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Focalink AG

mandrew
Triple Ocarinist x 2
Triple Ocarinist x 2
Joined: August 12th, 2010, 1:49 am

November 26th, 2010, 8:31 pm #1

Brand/Maker, Style and number of holes:
This is a review of a new Focalink single chamber ocarina. It is a 12 hole instrument with Taiwanese subhole configuration.

Looks:
This instrument has the strawfire finish, and has a very even look over the whole instrument. It has the Stein logo and has a nice beaded neck strap.

Size:
This is an alto in G, but is not much heavier than my AC. It is very comfortable to hold.

Holding and finger hole placement:
I have medium to small hands for a man, and was concerned about hole size. My concerns were needless! This is very easy for me to hold and reach comfortably. The holes fall very naturally for me, and are not to large. Even the left pinky finger is comfortable over its hole. The eight is also still easy in this size.

Tuning and Pitch classification:
This is the standard fare type 2 ocarina, with even increase in rising breath requirement. In fact, I was expecting a greater amount of air to be required than my Focalink AC. I was pleasantly surprised to discovered that there is very little difference in this AG as compared to the AC!

Range and sound quality:
The range is the standard 12 hole range, A-C. Like all Focalinks that I have tried, the sound is very pure and clean. There is almost no chiff audible to the listener. The tone is full and round. For a G instrument, this one is very agile, and responds quicker than I thought it would. A pleasant surprise! I can play anything on this AG that I can on my AC. The only limit so far is my own breathing lack.

Bags, songbooks & other extra's:
This instrument came with a square black back identical to the ones furnished with the doubles. There is also a nice cloth for polishing, but it is not really needed much with the strawfire finish. There were no songbooks, and no fingering chart.

Summary:
When I first placed it to my lips and heard the sound as I went through some scales, all I could say was . . . WOW! This thing is a work of art, and plays like a dream. The sound is very full and mellow, and really carries well, but is not intrusive or unpleasant. This is pure joy, and only entrenches my view of the quality and consistency of Focalink ocarinas. Every time I think I would like to try another brand, I play these for a while. Then the desire fades away again. There is a reason why these are so popular among people who play seriously. They are solid, dependable, well tuned, well set up, have a beautiful sound, and very well supported. End of story. Another happy camper!

Information and purchasing:
Here is the deal: I bought this through Songbird Ocarinas. It is not something that they usually carry, but I expressed and interrest. Darrin apparently went out of his way to order a few in to satisfy me, a perspective and repeat customer. He notified me when he had a few AG's and I ordered. These are not his usual customized instruments (Japanese fingerings and no neck strap). These were obviously purchased as they come from Focalink in Taiwan. They have the strap, Taiwanese subhole configuration, and Stein logo (see above). Darrin went out of his way to make a customer happy, which is huge in my book! He quoted me a fair price, one below the usual Focalink list price, as he does with his AC instruments. Since he did this for me personally, I will not say here what he charged me, other than to say that it was very fair and reasonable. He does not list them on his site just now, as these are intended for the occasional person who really wants one. This is understandable since he makes his own creations in this general scale range. I respect that. If you want one through him, contact him and see what he may do for you. He has earned my respect and my business.

Purchase experience and customer service:
Songbird is great to deal with. End of story. Final words: A world class instrument at a great price. :fly:

Here are some pics. I didn't have them when I did the origional post.

Focalink_AG_back.jpg
Focalink_AG_front.jpg
Focalink_AG_and_AC.jpg
Focalink_AG_back.jpg Focalink_AG_front.jpg Focalink_AG_and_AC.jpg
Last edited by mandrew on November 28th, 2010, 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
wrote:I used to complain about having no shoes, until I met a man with no feet. So I said, "Hey, can I have your shoes?"
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Hyunwoo
Double Ocarinist x 4
Double Ocarinist x 4
Joined: December 5th, 2009, 5:25 am

November 27th, 2010, 7:26 pm #2

Thanks for the review! I was wanting to get one.
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David F.
Triple Ocarinist x 5
Triple Ocarinist x 5
Joined: January 30th, 2009, 4:56 pm

November 27th, 2010, 7:48 pm #3

I am confused? do u mean the "soprano" in G not an alto? i know songbird doesn't sell an alto g ocarina outside the pendants?
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mandrew
Triple Ocarinist x 2
Triple Ocarinist x 2
Joined: August 12th, 2010, 1:49 am

