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Spencer Zelda Ocarina; Why pay so much for them?
Topic Started: 21 Sep 2010, 01:58 AM (2,401 Views)
RJ924
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My ocarina has no hair...either

So I was following an ebay auction for a Spencer Zelda 12 hole ocarina this past week, and just noticed that it wound up selling for $355.00! That seems like a ridiculous amount of money for a 12 hole ocarina. I bought my Pacchioni TriplaV for less money than that! The amazing thing is that Spencer wasn't offering it at that price as a buy it now, but people kept bidding up to that ridiculously high price. It might be a good ocarina, but wow!

I know there are other high priced ocarinas out there (more expensive), but I really don't think it will sound better than my Noble AG or my Pacchioni TriplaV or my Muse, or my Maparam 12 hole AC, so why pay so much?
Roger
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Krešimir Cindrić


I really don't know. This is a mystery to me. For that money I could get several much better ocarinas.

I guess these are just rich video game freaks :D
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Elven Spellmaker
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== Cirno -- Opinionated Baka ==

Roger Jewell
21 Sep 2010, 01:58 AM
So I was following an ebay auction for a Spencer Zelda 12 hole ocarina this past week, and just noticed that it wound up selling for $355.00! That seems like a ridiculous amount of money for a 12 hole ocarina. I bought my Pacchioni TriplaV for less money than that! The amazing thing is that Spencer wasn't offering it at that price as a buy it now, but people kept bidding up to that ridiculously high price. It might be a good ocarina, but wow!

I know there are other high priced ocarinas out there (more expensive), but I really don't think it will sound better than my Noble AG or my Pacchioni TriplaV or my Muse, or my Maparam 12 hole AC, so why pay so much?
Roger
The rarity of him selling a Zelda Ocarina plus all the hype about Spencers drives the price up.

Plus people are also stupid and bid before the last minute of the auction. All that does is drive the price up for NO reason. :facepalm:

IMO, a baffled 12hole Oc is indeed rare but I wouldn't pay that much for a 12 hole especially one thats low breath and type one.
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mandrew
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Devout seeker of perfection
I am totally dumbfounded by this . . . As you say, you can by a world class Pacchioni triple for less! Go figure.
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Anto
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TheOcarinaComparator coming soon ^_^
If I someday buy a baffled ocarina, it will be a Panch ocarina, if he someday sells them with baffle (in other words, if his current tries work). Spencer ocarinas are beautiful, probably sound very good, but 355$ for a single Alto C ocarina, no thanks =P
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Bateleur
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Meh.

You're mainly paying for the balance between supply and demand here. There is a large demand for Spencer OoT's and there is a (deliberate) small supply available, thus the high price for individual ocarinas. Spencer has a reputation for making an accurate Zelda Replica and there are evidently people that would pay a large sum of money to have one. The purpose of his Zelda Replica isn't to be a musical instrument. It may be a decent instrument on the side, but the main purpose for why he makes it (as a product produced for profit) is as a prop/collector's item for Zelda fans in a market where he has little competition. That's the selling point. You're not paying for concert pitch or baffles. You're paying for a shiny blue glaze, three yellow triangles, a name and a reputation.
Edited by Bateleur, 21 Sep 2010, 06:52 AM.
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Ocarinadiva
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Play what makes you happy. - Achint

Spencer's OoT was the first Zelda replica to really capture the spirit and imagination of the game, and fans recognized this very quickly. It wasn't the first Zelda replica to come to market, but the success of his more authentic replicas forced several of his competitors to have to step up their game. :pirate:

For anyone who doesn't play video games or feel any nostalgia for Zelda, I'm sure it probably does seem very silly. But that's ok, because it's a niche market. There will always be a handful of people who are willing to pay ten times the price for the best OoT replica. And when I can afford it, I'll probably get one too. :D

CUZ I'M A DORK!!! :B
Edited by Ocarinadiva, 21 Sep 2010, 09:31 AM.
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Panch
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The Whistlemaker

If you think that's silly, back in the day they've gone for upwards of $600. No joke. ;)

Ocarinadiva
 
I'll probably get one too. :D

CUZ I'M A DORK!!! :B
Heh, you and me both. I'd love to have one! :V
Edited by Panch, 21 Sep 2010, 09:34 AM.
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Ocarinadiva
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Play what makes you happy. - Achint

