If you are considering buying the newest, hottest instrument, accessory, gadget, etc., it’s worth asking yourself a few questions:
- Is this item made out of materials that are usually used for fine jewelry or the dashboards of luxury cars?
- How likely is it that the most visually-attractive materials also happen to have the ideal acoustical qualities? Is there really a good reason to believe that this particular material sounds better than other materials that happen to be less pretty and less expensive? Is there some reason to believe this couldn’t be made from practical and low-cost materials like steel or aluminum or oak or birch, or any of the incredible and endlessly varied synthetic materials?
- Does the item come in a variety of materials at a variety of price points, with the most expensive materials being pushed as the best-sounding?
- Does the marketing pitch sound like it might really be describing how the material looks, rather than sounds? “The brilliance of silver,” “the smooth dark sound of grenadilla,” “the rich sound of our proprietary gold alloy,” “the complex character of our highly-figured maple.”
You should use the instruments that work best for you. If precious metals and fragrant exotic woods make you happy and you can afford them, then you should have them. But be careful not to get caught up in a sales pitch that is more about bling than about real benefits.