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I can't find more info on the Scott Cao STV-780. Would love to know what "STV" means and also what current Scott Can violin the 780 is comparable to.
Regarding tone, both of these instruments are quite different. The Cao is quite loud and definitely unforgiving to any playing mistakes. Rich tone though.
The Made in Nippon is > 100 years old, does well. More forgiving, a bit less rich in tonal quality.
I'm always trying to figure out which one I'd rather play.
Every instrument is different.
Sorry, I can't tell anything without hearing the exact instruments you are referring to.
I should've added - if you think the Scott Cao is a bit too boisterous, harsh, or bright sounding, then I believe some warmer strings might make it perfect for you. 🎃
Depends on your own preference, I think. Personally I would take the instrument with the better tone, even if it demands better technique. Good instruments are more sensitive to small differences in technique, which makes them more expressive but less forgiving.
I'm pretty sure STV just indicates that it's a violin. Scott Cao violas used to have model numbers starting with STA. Not sure what present-day model it would be comparable to.