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Imperial City Ocarina; Importing ocarinas from China
Topic Started: 16 Dec 2012, 03:57 PM (17,910 Views)
Pat Anderson
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Triple Ocarinist x 2
It is hard to describe an unpleasant taste of course, and I am only guessing it is waxed and that is the source of the bad taste. But I definitely perceive a very unpleasant taste when I play either of my ICOs that I do not have with any other oc. The With looks like it is also similarly finished but it is completely neutral - no taste. All my other ocs are either plastic or glazed, so no taste. I just puts me off the ICOs.
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Mark Chan
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My ICO's have no taste. :)
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pandorado100
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Premium Poster
Mark Chan
2 May 2014, 05:48 PM
My ICO's have no taste. :)
Don't be so judgmental about your ICO ocarina, Mark. It has feelings you know. :grin:

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Edited by pandorado100, 2 May 2014, 10:04 PM.
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Mark Chan
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Lol, I thought about that as I was posting. And I meant that too. :D
It has no taste. :monocle:
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ESTSG
Inline Ocarinist
Hi Pat,

Maybe you would want to consider to order another 1 without coating? Initially the bare purple clay does sticks to my lips when I play it but not it doesn't stick that much now.

I am considering to order a double Bass G but it is heavier than my double BC as I have small hands and it is already a little difficult for me to play the double BC. The ocarina tends to slide down alittle when my right hands shifts.

The right way to play : Is it whenever your right hands are not playing then immediately you place your right hand onto the 2nd chamber? Even you need to play after 1 or 2 notes?

I am self-learning so I still can't switch chamber quickly.

I love the size and weight of my Focalink DAC but I don't like to sound because too high pitch. Anyone suggest similar but with more mellow tone?

Thanks for your suggestions.
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jamalix
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Inline Ocarinist x 2
I recently bought an ICO Double Alto Mini Ocarina with an acrylic finish.
Bill from ICO was very helpful when we exchanged mails about the special finish, which has no taste at all, i really like it.
There are two things i dislike about the ocarina, first, the two highest notes on the low chamber are airy and can squeak if you're careless. Second, the positions of the holes for the right hand are... weird, which means, very different from my Rotter, Dinda and 6th Street. I got used to it after a while though.

Maybe this makes it sound like it's a bad ocarina or something, but right now it's the one i play the most, so it definitely is a very nice instrument!
Edited by jamalix, 4 Aug 2014, 04:02 AM.
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Turtlewalker
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Where words fail, music speaks!
I just got the new Contra-bass ocarina today. It is so low and mellow sounding, but not as quiet as I thought it would be. It is soft on the first three notes. The lowest note I could get is Bb2 and highest is F4. The two lowest and two highest note take some breath control to hit perfectly. The high E and F I had to hold the ocarina level, or else I would get some squeaking. It is a little heavy and playing the last two notes quickly will take some practice. Other than that, all the notes sound wonderful and it is low breath, but not much different than the Bass C. I really love this ocarina! c:

Here is a picture comparing the size of the contra-bass to the regular bass ocarina.
Spoiler: click to toggle
Edited by Turtlewalker, 27 Oct 2014, 09:28 PM.
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Amerred
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Can't play pendants
Dang! I'd love to hear a recording if you could manage it! (Or even if you could find one somewhere online)

Though I won't lie, that's one ocarina that I might feel uncomfortable holding (both for weight and fear of dropping). I mean, why do they even bother to put a cord on it? Who would just walk around with that thing around their neck?
Edited by Amerred, 27 Oct 2014, 09:57 PM.
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Jubal
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Tree Hugger - Food is your right

I commissioned the existence of that ocarina through their cool little request a type of ocarina feature. Ironically, I haven't had the funds to buy it and now that I almost do they're sold out. I want one.
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Turtlewalker
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Where words fail, music speaks!
When I get use to it and learn a few songs, I will do some type of recording.
I only use the neck cord when I play it just in case it slips from my hands, it won't crash right to the floor. The balance on it is great, but playing the high Eb is when the holding gets a little off balance.
Last I heard, Bill is going to get another contra-bass ready for the shipment that will be going to their U.S outlet soon.
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Jonathan
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Just a guy learning the ocarina.
(this thread is old now but... Here's my newbie mini-review) I just wanted to chime in and report my happiness and satisfaction with my recently acquired ICO "Bull" AC 12h. Been playing much more now woohoo! The sound is very rich, although it can be sharp if your hitting it a certain way. It's more than adequately loud (I measured it at 107 db), more than enough to have your ears ringing after awhile haha :) In comparison, I measured my STL ceramic OoT at 112 db, so this is very slightly less loud. Just mentioning that bc I recall some discussion of it possibly being too quiet, it's not. Like most oc's I guess, it just has one volume, on or off lol, but it will bend notes really if you want to well by playing with the breath.

