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Email: don@donrickertdesign.com Phone: 706-896-0909 My name is Donald Rickert, I am a musical instrument designer, inventor, craftsman/maker, musician, luthier and Professional Industrial Designer/Design Researcher. I have been a luthier since 1970, transitioning to full-time professional luthier in 2006. See more details about me. About My Company, D. Rickert Musical Instruments My company, D. Rickert Musical Instruments, formally established in 2008, is based in Hiawassee, Georgia, USA. My business partner is luthier, Dr. Randy Hale. Our new joint venture, Rickert & Hale, Luthiers, will focus on mandolin family instruments. Please check out our new website: www.RickertandHale.com. See more details about D.... Read more →


Call Us: 1-706-896-0909 Email: don@donrickertdesign.com Introduction Several months ago, a number of volunteers from the Facebook “The Irish Bouzouki” and “Octave Mandolin” groups kindly completed a survey about Big Mandolin/Irish Bouzouki Attribute Preferences. The survey also queried participants about pricing preferences and tolerances. Volunteers were also solicited from my own Facebook business page, D. Rickert Musical Instruments (aka DonRickertMusicianShop) as well as my personal Facebook page, Donald Rickert (aka Donald.rickert1). I wish to once again thank everyone who participated. Our new company, Rickert & Hale's initial offerings in the octave mandolin/cittern/Irish bouzouki space will take the findings summarized below into... Read more →


Call Us: 1-706-896-0909 Email: don@donrickertdesign.com First things first: I have a new Violoncello da Spalla under construction. The violoncello da spalla in many ways is the bowed equivalent of a 5-course mandocello or citttern, with the extra 5th course being on the low (i.e., low C) end rather than the high (e.g., high E or A). We continue to make these as well as our new Big Mandolin family instruments. Here are some photos of the instrument in its current state. Click on any of the photos for a larger view. When it is paired with a lucky future owner,... Read more →


Call Us: 1-706-896-0909 Email: don@donrickertdesign.com This is an update of an article that first appeared on the D. Rickert Musical Instruments site in March 2019. Introduction This article is Part 2 of 2 and a follow on the article, The New Mandolin Family Part 1: Ancient Mesopotamia to Orville Gibson. We will pick up with other developments staring in the 1960s and culminating in today's New Mandolin Family of instruments. Here I will discuss the large-bodied tenor range instruments of the New Mandolin Family. These instruments are often called ‘octave mandolins’, ‘citterns’ and ‘Irish bouzoukis’. There is considerable confusion about... Read more →


Call Us: 1-706-896-0909 Email: don@donrickertdesign.com This is an update of an article that first appeared on the D. Rickert Musical Instruments site in March 2019. Introduction This is the first of a multi-part series on the New Mandolin Family of musical instruments. This is the first substantive post on the new website/blog for Rickert & Hale, Luthiers. Here I will briefly lay out the evolution of the mandolin, which appears to have started around 2000 BC, to the heyday of mandolin orchestra and the "Golden Age" of the mandolin in the 1920s. Part 2 will pick up with other developments... Read more →