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Stonehenge Ocarina; US ocarina maker
Topic Started: 25 Dec 2013, 04:51 AM (5,201 Views)
pandorado100
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While browsing eBay I spotted some ocarinas by a maker I'm not familiar with--Stonehenge Ocarina. Anybody here familiar with them?

I think he mostly sells pendants and sweet potato Zelda replicas at Renaissance fairs so I'm not sure of their quality but he has some nice looking glazes. It's all very rustic looking.

Stonehenge Ocarina

Facebook page

eBay ocarinas for sale

Update: His name is Alex Betsill and he's based in Lindsay, Oklahoma. He says he's been making ocarinas for someone else for the last 7 years but recently decided to form his own business. His goal is to eventually make a fully chromatic concert tuned 12 hole ocarina, capable of playing in symphony orchestras, according to his Kickstarter page.


Stonehenge Kickstarter


I think I'll invite him to sign up on TON as a maker. It will be great exposure and introduce him to the community.
Edited by pandorado100, 25 Dec 2013, 02:17 PM.
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Wollemi Pine
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Triple-Double Ocarinist

I'd buy one if they made the ocarinas out of the actual Stonehenge stone. :)
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Jack Campin
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Opener of Catfood Tins

I wonder who the "someone else" was?

The glazes look nice but otherwise they don't look like a quality product and they don't suggest that all he needs is some cash from Kickstarter to match what Pacchioni, Menaglio and Kuolong make.
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Stonehenge Alex
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Just to add to the conversation as I am the one being discussed. Thank you Pandorado 100 for the recommendation to join this group. I do live in Lindsay, OK but most of business is done at Renaissance Festivals and Comic Cons. I am currently selling at Scarborough Renaissance Festival and the Arizona Renaissance Festival. I used to work for John Coiner Pottery as the main Ocarina maker where I have made and sold over 15,000 ocarinas. That is who the "someone else" is.
I am unsure as to whether I will continue to use this site as the reception so far doesn't seem constructive or hospitable. As Jack seems to be very judgmental as to quality and expertise without owning or playing one of my ocarinas. The are all tuned to A 440 spot on. I will literally stand ON my work. They have some of the best sound out of an ocarina I have played (and that's not just tooting my own horn I own STL, songbird, ocarinas and others). I am a musician, and I play over 20 different instruments. I know quality when I play it, and I was taught to never make crap. My operation recently went from a 8000 sq ft professional pottery studio to a converted laundry room with homemade equipment (which I designed and built). I am very proud of my work and very proud to have sold so many to fans of the Zelda game.
www.stonehengeocarina.com
www.facebook.com/StonehengeDesigns
Edited by Stonehenge Alex, 25 Dec 2013, 04:21 PM.
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pandorado100
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Welcome to TON Alex

Please don't judge the rest of us by Jack's remarks. He is a very knowledgeable man and experienced musician but diplomacy has never been his watchword. <nudge to Jack>

You should stick around if you have time. We have other ocarina makers that visit here such as Casper, Johann Rotter, Kuolong Pan, Charlie Hind, Giorgio Cataldi, Geotjakra and others who I hope will forgive me if I forget to mention their names.

This is a great place to post updates on your work and pictures of your latest ocarinas. TON is perhaps the largest and most active ocarina forum on the Internet. We love to hear about new makers and to discuss the pros and cons of ocarinas. We are also generally very supportive. I hope you will give us the chance to show you that.
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Jubal
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Tree Hugger - Food is your right

Your ocarinas look great to me. The only reason Jack said those things is because they're pendants and he doesn't like those. If they were transverse he probably would've stopped at the nice glaze comment. But Jack is very knowledgeable so don't discount everything he says.

Since you want to make a transverse, I look forward to seeing that as well. I love your glazes.
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Jack Campin
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Opener of Catfood Tins

Quote:
 
The only reason Jack said those things is because they're pendants

No it wasn't. They're crude and lumpy, not much better than Daniel's. I have a Langley pendant and I know what a well-finished one looks like.

There are several makers on this forum who've made a lot less than 15,000 ocarinas and got a far better finished product. And they're not asking for Kickstarter cash.
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pandorado100
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YOU have a Langley pendant, Jack? I'm surprised you haven't chucked it out or turned it into a cat toy. :)
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Harp Player
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Welcome to TON Stonehenge.

I don't know anything about the pendants so I won't pass any kind of judgment on your work, and I wouldn't do that to any ocarina without actually playing it. As for jack I just try to ignore him like I do any bully.
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Amerred
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Can't play pendants
I have seen your products on eBay as well, and they seem... nice, to say the least.

