Why Stradivarius violins are worth millions

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  • Published on:  Monday, May 14, 2018
  • Many musicians prefer these 300-year-old instruments, but are they actually worth it?

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    Antonio Stradivari is generally considered the greatest violin maker of all time. His violins are played by some of the top musicians in the world and sell for as much as $16 million. For centuries people have puzzled over what makes his violins so great and they are the most scientifically studied instruments in history. I spoke to two world class violinists who play Stradivarius violins as well as a violin-maker about what makes Stradivari so great.

    Special thanks to Stefan Avalos for the Stradivari research footage.

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Comment

  • Vox
    Vox  4 months ago +691

    Violins aren't the only thing where a high price may not translate into quality. Watch our video on why expensive wine is for suckers: http://bit.ly/2wBvje9

    • nancy143
      nancy143  6 days ago

      Tech Freak the test participant are professional musician, but they are not the elite violinist would get to play or own a strad. I actually have passed the ABRSM grade 8 piano exam when I was 13 (much like many other Asian kids) and I went on to study the performance diploma, if I made my mind up to be a pianist as my career, I can be called a professional as well. But does it means my ears is as sensitive as Mozart? Can I go to a performance, hear it once and play it out base solely on my hearing? Hell no.

    • nancy143
      nancy143  6 days ago

      Landy Flowers I agree! Also these strads violin are meant to use by the best violinist and the most trained ear, it doesn’t need to appeal to the general public or average professional, since these ppl are not even the violin’s target market. People is willing to pay a ton for fresh ice in say a desert region, while the Eskimos probably won’t be willing to pay a dime. A value of a product is not solely depends on quality alone. And that “double blind”experiment is a bit faulted in design. First of all, if a musician have to play so many pieces on 11 violins, how can the “quality” of each play be exactly the same? And the conclusion the experience draw is that average professional prefer the sound of new violin over old strads, it’s a very clear misinterpretation to use that conclusion to say old strads quality is inferior to the new. A better design for that experiment would be they invite owners /players of the strads to hear the sound of these violins played by a controlled robotic arms, and then ask them to rate the quality of the sound of the violins.

    • Julia J
      Julia J  25 days ago

      That moment when you see a Vox video right under a "Louder With Crowder" video, lmao

    • Rehdman6444
      Rehdman6444  4 months ago

      Jack Jammen: That's a really good idea but, a 52-pound violin would be a bear to play.

    • Bo Kyong Kim
      Bo Kyong Kim  4 months ago

      You prefer 'to' something... Not 'over'...

  • Sspino
    Sspino  26 minutes ago

    There goes my dream

  • EdinPlayZ
    EdinPlayZ  8 hours ago

    the problem is that its an instrument. you make music with it. it should be sold at manufacturing price + 40% for the profit. I can (and everybody else) make the violin.

  • Justin Yee
    Justin Yee  yesterday

    It's worth it if you can play

  • John Gerald
    John Gerald  2 days ago

    I have Strads but I don't know how to use it.

  • El Morto Beats Hip Hop Beats

    I smell bs! if the strat is so great, just copi it! its just a handmade instrument... use old wood and make a replika.

  • Star Hunter
    Star Hunter  6 days ago

    I imagine part of it is psychological. They believe in the violin, which in turn gives them more confidence and so they think the music is better. A placebo, just without pills/IV's. Personally, I would be so afraid of breaking the damn thing that I would play worse. It would be like breaking a piece of history.

  • Shiny Sylveon Girl Pirate

    I thought philippe said Philippines lol

  • nancy143
    nancy143  6 days ago

    The fact that these violin are meant for the elite violinist or the most trained ears, means it doesn’t need to sound good/superior for the general public, it’s not meant for the general public or average professional to appreciate the difference. The double blind study should in fact invite the owner or play of strads violin to do the study, if these owner also prefer new over strads, then the study can say the hype is irrational.

  • Incipientium cubing

    Strad vs. Strat

  • Pedro Patrão
    Pedro Patrão  9 days ago

    Why is Andy Garcia in this?

  • bliglum
    bliglum  9 days ago

    People just love overpriced stuff..

  • Galeo Curvier
    Galeo Curvier  9 days ago

    In short you like it because,
    it's rare, expensive and most
    people are likely to never have
    one.
    An instrument is a tool the
    musician is the soul.
    A bad musician will sound bad
    on the most expensive instrument,
    but a professional can make even
    some of the cheapest instruments
    sound tolerable.

  • Sam Fosdick
    Sam Fosdick  9 days ago

    Perhaps you should have mentioned the wood he used was actually submerged in water for years this washing away substances found in the cells of the wood, thus the wood became lighter and more resonant. Modern day treasure hunters have found felled trees submerged in lakes and rivers (especially old growth Maple) to have very similar tonal quality. Thus this lumber fetches literally $1000s. It's amazing that you simply didn't mention the most vital information about the strads. So sad for the younger generation that believes everything they read online. Even more sad that someone like you omits vital facts and pawn yourself off as some factual content product. I'm a modern day luthier working with no power tools and work the wood by hand...but what do I know...I'm not VOX!

  • Sandy Beaton
    Sandy Beaton  10 days ago

    Are the the same stings

  • Marcelo Irusta
    Marcelo Irusta  10 days ago

    she rips!!!!!!!!!!

  • angely aponte
    angely aponte  11 days ago

    I wish i could afford one.

  • Arachnofondler
    Arachnofondler  11 days ago

    Two words: placebo effect

  • Leonard Wenk
    Leonard Wenk  11 days ago

    Sartorius?