A few of you might recall me talking about my various problems with a local shop. Long story short, I wound up with my ML1-G back with the wrong felts and a messed-up valve alignment. Well, I finally got my parts from Blessing (they called me Monday morning to verify billing, and I received the parts today with an invoice marked from Verne Q. Powell Flutes) and replaced the valve guides, springs, lower felts (under the cap), and upper felts (on top of the cap). Incidentally, the inner felt from the first valve was soaked with valve oil. Where the other two are white, it's a dark grey color. The spring from that valve was also more worn than the others. One of the felts wanted to be difficult because the valve caps are the style where the felts fit precisely within a groove. I manage to get it fitted, re-oil the valves, and check the alignment on the second valve (incidentally, the one with the felt that wanted to be difficult), and it's perfect. So, of course I wanted to try it out. Obviously, the valve action is better, being that they're operating on new guides, new springs, and fresh oil, so I'll have to wait to gauge the improvement in that regard. Also, I'm immediately hitting a range with ease that I had been having difficulty with before, moving from barely hitting a high "A" on command (I gauge this by playing a low note and then immediately trying to hit the high; if I miss, it's not in my functional range) and manage to get up to a D before I'm having issues. This is admittedly lower when I use my YSB but that's not surprising. Is this just psychological since I finally got rid of those ugly felts (light green on gold doesn't look nice IMHO), or does valve alignment (where it was off by maybe 1-2mm) have that much of an impact on playing characteristics?