I agree that the glazes are good (I like the pistachio one myself). I see nothing wrong with pendants myself, even though I own few and happen to prefer other styles (particularly transverse). Honestly, they look fine, and you seem to have the experience and personality to make fine pieces. I will admit, they're not like the makers mentioned above, but comparing you to makers of world renown is simply unfair. Besides, their shape in general shouldn't affect their sound, and it seems that you make them in such a fashion on purpose. Tell me, do you use a mold, or do you make pendants by hand (as they're simple enough to not need a mold)?

And I apologize about the initial impression which you received. Most of the people here are kind and welcoming, but... there do happen to be some members who prefer to do away with such a facade and bluntly deliver their opinions (case in point). Well, I hope you stay with us, and I look forward to seeing your future work.
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pandorado100
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If you check out Alex's Stonehenge Kickstarter page, you will find a video that shows how he makes his ocarinas. He uses a ram press mold. The interesting thing is that Alex made all his own equipment from scratch. Since he is just starting out as an independent ocarina maker, he didn't have the resources of a fully equipped ocarina studio so he had to make do with what he could build.

It's all very easy to criticize and say that his ocarinas don't look the same as Casper's or Pacchioni's but they have been in the business for a long time. I am sure when they started out, they must have gone through some rough times while they were perfecting their craft. Nobody becomes a great ocarina maker overnight.
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TheYusumi
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Double Ocarinist x 2
They look and sound rather nice to me :)
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Ocarinadiva
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Play what makes you happy. - Achint

It looks like Stonehenge Ocarina has picked up where Dragon Ocarinas left off, unless Scarborough Fair has two ocarina makers now. But usually a Renaissance Festival will only have one ocarina maker. It's been a few years since I've contacted Fred, so perhaps he's retired from ocarina making, or maybe he just doesn't come down to TX anymore.
Edited by Ocarinadiva, 26 Dec 2013, 09:19 PM.
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Samuel
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Double Ocarinist
Are there any better sound samples than the phone one? The lower notes sound quite nice even through the bad quality, but the high ones...

I think the triforce design could be made a bit cleaner.
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gytech
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The opinionated quiet guy.

Welcome to the forum man! I guess I lost the race to become the first ocarina maker from Oklahoma! Oh well! :3

I hope your prototypes for your 12 hole Ocarinas come out smooth! :D

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pandorado100
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Since Stonehenge is a new maker and relatively unknown to us on TON, I took the plunge and ordered one. I'm pleased with it. The glaze is very pretty and the ocarina appears well made. Not at all lumpy or misshapen. The voicing hole looks a little rough but I've seen pictures of Poltergeist's Menaglio on his FB page that has a similar appearance with the voicing.

It is tuned to A 440 and goes from A, B, C#, D, E, F#, G#, A, B, C# following the A major scale. The only note that gave me trouble was the E. Sometimes I would get F natural but when I adjusted my breath I could get the E. I would characterize the range as alto and the sound quality textured, not pure like Asian style pendants. It's very easy to play and has a nice, mellow sound.

I made a recording of the Stonehenge ocarina and took some pictures along with my Tenrai pendant which is a soprano A. Since I am not a terrific player, I also made a recording of the same song using a Pacchioni G2 ocarina and the Tenrai. Both are well known ocarinas made by established makers. That way it gives you folks a fair comparision allowing for my (lack of) skill. :)


Pacchioni G2


Stonehenge


Tenrai
Attached to this post:
Attachments: Stonehenge_back__1_.jpg (51.39 KB)
Attachments: Stonehenge_back__3_.jpg (43.92 KB)
Attachments: Stonehenge_front.jpg (48.52 KB)
Attachments: Stonehenge_windway.jpg (35.86 KB)
Edited by pandorado100, 29 Dec 2013, 04:28 PM.
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Ezuri
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Enthusiast & Failed Creator
Honestly I preferred the Stonehenge recording over the Pacchioni.
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Mark Chan
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I get so excited whenever I find a maker who makes pendants tuned in A!! I think I'll buy one! :)
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Jubal
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Tree Hugger - Food is your right

Oh wow that's not a bad sounding or looking ocarina at all. Well done Alex and Jeanne!
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Mark Chan
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I just bought the Wildfire one! I love that bright orange! :)
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pandorado100
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@ Mark

Cool! I hope you like yours as much as I do mine. It shouldn't take too long to arrive. I put in my order on 12/26 and it was in my mailbox by 12/28.
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Mark Chan
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I hope so too! I'm so eager, that I'll make a video on the day I receive it! :D
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Jubal
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Tree Hugger - Food is your right

Jeanne, how did you manage to get the sweet potato shaped one without a triforce? I only see them with the triforce on the website and ebay page. Also I wonder if the regular pendants have the same Low A tuning?
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Intense
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Bartholomew Kittensworth
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=1443311059214965 video sounds pretty amazing to me. Well done.

