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.
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,
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