Q1 – What was I thinking?: What is your most regretted impulse purchase of all time?
A1 – Boy, this is a tough question because I usually don’t buy anything on impulse.
I would say the closest I’ve come recently was the purchase of Valgon rings for my flute. Supposedly, they serve as “an additional source of resonance.” Valgon Rings for flute
I’ve only used them a couple of times . . . I will probably use them this Saturday when the Lodi Community Band performs at the Lodi Grape Festival because we will be playing in the Grape Pavilion and will not be mic’d.
But I’ve done blind tests with my teacher, other flutists . . . nobody seems to be able to tell the difference between my playing with them on my flute or off. I suspect that is because I play a professional model “heavy walled” flute — that means the silver wall (tube) of the flute is .18″ thick rather than the standard .16″. It makes the flute heavier to hold, but also projects more sound. In addition, I have a platinum riser in my head joint. Different types of metal produce different sound qualities. I like platinum because it produces a deep, rich sound. So between the heavy wall and the platinum, I am already projecting a great deal of sound.
The other problem is that they are attached to the foot and head joints of the flute. I have to be careful with them because the spring mechanism has a tendency to scratch the flute’s surface.
They actually make rings for piccolos! You can be sure I won’t be buying and using them — that thing produces sounds that can wake the dead. No need to amplify those noises!