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STL Ocarinas; An Ocarina Importer
Topic Started: 30 Jan 2009, 03:06 AM (85,509 Views)
BigC
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When you're STL, You're STL 4 Life!!!

Cris did a great job on the reviews back in the day, I'll be super excited when she does those again.
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pandorado100
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Premium Poster
Cris said that she's super busy right now because her job with Nintendo is going to take up a lot of her time during the holidays. After that is over, she mentioned something about going to Norway to visit Ruth and Řystein Haga. So I wouldn't count on her being able to do ocarina review videos any time soon.

You'll have to watch her older videos if you want your Ocarinadiva fix. That's what I do, Charles. :)

In the meantime, do you know Tristan Laurens? He is STL's newest product demonstrator. He is very talented. He has been making videos of a lot of STL's newer models.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_Pu-z_yw0M

Edited by pandorado100, 17 Oct 2016, 11:37 PM.
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CKeene
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Lion Tamer
That video is painfully bad! He isn't in tune for most of the first song and he holds notes for seconds that are way off. If this guy is demonstrating products for STL you'd think that he would publish a better take than that one. The second song was better but then it goes off the deep end into unendurable torture on Let it Go. Not a good decision to put that video out when he can do better.

I watched some other things of his on youtube and he seems a competent player. It makes me wonder what went so wrong and if that ocarina played some role.
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pandorado100
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CKeene
18 Oct 2016, 12:47 AM
That video is painfully bad! He isn't in tune for most of the first song and he holds notes for seconds that are way off. If this guy is demonstrating products for STL you'd think that he would publish a better take than that one. The second song was better but then it goes off the deep end into unendurable torture on Let it Go. Not a good decision to put that video out when he can do better.

I watched some other things of his on youtube and he seems a competent player. It makes me wonder what went so wrong and if that ocarina played some role.
OMG I'd have to say you are right. I didn't listen to Tristan's video before posting it. I just grabbed it from his YT channel.

How about this one?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXm3vbqeJkY




Or this video?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iExwo9xsxJc

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CKeene
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Lion Tamer
^^Exactly! Both of those videos are in tune and sound good. Maybe he does his recording in front of a tuner and didn't have one on hand. In which case he should work on his ears as Ocarina really only has the one challenge - Pitch. Otherwise, it is very simple. Still, he plays well and has good fingering on some faster songs. I just get confused why he put out that awful Frozen video when he clearly can do better. I would run away from buying that ocarina after hearing that.
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pandorado100
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CKeene
18 Oct 2016, 10:10 PM
^^Exactly! Both of those videos are in tune and sound good. Maybe he does his recording in front of a tuner and didn't have one on hand. In which case he should work on his ears as Ocarina really only has the one challenge - Pitch. Otherwise, it is very simple. Still, he plays well and has good fingering on some faster songs. I just get confused why he put out that awful Frozen video when he clearly can do better. I would run away from buying that ocarina after hearing that.
Hmmm... Maybe I should contact Tristan via PM and suggest that he might want to redo his video. It's really not a good representation of his playing skill. I think he is very talented and will only get even better as he grows as a musician. He is young but has lots of potential.

I sure I wish I could play as well as he does. My fingers will never be so nimble. :blush:
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Trystan
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Ocarinist on his rock!
Hi everyone! :)

Thank you for your attention for what I do. I actually didn't use any tuner for Frozen Medley. I checked the Ice Ocarina and it sounds good. Some fingering needs big variations of breath like high Eb or lowest notes or notes involving subholes.

I use Logic Pro that owns a flex pitch tool. It allows me to check the pitch of my notes. I don't really use it. I didn't use it for Fi's Theme or Suteki Da Ne as they are slow so I can focus on the breath.
I also read normal sheet music. So the fingering when you use a G ocarina and maybe this might have made me fail on some parts because I'm not used to different fingering for one note.
Edited by Trystan, 19 Oct 2016, 07:49 PM.
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CKeene
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Lion Tamer
Hi Trystan. Nice to see you on here. As for the video though - it isn't just the fingerings. You are holding a lot of notes there that are way off and these songs aren't nearly as fast as that great Megalovania video you did. You play quite well in some of your other videos, so it doesn't make much sense why the Frozen vid is so off, unless the ocarina was difficult. I don't mean to be overtly critical, but I'm always honest and pitch is ultimately objective.You can hear it and that video does not represent the level of what you can do or even show positively for the ice ocarina. Still, I hope to see more videos like the other ones I've seen which have all been pretty good.
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BigC
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When you're STL, You're STL 4 Life!!!

