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Mountain Ocarinas; Quality durable inline ocarinas
Topic Started: 20 Nov 2009, 04:02 PM (36,340 Views)
ubizmo


Mountain Ocarinas are quality inline ocarinas, currently made in the keys of C5 and G5. They are made in several highly durable materials, at different price points: polycarbonate plastic, Corian ("warmstone"), Dymondwood ("hardwood"), and anodized aluminum. Their web site is Mountain Ocarinas.

There's plenty of information at the web site, so I'll just mention a few points that I think are worth emphasizing. First, Mountain Ocarinas is a small, family-owned and run company located in Connecticut. Karl Ahrens, the creator of the MO, and Cliff Hayashida, are the proprietors. Although parts of the MOs are "mass produced," the instruments themselves are not. They are assembled, finished, and tested by hand. Second, it is a principle design goal of MOs that they are "tough enough to take anywhere." There are no MOs made of clay.

I think the web site and Karl's videos at the MO YouTube Channel provide a great deal of information, but I thought there should at least be a topic here at TON for them. I've been playing MOs since September 2008.

Ubizmo
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ubizmo


Elven Spellmaker
20 Nov 2009, 06:00 PM
Unique tone, which isn't the first tone I'd like people to hear when I first play them an Ocarina, but its grown on me. :)
You know, that's an interesting point. I've thought about that tone and how it's different. In terms of acoustics, the MO, due to it's shape, has more overtones than the typical transverse. Another way to think of it is that transverse ocarinas (many, but not all) have a more "closed" sound, whereas MOs have a more "open" sound. Obviously, those terms are metaphorical, but they're the best I can do at the moment.

I think many people come to the ocarina expecting, and attracted by, the closed sound. I know I did. The open sound of the MO didn't appeal to me initially. After a few weeks of experimenting, I grew to prefer it; it took a lot longer to be able to control it.

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The main thing that bugs me about them is the two holes underneath (to fit in with usual transverse Ocarinas) should be reversed.


I think I explained in another thread that this is not an arbitrary difference but has a definite reason, namely to allow the ocarina to be supported by both hands on high D, which is more commonly played than D#. At least, that's what I seem to recall Karl saying at some point. Given that, I don't know if it would be a good idea to reverse them just for the sake of conformity.

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As my Polycarbonate G is falling apart now (glue is just disappearing in some places), I might upgrade it to a wooden model.


Whether you upgrade or not, you should have the poly replaced. My poly was banged around in all kinds of weather, but was still in fine condition when I gave it away. I kept it in the car, and it was always falling on the floor, or out on the street, or getting sat on, stepped on, etc.

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The C Ocarina to me feels more unfinished than the G one does, especially with the "missing" hole.


Easy as it is to get that low B on the C MO, I'd also prefer a fingered B.

I have to say that I like the fact that I can wash my MO in water as often as I want. I still use folded paper to clean the windway, but an occasional bath seems to clear out every last speck of dust, and the difference is audible.

Ubizmo
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ubizmo


Concerning the tone of the MO, there are two things to remember:

1. It's not going to sound just like a sweet potato oc, ever, because it's designed differently.

2. The sound you get when you first start playing the MO is not the sound you'll get after you've played it for a while. It takes time to achieve the right breath pressure and steadiness to get a clean tone. In fact, I think they actually warn new customers about this.

@Walden -- Yes the G is about the size of a regular harmonica and fits easily in a pocket, or can be worn as a pendant, which is what I do. The C is about the size of a chromatic harmonica. The non-poly models are more visually appealing.

Ubizmo
For those who might be interested, Mountain Ocarinas has just finished a batch of new anodized aluminum ocarinas. The G ocarinas will be available in blue and red, as well as the gold color that they've had all along; the C will continue to be available only in the gold color.

You can see them at:

Aluminum gold C

Aluminum gold G

Aluminum blue G

Aluminum red G

I've never played, or even held, one of these aluminum MOs, but I'm going to get a blue one, and I'll eventually post a review. I'm interested in them for a couple of reasons. One, they have the same tapered mouthpiece that the poly has, which I like. The mouthpiece of the warmstone and hardwood models is more blunt. Given the amount of time I spent playing MOs, these little details matter. Second, these are the heaviest MOs, and I find that a bit more weight makes the instrument more stable in the fingers, especially in the high notes where it's supported by just a couple of fingers and the lips (and again, the tapered mouthpiece helps here). The warmstone is heavier than the poly, and that's one of the things I like about it. The aluminum is heavier than either, so I'll be interested to see whether that's an improvement, or whether it's too heavy.

