Virtuoso violinist Anne Akiko Meyers tells the story of seeing an old Jack Benny routine on TV. Mr. Benny had two violins: an el cheapo model, and an expensive Stradivarius. He wanted to show the difference between the two instruments. The comedian launches into Mendelssohn on the el cheapo and gets, "...squeak, SQUEAK, SQUONK, squeal..." Benny then picks up the Strad and plays the same piece. "...Squeak, SQUEAK, SQUONK, squeal..." Yes, comedy. But Meyers' point was that it's not really the instrument that makes the artist.