Please visit the Don Rickert Musician Shop.
Don Rickert Musician Shop (D. Rickert Musical Instruments) is the place to go for unique instruments that are either very hard or even impossible to find anywhere else.
Travel / Backpacker Violins and Fiddles
We make and sell the finest innovative and ergonomically perfect travel/backpacker violins in the world. Several dozen customers a year opt for one of our travel violins, despite the fact that they cost from 3 to 4 times as much as our apparent competitors.
We make and sell one of best 5-string violins that money can buy (note: There ARE some very fine 5-string instruments by competitors). We also sell the very nice new 5-String acoustic-electric Realist violin by David Gage. We also make and sell an incredible 5-string travel violin.
We make the most advanced and best-sounding octave violins and octave violas (aka “chin cellos”). Dr. Rickert has been researching acoustic octave violins for more than 15 years. He has designed a number of such instruments over the past decade, each new one better than the rest. We sell a lot of these. Top recording artists own a number of them.
Tertis Wide-Body Violas in all Sizes
We are one of the only U.S. based sources of extremely high quality Tertis wide-body violas, in sizes from 15” to 16.5” (note: viola size is designated by the length of the instrument body, from the saddle to the neck joint). These instruments are made for us by one of the top luthiers in China.
Learn more about Tertis violas, which are named after Lionel Tertis, certainly one of the most highly regarded violists of the 20th Century…some say the greatest violist ever!
The Custom Shop
Since our beginning, a surprisingly large part of our business has been comprised of custom instruments that began with a phone call or email that started with something like “I have this idea…could you guys make it?” I think that this reputation for building unique instruments probably originated from the eccentricity of some of our earliest designs for baritone fiddles and travel violins.
Over the years, we have made a number of one-of-a-kind instruments; some of them truly outrageously cool! One of the coolest instruments, of which we are quite proud, is a 10-string 3” wide pochette (pocket violin)…4 playable strings with 6 sympathetic strings running under the fingerboard (similar to the Norwegian Hardanger Fiddle and the Baroque Viola D’Amore). We affectionately call this instrument the Pochette D’Amore.
And nobody here will ever forget the incredible electric cigar box fiddle that we made for “Reverend Snake”, at the time the fiddle player of the “Prodigal String Band. We made a purely acoustic copy of the "ReverendSnake" fiddle for the well-known an truly one-of-a-kind Irish performance artist, actor and fiddler, Aindrias de Staic, who is pictured here. Aindrias is an Irishman of Gypsy descent based in Galway, Ireland. You can find videos of his one man show performances on YouTube. His stories about growing up as a Gypsy in Ireland will make you laugh and cry, but mostly laugh...for mature audiences only (language).
Anyway, we now have a bona fide “Custom Shop” and have established a way for musicians with out-of-the-ordinary musical ideas requiring extraordinary instruments.
The Custom Shop is also where our own new concepts are shown prior to becoming regular production items.
See the Custom Shop at Don Rickert Musician Shop.