I expect no significant difference in sound.

Ubizmo
Edited by ubizmo, 1 Dec 2009, 03:09 AM.
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ubizmo


Weisty
1 Dec 2009, 11:52 PM
Zelda thats not cool. Anyways what is the difference in sound quality from the polycarbon to the more exspence ones? I really want the soprano and alto combo.
I haven't played an aluminum MO yet. I have polycarbonate and warmstone MOs in G, and a hardwood in C. I used to have a poly C as well, but gave it away to someone in need.

The bottom line is: The difference in sound between the materials is very, very subtle. I like to think that I can hear some difference, but the fact is that I've sometimes listened to my own recorded sound and been unable to remember which one I was playing, and I couldn't tell by listening. Expecting a significant difference in sound is really not a good reason to upgrade from a poly. The non-poly MOs are much more visually attractive than the polys, and different in other ways that can affect playability, such as weight and mouthpiece shape. Also, the aluminum MO, like the poly, has recessed thumb holes. Current hardwood and warmstone models don't. Some won't care about these details; others will.

@David -- I also had the idea that the brass/gold looks more professional, but for some reason the electric blue just caught my eye.

Ubizmo
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ubizmo


Abreu
23 Dec 2009, 05:43 PM
I've been considering buying a poly g... I'll travel to the USA on february, is there any chance to find them on a music sotre?
Unlikely. Mountain Ocarinas no longer sells wholesale to retail stores. You have to buy them online, either from Mountain directly or on Ebay. But if you're in the US long enough, you could save a chunk of money on shipping by ordering while you're here.

Ubizmo
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ubizmo


Abreu
23 Dec 2009, 06:41 PM
I'll saty there for like, 10 days, I think...
If you'll be at one address the whole time, and not moving around touring, that's definitely enough time to order a Mountain ocarina and have it shipped to you.

You can order from Mountain Ocarinas.

Ubizmo
Edited by ubizmo, 23 Dec 2009, 08:20 PM.
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ubizmo


SasquatchBob
31 Dec 2009, 02:11 PM
Mr. Ubizmo is to be commended for the time he has put in to take his playing on the MO to a high level.
Aww shucks.

You know, it's really just a matter of making a decision and then committing to it. When I first got the poly MO, I wasn't thrilled with the sound either. For that reason, I switched to transverse. But I wasn't that pleased with them either, for various reasons. I listened to Karl Ahrens and Al Martino playing MOs on Youtube and like the sound, and decided that if they could do it, so could I. And that was my turning point. I'm not there yet, but I've made progress--probably more than I would have made if I kept switching ocarinas every month or so.

Before I played any ocarina, I tried playing tin whistle for a while. I fell into the trap of buying whistle after whistle, trying to find the perfect one, blaming the whistles for my lousy sound. I finally realized that buying whistles is just a distraction from playing them. The great advantage of the MO for me is that I have it with me all the time, and as a result I play it a lot more than I would if I had to keep it stored at home. I don't worry about breaking it, getting it wet, or anything else. I don't even have to take it out of a case. So when I get the urge to play, I just play.

I don't try to persuade anyone to play MOs. There are lots of great ocarinas out there, and people have different musical preferences, playing styles, and lifestyles. The MO is a good fit for me. The only point I try to make is not to be too quick in judging the sound you get when you first start playing one. It changes over time, as you learn to control your breath. I'm sure this is true for all ocarinas, but I think it's a bit more true of MOs than some other ocarinas.

Ubizmo
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ubizmo


Vermin
6 Jan 2010, 05:06 PM
That mountain ocarina learning book, is that useful for people who already have clarinet lessons?
I've already learned to read sheet music, and I'm learning about meters and rythm during my clarinet lessons...
I like the Mountain Ocarina playing style, but will I also learn about that?
With the MO playing style, I'm refering to the way Karl plays on the ocarina guru video.
I don't have the book, so I'm not sure, but I think it's mainly about learning fingering and reading music. The playing style you're referring to involves what's called "Celtic ornamentation", which is what Karl uses with great effect. He has some videos about it. You can also learn more about it on Youtube by viewing some instructional tin whistle videos, since this sort of ornamentation is fundamental to whistle playing. It mostly involves the use of three basic techniques: cuts, taps (also called strikes), and rolls. Research those and you'll be on your way.

