My name is Rich Shulman, I design and build all RichTone Stringed Instruments.

I've been building instruments since 1997, and, currently, have completed 127. I started out building acoustic & electric mandolins. Later came short-scale banjos, octave mandolin, electric guitar, stand-up electric bass, and some "hybrid" instruments too. 

Since 2013, I've focused mostly on building acoustic guitars. However, I still enjoy building other instruments. 

The knowledge that I've gained from acoustic guitar building, has already crossed over into improvements in everything else that I build.

One of the main principles of my building...regardless of the instrument, is to make the sides as stiff as possible. As a matter of fact, the sides & neck of my mandolin are one solid piece (no bent wood). 

I had completed 51 instruments when I came to find out that this style of construction is similar to an early mandolin design by Orville Gibson!

The sides are not involved in sound production, so any energy that is released out of the sides is wasted. By stiffening the sides, the amount of energy released from the sides is reduced. However, that energy has got to go somewhere, so at least some of it goes back to the top....more energy to the top means more sound production.

On the acoustic guitars that I'm now building, I stiffen the sides by utilizing a "tone-ring" in the construction. 

Since I began building flat-top mandolins in 1997, I've been faced with one inherent problem. That is, keeping the top from pushing down below horizontal, without over-bracing it, since there is only downward pressure on the top. 

Well, after about 19 years. While working on a flat-top guitar with a floating bridge (same problem as with the mandos....only downward pressure on the top), I developed a system utilizing a carbon fiber rod integrated into the bracing. There is no mass added by doing this...but it's now stronger, with added volume, and improved tone & responsiveness! 

I've adapted this system to my mandolins, with great results.

And I've also adapted it to my pin-bridge guitars....not only does it improve the tone, responsiveness, & volume, but it prevents "belly-ing".

So before you plunk down big $$$ for something else, it may be worth your while to check me out....   

I enjoy building "hybrid" instruments too, so if you've got an idea, get in touch, maybe we can make it a reality..... 

You can contact me at (704) 519-6491, or email me at

Check out "RichTone Stringed Instruments", on Facebook, for more recent pictures and updates.


Flat-Top Pin Bridge Acoustic Guitars

                   13 fret L-00 "Nick Lucas" style             12 fret L-00 style                 12 fret mini dreadnaught                   14 fret L-00 style

Acoustic Mandolin

acoustic mandolin

            Spruce top, maple neck & sides, canarywood back. I've adapted the carbon fiber brace support system that I developed for my acoustic guitars, to work on my acoustic mandolins now they too have a nice flat top, and improved tone & volume!

Short-scale "baby" Banjo

                                            It's tuned like a conventional banjo, but it's got a 16" scale, so it's an octave higher than standard.                                                         Available with or without a resonator back.

Electric Mandolins

                                                                     Solid body, Humbucker pick-up, volume & tone controls

                                                                   Semi-hollow body, Humbucker pick-up, volume & tone controls


 Thanks for stopping by...have a good one....


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