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(Abc.net.au)   Do 300 year old Stradivarius violins sound better than modern knock offs? Only if you can hear pretentiousness   (abc.net.au) divider line 143
    More: Obvious, Stradivarius violins, old Stradivarius, National Academy of Sciences, Olds, Iowa  
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6294 clicks; posted to Main » on 09 Apr 2014 at 8:45 PM (37 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-04-09 07:51:01 PM  
blog.miguelgrinberg.com

Swears he can tell the difference...
 
2014-04-09 08:06:20 PM  
Joseph Nagyvary was making gorgeous instruments at Texas A&M in the 80s and 90s, and now Luis & Clark out of Boston make a carbon-fiber fiddle that sounds phenomenal for under $6,000. A violin professor of mine in college paid more than that for her bow.

Provenance means nothing. Sound is everything.
 
2014-04-09 08:10:03 PM  
I am certain I read an article with this exact same premise a couple years ago.

recycled news.
 
2014-04-09 08:31:13 PM  

Ambivalence: I am certain I read an article with this exact same premise a couple years ago.

recycled news.


Are you certain?  Can you prove it?  Is this just another string theory?
 
2014-04-09 08:39:37 PM  

I_Am_Weasel: Ambivalence: I am certain I read an article with this exact same premise a couple years ago.

recycled news.

Are you certain?  Can you prove it?  Is this just another string theory?


http://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2012 /jan/03/stradivarius-v- modern-violins-study

Bah! make me look that up.
 
2014-04-09 08:40:58 PM  

Ambivalence: I_Am_Weasel: Ambivalence: I am certain I read an article with this exact same premise a couple years ago.

recycled news.

Are you certain?  Can you prove it?  Is this just another string theory?

http://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2012 /jan/03/stradivarius-v- modern-violins-study

Bah! make me look that up.


Actually I take that back, that was a rebuttal of the original article:

http://www.theguardian.com/music/2012/jan/02/how-many-notes-violinis t- stradivarius?guni=Article:in%20body%20link
 
2014-04-09 08:44:50 PM  
Either way, science has figured out much of the how involved in Stradivarius instruments; it's just a matter of time before they find a way to replicate it synthetically.  Will it sound the same? Who knows.  I just know that it's something that apparently even the most seasoned musicians have a hard time telling the difference on.
 
2014-04-09 08:48:25 PM  
Hey, peat! I heard you like to re!
 
2014-04-09 08:49:05 PM  
Only if you use Monster Cables with them
 
2014-04-09 08:49:42 PM  
But the fact that it has taken this long to figure it out really proves their worthiness
 
2014-04-09 08:49:57 PM  

SwiftFox: Only if you use Monster Cables with them


And listen with Beats headphones.
 
2014-04-09 08:50:03 PM  
I only know what stradivarius is from that pawn stars episode. Guy had a knockoff, but now I bet it's probably worth more than an original.
Then again pawn stars is a joke
 
2014-04-09 08:51:12 PM  
but which one burns better?
 
2014-04-09 08:54:43 PM  

ChrisDe: SwiftFox: Only if you use Monster Cables with them

And listen with Beats headphones.


It also helps if you draw around the sound holes with a green magic marker.
 
2014-04-09 08:54:59 PM  

Ambivalence: I am certain I read an article with this exact same premise a couple years ago.

recycled news.


Yeah, but this story is newer, so it sounds better.
 
2014-04-09 08:58:10 PM  
I'd just love to hold one in my hands and wonder who held the same violin 300 years ago. Nerdy thoughts like that consume me.
 
2014-04-09 08:59:34 PM  
There is something about the wood Stradivari made the violins from that makes them sound different--something to do with either how they were seasoned, or the grain of the wood or something. Whether that means they sound "better" I guess you'd have to be a true violin aficionado to tell.
 
2014-04-09 08:59:46 PM  
Right after selling fighter jets to the KlakKlalas, they will start production in the fall.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOag03ZbAb8


//Disconnect
 
2014-04-09 09:00:19 PM  

whatshisname: Ambivalence: I am certain I read an article with this exact same premise a couple years ago.

recycled news.