Hey Trystan, You are an awesome ocarinist!
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BigC
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When you're STL, You're STL 4 Life!!!

Posted Image

Stay Musical my Friends...
Edited by BigC, 16 Mar 2017, 06:12 PM.
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Kae
Transverse Ocarinist x 5
Sorry if this was asked before but does STL have a physical store? If I ever ordered from them again I would really hate to pay $8+ in shipping for an item that is less than 20 minutes away.
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pandorado100
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Kae
17 Mar 2017, 02:09 AM
Sorry if this was asked before but does STL have a physical store? If I ever ordered from them again I would really hate to pay $8+ in shipping for an item that is less than 20 minutes away.
I have never heard of STL having a store but they do show up at quite a few anime and comic conventions. It's worth visiting their booth because they offer some pretty nice deals for convention goers.
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jordan.1210
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Transverse Ocarinist x 3
Do they announce any conventions that they go to like songbird does?
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Mark Chan
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jordan.1210
17 Mar 2017, 08:57 PM
Do they announce any conventions that they go to like songbird does?
I've asked the owner directly about it, and he said that they can't talk about what cons they will be at until they're actually there. It makes no sense, because people who want to test out their products won't know until the weekend of. For some people, travel plans need to be made in advance, so it's pretty much a gamble since cons don't refund your registration.
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BigC
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When you're STL, You're STL 4 Life!!!

The element of surprise! Gotta love that about STL! Plus whenever they're at a con here in Houston, you know me and my wife are going to be there supporting Team STL!
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Kae
Transverse Ocarinist x 5
Mark Chan
17 Mar 2017, 10:42 PM
jordan.1210
17 Mar 2017, 08:57 PM
Do they announce any conventions that they go to like songbird does?
I've asked the owner directly about it, and he said that they can't talk about what cons they will be at until they're actually there. It makes no sense, because people who want to test out their products won't know until the weekend of. For some people, travel plans need to be made in advance, so it's pretty much a gamble since cons don't refund your registration.
I was actually looking at a con in Chicago and they were on the list of venders so it doesn't make sense why they can't tell you if that information is available anyways. That said, I have had bad experiences attempting to go to cons the last couple years (military family) and so I decided to just stop trying to go to them until we are freed from the military grasps. It will be at least a few more years before I will consider conventions an option and at that point it might be better to just pay the $8+ in shipping instead of the $60+ to get into a convention. I guess I could try to ask them if they have a store but they have a history of not responding to my emails and I'm not usually able to call them during hours. :/
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LillyDragon
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*sips tea*
When I saw this topic bumped, I thought STL had announced a new ocarina, but got a meme instead. :grin:

Mark Chan
17 Mar 2017, 10:42 PM
jordan.1210
17 Mar 2017, 08:57 PM
Do they announce any conventions that they go to like songbird does?
I've asked the owner directly about it, and he said that they can't talk about what cons they will be at until they're actually there. It makes no sense, because people who want to test out their products won't know until the weekend of. For some people, travel plans need to be made in advance, so it's pretty much a gamble since cons don't refund your registration.


That really doesn't make much sense. When most artists or companies I follow announce they will be present at a con, sometimes it's months in advance.

You'd have to have more reasons to be at a convention than testing ocarinas for sure; it's not worth the effort and price of admission just to do that. You don't always get in if they run out of tickets, either, iirc. Lots of people also get "con flu", which is not fun. I'd hate to buy an ocarina in-person, then be too sick to blow into it for a couple of weeks because of a nasty cold or worse.

