Obviously, we wanted to be able to give buyers the most bang for their buck.

We did not focus on features alone, we balanced the features with the price points and usability to give you the best value for your money.

 

One final note before we get to our recommended viola brands: Shopping online for electric violas is a relatively new phenomenon. We typically recommend going to a local music shop to try out violas before you shop online for the best deal, but since electric violas tend to only be sold online we recommend checking out Amazon’s return policy to make sure you’re comfortable purchasing online.

Our Picks

We list our favorite electric viola brands below, but they are not listed in any type of order. They are all equally good options and they all can easily meet your needs.

We did make comments about skill levels and price points to help you further narrow down the options based on your personal needs.

Cecilio CEVN-2Y Electric Viola

Recommended For: Beginner who needs all equipment

Cecilio is one of the most well-known student viola brand in the world. They also produce some of the best electric violas. They produce quality instruments at a fraction of the cost of other big-name players and their electric violas begin at only $130.

This electric viola model is actually an electric violin that can be converted to an electric viola simply by changing the viola strings. Check out our guide of the best viola strings to find the perfect strings for you.

Cecilio electric violas are made out of hand-carved maple wood with a yellow maple metallic varnish. They have an ebony fingerboard, pegs, and tailpiece with mother of pearl inlay and four detachable fine tuners.

These electric viola outfits are also very generous. In addition to the electric viola itself, the Cecilio outfit comes with a well-padded case, bow, rosin, aux cable, and headphones.

All Cecilio electric violas come with a one-year warranty against manufacturer defects.

This is a great overall electric viola for any beginner just starting out who doesn’t have all of the electric equipment necessary.

Cecilio CEVN-2Y Electric Viola

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Wood Violins Stingray WV-SVX5/RD Electric Viola

Recommended For: Player wanting a stylish electric viola

While on the pricier side of the electric violas on this list, the Wood Violins Stingray is certainly the most stylish and highest quality.

Customers love this viola because of the high quality. Featuring a Wood Tru-Tone pickup for increased clarity and authenticity and a lightweight composite tailpiece with precision fine tuners, this viola is great for live performances.

With Amazon reviews such as “absolutely love it” and “She sounds just like any good acoustic viola,” you can’t go wrong with this Yamaha electric viola.

The outfit includes headphones, an aux out cable, and batteries. You will need to get a bow.

Wood Violins Stingray WV-SVX5/RD Electric Viola

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Stagg EVA 4/4-BK Silent Viola

Recommended For: Player who wants a lightweight viola

Stagg is a world renowned electric instrument manufacturer.  Established in 1995, Stagg has been dedicated to bringing high-quality musical instruments and accessories to musicians of all types, at the most attractive prices.

The Stagg EVA electric viola is one more excellent instrument by this company. A great fit for any violist looking for an electric instrument that fits into a tight space.

The Amazon outfit only includes everything you need to get started included the instrument, bow, headphones, and straps.

Stagg ECL 4/4 WH Electric Viola

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Cecilio 4/4 CEVN-1BK Electric Viola

The Cecilio 4/4 CEVN-1BK is another great Cecilio electric viola that is great for beginners.

The instrument is made from a hand-carved solid maple wood body with ebony fingerboard, pegs, chin rest and a tailpiece with mother of pearl inlay. The electric components are powered via a 9V battery which is included in the outfit.

This outfit includes everything you need to get started including a lightweight hard case, Brazil wood bow with unbleached genuine Mongolian horsehair, a quality rosin cake, a bridge, an aux cable, and headphones. You also get a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Cecilio 4/4 CEVN-1BK Electric Viola

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Merano MVE20BK-A Electric Viola

Merano has made student instruments for a long time so it is no surprise that they were able to design an electric viola that is both extremely affordable at ~$120, but quality as well.

Merano offers a variety of electric violas at various price ranges. Check out Amazon to see their whole selection.

Merano MVE20BK-A Electric Viola

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NS Designs NXT4a-VA-BK NXT4a Electric Viola

Definitely the most unique looking electric violas on this list, the NXT4a-VA-BK NXT4a embodies world-class performance, features, design and craftsmanship.

The body is made with solid, straight grain maple, with maple face or flame maple face on body. The chinrest sits elegantly at the base of the viola and a shoulder rest is built into the bottom of the viola. The fingerboard is made of ebony and has inlaid dot markers to reference where various notes are. The instrument is tuned with a patented tuning system which provides amazingly fast and accurate tuning without fear of slippage during playing.

A convenient switch on the side of the NXT allows you to select sensitivity for either arco or pizzicato play resulting in either more percussive response, or smoother and sustained response, adding a new dimension to what you can create musically.

The outfit includes a just the instrument so you will need to buy your own bow and other accessories.

NS Designs NXT4a-VA-BK NXT4a Electric Viola

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NS Design CR4 Electric Viola

Definitely the most unique looking electric violas on this list, the NS Design CR4 embodies world-class performance, features, design, and craftsmanship.

The body is made with solid, straight grain maple, with maple face or flame maple face on body. The chinrest sits elegantly at the base of the viola and a shoulder rest is built into the bottom of the viola. The fingerboard is made of ebony and has inlaid dot markers to reference where various notes are. The instrument is tuned with precision 40:1 fine tuners that allow automatic string clamping.

The CR4 has several controls on the side to control sound quality and act as a preamp. The body contains a polar directional piezo pickup system.

The outfit includes a just the instrument so you will need to buy your own bow and other accessories.

NS Design CR4 Electric Viola

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Merano MVE10WT-A Electric Viola

Merano has made student instruments for a long time so it is no surprise that they were able to design an electric viola that is both extremely affordable at ~$110.

Merano offers a variety of electric violas at various price ranges. Check out Amazon to see their whole selection.

Merano MVE10WT-A Electric Viola

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Yamaha YEV104BL Electric Viola

One of more affordable professional electric violas on this list, the Yamaha YEV104BL is certainly the most stylish and highest quality.

Customers love this viola because of the high quality. Yamaha is well-known for making very high-quality electric instruments (usually piano keyboards).  Featuring a redesigned resonating chamber helps produce the most realistic and “acoustic-like” string tones and resonating sound, this viola is ready for the concert hall.

With Amazon reviews such as “surpassed all expectations” and “sounds and feels like an acoustic viola,” you can’t go wrong with this Yamaha electric viola.

 

Yamaha YEV104BL Electric Viola

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Yamaha SV-130 Series Silent Electric Viola

One of more expensive electric violas on this list, the Yamaha SV-130 is certainly functional and sounds amazing.

Customers love this viola because of the high quality. Yamaha is well-known for making very high-quality electric instruments (usually piano keyboards).  Featuring an onboard reverb for adjustable ambiance, the SV-130 gives you the ability to practice confidently without disturbing others

 

Yamaha SV-130 Series Silent Electric Viola

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What Else You May Need

While most of the electric viola outfits below come with everything you need to get started, make sure to check out our checklist for buying a viola. Electric violas need all the basic equipment we recommend there such as rosin, a rock stop, a bow, etc., but they may also need electric amps.

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