I started out about 1-1/2 years ago on a cheap $50 violin I found on ebay. I know, I know… But it got me through learning the basics. Two weeks ago, I had Michael send me the Viviano Vitale, which is a huge upgrade in sound and plays beautifully compared to my $50 unit. Today, I made arrangements to purchase the Vitale. Since receiving it, my playing time has more than doubled. I love it! I am, however, looking ahead to some day trading it in for an Elda Marina.