Ubizmo
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ubizmo


Sigurthr
30 Mar 2010, 02:43 PM
Hardwoods just came in stock! About 10 Gs and 5 Cs.
I noticed this. Hopefully it means they have solved the problem they were having with adhesives and can continue to offer them on a regular basis. I won't be getting a new one, since I recently bought a hardwood G on eBay. The hardwoods have the advantage of being almost as light as the polys, but a lot easier on the eye.

One of the drawbacks to MOs lifetime guarantee, I guess you could say, is the fact that they must be extremely careful to sell only the most durable ocarinas. Each time one is returned due to damage, it costs them money. Some of that is rolled into the original price, no doubt, but a small company could easily run into trouble if a significant number of products had to be returned.

Ubizmo
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ubizmo


I've gone into the surf with my warmstone. No problem.

Ubizmo
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ubizmo


The ProRange still exists only in prototype. It takes a huge outlay of money (tens of thousands of dollars, I'm pretty sure) to bring a new design to market. MO is a tiny, family-run business without a lot of capital lying around, so they can't move on new models until they raise that capital. The design of the ProRange will not involve overblowing. There's a thread on it somewhere. I also will be very eager to try it when it comes out.

Ubizmo
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ubizmo


Yes, it's been in prototype for at least two years. I have no inside info on when it'll be sold; I just know that the tooling costs are very high. The advantage of MOs business model is that they can make high quality ocarinas that cost a fraction of what they'd otherwise have to charge. The disadvantage is that the up-front engineering costs are large. To get an instrument that's in tune and responsive, you don't just make one set of molds and then you're done. You have to make a series of them and test them until you get it just right. This is expensive, and it's the reason why there aren't more plastic multi-chamber ocarinas on the market. Multi-chamber ocarinas are hard to get right in *clay*, let alone molded plastic. The ProRange design is different from any other ocarina currently in existence, and it will require production methods at a very high level of precision. It will not require overblowing or moving the fingers of either hand to a new set of tone holes. It was discussed here on TON sometime ago--I don't recall the thread. My guess is that MO is still paying down what they had to borrow to create the current models, before they can borrow more. The realities of running a small business--especially one that involves manufacturing--are harsh.

I think sometimes people may get the idea that MO is some big ocarina factory somewhere. The reality is that they are just a small shop that has to pay a manufacturer to produce parts, which are then painstakingly assembled, adjusted, refined, and tested. This is why it's difficult for them even to have different color schemes for the poly. The manufacturer likes *big* orders, and it would be problematic to order red or blue liners a thousand or so at a time--even though I'm personally convinced that having more color schemes for the polys would be good for business.

The only current MO model that I don't have is the warmstone C. I figured I have enough MOs, but they have a new warmstone in a pale gray that looks stunning... They make the high-end models in batches, rather than continuous production, so you have to check availability, or get on the waiting list at their forum.

Ubizmo
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ubizmo


Sigurthr
8 Aug 2010, 06:04 PM
I want a hardwood but I want one that really looks like wood; no fancy colors! Lol. Damn me for being picky. In fact I think you have one of the older hardwoods that looks like real wood, Ubi, don't you?
The hardwoods are real wood. They are real wood that has been treated to be 99% impervious to moisture, so they don't swell or crack. Normal wooden instruments, such as clarinets, oboes, and recorders, are prone to cracking because the wood absorbs moisture under some conditions and releases it under other conditions. Even the dense woods often used, such as grenadilla, are susceptible to this. Consequently, the owners of these instruments have to make an effort to control the humidity, and especially to prevent drying. A dried wooden instrument will absorb moisture rapidly when played, and it's the rapid absorption that causes a relatively sudden stress on the grain that can result in a crack. It's common to use a humidifier in the instrument case, similar (or identical) to the ones used for guitars.

