Old Bouzoukia

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Pierce H.

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Jan 11, 2013, 3:11:38 PM1/11/13
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Yeia sas rebetes,

I am currently looking to buy another bouzouki and have been searching  for information about old bouzoukia - from the 60's and older.

I know the prices tend to seem to be relatively high from what I have seen - not including the necessary restoration work almost all of them need - but nonetheless I am interested in possibly buying an old bouzouki or getting a custom made replica of a bouzouki in that style(maybe Stathopoulos replica?) like the guy on the "memories of an innocent age" blogspot is doing.

Before I commit to that idea though I need a lot more information and wonder if any of you all have ever played and or own an old bouzouki (especially Stathopoulos or similar style) but also any other bouzouki from "back in the  day". Eg. tone, action etc. 

Thanks for any info anybody can provide!

Best regards and kales pennies se olous,

Pierce Hansen



Mr. Narghile

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Jan 15, 2013, 3:34:15 PM1/15/13
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Hi Pierce,

I have an old one built in the Stathopoulos style. You can read about it and others on this blog I put together a couple years ago when researching the maker, Alexandros Politis of New York.
http://oldbouzoukia.wordpress.com/

dave

Pierce H.

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Jan 17, 2013, 2:21:28 PM1/17/13
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Hi Dave,

That's a nice looking bouzouki. That is pretty much the kind of bouzouki I am looking for(I think) - I vacillate between waiting to find an old one, getting a newer style one, or getting a new one made to look old, but I am leaning toward waiting for an old one(although I don't really like buying one ebay its probably what I will have to do).

Thanks for the link, its good to know this group is still alive - its been really quite this past year.

Pierce




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Peter Semmes-Hansen

Mr. Narghile

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Jan 17, 2013, 8:01:03 PM1/17/13
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yeah, I love playing that old bouzouki. I lucked out because it was in good condition and I happen to know a luthier familiar with greek instruments who was able to work on it. But most old bouzoukia seem to have a lot of problems and are expensive mostly as collectors items. In fact, a friend here in San Francisco found one by the same maker as mine, but it was not as playable, probably needing a new neck.

If what you're are looking for is the sound and feel of those old time instruments, you might want to consider finding an old mandola and having a neck built. I tried to include measurements on the oldbouzoukia blog as a resource for anyone who wants to explore the dimensions of these older instruments.

NondasDervisis

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Jan 17, 2013, 11:37:56 PM1/17/13
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Hey Petro,I'd like you to take a look at the page on Facebook I created entitled "The Jack Halikias Foundation", on that site you can find pictures of Halikias' 1940 Zozef (the oldest known Zozef, it still has the canted top like a mandola, in my opinion it is the best sounding bouzouki I've ever heard, though it isn't in the best shape). I admire your attempt to get a new bouzouki with an old look/sound/feel, but from all my experiences none of the current day Greek luthiers can replicate that sound, so I thought I might try to have an Armenian or Arabic, etc. luthier make one for me, as it seems they have kept more of the tradition alive. I have yet to actually do this, but I thought you might like it if I shared the idea. Here is the link for the site: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jack-HalikiasGregory%CE%99%CF%89%CE%AC%CE%BD%CE%BD%CE%B7%CF%82-%CE%A7%CE%B1%CE%BB%CE%B9%CE%BA%CE%B9%CE%AC%CF%82-Foundation/133891123347459?fref=ts.

I wish you luck,
Aidan 
 

Pierce H.

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Jan 18, 2013, 12:50:04 PM1/18/13
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Dave,

That is a cool idea about the mandola conversion, I always see tons of those on ebay for a lot less than bouzoukia made in the same period.

The last old bouzouki I saw was a Stathopoulos in what looked to be okay condition(albeit pretty rough, but no rougher, than my great-grandfather's 1930's classical guitar which still plays nicely), but at the time I didn't know how much they usually go for and I didn't bid over $1200 given the amount of work it would have needed to restore...I now regret not having tried for more after doing more research.

Nonda,

Thanks for the link, those are some really cool pics and an absolutely beautiful bouzouki! That is an interesting idea about having a luthier from Armenia make a bouzouki, I don't know anything about their style of instrument making though, do you have any links of websites?

Also, have you seen this blog http://memoriesoftheinnocentage.blogspot.com/ - he is having a stathopoulos duplicate made by a luthier I previously hadn't heard about in Sparta who is making a custom mold from an original that he owns.  Then there are 2 on http://www.trixordo.com/ made to look like Stathopoulos bouzoukia, but I am not sure I liked the sound(for the price) as much as my Karellas.

