The Ultimate Blind Reference Test – Pick the Stradivarious!

I want to introduce you to NPR’s new classical music blog, Deceptive Cadence, and to this article.

The article describes research in which professional musicians could not tell the difference between a centuries-old classic violin and one minted in 1980. In fact, most preferred the sound of the 1980 job!

Based on the sound clips, I don’t know how. I could correctly identify the more sonorous sound of the Strad after 3 seconds of playing. It was obvious. I guess I’m just that good a listener. Or maybe that lucky!  lol

Have fun with it,


[Thanks to member JeremiahH for pointing this article out.]

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 Audiophile, Bob, General, Music

4 Comments to The Ultimate Blind Reference Test – Pick the Stradivarious!

  1. For more on sounds of different violins, check out the SACD “What about this, Mr. Paganini?” (available on Amazon, etc). There is a distinct difference between the sounds of a Guarneri, Amati, Stradivari. Which one I prefer depends on the music being played. The strad seems to have an airier sound that cuts through better … not a warmer sound. Anyway, judge for yourself, and see which sounds you like.

  2. sunil on January 5th, 2012
  3. Here’s a related article (NYT):


  4. Bob on January 5th, 2012
  5. Bob, I think you had a lucky choice. BTW, most of the time, I have noticed those who do comparisons usually put the special item in the same order as was presented in the article.

    In the Strat violin there was a high note that I liked the sound better, but I couldn’t find anything more sonorous about it.

    I love the double blind controlled protocols of the test, so thanks for putting this up.


  6. skepica on January 7th, 2012
  7. “Bob, I think you had a lucky choice.”

    Of course you do – that’s why you’re skeptica! lol

    But, seriously, with a single trial the the statistical confidence in my choice is abysmal.


  8. Bob on January 7th, 2012