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Mountain Ocarina Poly C Review; My review of the poly C from MO
Topic Started: 12 Feb 2012, 01:06 PM (6,951 Views)
SitarKnight
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Mountain Ocarinist
I know there are reviews on the ocarina already, but I would like to give my own. I've owned this ocarina for 2 years.

Mountan Ocarina Polycarbonate C Review
Hello everyone, this is Braille, and today I'm going to be talking about the Mountain Ocarina, Polycarbonate in C. The Mountain Ocarina is a great ocarina for anyone looking to get into ocarinas or anyone who wants an ocarina they can take with them anywhere and not be afraid of breaking it. It's also a very affordable option for anyone looking to try the inline style of ocarina, or someone looking for an ocarina with a unique tone. It's small size and bullet proof material, along with it's easy to play design, makes it ideal for beginners who don't want to risk breaking their first ocarina, or anyone looking for a durable ocarina. It's one of the more affordable ocarinas from Mountain Ocarinas and its tone is very similar to their higher end models.

Pitch Range
The Mountain Ocarina Polycarbonate in C is fully chromatic and plays in the key of C from B4-E6 giving it a range of 1 octave plus 3. Giving it a total of 11 notes. With the use of the fippled bend technique the low A4 can be reached,though it can be quite difficult to hit. Also, the high F can be hit by using excessive breath pressure when fingering the high E, though this also can be quite difficult. I find that holding the ocarina further down helps in hitting the highest note (F), and tilting the ocarina up, along with low air pressure, helps to hit the low A.

Physical Characteristics
The Mountain Ocarina is about 5.5 inches long, 1.5 inches wide and a little over 1 inch thick. It weighs in at about 2.4 ounces or 68 grams. It has 7 holes on top and 2 thumb-holes on the bottom for a total of 9 holes. The Mountain Ocarina's shape can be compared to a brick or a remote control. It's inline design along with it's linear finger pattern and light weight, make this a very comfortable ocarina to hold and to play for extended periods of time. It's polycarbonate design make gives it a textured feel, that is not only helps you grip the ocarina, but it is also makes it quite scratch resistant as well. The thumb holes might be a little big for small children, in that case I would recommend the polycarbonate in G.

Volume/Breath
The Mountain Ocarina is a rising breath ocarina. You'll want to use softer breath on the lower notes, and stronger breath on the highest notes, and a pretty even breath throughout the middle of it's range. You'll want to take some caution in how low your breath is for low C, as you can accidently hit the B or B# note. Too much breath pressure in the high E can cause the note to turn sharp, or even in the high F if too forceful. Because of it's inline style, the highest notes are easier to play then on a transverse ocarina and don't require the acute bend technique. The Mountain ocarina can be played both softly and loudly, but overall it is quite loud compared to other ocarinas. It can be enjoyed indoors and out doors. However, due to it's louder volume, it is not recommended you play while others are asleep.

Tone
The sound of the ocarina lacks the roundness of a transverse clay ocarina, but to my ears has a slightly more dynamic tone when compared to transverse plastic ocarinas. I would characterize the tone as warm, but crisp, minutely airy and very sensitive to breath pressure. I find that playing with vibrato on this ocarina is relatively easy and quite noticeable. With practice, this ocarina be played very expressively.

Performance Tips
Due to it's inline style, you'll support the ocarina differently then you would for a transverse ocarina. I find that to balance the ocarina on the highest notes, putting your pinky at the end of the ocarina helps keep it in balance and prevents it from falling.

Closing Thoughts
The Mountain Ocarina Polycarbonate in C is a great ocarina for anyone new to ocarinas or even those who already play ocarina, but are looking for an ocarina they can take with them anywhere without worrying about breaking it. I'd also recommend it for those who want to try the inline style of ocarina's, and not break the bank. It's light weight, and compact design make it great for travel. It's bullet proof nature and Mountain Ocarina's own lifetime breakage guarantee, ensures your ocarina will be survive many, many years. Couple that with it's range, unique tone and looks and you have a great all around ocarina for all sorts of music. Though the ocarina's range is smaller then it's transverse cousin, you can't beat the easy to play inline design, great portability, excellent durability or uniqueness. At $25 this ocarina is a steal.