Panch
21 Sep 2010, 09:31 AM
If you think that's silly, back in the day they've gone for upwards of $600. No joke. ;)


If you think that's silly, how about the official Nintendo OoT replica that went for $2000 on ebay!

http://pulse2.com/2009/08/10/nintendo-ocarinaflute-selling-on-ebay-for-about-2000/
Edited by Ocarinadiva, 21 Sep 2010, 09:40 AM.
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speckles
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I’ve been hypnotized

Ocarinadiva
21 Sep 2010, 09:37 AM
Panch
 
If you think that's silly, back in the day they've gone for upwards of $600. No joke. ;)


If you think that's silly, how about the official Nintendo OoT replica that went for $2000 on ebay!

http://pulse2.com/2009/08/10/nintendo-ocarinaflute-selling-on-ebay-for-about-2000/
And that "official" ocarina has little resemblance to the ne n the game.
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Panch
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The Whistlemaker

Ocarinadiva
21 Sep 2010, 09:37 AM
If you think that's silly, how about the official Nintendo OoT replica that went for $2000 on ebay!

http://pulse2.com/2009/08/10/nintendo-ocarinaflute-selling-on-ebay-for-about-2000/
Too right! I hadn't thought about that, but I suppose the price is a little more justified - if only because it's an official, limited edition ocarina. I think only 1000 were ever made...?

But yeah, I don't consider it to be very accurate nor attractive, myself. I hear it sounds magnificent though.
Edited by Panch, 21 Sep 2010, 11:20 AM.
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Krešimir Cindrić


Panch
21 Sep 2010, 11:19 AM
But yeah, I don't consider it to be very accurate nor attractive, myself. I hear it sounds magnificent though.
I have doubts that it is tuned properly - look at the finger holes carefully.

Apparently, it is also unglazed at the bottom. :/
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Panch
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The Whistlemaker

Krešimir Cindrić
21 Sep 2010, 11:26 AM
Panch
21 Sep 2010, 11:19 AM
But yeah, I don't consider it to be very accurate nor attractive, myself. I hear it sounds magnificent though.
I have doubts that it is tuned properly - look at the finger holes carefully.

Apparently, it is also unglazed at the bottom. :/
You're right in that it's unglazed at the bottom, but the texture and overall look of the clay seems (at least to me) to suggest stoneware - which isn't porous and extremely hard, so there's nothing to worry about with chipping or absorbtion/staining. It's very similar in appearance to the clay that Richard and Sandi of ClayZ use. It has either a sticker or (more likely) a ceramic decal of the Ocarina of Time logo between the thumbholes.

As for the fingering holes - that doesn't give a very good indication, in all honesty. Different levels of undercutting can drastically alter the sizes of the holes, so hole size isn't a good indication of the tuning unless you knew the precise wall thickness. For instance, I've made left-index holes (normally about 8 mm or so) about the size of the larger subhole and still had it in tune through undercutting...
Edited by Panch, 21 Sep 2010, 11:36 AM.
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Krešimir Cindrić


You're right, of course. I haven't considered undercutting. Well, it better sound amazing for $2000. :D
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speckles
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I’ve been hypnotized

Krešimir Cindrić
 
Apparently, it is also unglazed at the bottom. :/
Panch
 
You're right in that it's unglazed at the bottom, but the texture and overall look of the clay seems (at least to me) to suggest stoneware

That was my impression, too.

Photo from an eBay auction:
back of ocarina
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mandrew
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Devout seeker of perfection
We all have our different reasons for having what we have. Some buy purely for the musical propertoes, some collect, and some do both. My interrsts is purely musical, and I want to get to a level where I control the instrumets to express what I want. I don't need more than 2 instruments for what I do , and that is fine (AG, AC single chamber). For those that collect, there are many beautiful pieces in a number of mediums. So many choices!
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511100
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There will be cake.
Panch
21 Sep 2010, 11:19 AM
Ocarinadiva
21 Sep 2010, 09:37 AM
If you think that's silly, how about the official Nintendo OoT replica that went for $2000 on ebay!

http://pulse2.com/2009/08/10/nintendo-ocarinaflute-selling-on-ebay-for-about-2000/
Too right! I hadn't thought about that, but I suppose the price is a little more justified - if only because it's an official, limited edition ocarina. I think only 1000 were ever made...?