For that reason, I would feel weird testing ocarinas. There's no telling who could have put their mouth to it last, even with anti-bacterial wipes handy. A store would be far more practical in every conceivable way, but given the ocarina's obscurity, might not be practical for business. I'd sooner imagine local musical stores carrying a small stock of STL or Songbird Ocarinas. (Which would still be far more convenient than no ocarina shopping in-person at all.)
Edited by LillyDragon, 18 Mar 2017, 05:43 AM.
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jordan.1210
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Transverse Ocarinist x 3
I'm with you for wanting local music stores stock quality ocarinas but like you said there are many that don't even know they exist or they think they are cheap toys from a game... I'm fortunate to live in California where Songbird is located but still it's a long drive.
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LillyDragon
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*sips tea*
I don't live too many state lines away from St. Louis, where STL is likely based, myself, but that's also a long drive. And that's even if they sell ocarinas at their location. :S Aren't they primarily an American distributor for TNG anyway?
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Kae
Transverse Ocarinist x 5
I am less than 15 minutes from St Louis so I was hoping I could avoid the shipping fee if they did have a store. $8-10 just seems ridiculous to me when it is so close and I can ship an ocarina across the US cheaper than that. I don't think they just have tng but I would like to have the option to hear any ocarina from them either in person or in a decent, unedited video, which seems to be hard to find half of the time.
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LillyDragon
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*sips tea*
That has contributed the most to me hesitating to buy certain ocarinas from STL. I'm not picky about how it sounds, because I appreciate that most ocarinas will have a unique sound to them. I just need it to be in-tune. Eventually, I'll get one of STL's mini ocarinas anyway, but if it's as out of tune as the cheap LMS mini ocarinas on Amazon, you can bet your buttons I will record a sample of it for the Internet before shipping it back for a refund. It doesn't look easy to develop a fully playable mini, so I'm (a little) skeptical without a demonstration video.

It is a very big deal to me to know if what I'm buying is usable, not just a wearable necklace. Not having a collector's mindset with ocarinas means functionality > glorified shelf space filler. (And most OoT Ocarina replicas are exactly that, out of tune conversation pieces.) The only thing I ever bought as a joke was a $4 Tonette, and even then, I knew exactly what I was getting into. I don't with a few odd models STL stocks.
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Kitten Forest
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Double Ocarinist x 2
I once saw the old version of their plastic Zelda ocarina in a local game store, and my friend got it. Now that store only sells those cheap ones you find on ebay (but they were asking for $60). The other music stores only sell Doon and FirstNote, both of which aren't the best. It would be awesome if there were stores, especially because so many people have asked me when I first started playing at church if they could get one, or check out any at a store. A lot of people are hesitant to order online, and shipping usually isn't cheap either. I'm almost tempted to ask a local con if I could sell some good ocarinas like the STL or Songbird Ocarina of Time replicas.
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Kae
Transverse Ocarinist x 5
I don't think any of their ocarinas are not tuned. I think the biggest issue they generally have is airy high notes but not all of them have this problem. Their max range double pendant couldn't pay the highest note in tune no matter what but that was ok because the second chamber could play it. I think the only things they sell that I know are completely awful is the plastic multichamber. I think honk they are as bad as I have heard they used to be. They seem to be trying to improve and I can appreciate that.
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LillyDragon
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*sips tea*
Aren't airy high notes a quirk unique to twelve-hole Alto ocarinas? From what I understand of it, the additional sub-holes create the problem. I don't have to do the acute bend for my six-hole Alto seedpod, but personal experience doesn't always equate to evidence. (So if I'm wrong, I'm open to correction.)

Regardless, I have no doubt all of STL's ocarinas are in-tune. I'm just concerned because most mini-ocarinas I find online aren't in-tune, and STL hasn't posted demonstration videos of either two models they carry. That has kept me from buying them on the same day I was aware they were announced.

Kitten Forest
18 Mar 2017, 09:41 PM
I once saw the old version of their plastic Zelda ocarina in a local game store, and my friend got it. Now that store only sells those cheap ones you find on ebay (but they were asking for $60). The other music stores only sell Doon and FirstNote, both of which aren't the best. It would be awesome if there were stores, especially because so many people have asked me when I first started playing at church if they could get one, or check out any at a store. A lot of people are hesitant to order online, and shipping usually isn't cheap either. I'm almost tempted to ask a local con if I could sell some good ocarinas like the STL or Songbird Ocarina of Time replicas.


One of my uncles has a similar problem since he really wanted one, after seeing mine, but he doesn't have a computer or smartphone, so he said he might order one on someone else's computer.

