I saw a special on PBS. Apparently the trick is to hold the wood up to
and carve the high density parts of the wood to get consistent mass/surface ratio on all areas of the sound board. Wood grain has natural density variations, and the carving to equal translucence evens those out.
Modern makers claim to now produce instruments as good or better than the best ever made, because now they have the density trick, and varnishes and glues are better than ever before.
The trick was discovered by a nondestructive spatial acoustic analysis of a strad. The standing wave patterns on the sound board were much more regular than on modern instruments, which showed deviations that turned out to be due to density variations caused by the wood grain.
>The Stratavarious family died out and the making of a Statavarious
>is a lost technology.