Let me start by saying that this is a student quality instrument through and through. By that I am referring to the price and the quality of the instruments build. Everyone’s biggest questions about this instrument are possibly going to be: 1) is this instrument worth the price? 2) does it sound any good? 3) is it going to last?
The answer to all of these is yes. Definitely.
Is it worth the price: absolutely. It’s build quality is surprisingly nice for this low price bracket. It doesn’t look like a high end instrument, but it is still a nice looking and playing instrument.
Does it sound any good: yes, it does. It surpassed a $500 viola of mine in a blind sound comparison between me and my teacher. That being said, again, it does not sound like a high end instrument. But it does sound better than its price would suggest.
Is it going to last: I believe it will. I bought this instrument on curiosity to see if it was worth keeping and using on a weekly basis. Once I played it, it was easy to decide to do away with my more expensive viola and have this one as my main viola.
As with most new instruments in these lower price ranges, you will need to take it to a professional to have some adjustments made. The reality is that buying most “beginner priced” instruments comes with a bit of extra cost to get them working to their full potential. Some better strings, and a proper bridge and string height setup will make this viola a great option for beginners and budget conscious musicians that will exceed your expectations.
As a last thought, I would say, definitely get this viola over the cva-400. It features better woods that are common of quality stringed instruments. In my opinion, the cva-400 will not last, and you will want to replace it if you end up progressing in your playing. you will be much happier with the cva-500 in the long run.