EDIT: I just saw the eBay auctions on these things and they go for about 20 bucks. Seriously? That's a steal. I'll be picking up one of these myself and I don't even like 12 hole ocarinas (much less 6). I much prefer multi chambered ocarinas but these little things sound great. They would be a perfect gift to a beginner to get them interested in playing the ocarina, and they sound a hell of a lot better than the songbird zelda 4 hole ocarinas, which cost over twice as much.
Edited by Intense, 29 Dec 2013, 09:27 PM.
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pandorado100
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Jubal
29 Dec 2013, 08:40 PM
Jeanne, how did you manage to get the sweet potato shaped one without a triforce? I only see them with the triforce on the website and ebay page. Also I wonder if the regular pendants have the same Low A tuning?
@ Jubal

I don't know, I just put in the order on the one that had the glaze I liked. It was a complete package with neck chain, fabric pouch and songbook. I'm sure if you contacted Alex, he could make one without the triforce for you. Leave him a message on his FB page or on eBay.


@ Mark

That would be great if you made a video with the Stonehenge. :)

@ Intense

That's what I like about you, Intense. Even though you own a Maparam triple, you are willing to give a $20 pendant a place in your collection. You let your ears be the judge, not blind prejudice. C:
Edited by pandorado100, 30 Dec 2013, 12:28 AM.
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Intense
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Bartholomew Kittensworth
pandorado100
29 Dec 2013, 10:34 PM
Jubal
29 Dec 2013, 08:40 PM
Jeanne, how did you manage to get the sweet potato shaped one without a triforce? I only see them with the triforce on the website and ebay page. Also I wonder if the regular pendants have the same Low A tuning?
@ Jubal

I don't know, I just put in the order on the one that had the glaze I liked. It was a complete package with neck chain, fabric pouch and songbook. I'm sure if you contacted Alex, he could make one without the triforce for you. Leave him a message on his FB page or on eBay.


@ Mark

That would be great if you made a video with the Stonehenge. :)

@ Intense

That's what I like about you, Intense. Even though you own a Maparam triple, you are willing to give a $20 pendant a place in your collection. You let your ears be the judge, not blind prejudice. C:
I'm actually going to buy at least 3. One for me, one for my wife, and one as a late christmas present for a friend. They really are the best sounding 4/6 hole ocarinas I've ever heard. That video was a great recording, unspoiled by a ton of reverb (sorry Pacchioni, but I just can't stand how much reverb is in those videos).

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LittleMarin
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Marin Musica
I think they look nice... I'd love to hear some sound samples if you have any available...
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Intense
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Bartholomew Kittensworth
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=1443311059214965 watch that video.
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pandorado100
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LittleMarin
30 Dec 2013, 03:55 AM
I think they look nice... I'd love to hear some sound samples if you have any available...
Read Post #16 in this thread. I uploaded sound samples of the Stonehenge ocarina compared to my Pacchioni G2 and Tenrai pendant. Click on the words Pacchioni, Stonehenge and Tenrai. They are links to my DropBox files.
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LittleMarin
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Marin Musica
Intense
30 Dec 2013, 04:54 AM
Ah, thanks! :D
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SewedCodeMode
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Music gives my days light and my heart, peace.
I'm planning to order one of these next week. I have my eye on the Obsidian...very pretty. :)
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Amerred
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Can't play pendants
Does anyone know if he's planning to come back, or has he been thoroughly scared off?
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SewedCodeMode
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Music gives my days light and my heart, peace.
I bought the one in Black Obsidian this morning. I'll let y'all know what I think, can't wait! ^.^
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Mark Chan
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I just got mine today. I love it! Like Alex says; The tuning is spot on! The wildfire glaze is just gorgeous! As Jack pointed out; they are kinda lumpy. But if you look past that; it's a fantastic instrument. The sound is quite textured; and the ergonomics are great. Unlike the Songbird OoT pendant; the mouthpiece on Stonehenge is in the middle rather than on the side. It plays like the Seedpods. If you need an ocarina in A, this is the one to get. I recommend it over Tenrai.

