...participants in Dr. Fritz’s test could not reliably distinguish the old instruments from modern violins. Only 8 of the 21 subjects chose an old violin as the one they’d like to take home. In the old-to-new comparison, a Stradivarius came in last and a new violin as the most preferred.The results are clear, even though there was grumbling from other players that the test was performed in a hotel room rather than a concert hall, so projection qualities of the instruments might not have been appreciated.
This reminds me of the numerous blind taste tests involving hundreds of people have shown no correlation between the price of wines costing from $1.50 to $150 and their reported taste. In fact, I've done a posting on the neural correlates of this effect (see also this related posting).
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