Yeah, but this story is newer, so it sounds better.


I did learn something new so there's that.  I had no idea there was such a thing as carbon fiber violins/violas/cellos/bases.  Now I do.
 
2014-04-09 09:01:10 PM  
 I don't imagine that I could tell the difference and I hate violin music in general, *BUT*...
 Seems to me that this study doesn't support the conclusion. Asking a small sample of concert violinists "which violin do you prefer to play on a tour" isn't the same question as asking a large group of people who are into this sort of thing "which one is a Stradivarius".
 
2014-04-09 09:01:18 PM  
FHP confirms Corchado rented a Mazda SUV from Enterprise in Winter Park. It's a black or white vehicle

glad to see Enterprise doesn't really keep track of their vehicles. So long, insurance.
 
2014-04-09 09:02:30 PM  
I believe the hype revolves around nastolgia. I love the way vinyl sounds because it sounds the way it was when it was pressed.

Listening to an old instrument brings you back to the time when the music was written.

Sure, we have better technology now. I currently spin timecoded vinyl that allows me to "spin" digital files that I can manipulate as though they were actually pressed on vinyl.

It's not the same.
 
2014-04-09 09:03:02 PM  

whistleridge: [blog.miguelgrinberg.com image 450x233]

Swears he can tell the difference...


I know nothing is obscure on Fark, but I was not expecting that reference. Brilliant, brilliant movie.
 
2014-04-09 09:04:25 PM  

ultraholland: FHP confirms Corchado rented a Mazda SUV from Enterprise in Winter Park. It's a black or white vehicle

glad to see Enterprise doesn't really keep track of their vehicles. So long, insurance.


Yes, but did it *sound* better than a Honda or a Toyota?
 
2014-04-09 09:04:47 PM  

Gyrfalcon: There is something about the wood Stradivari made the violins from that makes them sound different--something to do with either how they were seasoned, or the grain of the wood or something. Whether that means they sound "better" I guess you'd have to be a true violin aficionado to tell.


Well the best violinists with stratos say it is all musician and the instrument takes a weak second.
 
2014-04-09 09:06:43 PM  
Well, the history of the piece plays a role in the value.  About 40 years ago, a factory worker bought a piece of art at an auction for about $30.  Dirt cheap.   Years later, find out it was a stolen Gauguin and now it is valued in the millions.  It is still the same piece that only a factory worker wanted to buy when no one knew who painted it.
 
2014-04-09 09:07:09 PM  

Cyber0th: I believe the hype revolves around nastolgia. I love the way vinyl sounds because it sounds the way it was when it was pressed.

Listening to an old instrument brings you back to the time when the music was written.

Sure, we have better technology now. I currently spin timecoded vinyl that allows me to "spin" digital files that I can manipulate as though they were actually pressed on vinyl.

It's not the same.


I'd be interested in a link to this technology. Back when I was working in the Audio Technologies Lab at the NY Hall of Science, our audio engineer was trying to figure out a way to "scratch" CD's as though they were vinyl albums.
 
2014-04-09 09:07:35 PM  

100 Watt Walrus: whistleridge: [blog.miguelgrinberg.com image 450x233]

Swears he can tell the difference...

I know nothing is obscure on Fark, but I was not expecting that reference. Brilliant, brilliant movie.


Huh. I didn't think it was anything other than obvious. Go figure.
 
2014-04-09 09:07:46 PM  

Gyrfalcon: There is something about the wood Stradivari made the violins from that makes them sound different--something to do with either how they were seasoned, or the grain of the wood or something. Whether that means they sound "better" I guess you'd have to be a true violin aficionado to tell.


I remember reading it has to do with weather patterns making the wood used in his violins a certain way during his time period. Apparently someone figured out how to duplicate it by treating wood with a fungus.
 
2014-04-09 09:08:00 PM  

FriarReb98: Either way, science has figured out much of the how involved in Stradivarius instruments; it's just a matter of time before they find a way to replicate it synthetically.  Will it sound the same? Who knows.  I just know that it's something that apparently even the most seasoned musicians have a hard time telling the difference on.