Edit: I'll add that the highest note needs the acute bend. At least for me, it does.
Edited by Mark Chan, 4 Jan 2014, 01:19 AM.
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GansoChico
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The Ancient One
Mark Chan
4 Jan 2014, 01:07 AM
I just got mine today. I love it! Like Alex says; The tuning is spot on! The wildfire glaze is just gorgeous! As Jack pointed out; they are kinda lumpy. But if you look past that; it's a fantastic instrument. The sound is quite textured; and the ergonomics are great. Unlike the Songbird OoT pendant; the mouthpiece on Stonehenge is in the middle rather than on the side. It plays like the Seedpods. If you need an ocarina in A, this is the one to get. I recommend it over Tenrai.

Edit: I'll add that the highest note needs the acute bend. At least for me, it does.
Could you post a sound sample?
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Intense
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Bartholomew Kittensworth
Someone should contact him and ask him to come back.

Also, does anyone know if he makes ocarinas without the triforce on them? I'd much prefer it that way. I kind of feel like the "zelda" ocarina takes away from it being a professional instrument. Zelda ocarinas definitely have a place, don't get me wrong - I personally just don't prefer them.
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Mark Chan
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GansoChico
4 Jan 2014, 01:21 AM
Could you post a sound sample?
I can; but Jeanne already posted one here. I planned on making a video tonight; but I have some unexpected visitors. Earliest would be Sunday night.
Intense
4 Jan 2014, 02:24 AM
Also, does anyone know if he makes ocarinas without the triforce on them? I'd much prefer it that way. I kind of feel like the "zelda" ocarina takes away from it being a professional instrument. Zelda ocarinas definitely have a place, don't get me wrong - I personally just don't prefer them.
Jeanne's Stonehenge doesn't have the Triforce.
Edited by Mark Chan, 4 Jan 2014, 02:33 AM.
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Mark Chan
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Actually, I take back what I said about the tuning being spot on. I didn't use a tuner when I played the scale, so I just assumed it to be A. To play in A, the breath requirement is excruciatingly low. Mine is actually in Bb even though the description says tuned in A. It's cool that I have a pendant in Bb now; but it's not what I was expecting to get.
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pandorado100
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I can't wait for your video with the Stonehenge, Mark. You're a much better player than I am so you will do it justice. I did the best I could with my current skills.

I think my sound samples are a good example of how it sounds compared to better known ocarinas. I did not use reverb or any other sound modification when recording them so what you hear is what you would hear in real live playing.

My Stonehenge plays the low A just fine. The only note I found problematic was middle E. Sometimes I would get F natural when playing it so I had to experiment with my breath and angle of blowing to get it to sound in tune.

@ Intense

I think I saw a post from Alex on FB saying that he was at a convention selling his ocarinas and that was why there was a delay in shipping some of his orders.
Edited by pandorado100, 6 Jan 2014, 04:52 AM.
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fireash
Pendant Ocarinist
You guys got me all excited about this ocarina I decided it shall be my first one. :) I am not sure what it is tuned to though. It says all ocarinas are tuned to C on his website but he also mentions tuned to A 440 in this thread and on the ebay listing. I don't know enough about them to know if it means the same thing or something different. I specified no triforce on mine which he happily complied. I can't wait to get it. The glazes look nice and they sound really nice.
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GansoChico
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The Ancient One
fireash
6 Jan 2014, 11:14 PM
You guys got me all excited about this ocarina I decided it shall be my first one. :) I am not sure what it is tuned to though. It says all ocarinas are tuned to C on his website but he also mentions tuned to A 440 in this thread and on the ebay listing. I don't know enough about them to know if it means the same thing or something different. I specified no triforce on mine which he happily complied. I can't wait to get it. The glazes look nice and they sound really nice.
Being in A440 means that the A note vibrates at 440 hz. It also means it is concert pitch tuned so you can play Long with other instruments.
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pandorado100
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When I cover all the holes on my Stonehenge pendant, I get a low A. If I give it a lot of breath, then I can get Bb but there's no way I get a middle C.

It would be interesting to hear from other people here how their Stonehenge ocs are tuned.
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fireash
Pendant Ocarinist
Thanks GansoChico for clarifying. It just shipped out today. Once I get it I will try to see what mine is tuned to. I am not really picky over all but hope it sounds similar to the sound samples I have heard. I am not a fan of the sopranos high notes and this one sounds maybe like an Alto?
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pandorado100
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Definitely an alto. It has a really mellow, textured sound. Not shrill at all, even on the top notes.
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Harp Player
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Triple Ocarinist
I was wondering if Stonehenge Ocarinas will be back on TON or if the bully chased him off? I am not interested in playing a pendent but I am always glad to see a new maker join the community.
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