The MO's "hardwood" is Dymondwood, which is a patented process in which the wood is dried and the moisture is replaced with a synthetic resin, under high pressure that drives it into the grain. There is then no room in the grain to absorb water. It's used for things such as gun handles, which are exposed to harsh weather and temperature changes. There are several makers of tin whistles who use Dymondwood, for the same reasons that MO uses it. The result is a more durable, and therefore portable, instrument. I think MO couldn't realistically offer a lifetime guarantee on a wooden ocarina made of normal wood. It would simply be too vulnerable to environmental conditions.

My hardwood C is just a couple of years old. To my knowledge, the only thing that has changed between then and now is that different adhesives are used. I don't know how old my hardwood G is, since I got it on eBay, but it doesn't look much different from the new ones. It doesn't have the Corian strip that many of the newer hardwoods have. I rather like the look of that strip.

Ubizmo
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ubizmo


Sorry about that; I should have realized you knew the story on Dymondwood. As for the various color schemes, I'd actually suggest that you express your view on the MO forum. I know that they listen very carefully to what customers, and potential customers, have to say. Not all of the hardwood designs have the colorful strip (for that matter, I don't like all of the designs that do have it, but I like some of them), but none of them, from what I can see at the Available MO page are entirely monochromatic either, except this one, which is probably the same model that I have. Some, such as this one, may be closer to what you're after. I rather like that design myself.

I quite like this Corian shade, and would be sorely tempted to get a C if they were in stock. But...I believe I took a solemn vow to get no more instruments for six months. Is it six months yet?

Ubizmo
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ubizmo


I haven't had any MO break yet, and I always have one with me; and I'm pretty casual about how I treat them. But I've heard of instances where they were dropped and split open along the glued seam. I think the newer ones are screwed as well as glued, so this is even less likely now.

I've also discovered that in extremely muggy weather the poly is easier to play than the high-end models--except the aluminum--due to its matte finish.

Ubizmo
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ubizmo


David F.
9 Aug 2010, 03:38 AM
ive been hearing a lot about this pro range mountain ocarina but ive never seen one, does anyone have at least a picture of a prototype? if its as good as my poly c i would definitely get one!
You can get a short glimpse of the prototype at about 0:25 in this video, which also explains why it takes a while to get new models to the market.

Ubizmo
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ubizmo


Kazareh
11 Aug 2010, 08:52 PM
With these MO's, the C especially, wasn't there a way to get the high note on it?
I don't think I understand your question. Do you mean, why do they stop at E, instead of F?

If that's what you mean, the answer is this: In order to get that high F, and preserve a fingering system that is similar to flute or sax or whistle, etc., a choice has to be made. Looking at just the left-hand fingerings, one way would be to let G be fingered XXXX; A would be XXXO; B would be XXOO; etc. This would be perfectly linear, but the fingerings would feel "wrong" to anyone who plays one of those other instruments. That leaves just a few other options. One is to let G be XXXX again, but then keep the left pinky down and uncover the remaining holes in the same order that you would on other instruments. This is the way standard Asian 12-hole ocarinas work. The left pinky isn't lifted until the highest note, the F, is reached.

Karl didn't want to make MOs that way. He wanted the left pinky to have a different job: covering the hole to make sub-tonic B (on the G ocarina). He wasn't keen on sub-holes because they are inherently clumsy, and he wanted the most fluid possible fingering. Personally, I think he made the right choice on this. In doing so, however, he nominally gave up the high F. I say "nominally" because with just a little creativity it is easily possible to get that high F, and in fact I do it all the time.

Another point is that as you add lower and higher notes, the acoustics of the ocarina present other challenges. If you optimize for strong low notes, on a 12-hole ocarina, the highest note or two are likely to sound a bit thin. If you optimize for strong high notes, the sub-tonic notes will require a breath cut and sound soft. The bottom notes on MOs are strong and meant to be played with firm breath.

By now, you're wondering why there isn't a 10th hole on the C. Frankly, I don't know the answer. I do know that it's quite easy to play the low B, by cutting breath slightly and tipping the ocarina up a bit. In fact, it's easy to play a low A -- easier on the C than on the G, in fact. But, like pretty much everybody else, I wish that 10th hole were there. I like it as much for an alternate fingering for C#, which I use all the time on the MO G, as for the low B.

