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Ray ocarina; Asian ocarina
Topic Started: 8 Dec 2014, 10:21 AM (6,456 Views)
pandorado100
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Premium Poster
I just spotted this gorgeous ocarina on Facebook this morning. The picture was posted by Bambi George, one of my ocarina friends. I'll have to ask him if he knows anything about the maker.


Ray ocarina



It seems to have a very nice sound. Smooth and strong.

http://www.tudou.com/programs/view/ffGW3VofH_Q/

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Edited by pandorado100, 8 Dec 2014, 10:28 AM.
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Mark Chan
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That's Zhou Zi Lei's brand. He's an amazing ocarinist (one of the best). He's Ocarina China on Facebook.
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Bryce
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Multichamber Ocarinist
There's an entire line of Ray Ocarinas, from AF-SSF, including a Triple AC with more triples in the work. They get very high ratings on TaoBao. They're also relatively cheap; I was thinking about picking up a triple.
--
EDIT: Here's the official TaoBao store. I think it's also worth mentioning that the maker used to work for Focalink.
Edited by Bryce, 8 Dec 2014, 11:47 AM.
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Lordwey
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Pendant Ocarinist
His triple just launched, gotten one AG n triple AC from Taobao.

His ocarinas are pretty "rugged" n quite hvy.

Overall pretty pleased with his ocarinas.
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Jubal
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Tree Hugger - Food is your right

Makes sense that he worked for Focalink, I was gonna say it reminded me of a Focalink ocarina.
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Bateleur
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Meh.

Jubal
8 Dec 2014, 03:33 PM
Makes sense that he worked for Focalink, I was gonna say it reminded me of a Focalink ocarina.
I was honestly going to say that they were Focalink ocarinas, lol. It looks like a Focalink Forte single. Their straw firing effect is identical & the body shape seemed like Focalink to me.

Zhou Zi Lei must be on very good terms with Focalink still, as he participated in the Symphony of Fire in Clay. That's thinking that he's been producing his own ocarinas since five years ago, at least, when that happened.
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Onicara
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Play to enjoy
@Bateleur
I think Mr. Zhou Zi Lei and Focalink have gone apart since early 2014.
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pandorado100
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Thanks for all that information on Zhou Zi Lei guys. I'll have to add Ocarina China to my FB friends if I don't already have him listed. I also bookmarked that TaoBao page with Ray ocarinas. I am not crazy about the shape or design of the triple but I like the single chamber ocarinas. I have to agree about their having a rugged look. They are definitely a man's ocarina not something flowery or dainty like Satsuki Yuba's ocarina. LOL


Update: As it turns out, I was already following Ocarina China on FB. I just didn't realize he was an ocarina maker. I also saw a comment on his page from Yifan Zhang (in English) offering to provide information on Mr Lei's ocarinas. I may contact Mr Zhang for further info since he seems to be fluent in English.
Edited by pandorado100, 8 Dec 2014, 08:32 PM.
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Odoc
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Transverse Ocarinist x 3
My ocarina friend, Wook Kim has one Ray triple AC(a gift from Zhou Zi Lei himself). He is a professional ocarina player in Korea.

I did not experience the Ray ocarina yet. But Wook Kim says the Ray TAC is a masterpiece.
Edited by Odoc, 9 Dec 2014, 09:08 AM.
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Mark Chan
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Ohhhh snap! I guess I'll have to get one then! :D

I'm more interested in the single chambers though, since they resemble the Forte singles. I wonder if the Ray ocarinas' breath requirements are the same or similar to Focalink.
Edited by Mark Chan, 9 Dec 2014, 06:22 AM.
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Odoc
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And many thanks to TheZ.. I just ordered the Ray TAC from Taobao. Arrrrgh I have too many TACs :(
Edited by Odoc, 9 Dec 2014, 07:48 AM.
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Bryce
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Multichamber Ocarinist
Odoc
9 Dec 2014, 06:41 AM
And many thanks to TheZ.. I just ordered the Ray TAC from Taobao. Arrrrgh I have too many TACs :(
Haha :evillaugh: You will have to tell us how it is when you get it.
Lordwey
8 Dec 2014, 12:52 PM
His triple just launched, gotten one AG n triple AC from Taobao.
Could you please share the link to the TAG with us?
Edited by Bryce, 9 Dec 2014, 01:26 PM.
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Lordwey
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Pendant Ocarinist
Ops, I meant single chamber AG and Triple AC, sorry for the confusion.

The rest of the range of his triples not out yet.

Some pix of the AG and size comparison with Dinda AG.

