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Songbird's Focalink ocarinas
Topic Started: 13 Feb 2016, 01:19 AM (1,749 Views)
Desmønd
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Find me at southeast anime cons
The Focalink ocarinas sold by Songbird do not have the stein stamp, is there any other difference other than being stampless?
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The-Zesty-1
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Well the Songbird ocarinas have Japanese subholes while the ones on the Stein site have Taiwanese style subholes.
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OcSlader
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In Need of Unlimited Funds
Also, there is no hole for a neckstrap on the Focabirds when compared to those sold directly by Focalink Stein.
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Desmønd
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Find me at southeast anime cons
The-Zesty-1
13 Feb 2016, 01:29 AM
Well the Songbird ocarinas have Japanese subholes while the ones on the Stein site have Taiwanese style subholes.
The triples are the same. Hm.
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kissing
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tyrannical dictator

They're the same yo, I have handled both the Focalink and Songbird-Focalink double and triple ocarinas. There is no difference, probably come out of the exact same factory
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The-Zesty-1
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Except for the physical differences we mentioned above. Just compare the pictures of the same ocarina models on the Songbird and Focalink site and you'll see the differences we pointed out.
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pandorado100
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Does anybody know offhand, how many of the Songbird Ocarinas are made by Focalink? The ones that look identical to the ones on the Focalink/Stein are easy to tell but there are some that I have heard are actually made by Focalink but are not featured on their own website such as the plastic Kokiri model 7 hole OOT and the Baby Dragontooth.

What ocarinas are actually made by Songbird themselves? I'm guessing the Star Key, the Dragontooth, The Muse, the Dove, their round pendants and small LOZ sweet potato ocarinas.
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Mark Chan
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pandorado100
15 Feb 2016, 11:16 PM
The ones that look identical to the ones on the Focalink/Stein are easy to tell but there are some that I have heard are actually made by Focalink but are not featured on their own website such as the plastic Kokiri model 7 hole OOT and the Baby Dragontooth.
Baby Dragontooth is actually one of Focalink's many pendant designs. Like the transverse ocarinas, Songbird just renamed it. It has nothing to do with the Dragontooth.

The so called "Seedpod" is also a Focalink design. Songbird just renamed it. In China, it's known simply as 6-hole ocarina.
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pandorado100
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Mark Chan
15 Feb 2016, 11:34 PM
pandorado100
15 Feb 2016, 11:16 PM
The ones that look identical to the ones on the Focalink/Stein are easy to tell but there are some that I have heard are actually made by Focalink but are not featured on their own website such as the plastic Kokiri model 7 hole OOT and the Baby Dragontooth.
Baby Dragontooth is actually one of Focalink's many pendant designs. Like the transverse ocarinas, Songbird just renamed it. It has nothing to do with the Dragontooth.

The so called "Seedpod" is also a Focalink design. Songbird just renamed it. In China, it's known simply as 6-hole ocarina.


So you are saying this round pendant with a gemstone in the middle is not made by Songbird but is made by Focalink? I knew the Seedpod pendants are Focalink because they look exactly like the ones on the Stein website. I've also seen the Spearhead pendant and the Scarab pendant on the Stein website. It seems like Focalink makes most of Songbird's ocarinas then.

Posted Image
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Attachments: SongbirdPendant.png (63.91 KB)
Edited by pandorado100, 16 Feb 2016, 01:25 AM.
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The-Zesty-1
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That's.....kind of an interesting point. Like you said pandorado, Songbird seems (in current production) to only make the Star Key, Dragontooth, Muse, round pendants, and Zelda ocarinas themselves. They don't have their own set of transverse ocarinas (from Soprano C to Bass C/G/Contrabass) like most makers do, but just seem to make a menagerie of different types of oc's, focusing primarily on sculptural designs.

I wonder if they'd ever consider making their own line of regular transverse ocarinas.
Edited by The-Zesty-1, 16 Feb 2016, 01:38 AM.
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TheZ
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Multichamber Ocarinist
pandorado100
16 Feb 2016, 01:19 AM
So you are saying this round pendant with a gemstone in the middle is not made by Songbird but is made by Focalink? I knew the Seedpod pendants are Focalink because they look exactly like the ones on the Stein website. I've also seen the Spearhead pendant and the Scarab pendant on the Stein website. It seems like Focalink makes most of Songbird's ocarinas then.

