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A big "Thank You!" to Rick Singmaster.

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#1 bgi

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 04:29 PM

As of July 26 on Rick's web site:

We will no longer accept orders for new telescopes.

We will REMAIN OPEN for parts, repairs and customer support.

I will continue to be available, as usual, to answer the phone and return calls to my valued customers 7 days a week.

A sincere THANK YOU to all our customers, associates and suppliers for allowing us to serve for almost 25 years.

A personal note: I simply want to not work full time.

Thank you.

-Rick Singmaster


Let's all wish him an awesome retirement!

#2 choran

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 04:49 PM

Well, he has certainly earned a little rest. He has produced many, many excellent telescopes that will keep their users happy for many years to come.

#3 SkyRanger

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 05:33 PM

It's the end of an era. I am glad for Rick, but sad to see the business go. Rick told me a few years ago that he would never sell Starmaster.

I enjoyed owning three Starmasters through the years.

Gordon G

#4 Bob S.

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 06:24 PM

They broke the molds when they made Rick and his wife Carol. Two of the most supportive people that have ever been in the industry. Thanks for the 28 Starmasters I have owned over the years! Look forward to hearing many tales of your upcoming travels to Colorado and other parts of the country. BTW, thanks for helping to introduce into your product line opticians like Zambuto, Raycraft, Hall, Dodd, Lockwood and Kennedy (in no particular order). The choice of those optical engines have really helped raise the bar in Newtonians and your dedication to testing the products before leaving your shop is a testament to your ethics and care/concern for the end users.

#5 CHASLX200

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 06:55 PM

Rick was the best. If everyone was like he was this would be a much better world to live in.

Chas

#6 scoping

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 06:32 AM

They broke the molds when they made Rick and his wife Carol. Two of the most supportive people that have ever been in the industry. Thanks for the 28 Starmasters I have owned over the years! Look forward to hearing many tales of your upcoming travels to Colorado and other parts of the country. BTW, thanks for helping to introduce into your product line opticians like Zambuto, Raycraft, Hall, Dodd, Lockwood and Kennedy (in no particular order). The choice of those optical engines have really helped raise the bar in Newtonians and your dedication to testing the products before leaving your shop is a testament to your ethics and care/concern for the end users.




28 scopes. Junky much. :watching:

#7 Bob S.

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 08:08 AM

They broke the molds when they made Rick and his wife Carol. Two of the most supportive people that have ever been in the industry. Thanks for the 28 Starmasters I have owned over the years! Look forward to hearing many tales of your upcoming travels to Colorado and other parts of the country. BTW, thanks for helping to introduce into your product line opticians like Zambuto, Raycraft, Hall, Dodd, Lockwood and Kennedy (in no particular order). The choice of those optical engines have really helped raise the bar in Newtonians and your dedication to testing the products before leaving your shop is a testament to your ethics and care/concern for the end users.




28 scopes. Junky much. :watching:


Hi, I'm Bob and I am a scopeaholic... :foreheadslap:

#8 scoping

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 08:17 AM

They broke the molds when they made Rick and his wife Carol. Two of the most supportive people that have ever been in the industry. Thanks for the 28 Starmasters I have owned over the years! Look forward to hearing many tales of your upcoming travels to Colorado and other parts of the country. BTW, thanks for helping to introduce into your product line opticians like Zambuto, Raycraft, Hall, Dodd, Lockwood and Kennedy (in no particular order). The choice of those optical engines have really helped raise the bar in Newtonians and your dedication to testing the products before leaving your shop is a testament to your ethics and care/concern for the end users.




28 scopes. Junky much. :watching:


Hi, I'm Bob and I am a scopeaholic... :foreheadslap:



I am in denial. :whistle:

#9 David Pavlich

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 08:21 AM

Thanks for posting that! We hate to see talents like Rick stop making astrohardware, but I don't blame him one bit. I'm close to retirement and hope to be able to post somewhere that I won't be stringing racquets anymore.

David

#10 turtle86

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 08:56 AM

Can't say enough good things about Rick. He is truly a pioneer who helped bring about a paradigm shift in amateur astronomy. He showed that large fast thin mirrors could do wondrous things if they were figured by the likes of Zambuto or Lockwood and then placed into one of his ingeniously-designed Dob structures. His Dobs were among the first to have go-to.

But the best thing about Rick is that he really cares. When I first got my 18" about 9 years ago, he patiently answered all my questions and was always just a phone call away for support. When I finally got to meet him in person a few years ago, and he asked me how much I enjoyed using my scope, I told him, "They'll have to pry it from my cold dead fingers." That got a big laugh from him.

That Rick is still willing to help his customers even after his retirement from building scopes shows how much he cares.

Thank you, Rick, and enjoy your well-deserved retirement!

#11 peleuba

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 09:07 AM

They broke the molds when they made Rick and his wife Carol. Two of the most supportive people that have ever been in the industry.


I agree. Commercially, it was Rick partnering with John Hall in the 1990's and then then later with Carl Zambuto who pioneered the thin substrate (sub 2" edge thickness). Other ATM's at the time were experimenting but it was Rick who first did it in a production shop.