According to the study, the newer violins are actually  overwhelmingly better.  It gets knocked down to more or less a null result ("can't tell the difference") due to a small sample size resulting in a wide error margin, to where it's more a proof of concept study than fully definitive.

It's also not actually that complicated in modern engineering terms, and has been an outright trivial issue to reproduce the things identically since about the 80s.  The Strad violins are currently valuable due to  historical value, not actual uniqueness in their true application as instruments.
 
2014-04-09 09:08:14 PM  
Ooo play flop eared mule with it!
 
2014-04-09 09:09:39 PM  
The sad thing is that the set of people who have enough talent to play a Stradivarius well and the set of people who can afford to own one don't intersect.

On the other hand, if I could actually play a violin and consider traveling internationally with it, I'd be thinking carbon fiber and titanium rather than rare woods that might cause trouble with CITES.
 
2014-04-09 09:11:10 PM  

TerminalEchoes: I'd just love to hold one in my hands and wonder who held the same violin 300 years ago. Nerdy thoughts like that consume me.


In that case, you REALLY need to see the movie referenced in this thread's initial comment.
 
2014-04-09 09:13:55 PM  

whistleridge: 100 Watt Walrus: whistleridge: [blog.miguelgrinberg.com image 450x233]

Swears he can tell the difference...

I know nothing is obscure on Fark, but I was not expecting that reference. Brilliant, brilliant movie.

Huh. I didn't think it was anything other than obvious. Go figure.


Only because so few people have seen it. Although, given that this is a Stradivarius thread, I suppose I should rethink my surprise. Probably 80% of the Farkers in here have seen it.
 
2014-04-09 09:16:00 PM  

Cyber0th: I believe the hype revolves around nastolgia. I love the way vinyl sounds because it sounds the way it was when it was pressed.

Listening to an old instrument brings you back to the time when the music was written.

Sure, we have better technology now. I currently spin timecoded vinyl that allows me to "spin" digital files that I can manipulate as though they were actually pressed on vinyl.

It's not the same.


 I will go at least this far. I'm no audio snob, but I *can* tell the difference between certain instruments/ recording techniques and there are plenty of recordings out there that are bad enough for me to find them objectionable.
 An example would be RHCP's "I'm with you" album. Recorded in modern FLAC format, but overmodulated just enough to be frustrating.
 I know that liking RHCP probably discounts me as a "music snob", but that's the point; even somebody with my simple tastes in music can tell a poor quality recording when they hear it.
 
2014-04-09 09:16:49 PM  
Q: What's the difference between an violin and a fiddle?
A: One has strraangs (said with a hillbilly accent).

My wife plays violin for a major US orchestra and I often hear her and other musicians talking about good instruments vs. not so good instruments.  They all want good sound, but what I think it boils down to is ease of play to get the sound they want.  My wife's personal violin is "new" (<20yrs), but is a real pain in the rear to get the sound she wants.  Her "loaner" (250yrs+) is easier to play to get the same sound quality as the other one, therefore she can focus on the musicality of whatever she is playing at the time...Brahms, Bach,  Shostakovich,Mahler, even Nickleback.
 
2014-04-09 09:17:26 PM  
It's not just how they sound, it's how they play, and respond to playing. That said, the Stradivarius thing has always been a stupid beatup for insurance purposes ...
 
2014-04-09 09:20:22 PM  
A woman went up to Jascha Chaifetz after a concert and said, "Mr. Chaifetz, your violin sounded amazing tonight." He held his violin up to his ear and said "Funny, I don't hear anything."
 
2014-04-09 09:22:16 PM  
An el-cheapo quartz watch will keep better time than the most expensive Rolex.  A Lexus is just as quiet and smooth as a Rolls Royce.  When people obtain a Stradivarius, or Rolex or Rolls, they are buying exclusivity.  In other words, I've got something the losers can't have.
 
