Well, I'll start off by saying that I received top notch customer service from the team at fiddlershop and I'll order from here again. That being said...:
The strings that came with this outfit (and the instrument itself) were very boxy sounding. The G and D strings were loud and sonorous with a balanced sound, only it sounded like I was playing inside of a box in a tunnel with no cars in it. The A string was completely boxy and dead sounding. The E string was not -as- dead as the A string, but it was as bad as the A string in all aforementioned ways.
So, I changed out the default strings for a standby pack of Larsen Il Cannone Solo strings, and it improved the sound slightly, but it did not improve the overall boxiness of the sound in general. The G and D strings sound even better with the Il Cannone strings and with plenty of harmonics (especially in a church setting), but still boxy and stifled. The A string (my most important string) still remains the worst of all 4 strings as the sound it produces still remains boxy, dead, and wholly unremarkable :-( . The E string, once changed to a Pirastro No. 1 string, did sound quite amazing.
I play with an Arcus A4 bow fyi.
I purchased this fiddle to replace a 600$ Karl Hofner No. 7 student violin. I can honestly say that after spending only 1 day with with this instrument, it does not really compare to my current violin i.e. the student violin sounds better.
I'm looking into getting the plates tuned as soon as I can.