I started with a rental from my local luthier and then after 3-4 months decided to jump myself up. I bought a John Cheng Strad copy made in 2015. The two stores I worked with (one local and one online) had one week trial times, so I had to bust my rear deciding what to get. At one point I had 7 violins in my tiny house and my husband was like “when are you going to decide?” My teacher thought it the best of the ones I brought by, and so did I in an independent comparison. Interesting that we both liked the most expensive one! Wish I had known about Michael and Superior Violins before all this, but anyhow I like my purchase, and look forward to collecting another violin and working my way up into a higher quality instrument. I like what Superior Violins has to offer.