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Mountain Ocarinas

ubizmo
Triple Ocarinist x 4
Triple Ocarinist x 4
Joined: September 10th, 2008, 10:31 pm

November 20th, 2009, 3:02 pm #1

Mountain Ocarinas are quality inline ocarinas, currently made in the keys of C5 and G5. They are made in several highly durable materials, at different price points: polycarbonate plastic, Corian ("warmstone"), Dymondwood ("hardwood"), and anodized aluminum. Their web site is Mountain Ocarinas.

There's plenty of information at the web site, so I'll just mention a few points that I think are worth emphasizing. First, Mountain Ocarinas is a small, family-owned and run company located in Connecticut. Karl Ahrens, the creator of the MO, and Cliff Hayashida, are the proprietors. Although parts of the MOs are "mass produced," the instruments themselves are not. They are assembled, finished, and tested by hand. Second, it is a principle design goal of MOs that they are "tough enough to take anywhere." There are no MOs made of clay.

I think the web site and Karl's videos at the MO YouTube Channel provide a great deal of information, but I thought there should at least be a topic here at TON for them. I've been playing MOs since September 2008.

Ubizmo

Some of my videos are now used promotionally by Mountain Ocarinas.
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kissing
Site Admin
Joined: February 3rd, 2008, 12:55 pm

November 20th, 2009, 4:01 pm #2

I am highly surprised that no one has started the Mountain ocarinas topic in the American ocarinas section until now!

They are very good ocarinas that are understated.
Last edited by kissing on November 20th, 2009, 4:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Elven Spellmaker
Site Admin
Joined: January 10th, 2009, 8:01 pm

November 20th, 2009, 5:00 pm #3

Very easily portable Ocarinas.

Unique tone, which isn't the first tone I'd like people to hear when I first play them an Ocarina, but its grown on me. :)

The main thing that bugs me about them is the two holes underneath (to fit in with usual transverse Ocarinas) should be reversed.

As my Polycarbonate G is falling apart now (glue is just disappearing in some places), I might upgrade it to a wooden model.

The C Ocarina to me feels more unfinished than the G one does, especially with the "missing" hole.

Overall I am happy with them as they are so easy to travel with, no worries about it swinging and breaking. :)


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ubizmo
Triple Ocarinist x 4
Triple Ocarinist x 4
Joined: September 10th, 2008, 10:31 pm

November 20th, 2009, 7:40 pm #4

Elven Spellmaker wrote:Unique tone, which isn't the first tone I'd like people to hear when I first play them an Ocarina, but its grown on me. :)
You know, that's an interesting point. I've thought about that tone and how it's different. In terms of acoustics, the MO, due to it's shape, has more overtones than the typical transverse. Another way to think of it is that transverse ocarinas (many, but not all) have a more "closed" sound, whereas MOs have a more "open" sound. Obviously, those terms are metaphorical, but they're the best I can do at the moment.

I think many people come to the ocarina expecting, and attracted by, the closed sound. I know I did. The open sound of the MO didn't appeal to me initially. After a few weeks of experimenting, I grew to prefer it; it took a lot longer to be able to control it.
wrote:The main thing that bugs me about them is the two holes underneath (to fit in with usual transverse Ocarinas) should be reversed.
I think I explained in another thread that this is not an arbitrary difference but has a definite reason, namely to allow the ocarina to be supported by both hands on high D, which is more commonly played than D#. At least, that's what I seem to recall Karl saying at some point. Given that, I don't know if it would be a good idea to reverse them just for the sake of conformity.
wrote:As my Polycarbonate G is falling apart now (glue is just disappearing in some places), I might upgrade it to a wooden model.
Whether you upgrade or not, you should have the poly replaced. My poly was banged around in all kinds of weather, but was still in fine condition when I gave it away. I kept it in the car, and it was always falling on the floor, or out on the street, or getting sat on, stepped on, etc.
wrote:The C Ocarina to me feels more unfinished than the G one does, especially with the "missing" hole.
Easy as it is to get that low B on the C MO, I'd also prefer a fingered B.

I have to say that I like the fact that I can wash my MO in water as often as I want. I still use folded paper to clean the windway, but an occasional bath seems to clear out every last speck of dust, and the difference is audible.