Ubizmo
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ubizmo


vofgofm33
18 Aug 2010, 08:26 PM
wow an accidental damage warranty, thats almost a seller right there
To me, the force of the lifetime guarantee kicks in when you start thinking about the more expensive MO models. After all, you might think "Hmmm...I don't know if I'm willing to spend $90 or $110 for a single chamber ocarina," but then you consider that if you do buy one, you don't have to worry about breaking it...ever! It might not make much difference for a $25 polycarbonate, but it certainly matters for the high-end MOs.

Ubizmo
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ubizmo


Roger Jewell
19 Aug 2010, 02:59 AM
I also thought the higher notes seemed "tighter" (if that makes any sense).
I think I know what you mean.

The warmstone and hardwood MOs (current models) don't have polycarbonate liners, so the interior geometry is just a bit different from the polys. That difference is just enough to affect the feedback you get as you play it.

I think you'll also find that you quickly get used to the non-recessed thumb holes, and will prefer them. I do, anyway.

Like the poly MO, the warmstone (and other models) must be played assertively. It's very natural, however, when you first pick up a brand new instrument, to play it tentatively. That's why you were initially disappointed. The MO, more than some other ocarinas, sounds pretty bad when played tentatively. The low notes, which are meant to be as loud as the other notes, will go hopelessly flat, and the other notes will sound "dirty". After playing it a while, you corrected your breath pressure and got the sound you were looking for.

Those little leather pouches are something fairly new, I think, and they are very nice. If you don't like wearing the ocarina on a neck strap, the pouch lets you put it in a pocket, without the tone holes and voicing collecting lint.

Ubizmo
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ubizmo


Sigurthr
20 Aug 2010, 08:47 PM
Yep, I've always referred to Ubi as our MO expert.
The MO Yoda?

Ubizmo
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ubizmo


Tundraman
23 Aug 2010, 06:05 AM
I'm quite impressed by the Polycarbonite C and G I purchased recently, and I'm thinking of upgrading to the Warmstone versions.

What I'm interested in is if the tapered mouthpieces on the Poly and Aluminium models really do make a significant difference to ergonomics?
There's a definite difference, but I'd say that non-recessed thumb holes are more significant, and those are only found on the unlined (warmstone and hardwood) MOs.

I find the tapered mouthpiece to be helpful on the aluminum MO, because the hardcoat anodized aluminum is somewhat slippery, and also heavy. The tapered mouthpiece allows me to grip the ocarina with my lips a bit more securely on the highest notes. This simply isn't an issue on the other models.

Ubizmo
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ubizmo


Jack Campin
5 Oct 2010, 01:13 PM
Very practical instrument but I would never have bought it if I'd known about the backwards thumbholes, nor will I buy another one or recommend one to anybody else unless that misfeature gets changed. It's not just inconsistent with other ocarinas, it's inconsistent with all other woodwind instruments - the left thumb is always the one that gets most of the action. Since I play dozens of other woodwinds I don't need one with a gratuitously weird feature like this.

We've already got one ocarina fingering design with crazy ergonomics in the Langley, we don't need another.

The thumbholes are also weirdly stepped, due to the two-shell construction. I found it difficult to close them accurately. So I filled in the "step" with epoxy, to form a smooth rounded rim. Works much better now.
Hello! I'm the resident MO enthusiast, and I'm always pleased when an experienced musician tries the MO. I think I once commented about the thumb holes here on TON; it's a topic that comes up from time to time. The first and most obvious point is that preferences vary, and certainly not everyone shares your opinion about the thumb hole sequence, or considers it a misfeature. I've been playing mainly the MO for two years now and, like you, I've played other woodwinds for decades (though not on the same level): notably sax, recorder, flute, and tin whistle (I've only played the whistle as long as I've played ocarina).

There is, to my knowledge, no plan to change the thumb holes on the MO. In the view of Karl Ahrens, who designed the MO, it's not a gratuitous feature. The ergonomics of the MO are different from transverse ocarinas. Specifically, Karl intended for the MO to be supported on the high notes by pressure of the right little finger against the base of the ocarina. On transverse ocarinas, this doesn't work at all, because the instrument is off to the side, so it has to be grasped in some way by the right hand. But the MO can and should be supported by pressing it gently against the player's lips with the right little finger. The likely resting place of the little finger is on the right side of the ocarina's base. On the assumption that the high D gets more play than the high E (or, for some of us, F), putting the D hole on the right side gives a more balanced position, since the ocarina is supported on the right side by the right pinky and on the left side by the left thumb. If it were the other way (which on the MO will get you high D#, a less used note), the ocarina is less stable and has a slight tendency to twist counter-clockwise.

