Following up on my previous post about absolute best and the perception I wanted to write about the Stradivarius violins.

For over three centuries have been considered the world’s best violins, the latest two sales of the violin netted 3.5 and 3.54 million each. What makes them so expensive? Among the top answers is the sound. The thing is… They do not sound any better… Or even different for that matter. A series of several double-blind tests (both the audience and the musician are blindfolded) were made in 2014 to test if the “old world” violins are any better in sound than a modern-made violin.

Test #1
Thirteen modern instruments vs. nine “Old Italian” ones were paired in a musical showdown. The results were that ten elite violinists generally preferred the new ones to the olds.

Test #2
Three Strads vs three top-quality modern violins. 55 listeners. Results: Generally the new violins sounded better.

Test #3
Strands vs new violins again, 82 listeners. Results: Listeners chose the new violins over the old ones.

Let us see what you think. Here are two samples of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Mayor. Sample two is the same, same musician, same place, same recording software. One is a Stradivarius, the other a violin made in 1980.

Sample #1

Sample #2

So, which one is it? Could you spot it? To find the answer start reading this post again and look for the word “one” or “two”, the first one you find is the answer.

You can see the complete paper here.

Image by Public Domain.

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