*That's all for this ocarina review, I hoped you like it, as it is my first ocarina review. I'd like to thank Cris Gale a.k.a. OcarinaDiva after watching many of your reviews, I decided to model this review in the same formula as yours, only in text form. I'd also like to thank Mountain Ocarina's for making what is my favourite ocarina, and what ultimately inspired me to make this review ~ Braille*
Edited by SitarKnight, 13 Feb 2012, 12:53 PM.
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Wollemi Pine
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Triple-Double Ocarinist

Thanks for the review. I've been thinking of getting the G or C polycarbonate as something to carry with me all the time, and to take backpacking.
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Robert Hickman
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Ocarina maker

Good review, this was my first ocarina, and my only one for quite a few months, loved learning with it. Though I do play the G version more now as its range is a better fit for folk music.

The mountain ocarina is quite easy to play but as mentioned it is loud, great for annoying people as you learn. The middle of a feild is a good place to practice - worked for me anyway ;)
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SitarKnight
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Mountain Ocarinist
Wollemi Pine
12 Feb 2012, 06:15 PM
Thanks for the review. I've been thinking of getting the G or C polycarbonate as something to carry with me all the time, and to take backpacking.
I would totally recommend them. I believe they have a special deal where if you purchase both the poly C and G, you get them at a discounted price.
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RJ924
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My ocarina has no hair...either

I also really like my MO's. To me, they are better than the Menaglio G2 that I own, but are similar in the aspect that both sound amazing when played in a place with good natural reverb, but not so good when played in what I call a dead zone (i.e. all the sound is absorbed into the walls). This was a good review.
RJ
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SitarKnight
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Mountain Ocarinist
Thank you RJ, I've never written a review before, so this one took me 3 hours to write >.< I kept changing it to make it sound better, and even now I'm still not happy with it, haha. The price of trying to be a perfectionist haha.
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DustyLad
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Double Ocarinist x 4
Nice review man ;)
I like the MO C very much, much more than the G.

@ RJ924
I feel the same way about the reverb, i haven't played a Menaglio yet, but from what i hear they are the same in that aspect.
My C sounds good normally, but it really sings with that natural reverb (which i get under the stairs in the building i live in ^^).
e
And in the bathroom ^^
Edited by DustyLad, 14 Feb 2012, 12:55 AM.
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Bacchus
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aspiring ocarinist
Great review, Sitar :) At the moment MO poly C is the only oc i have (a cheap clay transverse got broken a while ago), and i find it to be a great instrument for the first (and not only) miles of the ocarina journey :) I love the durability and the tone, especially in the open, the only thing i gravely miss is a natural high F and low B. I initially thought the somewhat limited range wouldn't be a problem, but it turned out many of my favourite tunes require just a tone or two more... Oh well... Still, i think it is a really great ocarina :)
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Pinkie Pie
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Living The Dream

IKR these ocs are dope. I would get like 7 but you only need 1.
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ubizmo


Bacchus
17 Jul 2012, 01:34 PM
Great review, Sitar :) At the moment MO poly C is the only oc i have (a cheap clay transverse got broken a while ago), and i find it to be a great instrument for the first (and not only) miles of the ocarina journey :) I love the durability and the tone, especially in the open, the only thing i gravely miss is a natural high F and low B. I initially thought the somewhat limited range wouldn't be a problem, but it turned out many of my favourite tunes require just a tone or two more... Oh well... Still, i think it is a really great ocarina :)
As I've mentioned in other threads, if you play the MO with rising breath, which isn't how it's actually designed to be played, you can get high F with all holes open, and cover just L2 (or L1; experiment) for high E. I do this all the time. It is much easier on the G ocarina, however.

Still, I've observed that this methods works better on the C warmstone than it does on the other MO models. I really don't know why, but it's pretty unmistakable. I actually modified my poly and hardwoods Cs by enlarging the LT hole slightly. On the warmstone (and on all the G ocarinas) this modification is unnecessary.

As for low B, I have found it easier and more accurate to tip the ocarina up to get the note, rather than consciously cutting breath pressure. I believe the effect of tipping up is to constrict the air flow a bit, which accomplishes the same thing, but it feels more accurate to me.