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Mark Chan
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Lordwey, can you post some picks of the back of the ocarinas? I'd love to see the triple as well as the AG.
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pandorado100
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Odoc
9 Dec 2014, 06:41 AM
And many thanks to TheZ.. I just ordered the Ray TAC from Taobao. Arrrrgh I have too many TACs :(
ROFL :grin:

It looks like you beat Mark to the punch Jinook. Please let us know what you think of the Ray TAC once you play it. I've listened to several videos featuring Ray ocarinas and I love their sound. I'd also like to know what you think about the ergonomics of the triple. How comfortable is it to hold and cover the finger holes?

I think the triple looks a bit too industrial for my taste. It's very flat and angular. I like a slightly rounded surface because that aids me in locating the finger holes by touch. For some reason, I have trouble feeling the finger holes on a flat surface. I was thinking if I ever get skilled enough to move up to a triple, I would get one of Kuolong Pan's triples because his ocarinas have a rounded shape.
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Mark Chan
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pandorado100
9 Dec 2014, 04:43 PM
I think the triple looks a bit too industrial for my taste. It's very flat and angular. I like a slightly rounded surface because that aids me in locating the finger holes by touch. For some reason, I have trouble feeling the finger holes on a flat surface. I was thinking if I ever get skilled enough to move up to a triple, I would get one of Kuolong Pan's triples because his ocarinas have a rounded shape.
I actually like the flat shape. If the TNG PC triple was like that, it would have easily been my favorite triple.

Jinook, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the Ray triple.
If it's anything like the Focalink Forte Triple, I would place an order on one.
I love those higher breath ocarinas. :)
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pandorado100
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I found this video on Ocarina China's FB page, demonstrating the Ray triple AC. The link will probably not work unless you have a FB account.

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1491653284446534
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Odoc
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Transverse Ocarinist x 3
Of course, I'll make a review on the Ray TAC after its arrival. And I already have two focalink triple forte. Comparing them must be exciting:)
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Lordwey
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Pendant Ocarinist
Mark, here u go......

Ray's oc is quite unique as there is a additional thumb hole for the 2nd chamber. The sub-hole for the 2nd and 3rd chamber is normally not used. If the 2nd chamber holes are fully covered with the sub-hole, it will be the same note as the last note of the 1st chamber.

Ray actually explained the unique features of the triple in his video (if you understand chinese), :).

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Mark Chan
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Thank you! The thumbhole on the second chamber was exactly what I was looking for. :)
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Lordwey
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My pleasure, seriously it is a very good triple and with the price, I think it is one of the most affordable performance grade oc.

In terms of breath, all his ocs are in the high breath requirements.

:)
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Mark Chan
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Lordwey
10 Dec 2014, 04:34 AM
In terms of breath, all his ocs are in the high breath requirements.
That's what I like to hear. Thanks for the info! :)
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Odoc
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Osawa Fingering & Larger breath! That's also what I want.

Dear Lordwey, I have a question. Isn't it heavy to handle? They say that the weight of the Ray TAC is 503g. It's quite heavier than average TACs. For example, the Focalink TAC forte is about 337g and the Focalink TAC forte purple clay is 393g.
Edited by Odoc, 10 Dec 2014, 07:46 AM.
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Lordwey
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Hi Jinook,

Yes, all of Ray's oc walls are actually thicker n overall the weight is not the normal oc weight which u will find in the market.

He already mentioned that the weight is going to be much heavier. I got another TAC of China TJ brand which initially I thought was heavy but this will be heavier. Will post pix on size comparison later.

Having said that, I feel that after playing awhile, I have gotten used to the heavier oc. :)
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Odoc
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Transverse Ocarinist x 3
Thank you for the answer, Lordwey. It was very helpful to me. I hope to get the Ray TAC soon:)
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Bryce
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Multichamber Ocarinist
Lordwey, would you mind explaining the difference between the two 12hole Alto C models to us?
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Lordwey
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Pendant Ocarinist
Hi TheZ,

The cheaper version is for beginner (normal version) while the slightly more expensive (enhanced version) is for advanced and performance player.

According to the explanation, the enhanced version is heavier, the chamber pressure is stronger, the sound and clarity is much louder and clearer. It is for player with experience in wind instruments and experience breath control.In addition, the last 4 high notes will be enhanced as well.

As to how good the normal version vs the enhanced version will be, I would think someone that experience both can tell, personally I don't own them yet.

Attached is the pix comparison between my TJ TAC and Ray's TAC.



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Edited by Lordwey, 10 Dec 2014, 01:39 PM.
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Mark Chan
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Oh wow, I've never seen or heard of TJ ocarina before. Lordwey, can you share some information about them?
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Lordwey
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Mark, actually TJ is my first online oc, it was more a hit or miss oc for me during that time.