But yeah, I don't consider it to be very accurate nor attractive, myself. I hear it sounds magnificent though.
You know, I wonder what they sound like since they cost so much? Does anyone know or have a sound sample? Or even better, a video?
Edited by 511100, 21 Sep 2010, 03:35 PM.
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kissing
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tyrannical dictator

There was a member at TON who had that $2000 official Zelda oc.
According to him, it was the best ocarina he ever tried. Even compared to a Spencer Zelda replica (which he also had).
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Warku
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The Deipnosophist
kissing
21 Sep 2010, 04:54 PM
There was a member at TON who had that $2000 official Zelda oc.
According to him, it was the best ocarina he ever tried. Even compared to a Spencer Zelda replica (which he also had).
Who made that one?
Or, do you know?
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Krešimir Cindrić


kissing
21 Sep 2010, 04:54 PM
There was a member at TON who had that $2000 official Zelda oc.
According to him, it was the best ocarina he ever tried. Even compared to a Spencer Zelda replica (which he also had).
I don't know... That sounds a lot like rationalization "I paid $2000, of course it's good!" :/

But it could be true, maybe it is really that great. But I wonder why aren't there non-Zelda versions of it?
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Warku
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The Deipnosophist
It's probably because "Zelda" and "ocarina" are intertwined.
The makers probably think that they'll make more money off of the OOT than a Double or Triple because of that fact.
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Fenrisfang
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I've been following Spencer's auctions for years and I couldn't help being impressed by the mystery around his ocarinas. As a Zelda fan I've been keeping an eye on his replicas, and Ocarinadiva is right when she says that they were the first "to really capture the spirit and imagination of the game". However, it doesn't surprise that I've never gotten the chance to actually buy one of his replicas. The first ones went ridiculously high in price, later on I missed several of his auctions and then he suddenly stopped offering them.

Did I miss anything special because of that? Well, I didn't know at that point.

Eventually, a few years ago I visited Songbird's website again. I wanted to check his payment options, because I was already interested in his work years before, but didn't own a credit card. So I was browsing through his site... and found that very beautiful OoT replica. Only knowing his little sweet potato until then, I was stunned by looking at this refined and almost authentic model. Unfortunately, he didn't accept Paypal back then and so I wrote him a little note asking for adding that payment option.

Time passed and I still didn't have a Zelda replica (besides my Rotter and the Songbird sweet potato from ebay xD).

Finally, things changed and about a year ago I was able to buy an OoT from Songbird! In the meantime I exchanged it for one with Taiwanese fingering (what a service!) and now I'm absolutely happy with it. It has everything an ocarinist and Zelda fan is looking for (the wide platinum ring and the bright triforce make it look very precious - lovely details I like more than "false" authenticity) and you can rely on a great customer service that even makes small modifications possible. All that for an affordable price.

So what about Spencer's replica? Do I still "need" it? The Zelda fan says no. And the ocarinist?

I own some fantastic ocarinas by now, especially from Focalink and Ti Amo. Despite that, I got tempted again when Spencer began to offer his new ocarinas, some of them even for fixed prices. So I mulled it over... and over and over. After I sold some of my stuff, being able to buy one of them theoretically now helped me a lot come to a decision.

After all those years being attracted by Spencer's ocarinas and forgetting about them again, today, I can finally answer my question: No, I didn't miss anything.

Yes, they're probably high-quality instruments, rare collector's items and I'm still fascinated by them, but I cannot say that I need one of them. The last couple of days it became clearer and clearer for me to see that it would rather make me unhappy putting so much money into one "simple" AC than making me happy owning a Spencer. It just wouldn't feel right!

So this is my little story and insight.
I do adore Spencer's work, but for now I have to part with the idea of getting one of his ocs anytime soon.

Everyone has to find out what's important to him, though.
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ocarevolutionary
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ocarina inventor/designer

Personally, I'm far more interested in a Spencer double but who knows how long we willl wait for that.
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David F.
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Will make ocarinas for food!

ocarevolutionary
21 Sep 2010, 06:22 PM
Personally, I'm far more interested in a Spencer double but who knows how long we willl wait for that.
as am I. Ive never been much of a big Zelda fan Ive got the mini songbird Oot and that's enough for me, i am way more interested in the Spencer double!
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Warku
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The Deipnosophist
I'm with Ocarevolutionary.
I'd be much more interested in hearing/possessing one of his doubles.
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spencersocarinas
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ocarina maker

My secret?

















subliminal messages.