Posted Image
The 2nd (current) generation of these are made by Focalink.
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Mark Chan
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pandorado100
16 Feb 2016, 01:19 AM
So you are saying this round pendant with a gemstone in the middle is not made by Songbird but is made by Focalink?
I said nothing about the Gemstone pendants. Not sure how you interpreted it that way.
Anyways, besides the Zelda themed, Gemstone, Kokopelli (and the rest of those similarly shaped ones), all of the pendants that Songbird sells are made by Focalink.
Edited by Mark Chan, 16 Feb 2016, 04:50 AM.
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pandorado100
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I find it interesting because there is a certain maker on FB who has been urging people to buy "American made" ocarinas and avoid buying inferior ones that are sold by companies that import them from Taiwan. He points his finger at STL as being the chief offender and then lists Songbird as being a seller of 100% made in America ocarinas like his.

Here is what he said on his page.
_________________________________________________________________
Just saw that STL Ocarinas will be at Anime Matsuri in Houston. I have been at other shows where they were at before, but it makes my skin crawl ever time I see someone that purchased their ocarinas. They are a straight up importer. They do not make what they sell, everything they sell comes from Taiwan. You can buy the exact same ocarina they sell at the con at $80 online from many sources for $12 - $15. They also paid Wizard World Comic Cons a fee to prevent me (an artist based in Texas) from selling my ocarinas at the Wizard World Cons. They are the exact thing that is wrong with this country. They import inferior items to sell at inflated prices and actively seek to opress any local hand made competition through buyouts. Please buy your ocarinas from any of the makers below before you buy from STL.
Me- www.etsy.com/shop/stonehengedesigns
Songbird - www.songbirdocarina.com
Fred - www.dragonocarinas.com
www.mountainocarinas.com
www.hindocarina.com
SUPPORT A LOCAL ARTIST, NOT AN IMPORTER !!!!
___________________________________________________________

I have one of his transverse ocarinas and he is not in the same league as Charlie Hind. In fact, I think the OOC is better than his transverse. I would rather buy an "inferior" Taiwanese ocarina than his craptastic ocarina. His pendants aren't so bad though. They are passable.
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kissing
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tyrannical dictator

The world truly is lost without the knowledge of TON
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Jack Campin
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The Stonehenge guy posted here for a while. Nasty piece of work.
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pandorado100
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Jack Campin
16 Feb 2016, 03:42 PM
The Stonehenge guy posted here for a while. Nasty piece of work.
He is not willing to listen to helpful feedback that is for sure. I tried to tell him that the subholes on his transverse simply don't work. It makes no difference whether you cover them or not. He told me that he wasn't interested in my opinion and that the only persoon he regards as knowing anything about ocarinas is Chen Ching whose work he highly repects. I wonder what Chen Ching would think of his ocarina? You can tell that Alex has no clue about designing transverses. Take a look at the finger hole arrangement on the right hand. It is so poorly placed you would have to curve your right index finger around the mouthpiece when you play which would throw off your finger alignment with the rest of the holes.

Spoiler: click to toggle


Here is a sound recording I made of the Stonehenge transverse.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/c218h7ydymd3eso/MysteriousCrapOcarina.wav?dl=0


And just in case everybody thinks I am a truly wretched player, here is the same song played on the Rotter Zfans. I admit I am not the best player but it makes a huge difference when you are playing an ocarina that is really good versus one that has horrible tuning.

