...Recent research by Burkle and Grissimo-Mayer (2003) has revealed that spruce trees growing in the Italian Alps that provided the wood for the Cremona luthiers, grew during a particularly cold period in Europe known as the Maunder Minimum. Because the growing season was shorter and cooler the trees grew more slowly than normal, producing narrower rings and thereby increasing the volume of latewood, where sound is transmitted the fastest. High speed of sound transmission or ‘response’ allows a violin to capture and radiate all of the notes produced by the strings.
Of equal importance was how the spruce logs were handled before milling.[continued]