Looking for Bouzouki

Looking for Bouzouki

Hey, Anyone know of good bouzoukis ranging from $400-$1,000 dollars? I am looking for nice quality and the price somewhere around that range. If you know anyone selling any or any good websites/makers that offer them, please respond. Thanks. Stephen

Re: Looking for Bouzouki

Obviously not going to be the best, but Fender are making flat back bouzoukis now.

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Re: Looking for Bouzouki

Many good bouzoukis around that price range, but it depends if your patient, if you want a Bouzouki immidiately then a moon guitars bouzouki is quite nice(http://www.moonguitars.co.uk/). If you are not in a hurry then consider a Stuart(Davy Stuart- www.stuart.co.nz). However this is my opinion.


Re: Looking for Bouzouki

Here are some:


A nice one by Paul Doyle. There are also two Johnsons on the Mandolin Cafe classifieds, but I wouldn’t call them "good" tho they are fairly popular as starter instruments.

Davy Stuart’s instruments are very nice. There are tens of luthiers making Irish-style bouzoukis now, but few who make for the price you mention.

In the Mandolin Cafe forum section there is an area called "CBOM" for "cittern, bouzouki, octave mandolin" and folks there discuss and know many luthiers who make these things. There is also a builders’ section there with addresses, phone numbers and websites of luthiers who make instruments in the mandolin family.


There aren’t a lot of instruments in that range that aren’t made in the Pacific Rim. Of those, the Trinity College, Fender and Michael Kelly may be the better. Morgan Monroe, Johnson, Tyler Mountain, some others, all pretty similar and probably made in the same Asian factories, are inexpensive.

David Webber of British Columbia in Canada makes a nice one for just around a thousand $. The Michael Kelly is an F-body instrument for just over $1k but I have no idea what it is like in person, I’ve only seen it on the web. Some folks on the Cafe have recommended avoiding it, tho.

Here’s another list of builders on Han Speek’s great ‘zouk site:

And here’s Bill Peterson’s site. Bill’s instruments can also be found at Elderly Instruments in Michigan (http://www.elderly.com) and start at around $1k.

That’s a start… I bought a Johnson for my first, and hated it. Then I found a used Fylde Octavius that was great fun and helped me learn what I wanted from a better instrument, and I ordered a B-II model from California luthier Phil Crump.
(http://pwcrumpco.com) I really enjoy that one a LOT and I think it was very fairly priced relative to the luthiers’ market prices. Use the link below my signature to hear some samples with the Crump in them.

Between Han Speek’s and the Mando Cafe, you can find about all the folks making these things. Bouzouki fever is wonderful… <GG>

I hope this helps,


Re: Looking for Bouzouki

A lot of the hand-made instrument are going to be outside of your price range. (And I wouldn’t bother with factory types like Trinity, etc… I can’t stand them… but that’s just my opinion.) One that isn’t is http://www.kennaquhair.com/ (Well, Doug’s current price is $1045, but that’s with a pickup that I suppose you could negotiate out of the zouk to reduce the price.)

I’ve had one for a couple years and I’m really happy with it. This one is mine… http://www.kennaquhair.com/sn169/


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Re: Looking for Bouzouki

The other thing to remember is that they need not stay only as good as you find them. My recommendation is for a Red Henry pattern bridge and you will vastly improve tone and volume on even a factory-made ‘zouk. See my earlier remarks back in January ( sorry, can’t do quotes, too old-school on computers ).
But do try to get a solid-timber instrument even if it’s a Pacific-rim factory job, some of the cheaper ones can be ply (laminate) and will not substantially improve with maturity.