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Don Rickert Musician Shop

Announcing the Rickert Model 60 Violin: A Great Fiddle for Less Than $1,000!

Posted by D. Rickert on

The Rickert Model 60 Violin is made for us by Revelle and set up to customer specifications by D. Rickert Musical Instruments is available now at the Don Rickert Musician ShopThis model works well either set up as an intermediate level violin or fiddle.  600Front__66725.1438697659.1280.1280

With a proper pickup installed, this instrument is transformed into a true professional performance fiddle. Talk to us about the many pickup options, ranging in price from about $150 to $700. Our recommended option is a Barbera Hybrid bridge pickup (single dual transducer per string...8 transducer elements total) with a permanent installation and off-board preamp (total cost about $425, including a Schatten "Mini-Pre" preamp, connectors and cables). Either a Baggs or Schatten bridge pickup with Schatten preamp would bring the cost down to about $250.

About the Model 60

The Model 60 is probably the nicest violin we have seen in its price range. As an orchestral violin, it is an intermediate to advanced instrument. I would say that many pretty good fiddlers would prefer its more forgiving nature than the Model 70. A professional or top competition fiddler will find the Model 60 to be a somewhat lacking in shear power when compared to the Model 70, which costs twice as much as the Model 60. The woods are beautiful: close-grained spruce top and well-flamed back and sides. The workmanship is first rate. The tuning pegs work flawlessly. It is clearly based on a Stradivari pattern.

The varnish is perfect. I suspect that it is spirit varnished; however, it has the look of hand rubbed Italian oil varnish, including the rub marks of what looks like a pigment glaze in one or more of the layers rather than dye-based stain used in spirit varnishing. These hand-rubbing marks are part of the beauty of Italian varnishing. So, it could be oil varnished.

The tone is dark and more powerful than anything else in its price range; although not quite as focused as a more expensive professional performance instrument. Many, especially intermediate level fiddlers (5-10 years’ playing experience), will probably love the Model 60 set up for fiddling, as a dark and only moderately focused tone is more forgiving to those who may not have mastered advanced bowing dynamics. There are even many advanced fiddlers who prefer a dark and moderately focused sound.

Instrument only: Not an outfit.

See the various setup and outfit options for this instrument.

Standard tuning pegs: Well fit traditional ebony tuning pegs

Tailpiece: Hill type tailpiece (ebony)

Strings: Infeld-Thomastik Vision Stark synthetic core

Default Championship Fiddle Setup:

  • Moderately arched bridge, carved to produce a fairly low (not ridiculously low) string height.
  • Very low string height at nut
  • Basically, the default setup is optimized for Scottish Highland, Irish or Old-Time genre; however, some Old-Time players may want a flatter bridge arc and even lower action.
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