Ubizmo

Some of my videos are now used promotionally by Mountain Ocarinas.
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David F.
Triple Ocarinist x 5
Triple Ocarinist x 5
Joined: January 30th, 2009, 4:56 pm

November 20th, 2009, 7:48 pm #5

maybe its just me but does the poly g sound a like it has a real fuzzy like tone ive been playing my sop g and recently piked up my poly c and it sounded really really buzzy! or is it just me!?
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shirf02
Triple Ocarinist x 4
Triple Ocarinist x 4
Joined: March 1st, 2009, 11:19 am

November 21st, 2009, 1:27 am #6

Yeah, that's the first thing I noticed about MO's sound, it's kinda buzzy. It seems to work well for the kind of music that Ubizmo plays, don't think it would work so well with my style of music however.
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JCParker412: poop is like snowflakes
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Walden
Triple Ocarinist x 2
Triple Ocarinist x 2
Joined: June 24th, 2008, 11:39 pm

November 21st, 2009, 3:02 am #7

ubizmo wrote:Second, it is a principle design goal of MOs that they are "tough enough to take anywhere." There are no MOs made of clay.
The size is good for sticking in a pocket, I hear. Similar to a harmonica.

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viperdvman
Triple Ocarinist
Triple Ocarinist
Joined: September 29th, 2009, 7:21 am

November 21st, 2009, 6:42 am #8

I'm actually pretty interested in getting a hold of a polycarb MO G ocarina either right before or right after I get the Focalink that I'm wanting. I'd love to have an inline to play with, and a durable one that still sounds great too. :)

[+] I Own
WPN Double AC :double:
Focalink Double SG :double:
Langley Songstone :pendant:
Small Major Flute
by Erik The Flutemaker
Chinese Flute
by Erik The Flutemaker
Palmer 6-string Acoustic Guitar

[+] I Want
MO Polycarb SG :inline:
Songbird Dragon Tooth
A small number of Erik The Flutemaker's other flutes

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ubizmo
Triple Ocarinist x 4
Triple Ocarinist x 4
Joined: September 10th, 2008, 10:31 pm

November 21st, 2009, 11:36 am #9

Concerning the tone of the MO, there are two things to remember:

1. It's not going to sound just like a sweet potato oc, ever, because it's designed differently.

2. The sound you get when you first start playing the MO is not the sound you'll get after you've played it for a while. It takes time to achieve the right breath pressure and steadiness to get a clean tone. In fact, I think they actually warn new customers about this.

@Walden -- Yes the G is about the size of a regular harmonica and fits easily in a pocket, or can be worn as a pendant, which is what I do. The C is about the size of a chromatic harmonica. The non-poly models are more visually appealing.

Ubizmo
For those who might be interested, Mountain Ocarinas has just finished a batch of new anodized aluminum ocarinas. The G ocarinas will be available in blue and red, as well as the gold color that they've had all along; the C will continue to be available only in the gold color.

You can see them at:

Aluminum gold C

Aluminum gold G

Aluminum blue G

Aluminum red G

I've never played, or even held, one of these aluminum MOs, but I'm going to get a blue one, and I'll eventually post a review. I'm interested in them for a couple of reasons. One, they have the same tapered mouthpiece that the poly has, which I like. The mouthpiece of the warmstone and hardwood models is more blunt. Given the amount of time I spent playing MOs, these little details matter. Second, these are the heaviest MOs, and I find that a bit more weight makes the instrument more stable in the fingers, especially in the high notes where it's supported by just a couple of fingers and the lips (and again, the tapered mouthpiece helps here). The warmstone is heavier than the poly, and that's one of the things I like about it. The aluminum is heavier than either, so I'll be interested to see whether that's an improvement, or whether it's too heavy.

I expect no significant difference in sound.

Ubizmo
Last edited by ubizmo on December 1st, 2009, 2:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

Some of my videos are now used promotionally by Mountain Ocarinas.
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shirf02
Triple Ocarinist x 4
Triple Ocarinist x 4
Joined: March 1st, 2009, 11:19 am

December 1st, 2009, 12:47 pm #10

Getting a Warmstone G for chrissy :D
it's going to be fan-folk-tastic :)
That's right, it's a suit.click for a biggy

JCParker412: poop is like snowflakes
[+] Reasonably accurate
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