Here too I think there is some slight difference between the models, or maybe just from one individual MO to another, particularly in the hardwood and warmstone models.
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Bacchus
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aspiring ocarinist
@Ubizmo - My roommate has a poly G and i will definitely try getting the higher note on it. I guess it's just my lack of skill that gets in the way of hitting the high F, but i may get lucky on the poly G :) Do you happen to have some inside information about the pro-range MO - the long wait is killing me... :)
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Cambell
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That guy

I am also *extremely* interested in the pro range MO. I contacted Cliff via the MO Facebook page a few days ago about the Prorange with no reply. I don't think he checks it anyway.

I would buy it in a heartbeat :D
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Jon.w
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Transverse Ocarinist x 3
I'm with you on that thought Cambell, I would buy one as soon as they became available (if ever). I said the same on the MO forum, along with all the other people saying the same thing. With the lack of information about I hope it hasn't been put on the shelf. I think they would be on a winner if they do release the pro range.
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Bacchus
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aspiring ocarinist
I bet it'll be an instant winner, once on the market. But i get the notion that business has slowed down for MO lately, which probably hinders the research and development phase... But i really hope they finish it. The thought of an extended range ocarina with the MO quality in the mix is quite exciting, at least for me :)
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SuperBobKing
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Quadruple Ocarinist
How much range will it have? I haven't heard anything about it until now. The only thing keeping me from getting an MO is that they don't have any more range than a pendant and I don't mind the pendant fingering system so I see no reason to spend money on something that would require me to learn a new system and offer no advantage.
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Cambell
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That guy

No more range than a pendant? My MO in G goes from F# to B with regular fingering, C with overblowing and F with underblowing. I can also get a couple higher notes with some special fingering, but I haven't experimented with it enough.

I would take an MO over a pendant any day :)

To answer your question, a pro range would have a full two octaves range (maybe more? I definitely remember two octaves at least) and they wanted them available in Alto C and Alto G.
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SuperBobKing
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Quadruple Ocarinist
Without any under-blowing or over-blowing the C has the same range as a pendant, and the g has one note more at the bottom but it wouldn't be all that useful to me.
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Kibbler
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Sick and tired
The C is ment to be underblown for the Low B.

Do you not like 10 hole ocs, bobking?
Edited by Kibbler, 3 Aug 2012, 04:52 PM.
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SuperBobKing
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Quadruple Ocarinist
My favorite oc is a ten hole (with a split C of course). When I wouldn't be getting any more range than a pendant (and you can do fipple bend to get that same lower note) I just don't see any point in not getting a pendant instead, especially when they are cheaper.
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Wollemi Pine
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Triple-Double Ocarinist

Cambell
3 Aug 2012, 04:13 PM


To answer your question, a pro range would have a full two octaves range (maybe more? I definitely remember two octaves at least) and they wanted them available in Alto C and Alto G.
Cool. Looking forward to seeing it.
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Cambell
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That guy

Well I'm dying to see it! I absolutely love my MO warmstone G and I am eager to get another, hopefully something in C, and preferable this prorange model c:
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Jon.w
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Transverse Ocarinist x 3
If you check the MO website, Karl is talking about some of the models he would like to on the market, it's split over 2 videos
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Traeak
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Double Ocarinist x 5
I wonder how long it will be for the pro-range. For some reason I'd never heard of ocarinas before ever and found out about them last week. After a couple of days I ordered a focalink taichi straw. Later on I saw mention of the mountain ocarina and have been icking myself over that.

Songbird was *awesome* and i got my taichi in 2 (!!!) days. I'm actually well pleased with it even though i'm still kicking myself. I really really do like the english pendant "chording" style over the linear ones a recorder or bamboo flute uses. Time to go check on the MO fingerings!
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Prairie Wolf
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I'm convinced dogs unfurl their wings when we are not looking!
That is a great review you posted on the Mountain Ocarina Poly C. The Mountain Ocarinas are my favorite, though I very much enjoy other brands and types of ocarinas. I currently have two Poly Cs and two Poly Gs (I keep a pair in the car, with other types of plastic ocarinas), two Warmstone Gs, one Warmstone C, and a Hardwood C and Hardwood G. Yeah, I'm hooked, I know! I really love the nice, rich tone and voice they have - perfect for Celtic music, and other styles, as well.

