Bouzouki made by Hans de Louter, 1995

A picture of my main instrument. It was made for me by a Dutch violin maker, Hans de Louter, who up to now was known best for his copies of Selmer/Maccaferri gypsy-jazz guitars (and for his violins/violas, of course). This instrument is his attempt to switch over to making folk instruments. I provided the basic specs, such as scale (65cm), neck width (35mm), and that I wanted an adjustable neck pin, accessable through the soundhole. We went through some lengthy discussions about the overall looks of the instrument, but the final design was done by him.

The shape of the instrument's head caused a bit of a delay in the design phase. Hans insisted on having a "classic" cittern ornament on top, but didn't know how to combine "classic" and "Celtic" look into something that could actually be made. He ended up making neck and head out of one piece of wood, with a thick layer of ebony veneer around the back of the curl to supply strength. The veneer at the front of the head ends in the curl. The Celtic "birds"-inlay is a single piece of mother-of-pearl, handcut and engraved to provide the details.
The tuners are gold-plated mini-Shallers, with brownish plastic knobs.

The ring around the soundhole consists of handcut pieces of mother-of-pearl and abalone, enclosed in rings of light and dark wood. The 2 black V-shaped pieces at the bottom of the soundhole (left and right of the strings) surround the abalone, and are a typical deLouter trademark.

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(Modified: Wed Aug 16 13:18pm by han /