But in all seriousness, I'd like to address something stated in this thread that I keep running into on this forum. My ocarinas are not necessarily "low breath" ocarinas. Being an avid ocarina collector in addition to being a maker, I own ocarinas of many types from many makers. These include wonderful pieces by Songbird, Clayz, Dunster, Focalink, Maparam, Cantare, Ogawa, Anita Feng, Sixth Street Pottery, Night, Rotter, Hind, STL, some older antique pieces, and other miscellaneous pieces. The breath pressure requirements of my ocarinas are very similar to many of these makes, particularly ocarinas from Focalink, Ogawa and some Songbird pieces I own (OOT). I don't know how my ocarinas got the designation of "type 1", but I'm just not sure they fit this description, as they do require a modest rise in breath pressure from low to high notes. What DOES separate my ocarinas from some of these others is that they require a little more breath CONTROL because they are designed to be responsive to changes in breath pressure. This, of course, is intended to make glissando and other expressive techniques easier.

Doubles will be available very soon. :double:

Spencer
Edited by spencersocarinas, 21 Sep 2010, 07:52 PM.
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JCParker412
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The Noble Ocarinist
Spencer, can you tell us more about your double? I heard that it will have a pretty nice note overlap, but will the range suffer like on pacchioni's?
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iBookworm
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To-to-ro . . .
I'm kind of surprised at all the animosity at Spencer just 'cause his ocs sell for a lot. If you don't want to pay that much, don't. But to criticize him or accuse him of driving the price up artificially is dumb. Like he always says, people pay what they want to for his ocarinas. The market quite literally determines how much the ocarina sells for. I'm not sure any other ocarina maker can say that.

I think those who buy them know what they are getting: a handcrafted ocarina made by a single man, with its own unique features and tone. It's a little different and more specific than buying into a brand. I love the idea of a single craftsman. Frankly, I'd pay more for that if I were assured that the quality of the product were high.

I'd never pay that much for a single, though (though I think his Zelda replica is the best-looking out there, and the best sounding based on recordings I've heard). But I'm waiting eagerly for the double because it might just match what I'm looking for in my ideal double.
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Kiniko
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<3 Lolicon
I think Spencer is winning 90% of those auctions himself, to drive up the perceived price. Then, someone who wants one badly enough will actually pay that much for one, instead of whatever they would be going for if Spencer wasn't buying them for too much himself.

Go go gadget conspiracy theory!

If you couldn't tell this post was a joke what the hall
Edited by Kiniko, 22 Sep 2010, 03:46 AM.
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iBookworm
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To-to-ro . . .
And I think NASA is concealing the fact that the moon is made from green cheese, and Neil Armstrong brought crackers and wine and got roaring drunk and flubbed his famous line. I base this on sound scientific scrutiny!
Seriously, though, people do seem to have crazy conspiracy theories about Spencer.
Edited by iBookworm, 22 Sep 2010, 03:48 AM.
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Dullahan
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Don't you just love soundwalking?

Well, Spencer's double does seem much mroe interesting than his OoT... If I had the spare money I'd sure buy one, as I'm a big Zelda fan, just as O'Diva and Panch said... It is no weird fact that some people pay A LOT of money for the things they want, even if they might seem a bit overpriced... IMO as long as YOU don't think it's overpriced (In case you are goning to buy it) then it's ok...
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reikokuna
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Black sheep among your daily lurkers
If I could afford it, and I know the maker does deserve it, because of the quality...I wouldn't mind paying for whatever it takes, whatever it's worth. I'd happily pay that much, or a little more :P

I guess it's a matter of value, really...if someone wants it more than another, and has the means for it...then surely they'd offer what they can.

I think sometimes, along with the people who bid without knowing they are driving the price up (which is usually not something buyers want, in general)...there are also people who bid the amount (or part of the amount) they are willing to pay in order to get rid of other competitors and assure their win. Some people are willing to pay the price because they can, some people try to get lucky...taking their chance.

