Our Instruments

Rickert Musical Instruments will be showing one of its Violoncellos da Spalla, as well as many other great instruments at Hoppin’ John 2022. Our new venture, Rickert & Hale, Luthiers, will have lots of instruments to show and try out as well, including at least one of their new octave mandolins. Rickert Musical Instruments (bowed strings), together with its partner, Rickert and Hale, Luthiers (mandolin family and guitars), will once again be showing finished and in progress instruments at the 2022 Hoppin’ John Old Time and Bluegrass Fiddlers’ Convention. The festival will take place September 15-17, 2022 at the Shakori... Read more →


Ordering Information While semi-standardized, each Sessioneer Bouzouki is built for the individual buyer, at least for now. If you wish to discuss buying one of these instruments, give us a call or send an email. Looking forward to talking! Phone: 1-706-896-0909 Email: Don@DonRickertDesign.com Note: If you are a highly-skilled player with a history of high-quality videos on YouTube, we are open to discussing a discounted price in exchange for demonstration videos of our instruments. Let’s agree up front that there will be no hurt feelings. I mean, I am a player, but at nowhere near the skill level necessary for... Read more →


Introduction Before I start, what are the criteria for judging the sound quality of musical instruments? I hope that the reader can agree that this is largely subjective, and often, culturally relative. Take the Great Highland Bagpipe. That there are two kinds of people in the world; those who love the bagpipes and those who hate them has been attributed to many, including, as I recall, Winston Churchill. Many of us love (at least in limited doses) the uillean pipes; however, I have known many Irish, meaning those who actually live in Ireland, who refer to them as “rat-chasers”. Finally,... Read more →


Tap-tuning is an art (grounded in science) that is shrouded in mystery. While some luthiers tap-tune only by ear, computer-assisted tap tuning allows the luthier to actually see a computer-generated frequency spectrum graph when muting a specific spot on the plate (e.g., top or back). Computer-assisted tap tuning has only been possible for a few decades. Until very recently, it was too expensive for most luthiers, as the software required used to cost many thousands of dollars. Finding the correct spot to mute is way beyond our scope here. There are known “ideal” fundamentals (i.e., note perceived by the human... Read more →


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... Read more →


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... Read more →