Upgrading from a starter violin, I was pretty nervous about what to buy. The thought of going into a music store and being overwhelmed by someone who knew way more than me about fiddles was not a happy thought. It didn't matter though because the only music store anywhere near me had ZERO violins available in their store to look at. I already have a beginner violin and that's all I could seem to find. As for used, think about it, if someone tried violin and quit, they sell a student violin. If they purchase a decent violin, they obviously really took to it and they are not about to sell theirs. Heck, some people even name them.My first thought was buying an instrument made in America. If this is where you are at read the Blog on Fiddlershop.com about Why Chinese Violins are Better. Ultimately what I wanted was a quality instrument. So, I researched and read all about Noble Heart Violins and review upon review of violins until I narrowed it down. I apprehensively emailed questions to Fiddlershop because I was nervous about making a decision. Michael answered all my questions. I had ordered my first violin from them and was extremely pleased. What really tipped the scales for me was the review by Lou. He said this fiddle was "warm for waltzes, and at the same time bright for Jigs". I found myself mesmerized by Fiddlerman playing any one of the violins. I'm not complaining, I played his videos just to hear him play. I wanted to hear someone play something that wasn't classical to see how the fiddle would work for me. I should add that his playing of La Folia has me interested in learning that down the road). I am playing old time fiddle stuff, country and waltzes. Shortnin' Bread is a blast to play on the fiddle. If you haven't tried it you should.Fiddlerman.com has a great display of kinds of music anyone might like. Check him out playing the blues.So there I was. I not only didn't know which fiddle to choose, now I wanted to learn all sorts of styles......Back to the Ming Jiang Zhu 909. I wanted to get a quality instrument that I would have for years. I wanted quality wood, a beautiful looking instrument, but most of all I wanted it to sound great. I wanted an instrument to be proud of and cherish for years. After countless hours hemming and hawing because I don't spend money without a lot of thought, I went ahead and ordered it.I was so excited the day it came. I watched the end of the driveway anxiously awaiting the FedEx driver. I excitedly exclaimed to the driver, "That's my new fiddle!" As he grabbed the box, he politely smiled and said, "I don't even know what that is."I had been offered an upgrade on a case because they didn't have the one I wanted. The upgrade is gorgeous. It's the Fiddlerman's Choice Oblong Violin Case. It says it is a green case in the description, but it is black and brown on the outside and green on the inside.The Ming Jiang Zhu 909 is everything I had hoped. Beautiful instrument. Honestly I started with the Fiddlerman OB1 and it is a beautiful instrument also. I just reached a point where I felt like I was ready for an upgrade. As I suppose most people do, I had to first change the chinrest to one that works for me. I started with a middle chinrest and just couldn't get comfortable with the side one. I ordered a boxwood one to match the tailpiece and the chinrest it came with. The boxwood is nice, but the black against the wood of a violin is a more striking look in my opinion. I wanted to play the Ming Jiang Zhu 909 for a bit before I left a review. On my old fiddle, the D string seemed to outsound all the others. I was convinced it was me. It doesn't happen on this one! This fiddle is really responsive to bow strokes. I now get what people mean when they say that. I find myself wanting to pick it up all the time. I practice more and now I also get what people mean when they say they are "getting to know their instrument". I am enjoying every minute of it. There is definitely an improvement in sound over my beginner fiddle.While the case is very nice, I am hanging mine on the wall on a string swing so I can grab it whenever I pass. I also got a Fiddlerman Carbon Fiber Bow.This is an instrument you can be proud of, you'll enjoy every second with, and you'll have for years.I've all but named mine. This fiddle makes me sound better. I will love and enjoy my new fiddle for years.THANKS TO EVERYONE AT FIDDLERSHOP!