I found the breath to be near perfect with a little practice, I'm still working on my high notes, but it seems to have a smooth curve. The left hand pinky hole seemed really weird at first, but with some practice it becomes normal and I realized that it does actually follow the lines of the fingers more naturally than my couple other oc's! It's indeed better for ergonomics! For me at least, of course everyone's hands and style is different.

The subholes are just awesome, again it took a few days to get more fluid, but the sub holes transitions are much much easier and natural than my other oc's. The weight is substantial but isn't too heavy, it just feels very solid.

This is my first purple clay, so maybe this is a trait of all purple clay's, but the material feels extremely strong and dense, like a solid piece of rock! :) I say this because visually it does kinda look like terra cotta, but terra cotta feels like pottery and fragile, this feels like solid rock.

Acoustically, there is definitely a big difference and improvement to my ears with purple clay, sounding much warmer and less harsh that ceramic. (This is why I don't like flutes or recorders, just as personal opinion, they all sound sharp and metallic / plastic-ey lol. Although new to playing, I have set up and installed custom high end car audio for a very long time so my ears are sensitive to subtle nuances in sound.)

Someone mentioned a bad taste, I haven't noticed any bad taste at all, in fact it just tastes like any clay pottery or cup but less so. I found it pleasant versus glaze.

All in all, it's a soothing instrument, has an earthy tone, and can be played comfortably for a good while. My only down notice is that the high notes sound a bit airy, but this could just be me learning and not a fault.

Mine quickly got a little custom treatment ;) a very very light dusting of gold paint for a bit of shimmer, gold in the finger holes, gold accent in the bull stamp, gold to highlight the maker's name stamp in Chinese, and my own made suede neck strap. Normally I don't like gold but it fits this piece very well.

I'm extremely happy with it, and I'd recommend it to others.
Picture:
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PassingBlur
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Pendant Ocarinist
I enjoyed reading the mini review, Jonathan, i've been thinking about a twelve hole Oc, and this looks nice.
--
I'm interested in the ICO pendants, can anyone shed some light on their sound and volume (no vids on site)? I've read that these ocarinas are low sounding, and thus mainly for practice, how do these compare to other pendants of the same tuning?

I'm looking at these:
http://imperialcityocarina.com/index.php?_a=product&product_id=78
http://imperialcityocarina.com/index.php?_a=product&product_id=79
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Rughead
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cheap cracked plastic pendant Ocarinist x 3
PassingBlur,

You asked about the ICO pendants. I just received an ICO Maple Leaf AC pendant a few days ago. Mine was custom made to have two extra tone holes, making it an 8 holer. I posted a picture of it on 'The Ocarina Network' page that is on Facebook.

I own several pendants, including a max range from STL. This new 8 hole ICO purple clay pendant sounds great. It has an increasing breath slope, and is not quiet. It is my best sounding pendant. It has about the same breath requirements as my STL max range pendant. This is not soft breathed.

I do not know what the ICO sopranos play like, since I do not currently own one. I suspect they play quite well though, since my ICO double SG plays really well.

I hope that helps. Hmm, and you can't beat the price for a purple clay pendant from ICO either. :)

Curtis
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PassingBlur
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Pendant Ocarinist
Very happy to hear that, thanks a lot, Rughead.
An 8 hole sounds very cool, does it play like the stl 8 hole max range? I'm interested in the Stl as well, but don't see any info on it either, i'd love to know what you (or anyone else) think about that one.

Just saw the vid for the max range pendant, it does require a fipple bend, message edited.
Edited by PassingBlur, 23 Mar 2015, 12:21 AM.
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Rughead
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cheap cracked plastic pendant Ocarinist x 3
Yes PassingBlur, it plays the same as far as the lower notes. For my AC, you can use the right bottom tone hole to help play the C# and D# (no need to half hole), and to get the B below the C. The left bottom tone hole will give you the Bb, both tone holes closed give you the A. You can also bend the pitch lower than the A.

Yes, the AC's require some acute bend to get the E or above, such as the F in the max range. But the acute bend isn't very severe. You might not need acute bend at all with the soprano, but I cannot say for sure.

