"Despite a general belief among violinists that Stradivari and Guarneri violins are tonally superior, the participants in Dr. Fritz’s test could not reliably distinguish such instruments from modern violins. Only 8 of the 21 subjects chose an old violin as the one they’d like to take home. In the old-to-new comparison, a Stradivarius came in last and a new violin as the most preferred."

(In Classic vs. Modern Violins, Beauty Is in Ear of the Beholder - New York Times, 03/01/2012)