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Don Rickert Musician Shop

T-Max Tenor Long Scale Octave Violin

$2,700.00

T-Max Tenor Long Scale Octave Violin

$2,700.00
SKU:
TMaxTenor
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0.00 LBS
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Product Description

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 4 years ago), we added acoustic octave violas (aka chin cellos) to our product offerings. Even though we have developed a number of electronic octave instruments for customers and musical instrument design competitions, we have never sold these online. That is about to change; however, that is a topic for another place.

The T-Max Tenor Long Scale Octave Violin

The T-Max Tenor Octave Violin and other amazing low-pitched acoustic bowed instruments are available at the Don Rickert Musician Shop.

The T-Max Tenor Long Scale Octave Violin 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 16” Tertis wide body pattern viola (note: viola sizes are designated by their body length, expressed in inches).

The T-Max Tenor Long Scale Octave Violin is, essentially, a T-Rex Octave Viola, but strung and optimized as an Octave Violin (aka Baritone Fiddle and properly called a small Tenor Violin). 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 14.5" scale (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 T-Max cuts through the “noise” of other instruments when played in an ensemble setting.

Can You Physically Handle This Instrument?

The T-Max Tenor is based on a 16” 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 T-Max Tenor

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 lenths. On average, a Tertis a has:

  • An upper bout that is 6% wider
  • A middle bout that is 21% wider
  • A lower bout that is 4.5% wider

Large But Quite Playable

As big as it looks next to a regular violin (see image that accompanies this listing), it has a 16” 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 than 10 inches. That is really wide! Nevertheless, the instrument is surprising easy to manage and hold (yes, with an extra large shoulder rest), as the rib height is a manageable 38mm; about the same as a regular 16” viola.

Is the T-Max Tenor Violin available as a 5-string

Because we are a bespoke lutherie, we can do just about any customization or modification requested. That being said, the T-Max Tenor is fundamentally a large 4-string octave violin. If you want essentially the same instrument as a 5-string with a low C (C-G-D-A-E tuning), what you end up with is a 5-string T-Rex (see the T-Rex product listing). On the other hand, if you want a 5-string with a B at the high end (G-D-A-E-B), you will be better served by the Fat Strad 8vb Octave violin 5-string configuration. The smaller Fat Strad 8vb is more "right-sized" for the G-D-A-E-B 5-string tuning.

Some More Details About This Instrument

 Case

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

Bow

Tuning Pegs (Graduated Sizing: the right size for each string)

  • The T-Max Tenor is fitted with a special set of Wittner FineTune internally geared tuning pegs
    • Rather than using one size of peg for all of the strings, the pegs on the T-Rex Tenor are graduated in size to match the extreme variation in string diameter from lowest to highest. 
    • The pegs range from a large viola peg for the large diameter G-string down to a standard viola peg for the E string.

Chin Rest and Shoulder Rest

Given the size of the T-Max Tenor, we work with the customer to determine the ergonomically correct combination of chin rest and shoulder rest to match the musician’s physique. We apply a $100 credit to the chin rest and shoulder rest. For the most common setup of a Kun shoulder rest and a Strad or Guarneri over-the-tailpiece chin rest, there would be no additional charge.

 

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