November 27th, 2010, 11:42 pm #4

I am NOT referring to the SG. I have an AG.Read the above review under information and purchasing. It explains clearly that Darrin ordered these in on request. It is not a usual item, and he has a limited supply right now. again this is an AG.
wrote:I used to complain about having no shoes, until I met a man with no feet. So I said, "Hey, can I have your shoes?"
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David F.
Triple Ocarinist x 5
Triple Ocarinist x 5
Joined: January 30th, 2009, 4:56 pm

November 28th, 2010, 4:47 am #5

OH ok i missed that! well i stand corrected then! i didnt even know focalink made an alto g out side the special edition set and the double?
Last edited by David F. on November 28th, 2010, 4:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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mandrew
Triple Ocarinist x 2
Triple Ocarinist x 2
Joined: August 12th, 2010, 1:49 am

November 28th, 2010, 1:42 pm #6

Actually, if you go to the Focalink web site and click on their largest set with a special case (I believe it is 7 ocs), you will notice that it says that every instrument in it is available as an individual order. That includes their F instruments also. By carefully choosing, a well selected set will allow you to play in about any key. :o)
wrote:I used to complain about having no shoes, until I met a man with no feet. So I said, "Hey, can I have your shoes?"
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lillymo
Inline Ocarinist
Inline Ocarinist
Joined: January 4th, 2012, 4:59 pm

February 5th, 2013, 7:53 pm #7

There's not much to add to Mandrew's excellent review, his evaluation and enthusiasm are right on the money. I will say that I find the hole placement a bit of a stretch, but my hands are probably smaller than his: a little larger than average for an adult female. I still find the Alto G relatively easy to play. The tone is really lovely. Yup, another happy camper!

Dimensions: 8.25" x 4.5" x 2.25"
Weight: 14.5 oz.


I bought my Focalink Alto G from Songbird Ocarinas. If you're in Los Angeles on a weekday, you should go by their shop; the staff is welcoming, helpful and infinitely patient. If you're not in LA, they're happy to answer any questions you might have by email, phone, carrier pigeon, flaming arrow, note tied to a rock...

Songbird now lists the AG on their website:
HERE

Last edited by lillymo on February 27th, 2013, 9:50 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Philippe_from_France
Pendant Ocarinist x 2
Pendant Ocarinist x 2
Joined: August 10th, 2016, 11:15 am

August 10th, 2016, 1:11 pm #8

I should consider buying one.

Alto ( = STL tenor) F and G are perfect keys for me, because it's lower than usual "Alto C" and higher than "Bass ocarina" (I find them too low, too big ...).

I already own a "Labyrinth" from STL which is exactly the same range than this AG from focalink. It cost me half the price (100€ for STL Labyrinth, and 200€ for Focalink), that's why I prefered buying the cheapest Labyrinth.

But it may have been a mistake because :
- I prefer the strawfire finishing (mine is vivid red !)
- lowest subhole is really difficult to reach because of it's location and because of silly ornementation location next to it

Pfiou ... I have to save a lot of money now if I want to get this focalink beauty ! (I already own a focalink AC)

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acox
Double Ocarinist x 2
Double Ocarinist x 2
Joined: June 5th, 2013, 4:14 pm

August 10th, 2016, 1:55 pm #9

Philippe_from_France wrote:I should consider buying one.

Alto ( = STL tenor) F and G are perfect keys for me, because it's lower than usual "Alto C" and higher than "Bass ocarina" (I find them too low, too big ...).

I already own a "Labyrinth" from STL which is exactly the same range than this AG from focalink. It cost me half the price (100€ for STL Labyrinth, and 200€ for Focalink), that's why I prefered buying the cheapest Labyrinth.

But it may have been a mistake because :
- I prefer the strawfire finishing (mine is vivid red !)
- lowest subhole is really difficult to reach because of it's location and because of silly ornementation location next to it

Pfiou ... I have to save a lot of money now if I want to get this focalink beauty ! (I already own a focalink AC)
I just sent you a "PM.

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Mark Chan
Quadruple Ocarinist x 5
Quadruple Ocarinist x 5
Joined: August 8th, 2012, 7:10 pm

August 10th, 2016, 2:19 pm #10

AG-S from Focalink is one of my favorites. :)
[+] Focalink AG Video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5xdRPyTDxo
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