A few hours ago, I received this violin on an in-home-trial. I have to say, I am quite enamored with both this instrument and the second-to-none customer service Fiddlershop strives to give their customers. The luthiers at Scott Cao did an excellent job replicating the Kreisler, one of Guarneri Del Gesu's finest sounding masterpieces. They subtly antiqued the varnish on the instrument so that its recipient could enjoy the historical aspects of a 300-year-old violin. I find that the price of this violin is remarkable, as it won against the countless instruments I've tested in the $3-6K price range. As I play on it right now, I love that my playing could induce anything from deep sorrow to intense joy in me simply by changing my stylistic technique. Not all instruments are capable of such a range of color. I'd say that it would best suit chamber music players.This violin has an excellent pp - f) dynamic range along with its colorful tones, and would definitely hold its own in a string quartet. That being said, solo players should look elsewhere; it simply isn't loud enough to fill a concert hall. It played through Kreisler's Liebesleid beautifully after all, it's a copy of his own violin), but I would have preferred a louder instrument for the Zigeunerwiesen. I shouldn't speak so fast, though: the Dominants that it was fitted with aren't necessarily a soloist string, and switching to the Evah Golds could make a dramatic difference in its response and volume. If I do end up purchasing the instrument, I would feel great about giving my money to the folks at Fiddlershop. Michael Holstein, their main sales representative, maintained a personal yet professional relationship with my dad and I as he would with all of his customers. Not to mention that the violin was set up perfectly!All in all, the Scott Cao STV-1500 is definitely a violin that should be considered if you're an advanced player looking for a new partner, especially if you're on a budget! I'm looking forward to further exploring its capabilities.