I ordered this for my 11 year old Son on 20th Jan and received it in Singapore on 2nd Feb Evening. Probably, it had taken a world tour before arriving Singapore. Well, waiting for it was worthwhile. Messina is more of an artistic creation than an instrument. Superb finish, very detailed, to smallest of the aspects. Definitely, someone with lots of patience and love had crafted this wonderful instrument. Decision to upgrade violin from 1/2 size to 4/4 itself is a difficult process for a parent, deciding on which brand/model makes it worse, as so many models, at so many prices available in the market.
I was planning to buy Karl Hoffner H8, hence took my boy to a nearby shop in Singapore to try and get a feel. It was good, he liked it. But I compared the audio sample clips between Karl Hoffner and Stentor, though there was no sample clip available for Messina, I judged it using Arcadia and Elysia sample clips. I believe, buying this instrument was one of the best decision to make. In one day, my boy could get adapted to fingure positions.
One of the issues was, there was only one fine tuner (E-string) on this. So I had to fit 3 additional 3 tuners. Upon tuning to Indian classical setting, I found, though it is nice to have fine tuners, it is not necessary, as tuning pegs are so well fitted, it fits tight and does not comes-off the tune.
Third string "D" seems bit of a thicker gauge, probably he will get used to it.
When playing, the spruce top of violin resonates so well, the sweet sound could be well heard, crystal clear, from all the rooms in our house.
My son also feels this was better than H8 he played in the local shop.
Research involved in buying this violin was a learning experience in itself.
I would strongly suggest parent of an intermediate student to go for this model, worth for every cent you pay.
Last, but not the least, Thomann team- Thank you very much in setting up and arranging the deliver and your expert feedbacks were valuable indeed.