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  1. I wonder how people in other professions would respond to similar questions about their jobs. As a computer programmer, I often feel I'd be happier making violins and guitars than sitting in front of a computer writing web applications for various clients. I studied computer science so I could make a living as a game developer, but it turns out making games is both difficult and expensive, and the work environment at established game development shops is often quite oppressive. I wouldn't advise others to become game developers, but there's no denying that some do manage to turn it into a fun and rewarding career. I suspect it's the same with many other professions and professionals, and perhaps even most of them. Hindsight is not foresight, and you can never be sure you'd be happier today having chosen a different line of work way back when. To the OP: I think you're right to continue with your studies, but you can still try your hand at making violins and see how you like it. You may think of it either as a hobby or as a second job, depending on how much time you have and how much effort you are willing to put in. It may turn out you like it enough to make a living out of it, but it's not a big loss if you find out that you don't.
  2. Better yet, go to images.google.com and type in the following: site:maestronet.com cleats It will give you a bunch of pictures, some of them showing what Jeff is looking for.
  3. Grow up, everybody. It's not as if he asked you to show him your cheek patches.
  4. I move the bow back and forth in short strokes, working my way up from frog to tip. Having done that, I wipe the hair on the bit of cloth that comes with the the rosin cake and voilà, c'est fini.
  5. The question implies the belief is false. An alternative to the question's implication is that accurate perceptions may lead people to believe in facts.
  6. I'm sure it's quite possible to fool people into thinking they're hearing something that isn't what they think they're hearing, but an honest researcher need not resort to such tricks to test the claim that people can tell the difference between Strads and modern instruments. Just do a bunch of A/B tests where one of the instruments is guaranteed to be a Strad (picked at random out of several other Strads) and the other is guaranteed to be a modern instrument (picked at random out of several modern candidates). The test is whether people can consistently hear the difference between Strads and modern instruments, not whether people can identify a Strad in isolation.
  7. Posters from The Strad get lost in the mail often enough that it's quite a surprise when they arrive at all. I don't know whether the Royal Mail or the United States Postal Service is the one to blame, but I wouldn't order anything from the Strad that I couldn't afford to lose unless I were willing to pay for their courier service (which is not an option if ordering online).
  8. Without listening to other Strads in the same environment, all I can say is I liked it better than the modern sample.
  9. Fair enough, but even then you do need to start with something familiar. Tastes evolve, but as you well know they can't evolve in a vacuum.
  10. There must be a certain psychological comfort in rejecting top-notch instruments if one cannot afford them.
  11. I'm sure the best modern violins do a pretty good job indeed, but I don't buy the implication that differences in sound between Strads, Guarneris, and modern instruments are merely the product of the listener's imagination. That people are prone to suggestion is nothing new, so I'm not impressed by people hearing differences where none exist. What does concern me is whether or not people can tell the difference between Strads, Guarneris, and modern instruments in the context of blind A/B tests. My own experience with such tests suggests there is a real difference in sound between Strads and modern instruments, which is why I'm skeptical of claims to the effect that people who hear differences between these and modern instruments are only imagining things.
  12. In a market so driven by classical form and tradition, how do you achieve "good" sound without reference to an ideal model? It seems to me that Strads and Guarneris serve that purpose quite well, while modern instruments generally don't. Without those classical examples widely considered to be the best of the best, which makers instruments should other makers emulate in order to achieve "good" sound? In which "good old" equals Strads and Guarneris.
  13. What about these latest studies by Fritz / Curtin? How do you turn that research into practical "do X get Y" information? I don't quite get what purpose this research serves other than to suggest modern instruments can be as good or better than Strads.
  14. chronos, apologies for my post No 58 in Followup to the Indianapolis blind study, I have deleted it.

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