Moreover, even though it's true that on sax and recorder the left thumb gets more action, it's also true that an ocarina player has to get used to using the right thumb to get notes, no matter which kind of ocarina is being played. I don't give it any thought now, but I can certainly remember when it just felt odd to be using my right thumb for anything but holding the instrument up. Since 80% of people are right-handed, and since the high D does get a lot of use, it makes sense to assign that note to what is, for 80% of the people, the dominant hand. The thumb hole on the recorder has to be where it is. The octave key on a sax could, in principle, be operated by the right thumb, but that would entail a more complex and expensive mechanism. Not only that, but the sax is a heavier instrument, so the right thumb really does need to help support it. None of these considerations apply to the ocarina. The tone holes can be anywhere. Therefore, a designer can and must choose between conformity to the precedent of other instruments and working from the unique requirements and opportunities of the ocarina itself.

Having said all that, the truth of the matter is that I play both kinds of ocarinas, and have no difficulty switching from one to the other. I have a strong preference for the MO, but it's not any kind of a problem to play a transverse, as far as thumb holes are concerned. It's no more difficult than, say, getting used to the way a middle C is fingered on a Boehm flute, in contrast to a sax or recorder.

Like you, I prefer non-recessed thumb holes, which are available on the more expensive hardwood and warmstone models, which don't have an inner shell. Your solution, using epoxy, is ingenious. You should hop over to the MO forum and describe it in more detail. I'm pretty sure there would be more than a few who would be interested. This modification would void the warranty, of course, but that's not really such a big deal on the polycarbonate model.

Ubizmo
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ubizmo


Just write to them and ask to buy some neck straps. I can't imagine that they wouldn't sell them to you, and I doubt they cost much.

The cords don't last forever, but you can re-use the little safety fasteners.

Ubizmo
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ubizmo


I have one of those old MOs. Its sound isn't as strong as the new ones, but you should be able to get it to speak clearly. Try a little extra pressure on the top notes but don't overdo it.
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ubizmo


lnfra
6 Mar 2011, 06:58 PM
@Sigurthr Hmm yes besides having less one hole (as compared to the current G model), it seems to be missing the poly liner. I remember watching a mountain oc video once where the maker Karl mentioned that they introduced the poly liner to make their ocs more resistant to moisture and also to have more accurate voicing.



BTW talk about mountain ocarinas, i believe they just updated their website to a new look :) !

http://www.mountainsocarina.com/
On the old model, the R1 tone hole is positioned close to the voicing, so that low B can be played by slightly shading the sound hole with the right index finger.

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As he is quite a perfectionist, in the past there was a bottleneck in the manufacturing as he had to manually check and file the labium of evey oc to ensure the best sound, after they changed to the liner he no longer had to do this.


Actually, he does still have to check each one by hand, and sand and wash each polycarbonate inlay. The polycarbonate production process is not perfect. But of course it's far less time-intensive to check and sand them, if necessary, than to make each one from wood by hand. But there's still a good amount of hand finishing required in the construction of MOs, including the polys.

The old one that I have is not hardwood; it's normal wood of some type or other. Possibly walnut.
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ubizmo


I'm curious as to the length of that MO you have. Mine is about an inch shorter than the current models.

Yes, MOs are hand assembled, finished, and tested, as I understand it. Only the polycarbonate parts are manufactured. I'm not sure how the hardwood, warmstone, and aluminum bodies are made.
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ubizmo


lnfra
8 Mar 2011, 06:19 PM
@ubizmo Hmm if i measure the top of the ocarina (the side where it has many finger holes) its 9cm. The bottom part is 7.2cm. The height from the top and bottom is 2cm.
Yup, the new ones are 11.4 cm in length (along the top); just about an inch longer.

The most annoying thing about the older model, apart from the difficulty of squeezing my fingers onto it, is the fact that the right thumb hole is closer than the left, which is the opposite of the new ones. I find that this feels quite unnatural. The high notes are also a bit more fragile; a bit too much air and they just go mute. It takes a lot of effort to do that on the new ones.

