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Don Rickert Musician Shop

T-Rex Octave Viola

$2,700.00

T-Rex Octave Viola

$2,700.00
SKU:
TRexOctViola
Weight:
0.00 LBS
Availability:
Generally ships within 30 days (unless 5-string option is chosen)
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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-Rex Octave Viola

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

The T-Rex Octave Viola is the replacement for the The B-Rex II 5-String Octave Viola. Unlike the B-Rex, the default configuration for the new T-Rex is as a 4-String octave viola. This means that it is tuned exactly like a cello. For this reason, people often call such an instrument a “chin cello.” A 5-string version of the T-Rex is also available at an additional cost. For now, the 4-string version is a standard offering (ships in less than 30 days); while the 5-string version is a special order item than ships in 60 to 90 days. If there is sufficient interest, the 5-string version will become a standard offering with a fast shipping time.

See our article, T-Rex Octave Viola by D. Rickert Musical Instruments with Demo Video.

The T-Rex 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-Rex

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.

Some More Details About This Instrument

 Case

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

Bow

  • You must use a bow suitable for a large octave viola. Choices would include:
  • Both the"Light" and "Heavy" bows have special extremely aggressive synthetic hair (Zaralon by the legendary Dr. Peter Zaret) matched to the weight of the bow shafts.

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

  • The T-Rex 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 are graduated in size to match the extreme variation in string diameter from lowest to highest. 
    • The pegs range from a small cello peg for the cello-sized C-string down to a normal viola peg for the A string.

Chin Rest and Shoulder Rest

Given the size of the T-Rex, 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.

 

Other Details

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