My max range is more piercing and shrill on its upper range, where the ICO isn't shrill. I have found all purple clay ocs to have a more mellow sound, without shrill, in comparison with ceramic ocs. Some people here on TON claim purple clay makes no difference, but I beg to differ with them. :) I think Cris Gale might back me up on this. The purple clays just sound better in my opinion.

Curtis
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PassingBlur
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Pendant Ocarinist
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions (really appreciate the info) Rughead, i look forward to having an ICO ocarina in my collection soon.


Take care.
Edited by PassingBlur, 23 Mar 2015, 03:33 AM.
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minos
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Pendant Ocarinist
I was so looking forward to my new ICO DAC mini, but gotta say that I'm pretty disappointed due to the airiness of everything above high C on the first chamber and it is really prone to squeaking on D and lets not even talk about Eb... (The acute bend does help, but come on, I can't do that while reading sheet music) Then it is quite a leap in breath requirement to stay in tune between the chambers and the breath slope is rather steep on the first chamber.

For me coming from a 12 hole aria and a triple BC ICO this is so different and disrupting that I just have to put it away :(

Does anyone know if they all perform like this? Is it possible to have one made more similar in performance to the triple base C ICO (more even breath control both within the chamber and between the chambers and I wouldn't mind lower breath in general due to my apartment situation).

I guess I'm looking for a double that performs as my triple bass C but weighs a lot less :)
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PappyBadger
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Keeper of Song & Time
Talk to Bill. I have two mini dac's abd they sound amazing. If you're not satisfied he will take care of you.
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Aivearc
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Full Time Browncoat, Whovian, and somebody with a not so shiny but cool Ocarina!
When I heard Imperial City I thought TES: Oblivion. *sigh*
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spoonyspork
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L'il Tooter
Hey guys!

I know I haven't been around here in forever (I have been on the FB group and going to the US festivals though), but figured people here might like to know too :)

In cooperation with Imperial City Ocarina, I'm now offering custom finishes on their ocarinas (or any ocarina not already glazed). I'm keeping a small supply here for custom orders as well as finishing some as inspiration strikes to put up for sale, or if you order through ICO's supply (from the US or China) they can be shipped directly to me for finishing.

I'll be working out more details as we learn how logistics and such will translate from idea to reality, but my little section of the site can be found at http://imperialcityocarina.com/custom-finishes.html
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pandorado100
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Premium Poster
It's good to see your toothy ocarina avatar again, Tina. :)
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Amerred
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Can't play pendants
Hey, since I was looking at the website because of spoony's announcement (awesome to see you still around and even working in the industry a little), I was wondering, although I honestly can't remember: did ICO have a little price hike? I feel like some of their stuff used to be a bit cheaper a year or two ago.
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Breakfast Oreos
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Pendant Ocarinist x 4
I just wanted to share a pic of my new bass C that spoonyspork painted for me. I love it! C:
It sounds lovely too!

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spoonyspork
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L'il Tooter
@ Breakfast Oreos -- Yay! Let me know if that bit of weirdness fixes itself? :)

@ Amerred -- If you're looking at my stuff, it's more expensive than ICO's other offerings because of the finishes (between $10-$20 more depending). Otherwise, I know that prices changed here and there over the years as Bill balanced out price vs overhead stuff, (and I think there was a bit of price change when the standard finish was changed from wax to polyurethane) but not sure about recent changes.
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jordan.1210
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Transverse Ocarinist x 3
Has anyone looked at the ICO website recently? I just checked and it seems to have disappeared...

Are they redoing it? Or is ICO gone?
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Nina
Beginner
jordan.1210
9 Jun 2017, 08:58 AM
Has anyone looked at the ICO website recently? I just checked and it seems to have disappeared...
I placed an order with them a less than a week ago, including communication with Bill, and there was no mention of them shutting down. Probably a glitch somewhere.
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spoonyspork
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L'il Tooter
Bill updated some stuff on the site and it ate the front end XD -- he's working on getting it back in order, hopefully done this weekend!
And, back! :)
Edited by spoonyspork, 9 Jun 2017, 03:05 PM.
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jordan.1210
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Transverse Ocarinist x 3
Ok good XD I was scared for a bit. I thought that's what might have happened
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Daniel
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Double Ocarinist x 3
It's up now :)
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mremic01
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Inline Ocarinist x 5
I just received an order doubles in AG and AF from Bill. They're very impressive. The DAG in particular has a really nice tone and pretty even breath pressure. It's already one of my favorites.
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