TJ stands for 天籁, I think it is a relative small company and to be honest, I did not find much details on this brand. They do have some 6 holes and 12 holes oc and their new TAC design has evolved and attached link is their latest TAC.

http://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm=a230r.1.14.50.ty1Mld&id=41981872354&ns=1&abbucket=12&_u=ao86cqvf843#detail

China got alot of small companies producing oc and the next brand 西子龙韵陶笛, I might try them as they are quite an established brand.

Frankly I never use much multi-chamber oc till recently and my friends were quite impressed with the sound quality of my TJ TAC. Sound wise and chamber balance I find that it performed quite well (maybe I am still learning and can't really tell the difference, hehe).

I frequent taobao and always searching for new oc in there.... :)

Need any help in taobao I am most happy to help.
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Mark Chan
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Thank you for the information, Lordwey. It's always great to discover new (to me) makers. :)

I see a lot of Long Yun ocarinas on eBay; but have never actually tried them. There aren't a lot of information on Chinese ocarinas around here (at least not that I've found).
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Lordwey
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Too numerous Chinese makers and most are not that good.

I got u in my FB, hehe, we can always exchange information.

Marcus Siew here by the way.
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Mark Chan
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Aaah, now I know who you are, lol. Thanks for all the helpful information! :)
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Lordwey
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No problem, glad to help.

Anyway I am excited upon seeing Ray's oc as I just got them and no one mentioned his oc before so I jumped onto this immediately...hahahaha

:)
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Onicara
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Play to enjoy
I just went to the TaoBao site that Lordwey mentioned and searched for triple BC ocarinas, and I found one wooden triple BC ocarina and one wooden quadruple BC ocarina. Interesting :O .
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pandorado100
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Those wooden bass ocs are so lovely. Does anybody own one? I think Odoc should definitely buy one so he can tell us about them. :)

Hind makes a wooden double but I haven't heard if he plans on making a triple someday. Perhaps CKeene might know since he talks to Charlie fairly regularly.
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Odoc
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Transverse Ocarinist x 3
Dear Pandorado100, I hate wooden instruments! I bought a very nice ukulele from Hawaii years ago. But I couldn't manage it well and its surface was cracked. I will never buy wooden instruments again! :(

Of course, most wooden instruments(including ocs) are very nice and durable with appropriate manage. But for lazy people like me, clay ocarina is the best:)
Edited by Odoc, 11 Dec 2014, 02:28 PM.
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Mark Chan
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Some Native American Flutes made of wood are also prone to cracking without proper maintenance. Condensation will totally split the flute in half if you don't take precautionary measures to deal with it. Here's a quote from Laughing Crow:
Quote:
 
As mentioned earlier, wetting up is a natural phenomena. This is why most wind instruments like trumpets, trombones, saxophones, etc. have a "spit valve". Yes, those instruments do get saliva in them, but water condenses inside them as well. Laughing Crow flutes are finished with a polyurethane that prevents the wood from absorbing water. Let me tell you that water and wood can become unhappy companions. If wood is allowed to stay wet, it can and will crack and/or move. This is very undesirable. If your flute never wets up, it may be because the wood is absorbing the water due to the finish not being waterproof. Now, this may be a convenient feature in some respects, but in my opinion, it is hazardous to the instrument. The wood in the flue can swell, thus reducing the clearance and choking off air flow. If this happens, the wood needs time to dry before the flute can become playable again. Also, as mentioned before, if the wood is allowed to absorb water, the wood can crack. I personally prefer to keep the water from soaking into the wood and this is why I coat the airways with finish.
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pandorado100
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I just received my High Spirits NAF in A minor yesterday. I sure hope it's not going to split and crack from my playing it. I remember reading a post from Jade where she recommended breaking in a wooden ocarina by playing it for only a few minutes a day in gradually increasing time increments to prevent any problems until the instrument becomes seasoned. She also recommended using almond oil to treat the wood occastionally.

I suppose her advice for Woodsound ocs would apply to NAFs too? Any opinions or advice from you folks on this?
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Ikaruka
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Double Ocarinist
It seems you guys took notice of the Ray ocarina.

I would try to reply to all you questions about this brand, but there are too many.

However some quick answers; Zhou Zi Lei and Focalink do not work together anymore.
They split up a while ago. So don't confuse the two.
Ray ocarina is a different company.

