Fylde "Octavius" bouzouki.

The Fylde "Octavius" is a very common model, used by a lot of well-known players. It is semi-handmade, in a small factory somewhere in England that also makes various guitar models. The workmanship on these instruments is very high-rate, as are the materials used. Apart from the fact that they are made in series rather than as individual instruments there is no real reason to consider this as inferiour to a custom-made instrument.
As the name "Octavius" of this model suggests, it was originally set up with octave strings. I had this changed immediately when I bought it (like the Abnett, this instrument was acquired at Hobgoblin in Crawley, England), because it resulted in a thinner sound, and sounded out-of-tune higher up the neck (see the stringing guide for an explanation of the octave-string setup problems.)


The instrument is very guitar-like in construction. The head is similar in shape to that of most steel-string guitars, and so is the bridge. To avoid splitting the bridge pins are aligned in 2 rows of 4 pins, rather than 8 in line. The neck is fairly wide, which makes this instrument suitable for (clean) melody playing.


The instrument has a rather short scale (58cm), and requires slightly heavier strings than my other bouzoukis (No problem, this neck has an adjustable rod, accessable through the sound hole). This results, probably in combination with the pin-bridge and flat top and back, in a very "solid" sound with a prominent midrange and a good volume - which is the reason I bought it in the first place. It is definitely louder than the Abnett, but also sounds totally different. It tends to drown a bit if there's a guitar in the session as well.


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