Old v New: Can a new instrument be as good if not better than one made hundreds of years ago?

Luthier Joseph Curtin Leads the Violin World’s Politest Revolution

Researchers have found talented soloists unable to reliably distinguish new instruments from centuries-old masterpieces.

Luthier Joseph Curtin leads the violin world’s politest revolution. He and several fellow scientists have published a series of scientific papers that have grabbed media headlines and delighted makers who think new violins don’t get the credit they deserve.

For years, Joseph has been deeply involved in provocative experiments pitting new violins against old Italian instruments. Using smoked goggles and cloth screens, double-blind studies run by Curtin, French scientist Claudia Fritz, and other researchers have found talented soloists unable to reliably distinguish new instruments from centuries-old masterpieces.

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