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Franz Hoffmann® Etude Viola Outfit - 15.5 inch

Teacher Pick
Franz Hoffmann® Etude Viola Outfit - 15.5 inch | SA125T 155
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SHAR Price: $319

$23.99/month with the SHAR Way! ?

Item# SA125T 155

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Availability: Call 800.248.7427 for availability

About This Item

Franz Hoffmann Etude Viola

For the student ready to explore musical expression, the Etude is the perfect choice. Made by hand and finished with an attractive spirit varnish, the Etude resonates like a much more expensive viola, creating a big, bold sound. Solid spruce top, and solid maple sides, back and neck with finely-finished ebony pegs and fingerboard. The Etude has all the attributes of expensive violas... for hundreds less. Availble in 12, 13, 14, 15, 15.5, 16, and 16.5 inch.

Learn more about SHAR's expert instrument set up.



Body Material: Maple
Top Material: Spruce
Fingerboard: Ebony
Finish: Spirit Varnish
Pegs: Ebony
Strings: Overture Ultra Strings


Item Includes

Warranty Info

1-Year Limited Warranty
This item comes with Shar's 1 year warranty covering defects of workmanship or materials. General wear and tear or mis-use are not covered. Non-transferable.

30-Day No Hassle Return Policy
If you are not satisfied with this item for any reason, you may return it for a full refund within 30 days of purchase.

If you have any questions about this product's warranty or to make a return, please contact our Customer Service Department at 800.793.4334 or email us at [email protected]

About This Brand

Franz Hoffmann®
You can hear the difference!

Beginnings are critical. That is why we are committed to offering the best student instruments to beginning players. We believe this commitment is why Hoffmann instruments have become so popular with teachers, schools, parents, and beginning students of all ages.

We designed Franz Hoffmann instruments to give you the absolute best student violins, violas, cellos, and basses available on the market today. The consistent quality in materials, construction, playability, tone, and visual appeal make them a great value for every beginning string student.

Working closely with workshops, we have carefully designed and crafted each Franz Hoffmann instrument to ensure our specifications are met. These instruments are then sent to our Ann Arbor workshop to receive final adjustments assuring easy playability and polished looks.

May we

Ratings & Reviews

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Based on 2 Reviews

Customer Questions

Question by:


Asked On: 11/12/2018

what's a tone bar. where are the Hoffmann instruments actually made? I already have a Chinese and a Rumanian viola 15 1/5 inch. how are these better. I don't want a case or a bow.

SHAR Answer:

Hello Bobbie! Our Franz Hoffmann Etude viola is made in our Beijing workshop in China. We have very high standards and quality control for our student instruments in comparison to a lot of others on the market and the Franz Hoffmann line comes very highly recommended from teachers across the country. You can purchase the instrument by itself here.

Regarding the "tone bar", if you are quoting a review on the instrument outfit page, it's possible that they were referring to the bass bar, which is a brace running from the foot of the neck to a position under the bridge, which bears much of the tension of the strings. Bass bar repairs can be quite costly. Since the review was from 2014, I do not have records of the customer's specific issue or how the bass bar became detached. I apologize that I don't have more information on this instance. At this time, we do not have any reports of weakened bass bars being a problem with this instrument model.

I hope that this helps! If you have any further quesitons about this viola or any other products/instruments we carry, please feel free to submit another question or give us a call at 800-248-7427.

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Question by:

  • Camra Fuller
  • High Point, NC

Asked On: 08/02/2016

What comes with this viola? I'm a violinist/violist of 5 years, do you think this is suitable? I play in a symphony so my level is decently high.

SHAR Answer:

Hello Camra, This Franz Hoffmann Etude Viola Outfit comes with a Toshira TAC66 shaped case, rosin and a KVOB brazilwood/horsehair bow. As to its suitability, it really depends on your budget. This is a viola that is hand made and carefully inspected and would definitely meet all of your minimum requirements as to a suitable instrument. However, if you have been playing for 5 years and you play in a symphony, and you're starting to work on more advanced repertoire, we would encourage you to consider other violas if your budget allows. You might consider the next step up in the Hoffmann line of violas, the Franz Hoffmann® Concert Viola Outfit - 15.5 inch (search item# SH500VT 155) which would also come with a case and a bow. You may also consider Carlo Lamberti® Sonata Viola (search item# LVA11). It is at a higher price point, but it's a great value--it has an extremely nice sound for its price. It does not come with a bow or case; those would be sold separately. We think you deserve to upgrade to something like the Lamberti if you've invested at least 5 years and are playing at a symphony level. :-) If you have any further questions or need some advice about choosing an instrument, please feel free to contact one of our experts at (800) 248-7427 between 10 am-6 pm Monday-Friday and we would be happy to chat with you about this! Thanks for posting your question.

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Question by:


Asked On: 07/27/2016

What is the minimum that I should look for in a beginner’s violin or viola?

SHAR Answer:

When you buy a beginner's violin or viola, it's a good idea to be aware of its materials, set-up and durability. You'll want the instrument to be made from a solid spruce top and to have maple wood used for its back, neck, and sides. It ought to have real ebony fittings, for durability, and it's ideal to have pegs and fine tuners that are easy to turn and don’t slip. Most importantly, you'll want your violin or viola to meet the proper measurements/specifications and set-up, just like all of the instruments we carry here at SHAR! If the instrument has the proper specifications and set-up, then you will be equipped to succeed at learning the violin or viola. That will help minimize frustration and maximize the enjoyment of learning.

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