View Full Version : New from Rigel: The Q-95 "Gypsy Q"

Ted Eschliman
Oct-17-2004, 5:12pm
First, a little tease:


Tortoise shell binding and pickguard

Ted Eschliman
Oct-17-2004, 5:13pm
And now for something unique:


A lap point!

Ted Eschliman
Oct-17-2004, 5:14pm
Front in its full splendor:


Finish: Espresso con Pana; Espresso-burst back & sides, cream top.

Ted Eschliman
Oct-17-2004, 5:15pm
Another view of the point (from the back)


Great for the Coffeehouse, or the privacy of your own lap.

Ted Eschliman
Oct-17-2004, 5:17pm
Another fan of a "whiteface"


"Smells as good as it sounds," claims my 11 year-old Shetland.

Ted Eschliman
Oct-17-2004, 5:19pm
The happy designer:


20th century vintage tone, 21st century technology and playability!
A collaborative effort of Rigel Instruments and jazzmando.com.

Oct-17-2004, 5:20pm
Ummm.. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif I think they forgot a scroll, and maybe a point.... http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif
That is such a cool color combination...I guess that blackfaces are kind of popular right now, but the white is very striking! Especially with that tortoise.

Michael H Geimer
Oct-17-2004, 5:52pm
I don't think I can meaningfully reply ... I am speachless!

Oct-17-2004, 5:54pm
So...what does she sound like? As good as she looks, I'd hope...

John Rosett
Oct-17-2004, 5:55pm
now we know why your djangolin is in the classifieds...

Oct-17-2004, 6:09pm
Not only does the pickguard/finger rest cover the sound hole, the silly neck extension does too. Why does anyone leave that piece of the neck on there?
Happy pickin'

mad dawg
Oct-17-2004, 6:33pm
What, it's not blue? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Oct-17-2004, 7:44pm
Ok, Ok! When are you going to post some sound clips on jazzmando!!!http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif How about recording a common tune like "Soldiers Joy" ?

Oct-17-2004, 8:39pm
I played the Q on Saturday and it's terrific! #The tone is outstanding and rich. #It looks even better in person.

Great job on the design Ted!!


Oct-17-2004, 9:13pm
Hey and it does look like a Q. That is a nice looking mandolin. Does the strap button on the heel get in the way at all?

Eric F.
Oct-17-2004, 10:31pm
OK, I guess I'll be the rude guy: What do these go for?

Professor PT
Oct-17-2004, 11:03pm
Ahhh! Finally--a Rigel that I like the looks of!!

Oct-18-2004, 12:08am
OK, I'll be the really, really rude guy! #Why does the fingerboard extension look even thicker than every PacRim mando I've seen? #It is worse than a Flatiron Festival model and it's American Made?

Oct-18-2004, 5:05am
One word: Sweet!

Brad Weiss
Oct-18-2004, 6:15am
How different does it sound from an A+? The look is great; the body appears somewhat smaller than a typical A style (guess there is no typical Q style...)

Ted Eschliman
Oct-18-2004, 8:01am
I'll try to answer a few questions, but understand I've only had a weekend to get familiar with this (and a busy one, at that). I hope to have a full review on my website by the end of the week; I don't think it's fair to critique any instrument that's barely new born, until it's had a chance to get use to its skin...
As far as price, since Scott's asked me to help moderate the board, I don't want to be the first person I have to intervene for in bending board protocol. I'd like to save the specifics of that issue for outside the Discussion board (and over to the Classifieds). But I will say this, from the ground up, we wanted to dance the fine line of expensive upgrade with utilitarian economics, and price it where it could be an "auxiliary" instrument. It would be a great "only" instrument on its own for a Gypsy fan, but chances are, the customer for this already has a first-class F hole/F body ax. We priced it between the A+, but under the other premier Rigel models.
Second, comparisons to the A+ Deluxe are warranted, however the jumping off point (pun intended...) is not only the "lap tail," it's the internal carving, the "secret sauce." Pete Langdell's uncanny knack for imitating the tone other high profile instruments proved quite successful; I wanted a vintage 'teens A body sound, and it's there! It's hard to believe I can get that sound, and not struggle with a warped neck, flat fingerboard, and tuners that won't stay in tune, all the downside of a 90 year-old instrument. (and of course the famous Rigel "playability!)
Cosmetics, though Spartan, were geared toward a coffeehouse theme, including the 'Espresso con Pana' finish, and again, a vintage cream top. The pictures don't do it justice, you can see the grain in the top. The fingerboard extension is thick, but if you want sustain, that will be critical. Though it partially blocks the oval sound hole, believe me, there's no aural barrier hearing the sound out of this.
In a word: Sweetness!
(Don't pass the sugar. Won't need it..)