I don't have a problem with the range and as was mentioned, you can get the additional higher and lower notes with a little practice.

Of course, having a multitude of ocarinas in different styles and keys is wonderful, too, when there are tunes requiring a wider range than that provided with the MOs, or you are looking for a different sounding ocarina. But, overall, the MOs are my go-to ocarina for most all the songs I play.

I had to put an additional note here about an ocarina that I have that is really the nicest sounding, most pleasurable to do the fingering on, and for me, heads and tails above any of my other ocarinas for pure enjoyment of tone - and that is my STL 12 hole Alto ocarina. I was going to buy a second one to keep as backup should some disaster befall the one I have, but they are currently out of stock. :eager:
Edited by Prairie Wolf, 4 Nov 2012, 08:19 PM.
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Traeak
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Double Ocarinist x 5
Prairie Wolf
2 Nov 2012, 10:27 PM
I don't have a problem with the range and as was mentioned, you can get the additional higher and lower notes with a little practice.
With the 'c' (I only have a poly) I can't get any higher than 'e' up the upper end and the low 'b' already requires a significant drop in breath. The 'g' is great considering a high 'f' (transpose) is easy to overblow and with more effort a low 'Bb' (transpose) can be bent in with a pressure drop. But both the 'c' and 'g' are easy to play in tune, they play loudly and they don't require much care. Easy choice for hiking, backpacking, etc.

I really like the mountain 'g' a lot. Its my favorite in that key. For the 'c' I personally favor a transverse, I just the extra range both at the top and the bottom that the MO 'C' doesn't seem to have. I am very curious what might be coming down the pipe from them. In the US at least (with shipping) they're an awesome value.
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DeTerminator
Transverse Ocarinist x 4
Thanks SitarKnight,

Good review! I like my Mountain Ocarinas, too. The extended-range models have been a nebulous prospect over the past few years, at best. I'll believe it when I see it..then, I'll want it!

The other models are great, even the less expensive poly's are top-notch, and a good value. Every aspiring ocarinist should try one, at least, for a while. They just might like it... I did.
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Traeak
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Double Ocarinist x 5
DeTerminator
2 Nov 2012, 11:11 PM
Thanks SitarKnight,
hehe, feb 2012 was the original review :-p
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Prairie Wolf
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I'm convinced dogs unfurl their wings when we are not looking!
Like you, I am hoping they come out with the larger ranged ocarina soon. Yes, if purchased in the US - they really are a great value for what you get.
Traeak
 
I am very curious what might be coming down the pipe from them. In the US at least (with shipping) they're an awesome value.
Edited by Prairie Wolf, 3 Nov 2012, 07:20 AM.
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SitarKnight
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Mountain Ocarinist
Traeak
2 Nov 2012, 11:41 PM
DeTerminator
2 Nov 2012, 11:11 PM
Thanks SitarKnight,
hehe, feb 2012 was the original review :-p
No need to hate :p now it's Oct of 2014, haha.
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Pat Anderson
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Triple Ocarinist x 2
It has been a long time since I heard anything about the Pro Range. Last I heard from Karl was in February that he was getting "close." Nothing since then. Also the Mountain Ocarina forum site, www.ocarinaboard.com, seems to be down (I have not logged in there for ages). Here is a copy and paste of Karl's email from last February:

Hi Pat,

Thanks for asking! I am getting very close, but frustrating technical difficulties (having to do with CAM software) are holding me up. I will let you know as soon as I have instruments to sell. Thanks again for your patience.

Anyway, I am on the list. I now have a large collection of Dindas, including a DAC, which has plenty of range for the tunes I play. Still, I would like an oc that does not require chamber switching. The patent for the Pro Range shows that the range is obtained by bisected finger holes, which makes a lot of sense if Karl can figure out how to build it!