It surprised him that they don't carry these in most stores. (Heard rumor that Cracker Barrel stocks some, but I've found no evidence of this online.) I wish I had known STL offered orders over the phone at the time, but overall, it's not very convenient for the average person to buy an ocarina. I seriously wouldn't be surprised if this contributed to the ocarina's maintained obscurity. Even Focalink or TNG plastic ocarinas stocked at local music stores would be better than nothing.
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jordan.1210
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Transverse Ocarinist x 3
Airy high notes aren't common on my transverse ocarinas. For the transverse ocs in my collection, most of them don't have airy notes or require an acute bend for them to be in tune. The only ones that I can remember that have airy high notes or need acute bend are my Old Glory ABb (airy) and STL keyed Aria AC (weak low G and acute bend for F# and G). There's also some others that have issues but its either due to the ocarina itself, like my Disney cup and EWA B2, or my hand limitations, like my STL Destiny AC or Fiehn F10.
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Kae
Transverse Ocarinist x 5
LillyDragon
19 Mar 2017, 01:12 AM
Aren't airy high notes a quirk unique to twelve-hole Alto ocarinas? From what I understand of it, the additional sub-holes create the problem. I don't have to do the acute bend for my six-hole Alto seedpod, but personal experience doesn't always equate to evidence. (So if I'm wrong, I'm open to correction.)

Regardless, I have no doubt all of STL's ocarinas are in-tune. I'm just concerned because most mini-ocarinas I find online aren't in-tune, and STL hasn't posted demonstration videos of either two models they carry. That has kept me from buying them on the same day I was aware they were announced.


Actually my AC songbird/focalink 12 hole doesn't really have issues with being airy on the high notes even without acute bend. Acute bend on the high F "helps" but is easily passable without it. I don't know who made my original 12 hole ocarina, it was supposedly made by someone that used to work for focalink and it's considered a pretty cheap ocarina, but it wasn't too bad either. It needed the acute bend a little more but otherwise still wasn't bad. My issues with it was the two lowest notes. It is generally considered a quirk unique to 12 hole ACs but honestly that feels like an excuse to me since neither of mine are bad. However I have a Takashi DAC that I do have to acute bend to get one of the notes. I'm still adjusting to the takashi so I might be able to adjust out of that but for now it's the only thing that has given me a clean sound for that high D note on the first chamber.

That is a reasonable concern to have, especially since pretty much all of their other ocarinas seem to have a demo video. It might just be something they haven't done yet but then again I don't understand why they made the video they did without any kind of sample. Honestly I don't always trust their demo videos anyways. Ive noticed with some of them the sound doesn't match up with the video, and inconsistently so, which makes me think the sound of the video is edited and added later. Owner videos are sometimes just as bad though because so many people like to overdo it on the reverb. There is no winning.

It surprises me at how unpopular the ocarina is considering its age. With that and the decline of music stores, I doubt it will make much progress for availability. My local music store knew of them but didn't have anything for it. It is a really old music store though. Like, they still go through a giant book catalog to find books and place orders. No computers to be seen. I was surprised they even took credit cards. They have one of the biggest music selections in the area, but almost all of it is insanely old so it didn't surprise me that there was no ocarina selection. All the other music stores I knew of shut down. :/
Edited by Kae, 19 Mar 2017, 02:00 AM.
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Jubal
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Tree Hugger - Food is your right

The pendant I got from STL is out of tune. Do they even take returns now? They used to not, so you may be out of luck if it is.
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Saki
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Surprisingly not dead
@jubal when I was dealing with customer support, I believe they changed their policy to a 30 day return/replace. Which is pretty reasonable, just shoot them an email and see how it goes.
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Kae
Transverse Ocarinist x 5
Which pendant was it if you don't mind me asking? They do accept returns/replacements now. It seems their customer service has improved at least.
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mremic01
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Inline Ocarinist x 5
Kae
19 Mar 2017, 06:51 PM
It seems their customer service has improved at least.
Hmm, my last two orders with them were pretty disappointing.

The first came with an ocarina that had some scratches on. Not a big deal. I emailed them and asked if I could exchange it. No reply. A week or two later, a new ocarina showed up in the mail, but it was the wrong model.

In the next order, I paid for one of their plastics, a pendant, and an inline. They emailed me right away telling me the inline was out of stock but they would refund me and ship the other two. The other two were add-ons (less than half the price of the total order) and the inline was the one I really wanted, so I was a little annoyed that they went ahead with it, but not a big deal as long as I didn't have to pay for shipping. So after a week or so with no refund, I emailed them twice. It seemed like the person I was emailing was letting her unresponsive boss know about the issue, but that was it. I eventually opened a dispute with PayPal and STL never replied. So PayPal refunded me. You'd think it would be easier for them to just do the refund the first time? I can't even tell if they were just trying to see if they could get away with holding onto my money, or they were just too lazy and bother going into their account and giving me back the price of the inline.

