- Octave Violins, 5-string Violas and Octave Violas
- NEW Octave Violin by Donald Rickert
Our email is don@DonRickertDesign.com and phone number is (706) 896-0909. You can also use the "Contact" link on this page.
In the 1990s, Dr. Rickert was inspired by an article in STRINGS Magazine (Sept./Oct. 1992) by Darol Anger, entitled “Another Voice: The Baritone Violin”
For years, Don Rickert experimented with re-stringing regular violins as octave fiddles and built a number of experimental prototypes of purpose-built octave violins. Purpose-built here means designed and made specifically to be an octave violin rather than a mere retrofitting.
Dr. Rickert designed and started producing a variety of high-end purpose-built octave violins in 2007. Our first high-end instruments to enjoy market success were the “Cradle of Harmony” octave violins. They came in two versions:
You can see other octave violins and related instruments under the Gallery: Custom and Discontinued Instruments link to the left.
Our current octave violins are the best yet. Their design is based on our experience with the dozens of purpose-build octave instruments we have made in the past 15 years. Our current octave violin has a plan profile that is essentially identical to a regular violin. It has a scale length of 13”, which is identical to modern conventional violins. It has very deep ribs (40mm vs. 30mm for a standard violin). It also has a special proprietary bass bar that gives the instrument incredible power in the its low tenor range. Our bass bar design is based on 15 years of research, experimentation and experience with all of our extended range instruments, including 5-string violins and violas, octave violas and our highly-praised violoncellos da spalla.
Our new octave violins are available in either modern or very cool Baroque configurations. For now, the modern and Baroque configurations are the same price. The default tuners are Wittner FineTune planetary geared pegs; however, some Baroque enthusiasts prefer traditional ebony tuners. This, despite the fact that a violin sized octave violin is a bit anachronistic as a Baroque period instrument, as octave-tuned instruments of the Baroque period were generally large viola sized instruments. The gut strings of the period, even double wound gut, would have been too fat for reasonably playability. Modern string technology has changed all of that. All of our new octave violins are strung with D’Addario Helicore Octave Violin strings; which are amazingly thin in diameter and, thus, highly responsive to the bow.
Many players use either a Baroque or modern violin bow; others opt for a heavier viola bow. Upon request, we can loan you several types of bows for determining your bow preference.
Please check out the video so that you can hear the wonderful sound of our instrument for yourself.
Due to its high rib height, our octave violin requires a specially-sized case. We provide such a case, a $350 value, free of charge.
If you have any questions . . .
If anything above does not make sense, or if you have any other questions, please do no hesitate to contact us. We are eager to help.
Our email is don@DonRickertDesign.com and phone number is (706) 896-0909.