This admission from Norman Lebrecht is a fascinating one. He is, by being so candid, risking his own livelihood and the derision of people who play fine instruments. So, kudos to him for being so precise in his account of what happened when new violins were compared to vintage ones (not just of the Stradivarius variety).
Lebrecht says, in effect, a violin made recently and worth maybe $10K is actually a better playing experience than a ten million dollar vintage instrument.
This brings to mind the ongoing fraud that is the vintage guitar market. Guitars are manufactured with some very high standards but not as high as violins. Guitars are made to accommodate wires and metal bars and magnetic pickups and things of that nature. The violin is, essentially, a box with strings held together with glue. And if such a thing as that can be better than a vintage one, then why can't a modern-manufactured guitar be better than one made in the 1950s?