Maybe, once everyone else gets a Spencer...it would eventually be more affordable? Maybe with continued support, Spencer would be able to make his ocarinas a little more "easily" acquirable by the "common" (wo/)man(child/person xD).

We'll see!

I'd like to see what the Spencer double would be like! Now that it's unlikely I'd get a Maparam anytime soon (unless things change)...then at least there's a Spencer (and maybe a Panch etc!) to look forward to.
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shadowyi
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dysfunctional family
Fenris that's an absolutely brilliant post you posted.

I think here it's definitely a case of worth being in the eye of the beholder and collectible meeting instrument. There's no doubt Spencer's works sound wonderful and look amazing to boot. Add that to it being a collectible and I feel that it's worth the price they sell at. Heck, I'm about to plonked down some serious cash for an electric harp, and that's just some strings and wood. It's all in if you feel it's worth it.
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spencersocarinas
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ocarina maker

iBookworm
22 Sep 2010, 03:32 AM
I'm kind of surprised at all the animosity at Spencer just 'cause his ocs sell for a lot. If you don't want to pay that much, don't. But to criticize him or accuse him of driving the price up artificially is dumb. Like he always says, people pay what they want to for his ocarinas. The market quite literally determines how much the ocarina sells for. I'm not sure any other ocarina maker can say that.

I think those who buy them know what they are getting: a handcrafted ocarina made by a single man, with its own unique features and tone. It's a little different and more specific than buying into a brand. I love the idea of a single craftsman. Frankly, I'd pay more for that if I were assured that the quality of the product were high.

I'd never pay that much for a single, though (though I think his Zelda replica is the best-looking out there, and the best sounding based on recordings I've heard). But I'm waiting eagerly for the double because it might just match what I'm looking for in my ideal double.


Very well said, iBookworm. I try not to even acknowledge any "animosity" or bitterness toward me (for whatever reason :shrug: ) on this forum. I have made my case in the past for conducting my business the way I do, and I feel no need to apologize to anyone for my business model. It seems people ignore the fact that I do offer my Concert Series for a set price. No bidding, no waiting. That was what everyone wanted, and that was what I gave them once I was able to produce them at a steady enough rate to justify doing so. The Ocarina of Time is auctioned because they simply take longer to produce. Which means I don't have a factory full of them. I do not deliberately limit quantity to drive up price, as some have accused me of doing. If I could produce 10 times as many OOTs and half the cost, I would gladly do so. But if you want mass produced ocarinas, there are plenty available elsewhere.

To up-and-coming makers like Panch, I salute you for your efforts to maintain high quality standards that could only be achieved by carefully hand crafting each instrument. But frankly, I dread the day when you decide to start selling your work via auctions, as you have suggested you would do. You may be in for quite a bit of negativity. Ask me how I know.

I AM a single proprietor, and as I have said in the past, I do everything in this business, from wedging the clay to shipping the finished product out. I feel that's the only way I can make sure everything is done RIGHT.

And to Kiniko, that's a great idea - but I'd be costing myself a fortune in eBay fees! o_O
Edited by spencersocarinas, 22 Sep 2010, 06:07 AM.
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Panch
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The Whistlemaker

iBookworm
22 Sep 2010, 03:32 AM
I'm kind of surprised at all the animosity at Spencer just 'cause his ocs sell for a lot.
I'm sorry, iBookworm, if you were not referring to this thread - but I can't see any instance of people directing any animosity toward Spencer at all.

If anything, all I see are people being amazed at why the ocarina would go for such a high price. I don't see any instance of Spencer being spoken badly about at all in this thread. The way you say that almost makes it sound like Spencer's been copping quite a berating which is far from the case.
Edited by Panch, 22 Sep 2010, 07:45 AM.
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spencersocarinas
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ocarina maker

Panch
22 Sep 2010, 07:43 AM
iBookworm
22 Sep 2010, 03:32 AM
I'm kind of surprised at all the animosity at Spencer just 'cause his ocs sell for a lot.
I'm sorry, iBookworm, if you were not referring to this thread - but I can't see any instance of people directing any animosity toward Spencer at all.