Thanks to both of you for the ideas,

Pierce






 

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Peter Semmes-Hansen

Mr. Narghile

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Jan 18, 2013, 2:08:49 PM1/18/13
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those old bouzoukia were fragile and didn't last long, that's why it's so hard to find one in playable condition, compared to an old mandolin or something that has sturdier construction. In fact, the changes that zozef and others introduced in the 1930s were partly about construction techniques; different bracing, neck construction, etc.

I've read that it was not uncommon for Greek luthiers to do exactly what I was suggesting - import Italian mandola bodies and outfit them with a longer neck.
Lastly, speaking of necks, be sure to check out the measurements on the oldbouzikia site and you'll notice that all the older bouzoukis had shorter necks.

keep us posted!
dave

Pierce H.

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Jan 19, 2013, 1:44:00 PM1/19/13
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That's some valuable information, Dave. Of Italian mandolas do you know of any particular luthier to look for? And any particular bouzouki maker who could(or is likely one of the better ones) to perform said conversion?

I will definitely keep you all up to date on my bouzouki quest!

Pierce


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Peter Semmes-Hansen

Mr. Narghile

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Jan 21, 2013, 1:56:41 PM1/21/13
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unfortunately, I must answer "no" to both your questions...good luck!

Pierce H.

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Feb 8, 2013, 4:33:41 PM2/8/13
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Hi Dave,

Do you think a mandolin would work for a conversion? I haven't been able to find many old mandolas, but there are plenty of nice looking mandolins. It seems that one of them would virtually make a misobouzouki?

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Peter Semmes-Hansen

Mr. Narghile

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Feb 12, 2013, 3:39:41 PM2/12/13
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Hi Petros,

I'm sure it would work, but I think the sound would be more similar to a tzoura. There's a guy in Los Angeles who makes (or used to) such hybrids. The place is called Marina Music and I think it's on the web. I can't vouch for his work though.

I think you could find a mandola though, but it might take awhile. But maybe a mandolin conversion would be good practice in the meantime!
dave

Joan Friedberg

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Feb 12, 2013, 9:48:50 PM2/12/13
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He is Aleko Sioris and is proprietor of Marina Music on Centinella Blvd. in Culver City CA. (Link below.) He is also a very accomplished bouzouki player. He doesn't actually make the instruments, but he stocks them. He has demonstrated them for me and a friend, and they produce a vintage sound that is typical of a tzouras and nothing like the sweet sound of a mandolin. I liked it very much, and my friend bought one and loves it. No two are alike.
 

Joan Friedberg






From: Mr. Narghile <squirre...@gmail.com>
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Pierce H.

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Feb 13, 2013, 3:10:24 PM2/13/13
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Thanks guys,

@Joan, So by stocks you mean he puts a tzoura style neck on a mandolin?

@Dave, a tzoura-style sound would be fine with me.  As of now, there a couple mandolins on ebay I really like and I am deciding on which one to buy.

Pierce
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Joan Friedberg

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Feb 13, 2013, 8:18:31 PM2/13/13
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I believe he has them made or acquires them from the maker, who does just that. 
 
Joan 




From: Pierce H. <maria...@gmail.com>
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Sent: Wed, February 13, 2013 12:10:28 PM
Subject: Re: Old Bouzoukia

Pierce H.

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Feb 13, 2013, 10:18:58 PM2/13/13
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Cool, btw do you happen to know his email? For some reason the link doesn't work, if not I will just give them a call this weekend or something.

Joan Friedberg

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Feb 14, 2013, 12:21:48 AM2/14/13
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I just tried the link, and it opened the site.

Alex (Aleko) Sioris
Marina Music
4564 S Centinella Blvd
Culver City


 
Joan 



Sent: Wed, February 13, 2013 7:19:00 PM
Subject: Re: Old Bouzoukia

Pierce H.

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Feb 15, 2013, 11:58:05 AM2/15/13
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Thanks, Joan. I will try to contact them today or tomorrow.

Pierce H.

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Feb 24, 2013, 3:30:11 PM2/24/13
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Geia sas magkes,

kali kyriaki se olous,

I purchased the mandolin this afternoon that I plan to convert into a tzoura/misobouzouki.  I am really looking forward to see how this project works out.

Anyway here is a link to thhe pics - More when it arrives.

