Carved-top bouzouki made by Hans de Louter, 1998

A picture of my new instrument, the first carved-top bouzouki built by Hans de Louter. Though this type of instrument is more work-intensive than the flat-top design he built up to now (some 6 of them), it will not be the last, as he is currently working on a second one he intends to keep for himself.

This instrument has slightly different specs, based on my experiences with the other one: scale is now 63.8 (was 65cm), neck is slightly wider (38mm instread of 35mm), but most other details were maintained: same body size, neck adjust though soundhole, same headstock construction with the back veneer that follows the curve up to the ornament with the M.O.P. inlay, which now shows a "Celtic Chicken" instead of the "Twin Birds" that were used on all flat-top bouzoukis.

The tailpiece on this one is also a new design, simpler in construction, but visually a better match for the rest of the instrument.


What was done basically different on this one is the neck-to-body joint. While my (the first) flat-top had the heel and heelblock as one, the new one has a guitar-like heel set into a separate heelblock, using the traditional swallowtail joint. This allows better control over the neck angle, and allows the neck and body to be completed much further before being joined.

The back on this instrument is flat, not carved. We have discussed this quite a lot, and even at some point decided to go for a partly-carved back to match the appearance of the top, but in the end chose simplicity and a reliable construction over looks.

There is a fairly elaborate center strip in the back, which visually continues all the way thru' the neck. Actually, the center strip in the neck is much simpler, but it does match the width of the back strip.

The heel cap is ebony.


As you will notice at first glance, the materials used for this one are different also. Neck, back and sides are maple. The top and back are bound in rosewood. The fretboard is ebony, also bound in rosewood, with a very thin strip of maple to separate the 2 woods. The fretboard has no inlays or position markers; but there are small dots in the side of the fretboard to mark 5th, 7th and 12th positions.



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(Modified: Mon Mar 9 21:00pm by han / hspeek@xs4all.nl).