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Excellent article from the NY Times Magazine about the terrible loss that occurred from the 2008 Universal Studios fire. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/magazine/universal-fire-master-recordin

Other references to the loss -  Sheryl Crow: Universal Studios fire destroyed all my master tapes https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-48745638 Here Are Hundreds More Artists W

Happy 25th MP3  https://hackaday.com/2020/07/27/mp3-is-25-years-old/ 

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Well I'm guessing they will do that soon enough too... sounds like they have already done it with other listeners. That said I'd bet once they completed that the complaint would be that the hall would have to be full to accurately represent real use etc.

When talking 10-30k (very much a guess on a new high quality violin) vs a 1 million+ strad the ROI isn't looking too hot.

I also think it was interesting because before anyone had done the test I'd bet that the players would have said they could have absolutely tell the difference.

Edited by Dreadhead
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Sorry, my reply wasn't clear. The critiques near the end of the article are the ones that resonated with me:

"“Even experienced players who have not lived with a great violin don’t realize what they are hearing or doing when they first play a great instrument,” he said. “Second, Strads and del Gesùs vary tremendously in sound characteristics and quality, so generalizations are hard to make from a few cases, in any event.”"

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Sorry, my reply wasn't clear. The critiques near the end of the article are the ones that resonated with me:

"“Even experienced players who have not lived with a great violin don’t realize what they are hearing or doing when they first play a great instrument,” he said. “Second, Strads and del Gesùs vary tremendously in sound characteristics and quality, so generalizations are hard to make from a few cases, in any event.”"

Yeah. I'm no musician.

That said I do know that "living" with something that you (or your benfactors) paid $1+million for will lead to you finding it's greatness far more than something you got for $20k. That's just straight up human nature. Separating that effect is probably impossible and not even necessarily important I guess. In the end I couldn't care less if the music was produced by a Strad or new made as I'm sure the player has much more to do with what is produced.

The comment about variability is another one that I take issue with because they are invariably expensive. My point being if some are truly better then they should be the only ones that cost lots right? Or is the cost part of what makes them great in that it acts as a "gate" through which only the best of the best get to play them. I'm guessing it's the latter that makes them great.

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There is definitely variation in cost even in the highest bracket. But, I don't really need to use that fact. Remember the instrument market isn't dominated by musicians, it's dominated by Asian collectors. They don't play the instruments, they just hoard them.

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I meant expensive compared to new build.

I had not thought about your point about the hoarding. I should have. I read an article a few years back about some people were doing deals where the benefactor let the musician play the instrument but had to give them x number of private performances each year etc.

I wish I could play some instrument but my attempt at Viola as an adult was a flop and I just ran out of time too. The local high school was happy with the donation though.

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Everyone's hoarding, it's not just the Asians. When you know your purchase will go up in price no matter what, that's a pretty fucking safe investment.

As to sound, I've played on a large variety from stuff worth a few thousand to stuff worth a few million. There's still a correlation, none of the newly made stuff (within the last 20 years) touches the old stuff, in my experience. Of course there is still a value attached due to antiquity.

Edited by mypasswordis
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I'm considering finding a 19th century Parisian maker, specifically ex-Vuillaume shop, like Hippolyte Silvestre, Jean-Joseph Honoré Derazey, Charles Buthod, Charles-Adolphe Maucotel, Télesphore Barbé or Paul Bailly. I cannot imagine a safer investment. Perhaps in a year or two.

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