View Full Version : Rigel sound

Mar-20-2004, 4:29pm
Has anybody noticed if the sound of their Rigel has opened up or loosened up after a while of playing it?

John Flynn
Mar-20-2004, 5:02pm
There have been threads on this before and I would say there was no consensus. I continue to like the sound of my Rigel A+ Deluxe after a year and a half and I play it a lot. I think it has improved. But the problem is that if you play an instrument all the time, the gradual change is hard to hear. The bottom line, IMHO, is if you are making a decision on buying or keeping an instrument, make the decision on the sound you can hear right now. If the instrument "opens up," let that be a bonus.

Mando Medic
Mar-21-2004, 12:06am
I have been a Rigel enthusiast, dealer and player for a few years now and they definatly do open up as you play them. They usually sound pretty good right out of the gate, but like all well made instruments, they do open up. I find that in the case of Rigel, it takes about 2 months of hard playing for them to mellow and get richer.

Ken Cartwright
Dealer and repairman of many fine mandolins.

Ted Eschliman
Mar-21-2004, 9:24am
Ditto Ken's kudos...
My experience with Rigel has been there is less dramatic "opening up" in comparison with another popular major US mandolin manufacturer, but in my total biased opinion, they come of the line with a greater head start.
Definitely, there is still some "maturation" going on.

Mar-21-2004, 1:53pm
I'm quite impressed with them too. I've seen about 5 of them, all good (not a dog in the pile). Jimmy Gaudreau's, for example, has opened up much more than new ones I tried. You do have to play with a fairly hard technique (hard pick, heavy strings, loud striking) to accellerate the process, but trust me it's very real!

Mar-22-2004, 9:44am
Thanks for your replies. I agree that they open up, I just wanted to make sure that I was hearing correctly.

Mar-22-2004, 10:16am
Well..I have owned 3 Rigels so far. Started with a G-110 which was stolen from me after about 6 months. I replaced it with a CT-110 WHICH I loved and had great tone right off the finish line. The CT-110 kept on getting better but MAS took over when I played the new G-5 that Ken had in his shop. The G-5 sounds 40 years old right NOW. I can hardly wait to hear this mando open up.


Mar-23-2004, 11:41am
Can't say on mine as I've only had it a month. I think some of this phenom could come with a player knowing the instrument more and knowing how to coax the sweetest sounds out of the instrument. Like you know where the sweet spots are on the neck, how much pressure to do here and there. I will say that after a month my Rigel sounds tons better. I think it's mostly me becoming completely adjusted to radiused fretboards, etc. Don't want to open a whole other can of worms, but I do think Rigels warm up as you play them like they were talking about in another post.

Mar-23-2004, 4:56pm
I've had a "Classic S" for about six months now and it's sounding better as time goes by. It is a 1999 model. I don't know if it was played much before I got it. The mandolin sounded to me on the thin side at first but now the tone is getting fuller and punchier. Of course, it also sounds great through my '62 Princeton.

Apr-09-2004, 2:35pm
on a related note does anyone have an opinion on the goldtone gm110 licensed copy of the rigel?and does anyone know if they open up as well?

Apr-09-2004, 6:38pm
Those things have a pretty thick finish. Probably not going to open up as much as other well built mandos.

Apr-13-2004, 3:47pm
I have owned two Rigels . The first was an A+ Deluxe which knocked my socks off right out of the case . I now own a CT 110 , which I traded for about a year ago . It was used when I got it , but it has opened up quite a bit . The warm up thing is for real with mine . After playing for half an hour to 45 min. , something happens and I start sounding a lot better . It has to be the mando , 'cause I KNOW it's not me ! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Apr-14-2004, 5:07pm
I have an A+ Deluxe that "goes to sleep" after it has been put away. It takes about 15 to 30 minutes to wake up. The difference is unbelievable. My Gibson Fern is awake from the first chop. I love them both for different reasons.

Happy Pickin'

Apr-17-2004, 10:04am
I read an article (or a book, or a web-page, or a post, or an email, or an IM -- I don't remember exactly) that talked about taking a new guitar and standing it near nice stereo speakers and then playing classical music from the string family (cello, in particular, was mentioned) as a way of "opening up" the instrument. Anybody heard whether or not a shortcut like this is effective and if it might work with a manolin? AND, do we really know what causes the sound difference? Is is just the top drying out, or something w/ the wood structure -- or is is just that it sounds better because we get better at playing the thing over a few years!