Oct-18-2004, 8:38am
The fingerboard extention is thick, but if you want sustain, that will be critical.

I have to reveal my ignornace and ask what fingerboard extension thickness has to do with sustain?

Oct-18-2004, 10:31am
OK- I can (barely) accept the idea that neck mass contributes to sustain, but does the mass have to be in the form an odd shaped, useless, protuberance extending over the soundhole?
Why not add mass by making a bigger headstock for instance?
You could put scrolls on it http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

There's nothing rude or crude in asking about the elements of a design.


Oct-20-2004, 7:24am
JG, As a new owner of a G-95, which I really like by the way, I asked myself the same question after I had it a few days. In my case I do like to have a small floating (not attached to the body) pickguard and there would be no way to attach it solidly without the faux fingerboard extension so it does have a use if you want a pickguard. My G-95 does have more sustain then my F style instruments but I thought it had more to do with the round hole design than the fingerboard extension.
To sort of move the converstation away from pickn on Ted's new baby, I have found that in the month or so that I have owned the G-95 that the tone of the instrument has pushed my playing in a slightly different direction which is a really good thing. I attribute this chnage mainly to the playability of the instrument and the tone.

Oct-20-2004, 10:26am
Where in Wisconsin can I play a Rigel?

Oct-20-2004, 10:42pm
La Pompe lives in a mandolin form. Great looking mandolin Ted. Just for clarity (on my part at least) what is the string height at the bridge? It looks as if the raised fretboard was done to create a higher break angle over the bridge. Is that correct?

Oct-21-2004, 12:28am
I think the fingerboard extension comment was just another way of saying the scroll looked funny. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

Oct-21-2004, 1:14pm
Madison Music carries Rigel.

Oct-21-2004, 1:29pm
Actually Jeff, I think the mando looks great. #I was just wondering why that extension was so thick because I don't remember seeing any other Rigels with the extension like that. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Oct-21-2004, 3:46pm
Thanks to all who messaged me @ Madison Music. I must wander down there some day--having left my chargecard at home.

P.S. I love The look of the Gypsy-Q. I'd love to try her out someday.

Ted Eschliman
Oct-21-2004, 6:26pm
Some rough soundfiles of the Gypsy "Q":

My Foolish Heart (http://www.tannah.net/ted/jazzmandomp3/MyFoolishHeart.mp3)

It Is Well (With My Soul) (http://www.tannah.net/ted/jazzmandomp3/ItIsWell.mp3)

Oct-21-2004, 7:17pm
Very nice! Almost piano like in some way....

Oct-25-2004, 8:20am

Am listening to "My Foolish Heart". Very expressive tone--and playing. I'm guessing this was miked rather than through the pick-up? Stock strings? I love the throaty low end. Can you contact me with a price? I'd like to start dreaming.


Ted Eschliman
Oct-25-2004, 9:33am
Thanks, guys.
Thomastik strings (love 'em...), AT4040 (Audio Technica) Cardoid Condensor microphone.
I'm a huge fan of (legendary jazz piano player) Bill Evans. The transcription was kind of "lifted" off his "Live at the Village Vanguard" album, which might explain the piano-like approach.

Nov-09-2004, 9:01am
I know that bluegrassers often pull the frets on the extensions to reduce pick interference. However, classical designers added a fretted extension for the first two string pairs in order to extend playing range to match that of a violin. If I had an extension, I prefer to have frets on it for that reason.


