Study confirms superior sound of a Stradivari is due to the varnish

Stradivari violins are heralded as one of the best instruments of their kind, generating the most pleasing sound a violin can produce. The secret to their superior sound quality has remained elusive, but research suggests that the answer lies in the special varnish used by Antonio Stradivari to treat the violins. Although the exact formula is unknown, the mixture of borax, copper and zinc sulphides, alum, and table salt seems to repel moisture exceptionally well, with the violins holding 25% less water than their counterparts, thus giving them a cleaner sound.
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