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Author Topic: Castagnari Rik v Beltuna Samuel II  (Read 725 times)

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Debbie

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Castagnari Rik v Beltuna Samuel II
« on: February 26, 2020, 12:22:22 PM »


Does anyone have experience of either of these instruments? My pros and cons list is neck and neck at the moment so it would be good to hear your experiences of either instrument. They look very comparable on paper and both come from highly regarded makers. The Beltuna comes in a bit smaller and a tad lighter than the Rik, which surprised me as I understand they are regarded as heavy instruments. I love the Beltuna sound but I was really taken by the Rik I tried out recently. Any insight would be welcome, otherwise I'll still be deciding this time next year. Cheers!
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Theo

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Re: Castagnari Rik v Beltuna Samuel II
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2020, 12:27:39 PM »

I think it comes down to which one has the sound and feel that you like best.
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Castagnari Rik v Beltuna Samuel II
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2020, 01:44:10 PM »

What Theo said - they are very similar in specifications, so it does indeed comes down to what sound and feel you like best.

One small deciding factor for me would be the over-long feet that Beltuna always seem to put on the LH ends. In my (limited) experience of playing Beltunas, the feet tend to get caught up more easily in the straps and/or clothing, and possibly are more prone to knocks because they stick out so much. The Castagnari feet are shorter and more squat, and don't normally have this potential drawback. I suppose you could always swap the Beltuna feet for different ones.

Also, Beltuna instruments tend to have a smooth, buttery sort of sound compared with the Castagnari sound which, to me, has that slightly brighter edge. But it's a very personal thing.

I would also advise you to check on waiting times and prices. Pete Ward (Acorn Instruments) currently has a new Rik in stock advertised at £3375. I believe Castagnari will be increasing their prices soon and possibly so will Beltuna.
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Steve
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Debbie

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Re: Castagnari Rik v Beltuna Samuel II
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2020, 04:49:18 PM »

Thanks Steve. It was Pete's Rik that I had the pleasure of playing. And yes, I believe a price increase is imminent so I need to decide soon. I really need to find someone in the Shropshire area willing to let me have a go on their Beltuna. I'll probably post a message asking if anyone is willing. I'll be sure to watch out for those sticky-out feet!  ;)
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Castagnari Rik v Beltuna Samuel II
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2020, 06:29:15 PM »

Yes - I wondered if you had played that Rik.
A bird in the hand... etc.
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Steve
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playandteach

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Re: Castagnari Rik v Beltuna Samuel II
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2020, 06:33:50 PM »

I'd say that the specific instrument is more important than the distinction between makes. If you have played an instrument you like a lot, and are in the market for that type of layout, I'd be keen to buy the precise one I liked. I've tried great and ordinary versions of the same model, even the same vintage. For me sound and response are the most important factors. Cosmetics are irrelevant to me. Be great to hear it, whichever  you end up with.
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Debbie

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Re: Castagnari Rik v Beltuna Samuel II
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2020, 04:34:09 PM »

Thank you for your responses. I agree, in an ideal world it would be great to buy the instrument you test drive, but alas, the Rik was not in the layout I'm after.

I don't think I can go far wrong with either instrument, and a massive step up from what I'm currently playing. Either will be a joy to play in comparison.

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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Castagnari Rik v Beltuna Samuel II
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2020, 05:09:47 PM »

...but alas, the Rik was not in the layout I'm after.
How far off is it from what you want? Depending what you do want (or think you want) it may be possible to change the layout, either by retuning some reeds or (better) to order replacement reeds for what you want. Pete Ward is well placed with Castagnari to do this.

The Castagnari standard factory layout is actually very good and playable. I do sometimes feel that people should give a given layout a chance and get familiar with it rather than rejecting it outright at the beginning. If, after a few weeks of playing, it still proves to be unsuitable, then that is maybe the time to consider alterations.
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Steve
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butimba

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Re: Castagnari Rik v Beltuna Samuel II
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2020, 09:27:36 AM »

I've got a Beltuna Alex 2. Like Steve says, it's got a creamier, smoother sound than a Castagnari. But the sticky-out feet haven't bothered me in the slightest! I simply don't notice them.  (:)

I don't know if this is the same with the Samuel, but my Beltuna has a really big bass sound that sometimes overpowers the right hand. Most of the time I love this - the sound of the bass is why I bought the instrument, and various people have commented on how good it sounds in sessions etc. - but it's also occasionally frustrating and means some tunes just don't work. That might be another thing to consider.
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Debbie

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Re: Castagnari Rik v Beltuna Samuel II
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2020, 10:03:24 AM »

Thanks everyone for your responses. It doesn't make the decision easier but will hopefully result in a more informed decision.
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Re: Castagnari Rik v Beltuna Samuel II
« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2020, 10:31:05 AM »


One small deciding factor for me would be the over-long feet that Beltuna always seem to put on the LH ends. In my (limited) experience of playing Beltunas, the feet tend to get caught up more easily in the straps and/or clothing, and possibly are more prone to knocks because they stick out so much.
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Schnorbitz

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Re: Castagnari Rik v Beltuna Samuel II
« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2020, 06:56:10 AM »

Hi Debbie

I own a D/G Rik (it’s a 1980s ‘window’ model). It’s identical to the current model apart from not having the bass couplers. That is not a problem for me as I always like thirds out. I absolutely love it. My plan was to move it on when I purchased a Handry. I just couldn't do it and the Rik stayed put. I also love the Handry but the two are very different boxes. I find the Rik is lighter, faster and the smaller size makes it a bit more ergonomic. The Handry has the advantage of an L reed but that is another discussion. Its always a toss up as to whether I’ll pick up the Rik or Handry when I walk into my office. So much for having the one ultimate box! Tone wise I love the Castagnari sound so that is a very personal decision. I’ve no real experience with Beltunas so cannot really comment but if you did go Rik you would not be disappointed. They hold their value as well.
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