Call Us: 1-706-896-0909 Email:don@DonRickertDesign.com
This is the website and blog for Rickert and Hale, a joint venture of master luthiers, Donald Rickert, Ph.D. and Jesse Hale, Ed.D. Dr. Rickert has established an international reputation for his bowed string instruments, including violoncellos da spalla, octave violins, 5-string violins and violas, and his innovative travel violins (See D. Rickert Musical Instruments). Dr. Hale is an emerging star in the world of high-end custom guitars. We are located in Hiawassee, Georgia, USA.
Until we decide otherwise, Rickert and Hale is focused primarily on our master-built octave mandolins and Irish bouzoukis. We have plans to introduce a really cool 5-string "alto mandolin" as well. It is a mandola size instrument that covers both the mandolin and mandola ranges. Soon we will have pictures and demos as we roll out our first articles.
Our intent is to focus on customizable, albeit, semi-standard models rather than commissioned completely custom instruments. Of course we will accept commissions for projects that are mutually rewarding. We have spent many months on jigs, fixtures, blueprints and work-flows, with the goal of producing instruments faster than we get orders, thus avoiding the long wait time that is typical when the focus is on completely custom bespoke instruments. This will allow us to place finished instruments in the various well-known sales channels for extremely high-end fretted instruments, such as those world-famous ultra high-end instrument shops in Nashville, TN and Lawrence, KS, as well as the online Luthiers Showcase, hopefully at a rate faster than they sell.
Our zouks will start at the high end of "affordable", which, for us, is around $3K. We are quite aware that many players are looking for instruments costing less than $1,000. These folks, maybe including you, are NOT our target clients--no hard feelings. The good news is that cheap instruments made in Asia are generally plentiful. Our archtop octave mandolins (and mandocellos) will start at just shy of $10K. Why the price differential? Well, the bouzoukis, being flat-top instruments are easier to make. We can make three or four zouks in the time it takes to make one fully carved archtop instrument. Maybe someday we will make the archtops with a CNC machine, but for now we're going to make them with chisels, planes, knives and scrapers.