About the breath requirements, well seeing as they are Zhou Zi Lei's ocarinas, if they
are made in his style they should be high pressure. I have a special Zhou Zi Lei AG Triple
made by Focalink with a silver mouth piece. and it is very high pressure. While I always
prefer high pressure ocarinas I am not sure about most of the ocarina players.
By the way this a picture of my Focalink AG Triple, the one with the Silver mouth piece.
The Ray ocarina are in the same style as my Zhou Zi Lei AG Triple by Focalink.
And before you ask, no you can not buy it anymore. It was made when they still worked
together. So they're out of production now.
Spoiler: click to toggle


Now like the Zhou Zi Lei AG Focalink Triple I own there are indeed a few changes to the
fingering. They have the same Osawa style thumbhole on the second chamber, Also they
have an extra subhole on the last chamber. It's there to give you more options to play flats
and sharps.
Also when for example the TAC, when you close all the holes on the second chamber you
get D rather then Eb. On the TAG you get A rather then B flat. On the TAF that would mean
you get G rather then A flat.

About the wouden ocarinas on that website. I've tested them when I was invited to play at
the festival in China. The company was there. I like them, but honestly for me they were too
low pressure, and I am not a fan of wouden ocarinas. They tend to close when the windpipe
gets moist. Which can happen if you play for a long time.
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Pat Anderson
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Triple Ocarinist x 2
pandorado100
12 Dec 2014, 10:09 AM
I just received my High Spirits NAF in A minor yesterday. I sure hope it's not going to split and crack from my playing it. I remember reading a post from Jade where she recommended breaking in a wooden ocarina by playing it for only a few minutes a day in gradually increasing time increments to prevent any problems until the instrument becomes seasoned. She also recommended using almond oil to treat the wood occastionally.

I suppose her advice for Woodsound ocs would apply to NAFs too? Any opinions or advice from you folks on this?
You don't have to worry about your High Spirits NAF cracking or breaking or needing to break it in...that is proably true with unsealed NAFs (my Victor Fluteman NAFs for example are not sealed). The High Spirits flutes are well sealed, just look at the finish, that is inside and out to seal against the effects of moisture. Play away without fear!
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pandorado100
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Thank you for the helpful information, Pat and Tom

If the Ray ocarinas are very high breath then they are definitely not for me. That's too bad because I like their clean, non frilly design.

I am also glad to hear I can play my High Spirit NAF without worrying about potential splitting or cracking.

I've been tootling away on the NAF, just getting a feel of what kind of breath it needs. So far, it's just right. Not too high breath and it doesn't squeak that much on the low notes. I can easily correct any squeaks with a quick breath adjustment. It sounds so beautifully mellow. I can see why many people love them so.
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Mark Chan
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pandorado100
12 Dec 2014, 09:35 PM
I've been tootling away on the NAF, just getting a feel of what kind of breath it needs. So far, it's just right. Not too high breath and it doesn't squeak that much on the low notes. I can easily correct any squeaks with a quick breath adjustment. It sounds so beautifully mellow. I can see why many people love them so.
Make sure you're covering the holes all the way. Just like ocarina; that's important.

I'm happy to hear that the Ray ocarinas are high breath. :)
Edited by Mark Chan, 12 Dec 2014, 09:43 PM.
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Jack Campin
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Opener of Catfood Tins

Sealing is generally regarded as a very bad idea in the woodwind instrument world.

Usually you deal with moisture by oiling, which makes the whole mass of the instrument water-repellent. Sealing can never be 100% uniform, and once moisture gets in through a break in the surface, the wood will start to swell at that point - i.e. unevenly, and leading to a greater risk of splitting than if you did nothing.

For recorders, the only ones ever to be sealed were the cheapest and crappiest mass-produced ones of more than a generation ago.

Quote:
 
most wind instruments like trumpets, trombones, saxophones, etc. have a "spit valve".

Saxophones don't. In a warm room, I can play mine indefinitely without moisture accumulating enough to be a nuisance. The bore and pads get a bit damp, that's all.
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Ocarina101
Double Ocarinist x 3
I am definitely going to be ordering an SG, Strong blow AC, and a TAC from him. they sound so flipping good and that price just can't be beat...I could buy all three of these and still pay less than alot of triples out there. and that Triple AG I can't wait for *drools*
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Mark Chan
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I had plans of buying them all in one go; but I went through what I already have and assessed what I really needed. It ultimately cut down to just 3 ocarinas. AF, Strong Blow AC, and Triple AC.

My Ray ocarinas have all arrived at the forwarder's warehouse; but I bought some CD's from two other shops, so I'm waiting for them to arrive so I can consolidate shipping.

Once I get my initial batch of Ray ocarinas, I'll assess if I really want to buy the rest.
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