Stradivarius: in blind testing, virtuoso violin players can't pick them out - diyAudio
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Old 3rd January 2012, 08:43 PM   #1
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Default Stradivarius: in blind testing, virtuoso violin players can't pick them out

Stradivarius may be bit of a fiddle at more than $1m, say researchers

Yes, yes, you can dismiss the experimental method if you want to, but it's just another bit of evidence to suggest that psychology plays a far greater role in perception than people like to believe. (Obviously I'm not suggesting that an audio enthusiast would ever spend a lot of money chasing an illusory, mythical sound! Dear me, no).
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Old 3rd January 2012, 08:53 PM   #2
SY is offline SY  United States
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The experts could certainly distinguish them, they just preferred the newer instruments. Ooops.

Cool experiment- thanks for the link.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 09:00 PM   #3
MiiB is offline MiiB  Denmark
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Instruments are tremendously different and changes with time and grows when used...Instruments that are not played die and looses their sparkle....my daughter plays her piano almost every day, but at times she's withe her mother for a few days, and when she returns the piano is a little dull...and needs to be played....(not tuned, but played).
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Old 3rd January 2012, 09:03 PM   #4
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Hypothetical question: Did Mr. Strad use the techniques and materials he did because they are the best, or because they were the best available to him at the time? What would he think of modern instruments?
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Old 3rd January 2012, 09:07 PM   #5
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I can believe this, too:

Quote:
Kai-Thomas Roth, secretary of the British Violin Making Association, said that double blind tests, where neither experimenter nor musician knows which violin is played, had already shown people cannot distinguish a modern violin from a priceless work of art.

"There's some myth-making that helps old instruments," Thomas said. "If you give someone a Stradivari and it doesn't work for them, they'll blame themselves and work hard at it until it works.

"Give them a modern violin, and they'll dismiss the instrument straight away if it doesn't work for them. That's the psychology at work. "
How many notes would a virtuoso violinist pay for a Stradivarius? | Music | The Guardian
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Old 3rd January 2012, 09:13 PM   #6
jrenkin is offline jrenkin  United States
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They need to weight the frets with Shaki stones...
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Old 3rd January 2012, 09:23 PM   #7
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Re:’ What would he think of modern instruments?’ – He’d be envious of the technology available to make his job easier… but the result still depends on the quality of wood & workmanship, as well as the setup of the individual instrument.
(In a way the trial isn’t quite fair, strings are far superior nowadays, & old instruments weren’t built for them)
Spent a few weeks looking for a good fiddle before xmas, (it was a huge learning curve, finding what to listen for)… the price had no relationship to how good the fiddle sounded, except for the very cheap ones. Ended up buying a mass produced German one from the 50s at a reasonable price (AUD 500)
And you can’t assume that hand made is any better than factory made, recently bought a cheap guitar made in China, set up properly it sounds fantastic – the reason, solid spruce top & Japanese quality control.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 09:29 PM   #8
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Hello

There is many superb sounding old italian violins, but not all Guarneri and Stradivari violins sound so good, many old violins do have so much repairs that they lost their original sound, and some Stradivari violins was not as good than other one made by this great violin maker.

There is modern violin makers who can make superb violins with better sound, one of them are J. Curtin.

Some great virtuoso violin players will have an old italian violin to play in the concerts but they will play a modern violin for themself. Most who can afford it will try some old italian violins and buy it only if it sound at least as good as the best modern violins.

Bye

Gaetan

Last edited by gaetan8888; 3rd January 2012 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 09:44 PM   #9
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As wood ages, it changes.

Take a handplane to a 100 year old board and then to a new one of the same wood. You will notice right away.

I believe that a Strad today sounds different than when it was made. Violins made today will sound different in 100 years. Probably more rich in resonances.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 09:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornelis Spronk View Post
As wood ages, it changes.

Take a handplane to a 100 year old board and then to a new one of the same wood. You will notice right away.

I believe that a Strad today sounds different than when it was made. Violins made today will sound different in 100 years. Probably more rich in resonances.
Hello

Yes, and a well made violin will sound better with times if you play it every days.

Strad and many old italian violins was made with some different technics than modern ones, for practical reason the tree logs was soaking in a lake for month, the sap in those woods was slowly dilute in the lake water and those lakes was a bit salt water, so the woods was impregnate with a small amount of salts and minerals. So the violin made with this woods was already sounding different.


Bye

Gaetan

Last edited by gaetan8888; 3rd January 2012 at 10:03 PM.
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