Your post is the only one I have seen on this particular subject that makes any sense at all. Thank you.
I'm planning an article for the IAMA magazine, the monthly magaine of our local bluegrass and acoustic music association. The article will look at the ways some manufacturers and individuals have promoted their products by claiming to have unlocked "the secret of Stradivari," "the secret of Lloyd Loar," etc., usually though some kind of mysterious alchemical varnish voodoo (since that's the one thing people can't just directly measure and attempt to copy).
I'm not sure what shape the article will take yet. It seems to be a touchy subject, and it's hard to find the right balance. But I may want to refer to your anecdote and thoughts on the matter, and possibly even include one of the images you posted. I hope you don't mind. Let me know if that would bother you.
"Few noises are so disagreeable as the sound of the picking of a mandolin."