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Don Rickert Musician Shop

Rickert Tertis Body Tenor Viola (one octave lower than violin) 15.5 inch body size

$2,700.00 $2,430.00
(You save $270.00)

Rickert Tertis Body Tenor Viola (one octave lower than violin) 15.5 inch body size

$2,700.00 $2,430.00
(You save $270.00)
SKU:
TertisTenorViola
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Product Description

You can think of this Tertis viola-bodied instrument as an octave violin on steroids.

While it has the girth of a 17" viola, its body is merely 15.5". This makes for a playable string length of only 14", just 1-inch longer than a violin!

Introduction

Since the beginning of our adventure as an independent boutique custom lutherie (2007 officially), we have always allocated much attention to designing and making the best possible acoustic octave (aka baritone) violins and fiddles. More recently (about 5 years ago), we added acoustic tenor and octave violas (aka chin cellos) to our product offerings.

The Rickert Tertis Body Tenor Viola (15.5 inch body size)

The Rickert Tertis Body Tenor Viola (15.5 inch body size) and other amazing low-pitched acoustic bowed instruments are available at the Don Rickert Musician Shop.

The Rickert Tertis Body Tenor Viola (15.5 inch body size) is a variation of the T-Rex Octave Viola. See our article, T-Rex Octave Viola by D. Rickert Musical Instruments with Demo Video.

Both instruments are based on a Tertis wide body pattern viola.

The Rickert Tertis Body Tenor Viola is, essentially, a slightly smaller version of the T-Rex Octave Viola, but strung and optimized for tuning as an long-scale Octave Violin (aka Baritone Fiddle). This instrument is not for the timid. It is the most sonorous, full-bodied and focused acoustic octave violin you will ever play, if you are up to the larger body and 14" playable string length (vs. 13" for a regular octave violin).

Acoustic Low-Frequency Power AND Brilliance

The instrument is acoustically powerful (i.e. quite loud). Paradoxically, this instrument has a surprising brilliance to its timbre, which is quite different from its sibling, the T-Rex Octave Viola. We still have not figured it out. The working theory focuses on the difference in string tension between the two almost identical (except for stringing and tuning) instruments. The initial owners of this instrument have all remarked about this magical balance between low-frequency growl and bell-like clarity. Needless to say, the Rickert Tertis Body Tenor Viola cuts through the “noise” of other instruments when played in an ensemble setting.

Can You Physically Handle This Instrument?

The  Rickert Tertis Body Tenor Viola is based on a 15.5” Tertis wide body pattern viola (note: viola sizes are designated by their body length, expressed in inches). There are many guides on the Internet for measuring your reach to determine whether or not you can handle a 16" viola.

See the article: Measurements for Determining Correct Violin/Fiddle or Viola Size

See also the table below:

Instrument

Body Length

Neck thickness at Nut

Nut Width

Grasp

Playable String Length

Average Playable String Length

Minimum Player Left Arm Reach

Violin

14”

.5”

23mm

Narrow

12.8”

13”

23”

Fat Strad Deux Medium Nut

14”

.5”

24mm to 26mm

Narrow to Medium

12.8”

13”

23”

Fat Strad Deux Wide Nut

14”

.5”

28mm

Wide

12.8”

13”

23”

Tertis 15”

15”

.6”

26mm

Medium-Wide

13.5”

13.5”

24.5”

Tertis 15.5”

15.5”

.625”

26mm

Medium-Wide

13.9”

14”

25”

Tertis 16”

16”

.625”

27mm

Wide

14.4”

14.5”

26”

Tertis 16.5

16.5”

.626”

28mm

Wide

14.9”

15”

26.5”

About Tertis Wide Body Violas Such as the  Rickert Tertis Body Tenor Viola

Lionel Tertis is regarded by many as the greatest viola player of the 20th century. Tertis preferred a large viola in order to get an especially rich tone from his instrument. Tertis created a viola pattern that would provide the tonal advantages as a large 17 inch plus viola from a 16” viola, which is today regarded as a full size viola. Tertis violas are wider than violas of the same body lengths.

Large But Quite Playable

As big as it looks next to a regular violin (see image that accompanies this listing), it has a 15.5” body. Because it is based on a Tertis viola pattern, it is really wide, making it look like a much larger instrument. The span of the lower bout is more just short of 10 inches. That is really wide! Nevertheless, the instrument is surprisingly easy to manage and hold (yes, with an extra large shoulder rest), as the rib height is a manageable 37mm; about the same as a regular 15.5” viola.

Is the Rickert Tertis Body Tenor Viola available as a 5-string?

The short answer is no. If you want a 5-string octave instrument in this size range, you should look at our new Octave Viola Pomposa (octave 5-string viola)

Some More Details About This Instrument

 Case

  • Comes with a lightweight oblong case, at no charge.

Bow

  • You must use a bow suitable for a large octave violin. Generally, this would be stiff carbon fiber viola bow. Many players prefer a cello bow.

Tuning Pegs

  •  Wittner FineTune internally geared tuning pegs

Pickup

  • Many customers opt to have a pickup installed. There are many pickup options. Please contact us if you wish to add a pickup.

 

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