Tuesday, November 20, 2012

'The Rest' Takes Down 'the Best'

Antique, High-end Violins Come Up Short in Double-blind Study


21 out of 21 experts agree: this is a picture of Stradivarius

Early last year, researchers conducted a study in an effort to discover if highly-coveted 18th century violins, from esteemed craftsmen such as Stradivari and Guarneri, lived up to their considerable reputations. The antique violins were measured against their modern counterparts by 21 experienced players - the results of the double-blind tests were surprising: 
"We found that (i) the most-preferred violin was new; (ii) the least-preferred was by Stradivari; (iii) there was scant correlation between an instrument's age and monetary value and its perceived quality; and (iv) most players seemed unable to tell whether their most-preferred instrument was new or old" (Fritz et al.).
Click "read more" for information about the authors, their methods, and their conclusions about modern violin production.

Player preferences among new and old violins - Fritz et al.

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/01/02/1114999109.abstract


Stradivarius Fails Sound Test Versus Newbie Violins - Scientific American

http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=stradivarius-fails-sound-test-versu-12-01-04

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