Ubizmo
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ubizmo


iBookworm
18 Mar 2011, 04:09 AM
Does anyone know anything about the ProRange? Are they still working on it?
As far as I know, the obstacle to the release of the C is, and has been for a while, financial.

MO is a tiny family-run business. It is expensive to tool up for a new product, the way MOs are made. It takes a lot of money up front. In this respect, it's very different from clay ocarinas. They require prototyping too, but the materials involved are relatively cheap, and no tooling and retooling is involved. As a guess, I'm going to say it costs tens of thousands of dollars to get a new MO to market.

A big company sets aside funds for this sort of thing, so they're always ready to bring the next product out. It's built into the price structure. MO tries to do this too, but it's harder because they're simply not a big company.

Concerning the C versus the G, I don't think the C is rubbish at all, but I do find the G more responsive and easier to control. I actually started out playing the C almost exclusively, then switched. I play both, but favor the G.

Like everybody else, I'm keen to try the ProRange, which will indeed be in C.

Ubizmo
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ubizmo


Roger Jewell
26 Mar 2011, 02:44 AM
I received three ocarinas today. One of them was a Mountain Ocarina in the key of G. It is made from Rosewood with a strip of indigo. This thing is absolutely beautiful! I am so happy with it's appearance. I know that all of the MO ocarinas sound very close to one another, but this definitely sounds better than my warmstone or my poly. It's not a huge difference, but I can hear a difference. Now, I want a Rosewood/Indigo C to have a matching set.
Roger
I think the hardwood MO is a tiny bit huskier in timbre than the warmstone, or maybe I imagine it. It would make sense, since the floor of the windway is unpolished wood, with a different texture. In any case, I like that little bit of texture, and the hardwood combines light weight, beautiful appearance, and non-recessed thumb holes.
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Nimue
27 Mar 2011, 01:35 AM
I wanted to take a moment to congratulate you, Ubizmo, after reading that MO now uses your videos promotionally. That's wonderful news. I can't think of a better rep. You really do bring out the best in them.
Thanks. Cliff asked me if I'd mind if he re-posted some of my videos on MO's YouTube account, and of course I don't mind at all. I'm flattered that they want to use them. I don't know if this makes me a "business partner" of MO or not, nor do I care, but I thought I should disclose it. So I put that in my sig--which meant actually having a sig. I previously didn't.

Ubizmo
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ubizmo


I've never been anti-avatar, although I tend to get tired of seeing them after a while and then remove them or turn them off. I don't mind sigs in principle but often a page of posts starts to look like a forest of billboards, with all the sigs. But emoticons bug me!
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ubizmo


I don't think there will be a large initial run, because these ocarinas will not be made the same way as the current models--at least not for a while. The tooling costs are prohibitive. They will have to be made individually, with no mass-made parts. It's a challenge.
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TheZ
12 Nov 2016, 10:56 PM
I believe it does have 2 sets of holes, they're just inline so you don't have to switch, similar to the TNG double pendant.
Karl refers to them as "bisected" tone holes. They're more or less a divided oval, with each half opening into a different chamber. He patented the design long before the TNG pendant but decided not to sue for patent infringement. The result is you don't have to move the fingers of your right hand from one chamber to another when switching chambers, and the two chambers are exactly* an octave apart. Almost. There's also some overlap between the chambers, so B, C, C# and D can be played on either chamber.
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ubizmo


The problem is the expense involved in trying to sustain the old product line while trying to get the new product going. I don't know what the plan is with respect to the existing MOs but I do know that the up-front costs involved in the new model are considerable.

I don't know what the minimum order for poly MOs is but I do know that having the parts made is just one step. The assembly and finishing work are also a large part of the expense. Karl can do a lot of that himself but if he does there is simply no time to finish developing the new instrument. Indeed, that's the main reason why work on the new model was delayed as long as it was. It's very hard to run a small business without getting caught up in just about every aspect of it.

I'll say this: The new one will be worth the wait.
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Saki
21 Nov 2017, 06:35 PM
I just wanna buy my vaporware ocarina. I've been waiting for the Coda since like, 2010...
It's not vaporware, I can tell you. From this point it's all about working out the business aspects. The production version of Coda now exists. It's incredible how much development went into this instrument.
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