My Barcus Berry was my first foray into electric violin after playing an acoustic for many years. While the instrument itself sounds and plays beautifully (especially when amplified), it is not without its problems: 1. The fine tuners it comes with are clunky, heavy, and don't turn properly. I had to have the tailpiece replaced by a luthier and that solved the problem. 2. The tuning pegs are the stuff of nightmares. I thought that my initial trouble with keeping the pegs from slipping was due to it being a new instrument, but 2 years later, I'm still having major issues. Fixes I've tried: adding peg compound, followed by having custom made pegs put in by a luthier. This issue has gotten better, but my pegs will still slip drastically at times.
However, if you want to dive into the world of amplified violin, this isn't a bad start. If like me, you want to do more than play loud classical/folk/country - i.e. you want to add cool effects and play with a rock band - you might want to just opt for a solid body electric violin right out of the gate. This way you'll hear the effect out of the amplifier only, without the added sounds out of the instrument F holes that you'd have with an acoustic-electric hybrid like the Barcus Berry.