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Don Rickert Musician Shop

Fat Strad V 5-String Violin

$4,600 Contact us at 706-896-0909

Fat Strad V 5-String Violin

$4,600 Contact us at 706-896-0909
0.00 LBS
Currently 35-45 days

Product Description

Our email is and phone number is (706) 896-0909. You can also use the "Contact" link on this page.

I have made many 5-strings violins and violas over the years. Our 5-strings violins may have been overshadowed by our Octave Violins and Violoncellos da Spalla. I am aiming to fix that. I look forward to talking about your requirements. ~ Don Rickert


The D. Rickert Fat Strad V 5-String Violin is the newest version (introduced July 2018) in our very popular Fat Strad line, which was first introduced introduced in 2013. Simply, put, this instrument is possibly the most powerful and sonorous 5-string violin you will find anywhere.

We call this instrument a 5-string violin; however, technically it is sort of a “mezzo violin”, meaning that it is a hybrid between a violin and viola. A true mezzo violin has a larger footprint, but shallower ribs. The Fat Strad has the same profile a regular violin, but with significantly deeper ribs (37 mm). While the D. Rickert Fat Strad IV 5-String Violin has the same body length and playable string length as a regular violin, it is considerably deeper than the typical violin. It also has a revolutionary proprietary bass bar that might be described as a hybrid of a violin and viola bass bar.

To learn more about mezzo-violins and quasi-mezzo violins, see:

The Mezzo Violin: One Way to Achieve Deeper Timbre with Outstanding Projection

New Quasi-Mezzo Violins by Don Rickert: 4-String, 5-String and Octave Violin Versions

Almost Half of a Violin: What is That???

Hybrid of a Violin and a Viola

The whole point of a 5-string violin is to provide the player with an approximately violin-sized instrument that is strung to cover BOTH the violin (soprano) and the viola (alto) ranges. The essential problem is that a violin-sized instrument is generally not capable of drawing the full acoustic power from the lowest string (i.e. the C-string). In other words, with the exception of the very finest (and VERY expensive!) 5-string violins, the C-string is acoustically weak relative to the other strings.

The new D. Rickert Fat Strad V 5-String Violin solves the sonic problem in various ways. The deeper ribs (37 mm vs. 30 mm) add approximately 6 cubic inches of internal air space to that of a “normal” 5-string violin. This, combined with a special bass bar and optimally-graduated plates (back as well as the top), results in a powerful, sonorous and balanced sound, with a wonderfully warm timbre. 

String Spacing

Another major problem with typical 5-string violins is an ergonomic one. In generally, the strings are spaced too closely at the nut as well as the bridge. This causes BOTH left hand and bowing playability problems.

The new D. Rickert Fat Strad V 5-String Violin has a wider nut (27 mm), which affords proper string spacing. Further, the string spacing and arching of the bridge is meticulously optimized for 5-strings. The problem of unintentionally muting adjacent strings with your left hand and unintentionally bowing adjacent strings is gone!

Tuning Pegs

The D. Rickert Fat Strad V 5-String Violin is fit with the incredible Wittner FineTune™ internally planetary-geared tuning pegs. Fine tuners on the tailpiece are not needed and the instrument stays in tune.


D'Addario Helicore OR D'Addario Zyex with a D'Addario Helicore C-string. The Zyex string set gives optimal power, clarity and warmth to the high-end. Zyex strings sound a lot like genuine gut strings. The Helicores emphasize power.

The Varnish

Slightly-antiqued red-brown over amber hand-rubbed oil varnish

In Summary

  • Has string spacing at both the nut and bridge that is wide enough to be actually playable
  • Volume, depth and sheer raw power of a professional level violin or fiddle across all 5 strings
    • The awesome responsiveness and power of the C string is not achieved at the expense of the responsiveness and sound of the E-string, or vice versa.

The D. Rickert Fat Strad V 5-string Violin is simply the best 5-string violin you will find anywhere!


Many customers opt to have a pickup installed. There are many pickup options. Please contact us if you wish to add a pickup.

Our email is and phone number is (706) 896-0909.

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