If anything, all I see are people being amazed at why the ocarina would go for such a high price. I don't see any instance of Spencer being spoken badly about at all in this thread. The way you say that almost makes it sound like Spencer's been copping quite a berating which is far from the case.
iBookworm may have been referring to instances in other threads where things got a bit heated, such as this one:

http://theocarinanetwork.com/topic/6693685/1/
Edited by spencersocarinas, 22 Sep 2010, 07:50 AM.
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Panch
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The Whistlemaker

spencersocarinas
22 Sep 2010, 07:49 AM
iBookworm may have been referring to instances in other threads where things got a bit heated, such as this one:

http://theocarinanetwork.com/topic/6693685/1/
Ah, perhaps. I agree that a few people got quite out of line in that thread. It's just that no one was criticizing you here, so I was a bit puzzled on why it would be brought up by anyone, is all. :B

I think we would all be better off if such things were left in the past and forgotten about. Reviving such drama isn't beneficial to the parties involved, even though he had meant it in a way which was sympathetic to you. :/
Edited by Panch, 22 Sep 2010, 11:44 AM.
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Fenrisfang
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For my part, I didn't mean to talk Spencer and his work down. As I said, I do adore his work and totally understand and respect the way he manages things as a one-man-business. I just wanted to share my inner conflict, because many people might feel the same. They love his ocarinas, but can't justify purchasing them.

Despite all understanding, in the end, everyone has his own point of view which in our case is the perspective of a customer. And as a customer I have to compare offers and find the best solution for my needs.

So I think no one should be ashamed of telling the truth, no matter if they're interested in a Spencer or in a Zelda replica or if they admit that they don't want to / can't afford one. Not talking about such conflicts can't help understanding each other and making things become better.


A Spencer double would be awesome, though. It would make the waiting time and money more worthwhile.
Edited by Fenrisfang, 22 Sep 2010, 03:49 PM.
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Neptune5
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Inline Ocarinist x 5
Spencer ocs look amazing, but I wouldn't pay that price for one.
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Ayuna
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Amateur Ocarinist
I don't think it is unreasonable for people to wonder at the costs - its all relative after all. If an OoT replica from Songbird costs a third of the price of a Spencer, people are naturally going to wonder - what makes a Spencer so special?

Still, he seems to have a generally good reputation, so one day it would be good to try one of his Ocs to see what they are like :)
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SuperBobKing
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Quadruple Ocarinist
I remember him saying that he decided on that pricing because that is what they were selling for in ebay auctions (hence extremely limited supply and very high demand largely from video game nerds wanting a collectible prop (I am not looking down on them I am a nerd myself and love video game memorabilia, though that is not why I started playing the ocarina)). I really hope that isn't what happens with tenrai. For a tenrai I would only be willing to pay $150, maybe $160. And that is because I would only really be buying it for the video game aspect, and it is the most accurate.
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Ayuna
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Amateur Ocarinist
That sounds fair. Although his normal AC does seem to be on the more expensive end too - I can't think of too many single chamber ACs for that price - woodsound, Hind (but then they are all wooden ones, lol, perhaps some of the Japanese makes are a similar price?).

I thought Tenrai were auction only? Or are they making a production line?
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RJ924
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My ocarina has no hair...either

I am sure that he sells at the price the market will bear. If people decide that his prices are too high, and they stop buying them, he will probably lower his prices or stop making and selling ocarinas. My guess is that as long as people are buying his ocarinas at a satisfactory rate (to him), he has no reason to lower his prices. With that said, I believe he does his best to provide his customers with the very best ocarina he can possibly make.
RJ
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alphard
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Ayuna
24 Dec 2012, 09:31 PM
That sounds fair. Although his normal AC does seem to be on the more expensive end too - I can't think of too many single chamber ACs for that price - woodsound, Hind (but then they are all wooden ones, lol, perhaps some of the Japanese makes are a similar price?).

I thought Tenrai were auction only? Or are they making a production line?
For the most part they are auctioned off, but occasionally they'll be put up for a fixed price - the Buy It Now price is $280.


I used to find the price of Spencer Zelda replicas outrageous as well. Having actually owned one though, I don't really think so anymore...I didn't pay the full $400 as I got mine second-hand, but I can see why someone would pay that. It's a very high quality instrument in addition to being a beautiful replica.
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Ayuna
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That is good to know. Hmm, it is strange though that more people do not rave about the quality of Spencer ocarinas..

Well, like I said before, hopefully I will get the opportunity to try one some day.
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