All Violins Sound the Same

I posted a comment under the story:

"3 arrested after theft of $5M Stradivarius violin"

My comment:

All violins sound the same. It's like audio cables. In a blind A/B/X test no one can tell them apart.


LOL - you are thinking of fiddles and the "demographic" that's judges those sounds !!

It's not wise to make comments about things you know nothing about.

You must be joking

All violins sound alike...Ever thought of getting your ear flaps adjusted for sound...…..

Umm no all violins do not sound the same, I'm not saying a Stradveruis sounds better than a nice contemporary violin. But they DO NOT all sound the same.

Best not to make comments about things you know so little about!

Me: That was a JOKE. It's called sarcasm. It's the kind of comment you always see in discussions about audio cables, which ALSO do make a sonic difference…. calm down people….

my new username's picture

- Emily Litella

Devil Doc's picture

But you knew that.

ashevilleaudio's picture

I think a more appropriate comparison would be a violin to a loudspeaker.  I'd equate cables to rosin. 

Awsmone's picture
TerryWI's picture
ravenacustic's picture

Actually, this incident and Mike's analogy to cables brings up an interesting point. 

Having spent a lot of time in music, not a violinist, but having been around them and playing a brass instrument myself, there aren't two instruments, even by the same maker which play or sound the same. Yes, not even brass instruments by the same manufacturer or even the same model. There is always the element of how musical instruments are made even in an age of cadcams and hi tech manufacturing. So, do all cables of the same brand and model sound the same? I have a friend who makes turntables, very expensive ones, who will admit that in spite of the fact that he makes his tables to the tightest specs he can, each one has its own personality when finished. When we auditon a cable or a component in our system, does the one we buy and listen to happily after the audition sound the same as the try out piece?

Zardoz's picture

Even though I know Mikey was joking, I think an even better comparison would be that cables are the strings, rather than the rosin.

Thanks for the great site and your sense of humor Michael.


tnargs's picture

So it was actually an attack on blind ABX testing. Ha ha ha ha ha. Funny.

my new username's picture

More like, and attack on irrelevant and misleading methodologies.

kenkirk's picture

In my hands, all violins do sound the same. And it is not pretty. laugh



Jay's picture

Some people are seriously deficient in irony... smiley

alphaGT62's picture

Asheville is correct, all musical instruments sound different. I am a hobby level luthier, doing repairs and hot rodding electric guitars and basses, for the most part. And an aquantence once told me about a plastic, acrylic I think, guitar, and that the wood in an electric guitar made no difference. Of course, I begged to differ. And explained that the resonant frequency of the wood, and the frequency it dampened, all worked its way into the pickups from the vibrating of the wood and how that frequency also found its way into the strings, etc. and as I finished up my detailed explanation, I could hear the dial tone in his head. I had made no impression on him and he still believes an acrylic guitar should sound exactly the same as a wooden one. But instrument makers have been carefully choosing their exotic woods since the beginning of time for some apparent reason! 

So this analogy works the same way with wire, or tubes, or transistors, or any piece of a stereo system, every single piece of it makes a difference in sound. Now, whether you can hear that difference is the question. And no one wants to admit they have inferior hearing, for some reason. If they do not hear it, well then it cannot exist! But I know full well my eyesight is failing, lots of my friends see things I cannot see. If I cannot read that sign a mile up the road, does not mean there is nothing written on it! And I would be a fool to argue the point. 

AndersKH's picture

Hello !
I just joined this site.
I'm an Analog lover with over 5000 LPs and electrostatic speakers and tube electronics.
I have 900 original Living Stereo LPs and i'm wondering if I should get any new re-issues.
Concerning violins I prefer the sound of a Guarnerius violin as the Stradivarius sounds too bright and loud to me.
I used to work in a stereo store and Andrés Cárdenes used to come in all the time with his violin.
He bought a Linn system.

Michael Fremer's picture
Michael Fremer's picture