Sample size being what it is, this isn't really a surprise. In the lutherie world, tests like these get conducted on a relatively regular basis to determine whether or not the qualities attributed to old master violins are replicable by newer makers. In general, the tests (often conducted under the aegis of the Guild of American Luthiers (GAL) or Association of Stringed Instrument Artisans (ASIA)) have tended to validate the claim that many modern builders - Paul Schuback, Joseph Curtin, Michael Darnton, Scott Cao, many others - are doing work that matches (or exceeds) the performance of Old Master violins.
Keep in mind that what we think of as a modern violin is emphatically NOT what the old masters built. Really. They generally made baroque violins, with lower bridges, shorter fingerboards made of maple or other fruitwood, much flatter neck angles, and lower tuning (where A could be as low as 405 to 415 Hz, vs 440 for modern instruments). Over the years, any old master violin which is being played regularly has had its neck reset to a steeper pitch, its fingerboard replaced with a longer ebony board, a much taller and thinner bridge, sometimes a new tailpiece, sometimes even a new scroll. Many times, the top has been regraduated to lighten it in an attempt to reduce mass and increase brilliance. Bass bars are routinely replaced.....some well-known Strads have fifteen to twenty chalk-fitted area patches to repair damage caused by wear, accident, or worm, and at least one has had the entire top thinned to .5mm and new spruce chalk-fitted to structurally rebuild the instrument. (See GAL Red Books; lots of articles on this topic). So the instruments are NOT what the old masters built - they've been hotrodded to suit the needs of players. Baroque violins sound beautiful (listen to Ars Musica ensemble for great examples) but lack volume and power and sustain.....and hotrodded violins have all of these qualities in spades.
What remains of the original violin after hotrodding? Well, for a lot of Strads/Guarneris/Amatis and the like, it's the arching of the top and back, and the general design of the body The patterns of arching and the shapes and outlines have been studied for over two hundred years by violin makers, and has accelerated dramatically with the advent of computing power whch can measure resonance patterns (laser interferometry. for example, and 3D scanning, and materials analysis) and there are extraordinarily accurate plans readily available for interpretation by skilled modern builders. Since, in general, the violin lutherie world is chiefly an apprenticeship system, notwithstanding a few excellent schools, builders learn their craft at the feet of great design and often with strict but excellent teachers.
The implication is that the art of violin making has continued to evolve, with greater access to the science behind the instrument as much as great manual skill to actually do the work of construction. Modern builders don't have and generally don't need magic varnishes or magic wood; they have good materials - and in fact a wider choice of materials than ever before, deforestation notwithstanding - and great skill in working with it to create superlative instruments. And honestly, while old master instruments are nice, I'll take a new, slightly 'tight' violin, and play it in until it loosens up; it costs less, is less to risk, and listeners can not distinguish between it and the ancient instrument. And I'll be delighted to be able to interact with the person that made it, and give feedback to help make the next ones even better.
Oh, and the whole magic varnish theories of people like Nagyvary are nonsense. Construction is more of a determinant than finish....think about it. Which determines structure, the construction, or the extremely thin finish layer? Yes, ash varnishes are beautiful, and salt-of-gems varnishes are beautiful, but they don't necessarily exhibit the visual properties (chiefly dichroism and clarity) of old master instruments.