Sweet-sounding acoustic/electric mandolin, plays very smoothly like all
Rigels. Tremendously responsive and
fast, with an enormous open voice.
This Rigel bears serial number 1272 on a green label marked Jeffersonville, Vermont. Thus
it dates from late 1997 or so, the initial chapter of Rigel history, when
the instruments were being built one at a time by hand
in luthier Pete Langdell's one-man shop. It has the electric guitar–style back plate
with four screws holding the bolt-on neck in place. (On later Rigels, there's no back plate; the screws were
driven in the opposite direction, from underneath the fretboard.) Back
then, there were just two Rigel models: the G110 and the S100. They were identical in construction,
but the S100 used plainer materials.
For its age it's in excellent shape, with just a few insignificant scratches and
finish checks. Features a clear maple back,
figured Vermont rock maple sides, Adirondack spruce top, 2-piece clear maple neck with graphite reinforced
rod, compound-radiused ebony fretboard with dot inlays, Loar-style adjustable bridge,
and proprietary Rigel internal piezo pickup.
Jumbo frets are in good shape with no grooves. Tobacco sunburst finish. Nickel-plated hardware
including Grover tuners and 1-piece downhook tailpiece. The floating pickguard
has been replaced with a clear surface-mounted pickguard, but the
original is in the case and can be reattached if you like. Original
form-fitting hardshell rectangular TKL-style case has blue lining and is covered
in black Tolex.
Rigel no longer offers the S100. The nearest
equivalent, the G110, costs $5,495, and they're available only
by custom order. For less than half that amount, this mandolin can be
yours. I still esteem Rigels as the finest acoustic/electric
mandolins ever built. See
for more information. $2,500 plus shipping.