From The Independant:
They are said to produce unparalleled sound quality. Until now, however, no one has been able to explain why 300-year-old Stradivarius violins have never been matched in terms of musical expressiveness and projection.
A study has found that the secret may be explained by the consistent density of the two wooden panels used to make its body, rather than anything to do with the instrument's overall contours, varnish, angle of the neck, fingerboard or strings.
Scientists compared five antique violins made by the Cremonese masters Antonio Stradivari and Giuseppe Guarneri Del Gesu with seven modern-day instruments by placing them in a medical scanner that could accurately gauge the density of the two wooden plates that make up the top and the back of the body.
They found that, overall, the density of the two groups of violins was the same, but what differed significantly was that the two plates of the older instruments had a more uniform density compared to the more inconsistent densities of the modern plates.