To echo the previous sentiment, Rick and Carol are wonderful people in a hobby with many great folks. To me, the unsung hero within the Starmaster family is Bob Kirshenmann (spelling?)... Bob manufactured all of the mirror cells for all StarMasters and the entire OTA for the "Versa" series. I've spent many hours troubleshooting an early model Versa-8 with Bob and he is super nice guy and a talented metal worker.

I've owned six Starmasters the current one, is, I think, my favorite. Its an 11" F/4.5 "shorty" Hybrid that I use on a Tom O. platform. I love it! So much so that I was just about to call Rick - like later this week - to see if I could order the same telescope but in a 12.5" F4.5" form factor. This 12.5" would be my last telescope.

My current 11" Shorty-Hybrid StarMaster is what saved the hobby for me. I nearly got out after almost 40 years of continuous telescope ownership because I had some bad luck and bad experiences with two telescopes/vendors (a refractor and a reflector) that I took delivery of in 2012. A friend somewhat local to me had this 11" Shorty and I purchased it. These StarMasters just work... The elegance is in their simplicity. Yes some other designs have better woodworking but out of the box nothing comes close to a StarMaster.

Thanks a bunch, Rick!

#12 Doug Culbertson

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 09:13 AM

I have also owned six Starmasters, and it was always a pleasure talking to Rick on the telephone, and running into him at star parties. The hobby will definitely be poorer in his absence, but I congratulate him on his retirement!

Thinking back on it, it's kind of funny to think that when I called to order my first Starmaster that I almost didn't go through with the order when Rick told me that he had switched from using Pegasus mirrors (the one Starmaster that I had previously looked through had a fine Pegasus mirror) to some guy named Carl Zambuto.

#13 peleuba

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 09:22 AM

Thinking back on it, it's kind of funny to think that when I called to order my first Starmaster that I almost didn't go through with the order when Rick told me that he had switched from using Pegasus mirrors (the one Starmaster that I had previously looked through had a fine Pegasus mirror) to some guy named Carl Zambuto.


Hi Doug - you know, I bet your not the only person who had second thoughts on this... Kinda funny!

#14 Achernar

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 08:42 PM

I actually met him at Okie-Tex back in 2006. He is a very nice guy who really knows his stuff. I learned a few things from him about how to truly collimate a Newtonian. I also had a chance to see and look through one of his Starmasters, which was a fantastic telescope in every way. All the best to him and his wife.

Taras

#15 AMerritt

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 12:14 AM

Rick's scopes are not only fantastic - he really cares if you USE them. His pioneering of incorporating thin mirrors to make larger scopes more functional/user friendly and using the best mirrors he could find, not just based on "reputation" but actual observable fact and test reflect his high standards and excellent workmanship.
As other have said, he's great to talk to, has wonderful advice. I have had several Starmasters, loved each one, and plan to keep my current two forever!!
Enjoy your retirement, Rick!!!!
Thanks to Carol, and all the team that has helped give us truly awesome scopes!!

#16 photiost

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 06:40 AM

The Starmaster / Zambuto combination produced some truly spectacular telescopes.

Guess I will be holding on to my Starmaster for quite a while yet.

Enjoy your retirement Rick !!

#17 Jarad

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 03:00 PM

I owned an 18" SM scope, and got great support from Rick. He delivered it in person, drove all the way to Atlanta. As everyone else mentioned, he gave terrific support to the owners of his scopes. In addition to introducing us to thin mirrors and high quality Zambuto optics, he was also one of the first to put full GOTO capabilities on a big dob. Even though there are newer systems out there, I still think his drive system was one of the easiest to use, and I loved the little sing-song sound it made as it zeroed in on an object.

Jarad

#18 peleuba

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Posted 31 July 2014 - 10:49 AM

In addition to introducing us to thin mirrors and high quality Zambuto optics, he was also one of the first to put full GOTO capabilities on a big dob. Even though there are newer systems out there, I still think his drive system was one of the easiest to use, and I loved the little sing-song sound it made as it zeroed in on an object.

Jarad


That's a great point about goto. The SkyTracker just worked. Yes, the Argo Navis/ServoCat combination is, perhaps, perceived as more sexy and more modern etc. The learning curve seems huge. For simplicity and working out of the box with little fuss the SkyCommander/SkyTracker combo is the bomb.

#19 bgi

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Posted 04 August 2014 - 04:34 PM

Still loving the 18 you sold me, Jarad.  It's getting a top-end make-over since I've started using heavy eyepieces.  The old sonotube can't handle the weight.  No, you can't have it back!  lol



#20 dragonstar4565

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Posted 05 August 2014 - 10:18 PM

Although I don't know Rick, and have never owned a Starmaster telescope, I wish him the best... :)



#21 CHASLX200

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 06:50 PM

Nothing like seeing the planets at 800 to over 1100x with the 5 Starmasters i owned in the past.

 

Chas



#22 NHRob

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 07:00 PM

Have owned a few Starmasters and spoken with Rick a few times.  He was a groundbreaker in the realm of high end dobs.

Great guy ... an icon.  Can't imagine this hobby without him in it.



#23 Denimsky

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Posted 06 August 2014 - 09:10 PM

I love my 11" Starmaster shown in my profile picture.

 

Rick also came up with the hybrid design with which you can keep the trusses and the UTA assembled (I think that similar concept has been adapted to Teeter's scopes recently).








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