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Don Rickert Musician Shop

The NEW Mountaineer VII M2 Travel Violin

$1,450.00 $1,375.00
(You save $75.00)

The NEW Mountaineer VII M2 Travel Violin

$1,450.00 $1,375.00
(You save $75.00)
1.00 LBS
Generally ships within 30 days
Calculated at checkout
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Product Description

For a limited time, a free case is included.

A new variation on the Mountaineer series, our most popular travel violins and fiddles

The Mountaineer Backpacker Fiddles have been the most popular instrument we have ever sold. The NEW Mountaineer VIIs have curved backs, tops and sides; thus, increasing their girth in the middle of the body where the bridge sits. With their larger bodies, the Mountaineer VIIs are still tiny instruments with a full 4/4 overall length and, most importantly, a full 4/4 playable string length; about 13 inches, like a regular violin or fiddle. Further, the new Mountaineer VIIs still fit perfectly into the same 4 inch diameter case as their predecessors.

The NEW Mountaineer VII M2 Travel Violin is designed to meet a very specific requirement of some players, the ability to attach a full size violin chin rest. With the Wittner shoulder rest and full-size chin rest attached, the instrument is held and feels EXACTLY like a full-size violin.

Unlike the other Mountaineers, the Mountaineer VII M2 utilizes a full-size over-the-tailpiece side-mounted chinrest (called a “Strad” chin rest) and a Wittner infinitely adjustable shoulder rest (supplied with the instrument at no extra charge). Both the full-size chin rest and the shoulder rest are removed for stowing the instrument in its padded 4” tubular case.

The playing experience is very different from the tiny center mount chin rest used on our standard Mountaineer VII Travel Violin.

Introducing the new Mountaineer VII

The Rickert Mountaineer VI M2 Travel Violin is a really skinny (but full 4/4 length) travel fiddle that is extremely durable for the most punishing environments. This instrument’s predecessors have now been on journeys the U.S., Europe, Ireland, U.K., Canada, Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, North Africa and the African sub-continent, Israel and South Africa. The Mountaineer has also found its way onto to large seagoing vessels, including at least one on a nuclear submarine. Several airline pilots take their Mountaineers with them as carry-on luggage!

The instrument is just 2.5" wide and is standard 4/4 violin length (body is 14" and total length about 23" like a regular violin).

The Mountaineer VII is very different from its predecessors, in that it utilizes a full size violin type bass bar AND a sound post. The sound post, necessary for damping shrill high frequency overtones while enhancing mid and low frequency overtones, is fixed in an optimal position. The sound post is held into position by a tiny carbon fiber rod running through a small hole in its center. The carbon fiber rod protrudes into the top and back of the instrument and is also held with a tiny amount of resonant glue. Looking at instrument photos, one can see a small black dot just behind the treble side bridge foot. That is the carbon fiber rod. The advantages of the permanently fixed sound post are twofold:

  1. It does a better job than then the internal framing doing double duty as a sound post we used on earlier versions.
  2. It will not become dislodged, even when the instrument is subjected to shock (e.g. being dropped from an aircraft overhead…this actually happened…that is a about a 5 foot drop!) and extreme temperatures and/or humidity (very low or very high).

The Materials

Earlier versions of the Mountaineer were available with various combinations of tone woods. The Mountaineer VII is available ONLY with sides and top of Western Red Cedar with a walnut (either American Black Walnut or Peruvian Walnut). For this small instrument, the Western Red Cedar sounds much nicer than spruce. The mahogany backs used on some earlier versions has been replaced with walnut in order to comply with restrictions on most versions of mahogany when shipped outside of the U.S.

The Chin Rest

In order to afford the same instrument “hold” as used with a full-size violin, a slightly modified removable Strad-type chin rest is used. Since the instrument would be too narrow to accommodate this type of chin rest, a small chin rest “platform” is integrated into the tail end of the instrument. This tiny platform can easily be seen in the photos of the instrument. For aesthetic reasons, this platform is made of dark walnut, the same material used for the instrument back.

Needless to say, the chin rest must removed in order to stow the instrument in its tubular case.

Tuning Pegs

The instrument is fit with the innovative Wittner internally geared planetary pegs (i.e. Wittner Fine-Tune pegs), at NO CHARGE (a $120 value). These tuners are so accurate that fine tuners are not needed. They simply turn and lock into place just like high-end geared guitar tuners, but they look just like regular ebony tuning violin pegs.


Uses a Globetrotter 4" case. The case needs to be at least 24” in length to accommodate the instrument. In order to accommodate a ½ size, the case should be 26”. For a full-size bow, the case should be 31”. See Related Items.


Shoulder Rest

The Mountaineer VII utilizes a modified Wittner ISNY shoulder rest. The shoulder rest is included in the price of the instrument (a $100 value). This incredibly innovative shoulder rest is, for practical purposes, infinitely adjustable. Through much experimentation, we have discovered the ideal adjustment to duplicate the feel and balance of a full-size violin.

Just as with the chin rest, the Wittner shoulder rest is removed in order to stow the instrument in its tubular case.

The Sound of the Mountaineer VII

The Mountaineer VII sounds pretty good for a 2.5-inch wide violin. While such a small instrument could not possibly sound as powerful and full-bodied as a good full-size violin (those pesky laws of physics), The Mountaineer VIIs have a surprisingly big and warm sound. In other words, it is rather sonorous. It is plenty loud enough to jam with other musicians.

Watch the videos to get an idea of the sonic capabilities.

Optional Pickup

Many purchases opt to have a Schatten pickup installed. In fact, the photos show an instrument with a pickup. One of the videos demonstrates the “plugged-in” sound. If you want a pickup, choose the appropriate option at checkout time (pickup available with or without gain/volume control). The gain control is usually not necessary, as you will want to use an external preamp anyway when playing through an amplifier.

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