Jim Garber
Nov-24-2004, 10:30am
I was at CMSA this weekend and Peter Mix was there with a table. I had the honor and pleasure of playing the Q. The one he had even had a vertical sound hole (like the Selmer petit bouch guitars. Very cool mandolin and for my predilection for roundhole instruments, definitely got my MAS going.

Sweet sounding and played like the proverbial butter.

It also reminds me nostalgically of my old whitefaced A3.

Great job, Ted and Peter.

Nov-24-2004, 9:40pm
i love it! spectacular. classic, yet unique in look, and the sound, based on mp3s is gorgeous. would be amazing choice for me and the type of music i play, but ....aaah that ole special ed salary again. guess i'll have to look at pics, listen to clips and dream............
enjoy her ted and all that purchase what looks like a dream mando.

Ted Eschliman
Nov-24-2004, 10:14pm
Thanks, guys!
Color option #2 is on its way now, via a cold UPS truck, "Doppio con Zucchero" (Double espresso with sugar; an espresso-burst top, back, & sides with white marine pearloid pickguard and oval hole binding). I can't wait!
Meantime, #1 is on the cover of this month's Music Inc Magazine (http://tannah.net/ted/images/MusicIncMag.jpg)...
Woo Hoo!

Nov-24-2004, 10:40pm
"Color option #2 is on its way now, via a cold UPS truck, "Doppio con Zucchero" (Double espresso with sugar; an espresso-burst top, back, & sides with white marine pearloid pickguard and oval hole binding)."

When are we going to see the Q-95 on the Rigel Web site along with a PRICE??? #(I gotta know how much I'm gonna have to scrimp and save till I can afford one!)

Nov-24-2004, 11:05pm
even had a vertical sound hole (like the Selmer petit bouch guitars.
Um.. Confused here. Vertical sound hole? If it's like the one pictured on the magazine cover Ted linked to, I'd say that's more traditional - just like Gibson oval holes. However, if the new one's like the Lewis Django model (http://www.michaellewisinstruments.com/old/images/thumbjango_02.jpg) then I'd believe it was like a Selmer.. Which one is it?

Jim Garber
Nov-25-2004, 9:14am
When are we going to see the Q-95 on the Rigel Web site along with a PRICE???
Peter Mix told me that the list price is $2800 and the street price should be about $2100 or so. I think that is pretty reasonable given today's prices for instruments of this calibre.

BTW I am disappointed that the tail of the Q was cropped off on that glamour shot of your group on the mag cover.


Jim Garber
Nov-25-2004, 9:17am
Um.. Confused here. Vertical sound hole? If it's like the one pictured on the magazine cover Ted linked to, I'd say that's more traditional - just like Gibson oval holes. However, if the new one's like the Lewis Django model (http://www.michaellewisinstruments.com/old/images/thumbjango_02.jpg) then I'd believe it was like a Selmer.. Which one is it?
Ted's has the soundhole that is more Gibson-like and the one I played had a Selmer-like soundhole. I think it makes it even more unusual looking. I think Rigel is always experimenting.


Nov-25-2004, 9:35am

Congrats on your award. Oh, and nice Rigel on the cover!

Ted Eschliman
Dec-29-2004, 11:03am
The other "standard" finish, Doppio con Zucchero:


Ted Eschliman
May-24-2005, 11:50am
New headstock inlay on the Q's as of May 2005...


Take the "Q"...

Steve Davis
May-24-2005, 1:01pm
I played this one at the very fine Vintage Fret Shop (NFI) and love the feel and sound. I wonder why there are two styles of oval soundhole though and particularly wonder about the effect on the sound. This one is obviously of the "vertical" species. Email me Ted with your price but I'm afraid I'll only be able to buy one in my dreams. -Steve

Steve Davis
May-24-2005, 1:02pm
Sorry I couldn't download the picture for some reason. You can see it at Vintagefret.com

Jim Garber
May-24-2005, 2:04pm
That one has the vertical soundhole which PM calls the petit bouche. Very similar to the one I played at CMSA.


Steve Davis
May-25-2005, 4:14pm
Hopefully this time