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Peter Semmes-Hansen

Joan Friedberg

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Feb 24, 2013, 4:39:04 PM2/24/13
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Congratulations! It is a beautiful mandolin.
 
Joan Friedberg

joancarolfriedberg.com




Sent: Sun, February 24, 2013 12:30:15 PM
Subject: Re: Old Bouzoukia

Babis Papadimitriou

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Mar 2, 2013, 8:16:33 PM3/2/13
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Hi guys,
I finally decided to sell a vintage style bouzouki, my first bouzouki, made by theofilos bras 12 years ago. 
It looks like the one Vamvvakaris has in his hands on the famous Tetras picture.
please feel free to contact me, for sound sample, pictures ect and any information.

Thanks 
Babis

2013/2/24 Joan Friedberg <rebe...@att.net>



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Pierce H.

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Mar 3, 2013, 12:27:39 PM3/3/13
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Hi Babis,

do you have any pics?

spyrosdimis

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Mar 17, 2015, 11:04:22 AM3/17/15
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For the lovers and enthusiasts of the old rebetiko Era, I will attempt during the next months, through my luthier's  Giannis Tsoulogiannis craftsmanship, to convert a vintage 1910 bowl-back Mandolin with a lot of characteristics of the old Stathopoulos bouzoukia , to a miso-bouzouko/ tzoura.

It will  be an interesting attempt as the luthier will try to restore and save the wounded warped vintage soundboard, and reverse the time back to the pre-war era when luthiers converted mandoles and mandolins to bouzouki and tzoura instruments.

Here is a digital visualization of the initial mandolin and the future conversion to tzoura

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Es8UQb9wCqI/VQM2kzsLz5I/AAAAAAAAElE/4ZpD5fyNuo4/s1600/%24_57%2B(1).JPG

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-HI9SzXsWhuU/VQeSdBnlWAI/AAAAAAAAEqc/rWW5X6ldiuo/s640/blogger-image--1783826820.jpg


For more information please follow my blog:

http://memoriesoftheinnocentage.blogspot.com/2015/03/conversion-of-vintage-mandolin-to-miso.html
 

Ozan özdemir

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Mar 17, 2015, 2:40:13 PM3/17/15
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Nice work , thank you for sharing  
Giannis has a good hands :)


I made mulberry carving body bouzouki with mandolin' soundboard  shape, wounded warped soundboard

Here you can see some photos;










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Dimis

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Mar 17, 2015, 5:57:12 PM3/17/15
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Great work,
Do you have a sound sample of the attempt?

Giannis Tsoulogiannis has constructed for me a bouzouki copy of  A.Stathopoulos with exact measurements and soundboard with mandolin step as yours
The sound is simply amazing

Here played for testing sound quality 

Babis Papadimitriou

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Mar 18, 2015, 9:11:10 AM3/18/15
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Hi everyone,

I recently -finally- bought a pre war trichordo,
no maker's name, but all the parts must be the originals.
It has a triple mourgana and the sound is really diffrent from what we usually call a prewar style bouzouki.
I ve upoloaded two youtube videos.
Enjoy


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Ozan özdemir

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Mar 19, 2015, 6:58:02 PM3/19/15
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I upload a sample video ...
VID_20150124_180940.3gp

Νίκος Πολίτης

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Mar 20, 2015, 4:32:43 AM3/20/15
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Bravo Babi, fine instrument, fine work!

Dimis

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Mar 31, 2015, 4:44:57 PM3/31/15
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 I had the pleasure to talk with a very valuable instrument maker-Isidoro Papadamou on my blog
Restless spirit regarding the good old sound of rebetiko era, caustic in his words for those (luthiers) who do not research on how to build musical instruments with quality sound, and revealing through his person  photographic materials in creation of the exact replicas of Yovan Tsaous tambouro-bouzouko and its hollow neck construction.
Also he is giving some "behind the scene" information regarding various special unique constructions he made through the years

For more information please visit my blog

http://memoriesoftheinnocentage.blogspot.com.au/2015/03/the-theory-of-everything-in-traditional.html
 

Dimis

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Apr 2, 2015, 12:06:58 PM4/2/15
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It is the early 20th century in Unites States, and the traditional lutherie of bouzouki making, finds in the new continent , 5 worthy representatives

A detailed post on my blog, with some speculation of a really unique connection between 3 luthiers of NY, which needs further investigation

And help of information will be appreciated.Thank you!

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