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Don Rickert Musician Shop

V-8vb Long Scale Octave Violin

$2,600.00

V-8vb Long Scale Octave Violin

$2,600.00
SKU:
V8vbOctVio
Weight:
0.00 LBS
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Generally ships within 30 days (unless 5-string option is chosen)
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Product Description

Introduction

The V-8vb Long Scale Octave Violin is a completely new instrument from D. Rickert Musical Instruments. It is for the player who is up to handling a small viola sized (15.5” body) instrument in order to gain a lot of extra power and “bassy” punch from his or her octave violin.  The playable scale of such and instrument is about 14", which is the same as most modern mandolins.

Sonically, the V-8vn Long Scale Octave Violin is, metaphorically, an octave violin on steroids. It is louder, darker and richer in low frequency overtones (i.e. more bass “growl”). Technically, it is closer in size to what an octave violin should be. A theoretically “perfect” octave violin, the Tenor Violin of the New Violin Family (aka Violin Octet, consisting of 8 graduated instruments, based on the research of Dr. Carleen Hutchins and others), is about the size of a ½ size cello!

For the violinist or fiddler, moving up to a substantial larger instrument is a commitment that will take some practice. The playable string length is 13.9”, compared to the 12.8”-13” playable length of a violin. The larger body requires a “heavier hand” with the bow than a violin; even an octave violin. Holding (while playing) the larger body is different from a violin; not necessarily more difficult.

Note on playable string length (aka scale length)

A frequently asked question by fiddlers accustomed to a 13" playable scale is whether the 13.9 scale (about 1 inch longer than that of a violin) of this instrument can somehow be shortened? The answer is "yes". There are two ways:

  • Make a capo from a pair of small "zip ties." This works very well. We will be happy to supply instructions on how to do this upon request
  • Purchase the very soon to be announced V-8vb Violin Scale Tertis Wide Body 15.5” Octave Violin.

Do we plan on making a violin length (14" long body) Tertis Wide Body instrument?

We have, indeed, thought about it. The conclusion is that we have no such plans, as we already have a violin length hybrid viola body, which is the basis for two instruments:

It is our judgement that the Fat Strad, either in the 5-string violin or octave violin configuration, is as close to perfection for a 14" body instrument as we are going to get in the foreseeable future.

Is the V-8vb Long Scale 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 V-8vb Long Scale Octave Violin is fundamentally a large 4-string octave violin. If you want aninstrument optimallally sized for a 5-string with a low C configuration (C-G-D-A-E tuning),a slightly larger T-Rex 5-string (see the T-Rex product listing) is a better choice. On the other hand, if you want a 5-string with a B-string 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.

If you really really want an V-8vb Long Scale Octave Violin in the high B 5-string configuration, we can do it. Keep in mind that the time to completion is substantial and the cost is higher. 

The experienced viola player will already have the necessary skills, especially with regard to bowing, for this instrument. Learning curve for the violist is negligible.

The V-8vb Long Scale Octave Violin is based on a 15.5” Tertis wide body pattern viola. Check the link and table below to determine if you have the necessary left arm reach for a 15.5” viola. For violin, you only need a 23” left arm reach. For a 15.5” viola, you need a 25” reach. This is not something you want to “cheat” on, as you will pay immediately with the 4th finger intonation and pay later with physical problems associated with playing an instrument that is too large.

There are many guides on the Internet for measuring your reach to determine the ideal viola size for you.

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”

 

Case

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

Bow

  • You must use a bow suitable for a large octave violin. Choices would include:
  • Specialized Series Octave Violin Bow (based on a viola bow shaft)
    • Specialized Series Light Octave Viola Bow (based on a viola bow shaft).
    • A high-end (preferably stiff carbon fiber) viola bow can also do the job.

Tuning Pegs

  • The V-8vb Long Scale Octave Violin is fitted with a special set of Wittner FineTune internally geared tuning pegs, which are modified to handle the wider diameter of the octave strings

Chin Rest and Shoulder Rest

Given the larger than violin size of the V-8vb, 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 or the new Everest shoulder rest and a Strad or Guarneri over-the-tailpiece chin rest, there would be no additional charge.

About Tertis Wide Body Violas Such as the One on Which the V-8vb is Based

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

 

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