And yes, I know that you don't think subhole notes are worth it, Jack but at least they work on the Zfans. :)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/scvgo25de3kdome/Castletest_RotterZfans.wav?dl=0
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Edited by pandorado100, 16 Feb 2016, 04:21 PM.
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Jackarh
Pendant Ocarinist x 2
Hi. is better , for your esperience, a songbird ocarina or docalink stein?I know that the songbird sotre seel som Focalin's ocarinas but im very indecise between Focalink stein double Ac (new relese) and sweet potato double ac...
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Stonehenge Alex
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I will start by saying it is never my intention to sell an ocarina that is substandard . The reason I started making ocarinas at Ren Fest was because the ones we were selling were woefully out of tune. The statement has been repeated that I only played transverse twice, while true at the time for the 12 hole ocarina I did make and play open hole flutes for 5years before I made ocarinas. My brain and fingers were trained on the flute and therefore trying to learn the transverse was more difficultthan the 6 hole for me. Also after making hundreds of transverse flutes I was tuning to what I knew. This admittedly cause tuning to be off what it should have been on the 12 hole. I have listened to criticism. I have changed the way I make the 12 hole and have gotten the tuning to a Bb or A 440 and have marked each for the customer to know which they are getting. I also change the position of my hole pattern to make it more comfortable to play after input from customers. I have made my Zelda replicas in the key of G and so far they seem to be well liked especially as my price is half of others.
I am a single maker, not a huge importer. I don't have a hundred cheap labourers in Taiwan to make thousands of ocarinas to then sort through and find the good ones and discard the rest. I hand make each one in Texas out of my house as a labor of love, not money. My goal is and has always been to keep improving and making a better and better ocarina. My customers are my main focus and any customer that has contacted me with a complaint has received a refund and/or a replacement immediately. Those of you that criticize from on high without contacting me directly I have ignored as mean spirited people who just like to poke holes in others to seem important to themselves.
My ocarinas have improved, and will continue to improve in "lumpiness", design, color, and quality. I have many thousands of loyal customers. I take suggestions and actual constructive criticism to heart. Mean spirited, or criticism that isn't constructive I have ignored and not responded to. The reason I haven't posted on this forum recently or often is I feel that even though there have been a few truly supportive people, for the most part this forum seems to be those that consider only perfection and anything beneath that standard is beneath them. They don't offer actual help to someone truly trying and wanting to make a good instrument at a good price without importing. No one creates a perfect object on their first try. I am and will continue to attempt to make a good instrument. Anyone that has been dissatisfied with anything I have sold them, if they actually return to me at a con or Ren Faire and voice their concern has received a refund or replacement for free, including shipping at my cost, without even having to return the original if they don't want to. I don't know any other company that does that. If I was simply in it for the money I wouldn't do that.
Maybe instead of being a "nasty piece of work" yourself, you could understand that there is an actual human being trying to properly learn the craft and offer a true instrument at a good price. I will continue to improve my methods, tuning, and design despite the vitriol from haters and be grateful for my customers that love what I do.
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pandorado100
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Jackarh
23 Feb 2016, 05:19 PM
Hi. is better , for your esperience, a songbird ocarina or docalink stein?I know that the songbird sotre seel som Focalin's ocarinas but im very indecise between Focalink stein double Ac (new relese) and sweet potato double ac...
Sorry for the late response to your post. To answer your question, most of the ocarinas that Songbird sells except for a few models are made for them by Focalink/Stein. The big difference between the Songbird vs the ones that Focalink/Stein sells on their own website are that Songbird ocarinas have Japanese subholes and they don't usually have a hole for a neckstrap. The Focalink/Stein ocarinas have Taiwanese subholes and they usually have a neckstrap hole.

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Aon Riley
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Beginner
Speaking of Songbird/Focalink, I've been looking around but I've yet to find a clear answer: do they or any other companies make low volume double ocarinas? I would start a new topic for this but I've yet to make five posts :/
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Daniel
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Double Ocarinist x 2
Try imperial city ocarina for custom low breath doubles.
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avenger
Beginner
I'm new to ocarina's, although I have some music background on trumpet. I have a Focalink Alto C Allegro Strawfire I bought from Songbird. I've been playing it for a month now, and am picking it up pretty quick. But, I'm noticing when I try to play tabs with other people in Youtube videos, my notes sound different even though I'm using the same fingerings. Tabs are the same way. I can listen to a song, and play tabs written for that song, and it sounds like it's in a different key or something.

I thought it was maybe because I'm new to the instrument, but I'm starting to wonder if it's something else. Even playing a scale can be off. I was playing along with a beginner's tutorial David Ramos set up on Youtube, and our notes did not sound the same. But, just playing the scale on my own it does sound like a proper scale. But along with others, mine doesn't seem to put out the same notes. Sometimes I have to go like a fingering up to make the same note they're playing.

Any ideas? What am I missing here?

Thanks!
Edited by avenger, 30 Oct 2016, 07:15 AM.
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Daniel
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Double Ocarinist x 2
Every ocarinist should own a tuner. With that and a fingering chart for your ocarina, play all the notes on the instrument, adjusting your breath pressure to get the right notes. You generally have to blow harder as you go up the scale. It's doubtful that your instrument is off, as Focalinks are consistently good instruments.
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vints22
Pendant Ocarinist
avenger
30 Oct 2016, 07:13 AM
I'm new to ocarina's, although I have some music background on trumpet. I have a Focalink Alto C Allegro Strawfire I bought from Songbird. I've been playing it for a month now, and am picking it up pretty quick. But, I'm noticing when I try to play tabs with other people in Youtube videos, my notes sound different even though I'm using the same fingerings. Tabs are the same way. I can listen to a song, and play tabs written for that song, and it sounds like it's in a different key or something.

I thought it was maybe because I'm new to the instrument, but I'm starting to wonder if it's something else. Even playing a scale can be off. I was playing along with a beginner's tutorial David Ramos set up on Youtube, and our notes did not sound the same. But, just playing the scale on my own it does sound like a proper scale. But along with others, mine doesn't seem to put out the same notes. Sometimes I have to go like a fingering up to make the same note they're playing.

Any ideas? What am I missing here?

