We are Rickert & Hale, Luthiers, a collaboration between me (Donald Rickert) and fellow luthier, Dr. Jesse Randy Hale of J. Hale Guitars. Now, after more R&D time than I would have ever imagined, we are readying our actual “first articles” to evaluators in the Western U.S. and in Nashville, TN.
We set out to design and build the BEST bouzouki possible, employing materials and design elements that have been plausibly related (by us and others) over the years to superior sound and playability.
The Sessioneer Spartan Bouzouki—Our initial Offering
The Sessioneer Spartan is a relatively small-bodied (< 14”) traditional looking Irish bouzouki with a long (25.5”) scale. “Spartan” refers to the minimalist violin/viola/cello-like aesthetic—no rosette, unbound ebony fingerboard with no position markers, ebony nut and bridge. also utilizes a violin-type ebony tailpiece that is similar to those used on Benedetto guitars.
Anyway, our new Sessioneer Spartan sounds like a bouzouki (jangly and slightly “nasal”—NOT like a guitar), but is loud with very strong bass overtones, rich in harmonics across the spectrum but still focused, with sustain that could be mind-blowing if you have never played one of the finest luthier-built instruments.