To me it is probable that Signors Guarneri and Stradivari were the producers of the best violins in their generation and tradition of handiwork;
(are there other instruments left from these times? well preserved specimen without too many or big repairs?)
since the beginning of science (chemistry and appliance of it to organic materials was the first and made industrial production possible a.f.a.i.k) and scientific testing of very specific properties can often be found in databases, each builder of musical instruments can compute a specific search for the right materials.
And then add the fact that in each generation there are many people who are good in their job, and a few masters – and you get what was tested:
Some of the newly built violins are better than what was made long ago.
Theory: In science, a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses.
The is a theory, but guess what? When scientists use the word , it has a different meaning to normal everyday use. That's right, it all comes down to the multiple meanings of the word . If you said to a scientist that you didn't believe in evolution because it was "just a ", they'd probably be a bit puzzled.
One source of confusion about the status of the science or theory of evolution stems from the difference between the "everyday" meaning of the word "theory" and the scientific meaning the word.
Fact: In science, an observation that has been repeatedly confirmed and for all practical purposes is accepted as “true”. Truth in science, however, is never final and what is accepted as a fact today may be modified or even discarded tomorrow.
Hypothesis: A tentative statement about the natural world leading to deductions that can be tested. If the deductions are verified, the hypothesis is provisionally corroborated. If the deductions are incorrect, the original hypothesis is proved false and must be abandoned or modified. Hypotheses can be used to build more complex inferences and explanations.
This objective approach in to the world of Lutherie and Musical Instruments is very much needed. However, I cannot agree that a fifteen year old, no matter how virtuosic he is, has the same experience and feel of a proffesional violinist. This experiment as “well controlled” as it was, did not take into consideration the experience needed to reach the mastery needed to control the any of instruments. Kudos for at least establishing the premises of future comparisons and listening tests.