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Thread: So, Stradivariuses Suck

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    Default So, Stradivariuses Suck

    A study has recently shown that, in all likelihood, Stradivariuses are nothing special because no one can tell the difference between one and a new violin in controlled trials (in fact, in some cases the new violins are preferred). It doesn't surprise me - it's a familiar phenomenon with food and clothes and all sorts of other luxury items where it's just the label and price-tag that lead us to believe something is qualitatively better.

    I love it when a cherished illusion is smashed.

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    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    How dare you!
    "Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody." - Rousseau

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    I believe it is supposed to be 'Stradivarii'.

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    You win this time, Vampire Huxley Pig!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trout View Post
    I believe it is supposed to be 'Stradivarii'.
    It doesn't matter any more now that they're scrap wood.

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    Senior Member elgars ghost's Avatar
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    At least acoustic violins still LOOK the same, whatever their age and however good they are to play. Since the 70s there have been so many plug-ugly electric guitars and basses. Anyone who plays one of those stoopid pointy guitars so beloved of death-metallers or one of those poncey headless Steinbergs should be strung up high and left to the buzzards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Polednice View Post
    A study has recently shown that, in all likelihood, Stradivariuses are nothing special because no one can tell the difference between one and a new violin in controlled trials (in fact, in some cases the new violins are preferred). It doesn't surprise me - it's a familiar phenomenon with food and clothes and all sorts of other luxury items where it's just the label and price-tag that lead us to believe something is qualitatively better.

    I love it when a cherished illusion is smashed.
    Those trials must have been conducted using panels composed of heavy metal fans and pneumatic drill operators.
    I spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people don't like me anyway.

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    Senior Member emiellucifuge's Avatar
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    dd-ov-props20_ph_0501674424.jpg

    We are liberating ourselves
    "Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody." - Rousseau

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hilltroll72 View Post
    Those trials must have been conducted using panels composed of heavy metal fans and pneumatic drill operators.
    Professional violinists actually.

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    Now expect some "expert" to say "people must be paying millions of these works of art for some reason, and that reason is because they produce a superior emotional response that can't be quantified by some clinical blind testing. Therefore they are superior".

    The media will then report it by saying "although yet another blind study has concluded that blinded listeners often prefer a modern violin to a Strad, an expert has come forward stating that these studies fail to capture the emotional essence of these works of art for which people pay millions for their unchallenged spiritual superiority".

    You could conduct these blinded studies till the cows come home and they won't drop in price.

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    Well, I guess it's good to know that the secret of the Stradivarius violins has been found by violin makers so that it's not impossible to imitate or even surpass them. The ones out there are still gorgeous, depending on the player.
    "Music is an art, and art is forever. Music should not succumb to fashion, which is passing and forgotten."
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    Senior Member SPR's Avatar
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    Default Strad: does it matter?

    Seems many really can't tell the difference when put to a double blind test...

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptiveca...d?sc=17&f=1001

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    I don't really think anybody plops down $2,000,000 for one of these things thinking they're getting an additional $1,999,000 in sound quality over a $1000 violin. It's a rare, old, collectors item that happens to also sound nice. People as much for more for old **** all the time that unlike a voilin doesn't even serve a functional purpose other than to merely possess it.

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    No wonder this was the result, an interesting article. Maybe what it says amongst other things that makers of stringed instruments today are no less fine than they were centuries ago. They can match the best of the best of the times of old.

    Another related issue is that in some cases (maybe many, I'm unsure) these ancient violins have been changed a lot. They are not really like they originally were. Eg. the bridge widened, stuff like that. Of course, depending on what sound a violinist wants, many of them have metal strings now.

    It may be that the one in the museum case at the head of the article you posted would sound different if taken out and played? I mean different to modern violins?

    But the strads that are out there now and have been in use for ages are not museum pieces, they're living instruments, every generation of violinists and craftsmen have changed them to suit their needs, the needs of their modern age. They are passed down, eg. Yo-yo Ma's instrument used to belong to Jacqueline du Pre, if I remember correctly. He said he feels her hand guiding him when he plays her calling card, the Elgar concerto. Which brings another element here, the history of each of these instruments is amazing, if only just they could talk to us and tell their unique stories!...
    Last edited by Sid James; Jan-03-2012 at 07:40.

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    stop cutting tree for your ego ears. use plastic!

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