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Kaitomo
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Beginner
Prairie Wolf
2 Nov 2012, 10:27 PM
I currently have two Poly Cs and two Poly Gs (I keep
I really love the nice, rich tone and voice they have - perfect for Celtic music, and other styles, as well.
Do both the poly C and the poly G work for most Celtic music? I'm planning on buying one but I don't know which
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Jack Campin
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Opener of Catfood Tins

"Celtic" is meaningless. If you mean Irish instrumental music, look here

https://thesession.org/tunes

and see the ranges the tunes mostly have; G and D ocarinas will be some use, a C would be a pointless waste of money.
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flutefingers
Beginner
I'm a transverse flute player. I've had my poly c MO for about 7 years and it goes with me everywhere. It has the same fingering as my flute but I can take it sailing with absolutely no worries. It goes right through airport security. All this time I kept thinking I would buy a better sounding ocarina, but I haven't because I finally realize it sounds the way ocarinas are supposed to sound. I wouldn't sail or hike with a clay one. So, I'm hooked.
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EriChanHime
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Inline Ocarinist x 3
Thank you for all the information on the poly inlines from Mountain. I have a C and G poly on order from them (says delivered, but hasn't been...argh, my post office kills me), and I'm looking forward to trying the inline style with ocarinas that I will not be terrified to carry around (my clay transverse is not only breakable but weighs a ton!). My purse is heavy enough as is. ;)
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xylonsteve
Pendant Ocarinist x 2
I much prefer the version of this ocarina in G, but to be honest I never play these ocarinas as they don't sound as good to me as the normal clay ocarinas.
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Daniel
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Double Ocarinist x 2
xylonsteve
14 Apr 2017, 12:36 PM
I much prefer the version of this ocarina in G, but to be honest I never play these ocarinas as they don't sound as good to me as the normal clay ocarinas.
If you're not playing them, note that they're not currently being made, and people still want them, so you might get a good price if you sold them :)
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CFWhitman
Initiate
The low C on the Mountain Polycarbonate in C never sounds that good to me, even after the instrument is warmed up (it actually sounds better to me when you play the D by cutting your breath). I don't have that problem with the G. Once it's warmed up and becomes a little more predictable, it sounds pretty good. I don't care for the reversed thumb holes though. If the thumb holes were not reversed, I would like it quite a bit for it's "no worries" portability. As it is I still like it, just not as much as I could have.
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Saki
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Surprisingly not dead
The thumbholes thing is what threw me off the most with MOs. I liked everything else about mine but that made it unplayable due to muscle memory.

I actually like the chiffy, muddled sound of the lower notes, gives them character.
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Bobbie
ocarinas & etc
In researching threads I see the Prorange was first mentioned maybe 5 years ago. I sure hope MO comes up with it but I kind of wonder at this late date. Meanwhile I see they only sell the G in Poly over at their website, apparently they're out of inventory for everything else. Not a good sign for the health of the company I'm very sorry to say, as I think we all agree MO contributes something important to our community. We like your products, MO!

I enjoy my G and C in poly but I'd sure like to try the other materials to see what they sound like. Consensus seems to be the warmstone (and perhaps others) have a slightly better tone than the poly. To me the poly C sounds a little too much like a plastic whistle, esp the low C (as CFWhitman mentions). I'd probably buy a warmstone if I could find one. And of course I'll certainly buy the Prorange if it ever materializes.

BTW, could anyone tell me what the original prices were on the warmstone C and G?



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Saki
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Surprisingly not dead
Warmstones I think were 100 for g and 110 for c, can't remember for sure.
Prorange (now called Coda) is still happening. The molds and tooling are being constructed over the next couple months and production will likely start soon after that, probably starting with the people on the MO mailing list.
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Harp Player
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Triple Ocarinist
The last I heard the molds for the CODA have been ordered. Now it is a matter of time waiting on them to be cut. I don't know how long it will to take to ramp up production after they are delivered.
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Bobbie
ocarinas & etc
Thanks for the updates on MO. Great to hear they're proceeding with the Prorange/Coda.
And thanks for the warmstone prices. Since they're no longer posted at the MO website, I was really wondering what they cost. Thanks.
Edited by Bobbie, 17 Apr 2017, 07:44 AM.
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