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If they can't tell the difference, you probably can't either...

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Dark Horse, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX
    A test to see if classically trained violinists could tell the difference between a couple Stradavarius, a Guarneri, and 3 modern made violins.

    Not specific to basses (though it mentions in the article that "other instruments were tested with similar results"), but pretty much demonstrates how important our "eyes" are to how we perceive the "sound" of instruments.

    Double-Blind Violin Test: Can You Pick The Strad? : Deceptive Cadence : NPR

  2. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I could have told you that without even reading the article ;)
  3. That's hilarious to me, and makes a lot of sense.

    I have a VERY modern violin that cost about $500, case included. It's actually nicer than I'd realized, and when my at the time instructor tried it out, he was surprised it was on the lesser side of $1,000.
  4. I wish someone would do this with ampegs and Hartkes and GKs and so on. Or have they?
  5. im not meaning to sound rude but i could probs tell the diffrence if i was playing my jazz bass and a few others blind but thats only cos mines has got a few dings on the neck
  6. fourstringdrums

    fourstringdrums Decidedly Indecisive Supporting Member

    Oct 20, 2002
    But when does playability become a factor? My cousin is a violinist and hers, used, cost over 11k. I'm sure she'd be able to tell the difference in playability with a 1k violin.
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Most of the violin players in that study couldn't. Not saying that playability differences don't exist, but they're usually not related to cost unless we're talking bottom of the line.
  8. Baird6869

    Baird6869 RIP Gord Downey. A True Canadian Icon.

    I read an article that compared a '52 Les Paul to a later '50 model the exact same and a modern reissue.

    The reissue was the favorite.

    I guess the benefits of animal hide glue, decades of vibration and drying out of the wood aren't as important to tone as many believe. I would feel differently if I spent over $100k on a crappy sounding Gibson or over $1m on a crappy sounding Strad!
  9. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    It doesn't surprise me at all. Good, dry, wood is good, dry, wood. The idea that different woods have significant, audibly (=blindly) discernible differences in tone doesn't stand up to proper testing, although there's a fluffy mountain of anecdote and magical thinking that says the objective testing is wrong.
  10. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Yep! And further, the magical thinkers and true believers angrily argue that any objective testing is untrustworthy and faulty, and that it actually causes "real differences" to become imperceptible because of some effect of the test upon the listener. :rolleyes: Every freakin time.
  11. StuartV

    StuartV Finally figuring out what I really like Supporting Member

    Jul 27, 2006
    Manassas, VA
  12. Yes! And it's all moot because people hear what they are inclined to hear, NOT what actually exists. Psycho-acoustics is as important, or more important than actual sound, because humans have an incredible ability to perceive the world as they want it to be, not as it actually is.
  13. This reminds me of the "Monster Cable versus coathangers" audiophile test. Pretty hilarious stuff.
  14. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles

    Stradivari and Guarneri violins don't sound better according to a University of Paris study. Aparrently, we just think so because they are rare and costly. Maybe there is some of this effect with classic and high-end basses?
  15. Funkinthetrunk

    Funkinthetrunk Registered User Supporting Member

    I've read an old article about Leo Fender...he too didn't believe that old Fenders sounded better than newer ones.
  16. more coffee

    more coffee

    Aug 31, 2011
    Denver, CO
    So... the conclusion to take from this is that the wood doesn't matter?

  17. bass12

    bass12 And Grace, too

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    I actually get frustrated when I don't hear what I expect to in a bass. If I was to hear what I'm "inclined to hear" then there'd be no problem.
  18. eqvolvorama

    eqvolvorama Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2000
    Arlington, Virginia
    You've spent time on audiophile forums, haven't you?
  19. Dark Horse

    Dark Horse Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2008
    Austin, TX

    Ha !



    But I think we can at least infer that perhaps the differences between a quality modern instrument and a quality vintage instrument are smaller than what our eyes and romanticism would have us believe. (and for the record, I love my vintage Fenders)

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