Every few years, an article appears somewhere in the universe claiming to have discovered the "secret" of Antonio Stradivari. Sometimes it is the varnish, sometimes the climate in which the wood was dried, and sometimes some other voodoo assumption. I have always maintained there is no "secret". Just the combination of good materials, good craftsmanship and 300+ years of aging and playing. This article by Nicholas Wade appeared in the January 2nd edition of the New York Times. It is the first study of it's type that makes any sense to me.