Originally Posted by HanSomPa
Really? He replied to you perfectly. A "Golden Age" Stradivarius is hardly distinguishable from a top-tier modern Violin. The blind test proved that. Hence the point of a blind test. As far as measurements and tests are concerned, they are also similar.
No, he didn't. Now, where did I say that Stradis are better than modern violins? I didn't. And where did I say that blind tests aren't useful? Nowhere.
Hence: re-read my statement.
In any case, many of you seem to know nothing of the classical culture (and when talking about "high-end musicians" only classical musicians matters, since the other styles barely require any skill when you compare the two. There are exceptions, of course, but this is objectively true).
In my experience, as a cello player myself, people don't "brag" about the instrument they use, or the price-tag, or anything else. You choose an instrument based on the sound (since you test them prior to buying them) and the budget you have. Even if you ask, many musicians will be wary to tell you the price-tag of their instruments. Everybody will share the brand, year, luthier and shop, though, but only if you ask them. Classical instruments aren't "bragging" stuff, since the differences between them are very, very hardly noticeable to the sight. People that have a Strad don't brag about it, or if they do, they do it for a very different reason than you may think. So, why are Strads so interesting?
a) They are loaned to the top tier musicians for free.
b) Everybody identifies them (even people that know nothing on Classical music knows about them, or know that they are damn expensive).
c) They are a historical relic.
d) They are comparable to a top-tier modern violin.
So, what happens when you see a musician with a Strad? You KNOW he is a top-tier player. That is the difference. Since high-end, old string instruments are loaned for free to high-end musicians, you know you have a formidable musician in front of you if he is sporting such a rarity.
Its not about the sound (they aren't better per se
), not about the fame, not about bragging, its about an item identifying who is "boss" in the "industry". And its a huge pride to be chosen to sport such an instrument, which has nothing to do with how good or how bad the instrument sounds.
Which is the reason that blind tests make no sense for THIS sort of stuff: you simply know what the Strad is and what isn't. It isn't the BEST-sounding instrument (its on par of comparable instruments; although since the sound depends on every single musician by itself, you can't compare instruments using different musicians, its pointless), it is THE icon that represent success in the classical music industry.