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


In the world of violins, the names Stradivari and Guarneri are sacred. For three centuries, violin-makers and scientists have studied the instruments made by these Italian craftsmen. So far no one has figured out what makes their sound different. But a new study now suggests maybe they aren’t so different after all.

OK, here’s a test. Clip one is a musical phrase from Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major. Clip two is the same phrase. The same musician plays both. But one is on a Stradivarius violin, the other on a violin made in 1980. See if you can tell the difference.

To take the test- read on!


Not wishing to sound my own trumpet, I correctly identified the Stradivarius.:) I do listen to period instrument recordings quite a lot, so perhaps my ear is used to the sound of antique instruments.