I think with violin it can be entirely personal. I felt as a raw beginner I did not really “earn” enough progress to go from a pretty good instrument up to the Damiano, but I have been playing teh Damiano for a week now and I REALLY enjoy the sound of the tones I am getting. Sometimes personal preference and budget are all you need to consider. Don’t let anyone, even that voice in your head, tell you you are not ready yet. If I were a millionaire I would run out and buy one of the great euro violins! You want to enjoy the sound you hear no matter what level you play. But you can also enjoy violin more if you are not having to stress about retirement or your food budget. So really, there is an instrument for everyone.