P E T E R     A B N E T T
MAKER OF STRINGED INSTRUMENTS FOR OVER THIRTY YEARS
63 WHITEHOUSE CRESCENT, BURHAM NR. ROCHESTER, KENT. ME 13 SU.
Telephone: 01 634 865254 E Mail: DAbnett@aol.com

BOUZOUKIS & RELATED INSTRUMENTS.
MANDOLIN, MANDOLA, CITTERN, ETC.
Abnett bouzouki
The ABNETT BOUZOUKI may justly be accepted as the ORIGINAL Irish Bouzouki which is now recognised as a type in its own right. Working with Donal Lunny and Planxty, the instrument was developed by Peter Abnett from the Greek model and apart from the modification to the strings and tunings, the shape of the body was changed to a "teardrop" design fitted with a unique three piece dished back to capture a particular and distinctive sound. Since its conception in 1970, the ABNETT BOUZOUKI has inspired a number of of other makers to try developments in various ways with varying degrees of success. But it is the shape of the back, a highly specialised and difficult feature to con- struct in wood, that makes the ABNETT BOUZOUKI particular and special. While other makers offer only flat backed instruments, over the years the ABNETT BOUZOUKI has been enlarged, refined and developed constantly. It represents the finest example of the Irish Bouzouki currently available.

BOUZOUKIS are constructed to a scale length of 66cms with eight strings in four courses usually tuned to G D A E pitched an octave below a mandolin. With almost no exceptions, players prefer the pairs of strings to be tuned in unison although the traditional Greek bouzouki has the lower courses tuned in octaves. Ten stringed versions which have come to be known (incorrectly) as citterns, are also offered with a shorter scale and a variety of tunings, most commonly G C G C G or A D A D A.
CONSTRUCTION & MATERIALS
The body is made of Indian Rosewood with a dished, three panel back A flat back with a slight belly is also available but the dished back retains the tonal and reflective qualities of the traditional, fully round- ed instrument, and at the same time, renders it easier and more comfortable to hold and control. Other timbers that can be used instead of Rosewood such as Maple, Walnut, Mahogany, lmbuya, etc are usually available, but Rosewood is the first choice. Spruce is the preferred wood for the front although Cedar is sometimes requested for its colour. When applied to the bouzouki, there is very little difference between these woods acoustically, but Cedar tends to be softer and therefore more easily marked with a pick. The neck is made from Honduras Mahogany, steel braced, and fitted with an ebony fingerboard.


Return to the European makers page. -- Next (page 2)