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BigC
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When you're STL, You're STL 4 Life!!!

I never had a problem with STL at all, whether ordering online or buying one at a convention, they are so cool with me and my wife. I own 4 of their ocarinas and had absolutely no problem with them at all, their customer support is really awesome. STL is my go-to source for ocarinas and ocarina accessories. BEST in the world!!!
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jahula1989
Beginner
I just bought ocarina, i will get it in monday
it will be Zfan Fairy Ocarina
witch i buyed on Thomann site
why?
i am from Poland
it is in UE, so buying ocarina in USA, would make me pay not only for ocarina itself and shipment, but duty and VAT as well
buying it in europe cost me only shipment

even if i payed for it 10% more, i didnt pay 22% Vat and 3% duty (they calculate it form item price and shipment cost as well)
so i only hope that it will be oryginal one ;)

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Wiseguy
Beginner
Hi folks, as we're chatting STL on here I'm looking to buy a perfect any skills ocarina.
Through my browsing stumbled across the STL DIY Ocarina that a few folks have previously mentioned.

This:
http://www.fluteshop.eu/a-49538694/stl-ocarinas/stl-diy-ocarina-tenor-c-12-holes-ceramic/

As I reside in the UK my available Ocarina resources seem somewhat limited, so without paying crazy taxes am limited to EU sites like the one linked.
I understand that STL get their ocarinas manufactured "out of house"? I've heard of some degree of relationship between STL and TNG is this correct?

Purely going from the imgaes,
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Painting-Yourself-Ceramic-Ocarina-Great/dp/B00IJZOQSU/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&qid=1510421577&sr=8-18&keywords=tng+ocarina
This looks identical but with TNG branding.

Am I right in guessing the STL DIY ocarina is produced by TNG?
Edited by Wiseguy, 12 Nov 2017, 12:54 AM.
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Amerred
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Can't play pendants
jahula1989
 
I just bought ocarina, i will get it in monday
it will be Zfan Fairy Ocarina
witch i buyed on Thomann site
why?
i am from Poland
it is in UE, so buying ocarina in USA, would make me pay not only for ocarina itself and shipment, but duty and VAT as well
buying it in europe cost me only shipment

even if i payed for it 10% more, i didnt pay 22% Vat and 3% duty (they calculate it form item price and shipment cost as well)
so i only hope that it will be oryginal one ;)


Well, uh... that's not an STL ocarina, the Zfan model is made by Hans Rotter. But it's probably for the best you're buying that now, since he's gradually been closing down shop for the past few months.


Wiseguy
 
Hi folks, as we're chatting STL on here I'm looking to buy a perfect any skills ocarina.
Through my browsing stumbled across the STL DIY Ocarina that a few folks have previously mentioned.

This:
http://www.fluteshop.eu/a-49538694/stl-ocarinas/stl-diy-ocarina-tenor-c-12-holes-ceramic/

As I reside in the UK my available Ocarina resources seem somewhat limited, so without paying crazy taxes am limited to EU sites like the one linked.
I understand that STL get their ocarinas manufactured "out of house"? I've heard of some degree of relationship between STL and TNG is this correct?

Purely going from the imgaes,
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Painting-Yourself-Ceramic-Ocarina-Great/dp/B00IJZOQSU/ref=sr_1_18?ie=UTF8&qid=1510421577&sr=8-18&keywords=tng+ocarina
This looks identical but with TNG branding.

Am I right in guessing the STL DIY ocarina is produced by TNG?


Yes, you should be correct. Very few if any of STL's ocarinas are made in the US. Wwhat they sell is, to my understanding, generally either designs made by them and contracted out to TNG in Taiwan, or ocarinas that were originally made by TNG and are being sold by STL as a sort of retailer. So if you have the opportunity to buy TNG ocarinas at a lower price, it should be identical to to the same product from STL.

There also happen to be many ocarina makers in Europe, at least some number around Italy and France. There are even a few in the UK (although I really can't say how active they are at this point; if they ARE around, though, then they definitely make some good products and could be worth checking out).
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