When my daughter first used her rental violin, I was very impressed with the sound compared to the one she had borrowed from her school. For the price of four months’ rental, though, I thought it was worth a shot to buy one from Monoprice. The rental sounds better in subtle ways that could be explained by the difference in strings, the fact that the other violin had been broken-in or other factors. The rental has a slightly richer tone, and a more rounded low-end. My older daughter, who plays pretty well, says that the rental violin has a somewhat better feel to it, but that she likes the Monoprice violin too. If we had switched from the school violin to the Monoprice, I’d want to give the Monoprice ten stars. Given the fact that the rental is at least a $500 violin, the Monoprice is an absolute keeper and a steal.