I can weigh in on this discussion.
I have been playing the violin for about 1.5 years now wow…that sounds awesome to say/type 🙂 .
I started out with a high end beginner violin $500.00 range and it was good, but after 10 months, I made the decision to trade it in and I bought the Elda Marina as well…and I can say with confidence it was well worth the upgrade.
Even as a beginner, I could hear a distinct improvement in sound even with my very beginner playing. Another thing it did was make me want to practice, because I know how wonderful it is capable of sounding. So when I am having a frustrating time, I know it is not the violin, it is just me needing to push through whatever is not sounding right, until I get it right or close 🙂