Thanks!
im new too but as Daniel said you need a tuner (for harmonica) or free APTUNER for computer, i dont remember where i got it. and if you play a focalink and the youtuber play some other brand oc it may not sound the same.

Edit- this is where i found the free tuner https://pureocarinas.com/playing-techniques/learning-to-play/playing-in-tune-and-managing-the-breath-curve
Edited by vints22, 30 Oct 2016, 08:10 PM.
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avenger
Beginner
Thanks for the replies. I've ordered up a tuner from Amazon, and we'll see what that can tell me!
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Kitten Forest
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Double Ocarinist
I was looking at some of the differences, and I think I prefer the Focalink/Stein version because of the sub-holes. I apologize if this has been asked before, but does anyone know an easy way to order from them to someone living in North America? Songbird seems to be the easiest, but I prefer the other subholes. One on my favourite ocarinas from them is the Strawfire AG which is exactly the same as the Focalink ones, Stein branding and all, however I really want the SG to go with it and that one is the Songbird version.
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jordan.1210
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Transverse Ocarinist x 2
Have you tried amazon? I've found a lot of Focalink/Stein there, but it might be distributed through Songbird.
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pandorado100
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Kitten Forest
12 Feb 2017, 02:17 AM
I was looking at some of the differences, and I think I prefer the Focalink/Stein version because of the sub-holes. I apologize if this has been asked before, but does anyone know an easy way to order from them to someone living in North America? Songbird seems to be the easiest, but I prefer the other subholes. One on my favourite ocarinas from them is the Strawfire AG which is exactly the same as the Focalink ones, Stein branding and all, however I really want the SG to go with it and that one is the Songbird version.
I have ordered from the Stein website. It's no harder than ordering from Songbird if you use the English version of their website. The big problem is shipping costs are high but you get fast, excellent delivery since they use EMS. Advantages are they have Taiwanese subholes, neckstrap attachment holes and they can offer you customization for your ocarinas. I use PayPal and never had a problem with my orders.

Since you are in Canada, right? Shipping costs are probably very high for you even if you order from Songbird so it may not be more convenient than ordering directly from Stein. If you really want a strawfire SG, try asking Mr Shih if he can do it for you.
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Kitten Forest
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Double Ocarinist
Thanks for answering. I never thought about that, but yeah Songbird shipping is usually $15-$20. I'll check that out for sure!
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Bateleur
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Meh.

The 12-hole Alto G that Songbird sold (seems to be unavailable at this moment) was part of a full Straw Fire series made by Focalink. If you want a SG that's a better match in design to the AG, here it is: http://steinocarina.com/productsDetail.php?id=193

Focalink's prices increased a bit. They seem to come standard with more accessories now, though considering their shipping cost, my wallet is crying.
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carbon
Lurker
@Bat

My understanding is that Songbird's strawfired series were not equivalent to Focalink's S series instruments. Focalink's S series were considered of the highest quality Focalink makes and priced accordingly and only sold in a set (at least for a long while). The Songbird strawfired instruments were custom "focabird" instruments with straw fired decoration (IIRC).


Also, for buying from Focalink - the trick is to buy a lot of stuff and combine shipping. If you do this, let me know as I think there are a few new novelty pendants I'd really like.
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Mark Chan
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Songbird's Alto G has the Stein logo on it, so it's the same. Focalink sells them separately too. The Forte series on the other hand are sold in a set only.
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carbon
Lurker
It's good to know Focalink is selling the separately. It's also good to know to look for the stein logo.

Thanks
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Kitten Forest
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Double Ocarinist
When I looked at the Stein website it was $91 US vs $60 US on Songbird. The included bag is $10, so is the extra expence paying for the name or is the quality different?
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Mark Chan
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The $91 one you are looking at on Stein's website is the SG-S, which has a higher breath pressure.
The $60 Songbird one is a modified SG-A, which is $61 on Stein's website.

Stein only does straw fire lacquer on the S series. Songbird has theirs customized. Ocarina Music's Stein Triple Exclusive (Dolomite Forte Triple with Strawfire Finish and "Osawa" fingering) is also custom.
Edited by Mark Chan, 14 Feb 2017, 07:45 PM.
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CFWhitman
Initiate
I have a Songbird harmony triple ocarina, which has a Songbird logo on it. I don't know if they actually make it themselves or if they have it made by Focalink. It is strawfire finished, and it seems to be unique to the Songbird site. I can find little to complain about with it. It seems to be a good ocarina (I've been playing for less than a year and a half, so consider that the opinion of a relative beginner).
Edited by CFWhitman, 15 Feb 2017, 05:05 PM.
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Mark Chan
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Focalink makes the Songbird Harmony Triple for Songbird. It is sold exclusively by Songbird.
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