2014-04-09 09:22:36 PM  
It doesn't matter how good the Stradivarius is if you're only playing MP3's on it.
 
2014-04-09 09:23:59 PM  

DynoFARKjr: Q: What's the difference between an violin and a fiddle?
A: One has strraangs (said with a hillbilly accent).

My wife plays violin for a major US orchestra and I often hear her and other musicians talking about good instruments vs. not so good instruments.  They all want good sound, but what I think it boils down to is ease of play to get the sound they want.  My wife's personal violin is "new" (<20yrs), but is a real pain in the rear to get the sound she wants.  Her "loaner" (250yrs+) is easier to play to get the same sound quality as the other one, therefore she can focus on the musicality of whatever she is playing at the time...Brahms, Bach,  Shostakovich,Mahler, even Nickleback.


^ Also this. I have a medium- small collection of guitars, and most of the guitars I prefer to play are fairly cheap. It's all about how easy it is to get the sound in your head out of the instrument, and very often "better" actually isn't.
 
2014-04-09 09:24:03 PM  
In other words, modern cars are as good or better than a '63 Ferrari GTO, so the GTO shouldn't cost $52M.
 
2014-04-09 09:25:49 PM  

lixivium: A woman went up to Jascha Chaifetz after a concert and said, "Mr. Chaifetz, your violin sounded amazing tonight." He held his violin up to his ear and said "Funny, I don't hear anything."


I like it.
 
2014-04-09 09:27:33 PM  
www.joesdaily.com
 
2014-04-09 09:28:21 PM  
I'd have to hear them play 'Devil Went Down to Georgia' on them to really tell.... on a kick-ass set of $15, 5000 watt Pyramid subs run by a $35, 20,000 watt Pyramid amp!! All hooked up with the best speaker wire that Big Lots has to offer for under $2... Woo Hoooo!
 
2014-04-09 09:30:19 PM  
While the wood/age/construction etc....all play a part in making the sound, it's possible to build a better instrument today. Bob Taylor got a lot of flack from Martin/Gibson purists because he was 'buying up all the good wood'....so in response, Taylor took a bunch of pallets from the loading dock and built this.

encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com

It actually sounds pretty good (skip to 1:44).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4wxutbs8ZU
 
2014-04-09 09:34:12 PM  
FTA: ...who, when blinded, decided that their least favourite instrument of three was a Stradivarius...

That's hardcore science
 
2014-04-09 09:37:04 PM  
In an experiment a famous violinist (Joshua Bell) played his famous instrument (Stradivarius) in Grand Central Station with the violin case open at his feet.  A few people dropped in some coins, only one stopped to listen.
 
2014-04-09 09:39:52 PM  

TerminalEchoes: I'd just love to hold one in my hands and wonder who held the same violin 300 years ago. Nerdy thoughts like that consume me.


I work for a violin maker (secretary/bookkeeper/inventory/front of house extraordinaire here).  Of course a prerequisite for the job was to be a violinist, which I had been seriously up through college (was concert mistress of my high school orchestra my senior year).

You could say my boss is the conservator for the string instrument collections at the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian. He travels up to DC frequently to do maintenance on the instruments, and every once in a while an instrument comes to our shop. He also restored John Phillip Sousa's childhood violin (that's on display at the Marine Corp. Museum up in Quantico, Va.).

We did have a Strad in the shop once (I can't remember which one).  I got to play it....after playing a few scales I broke into a cold sweat and put it down.  I'm not afraid to admit that I was in awe of holding something so old and rare.

This Strad sounded wonderful to me, and doubly so when one of our regular customers, a NC Symphony member, came to the shop and played it.  There are some Strads that sound better than other ones.  It's just that all of their worth stems from the rarity of them and from the reputation of the maker.
 
2014-04-09 09:41:59 PM  

oohpah: In an experiment a famous violinist (Joshua Bell) played his famous instrument (Stradivarius) in Grand Central Station with the violin case open at his feet.  A few people dropped in some coins, only one stopped to listen.


If anything, that speaks to the skill of random buskers.
 
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