The traces of bear claw

Mastering the sound!

Fantasy Bear made with 3d software by SDimis

The bowl has been carefully cleaned from glues, scraped and sanded.Small strips of paper have been glued across the staves' connections to reinforce the bowl construction.This is an old technique used by the famous luthier A. Stathopoulos of "House of Stathopoulo".

No additional paper will be added inside the bowl, following the traditional technique.

Also the spruce wood for the soundboard has been selected and cut to bowl's measurements. The soundboard, is one of the most important elements in the bouzouki construction, and the main factor with the luthier's talent, at the creation of quality sound.
Giannis selected an AAA Master Grade spruce with traces of "bear claw",{which is just a natural deformation in the trees growth}, fully restored (approx. 10 grain lines per cm).

From a post in the "Greek Bouzouki Forum" we read:

"Does the closeness or tightness of the grain lines on the wood of the kapaki have any influence on the quality of the sound?

In general, the closer and tighter the grain, the better the sound should be. However, uniformity of the grain line is also important, so even though in the middle if the grain lines are very tight and then get a lot further apart, that is probably not as good as being a little bit further apart, but uniform.

A closer-spaced line pattern on a piece of wood makes it stiffer. Now a stiffer wood will allow the luthier to make a thinner, more resounding soundboard, with the same strength, so it doesn't buckle. This allows the luthier to make a better instrument.

The soundboard plays a significant role in the Sound. But knowing how to Brace the soundboard is even more Significant yet. You can give a Luthier a AAA Master Grade kapaki, if he doesn't know how to brace it to get a sound, you might as well have given him Sheetrock.

What I mean by this is, every luthier knows hows to put the soundboard on, it was Zozef that was the master who knew how to brace the kapaki and get a sound."

And from a post in " Forum" , we read:

"My understanding is that "bear claw" is not just cosmetic. Those lines represent stress lines (when the tree was living) that cause the grain of the wood to be more dense (i.e. tighter grained). It is this property that is reported to allow thinner kapakia to produce a booming sound.

Despite the fact that the grain may or may not be denser..or tighter.. in an area of bear one can actually test this hypothesis...its quite difficult to prove..and this is why you wont hear any well respected luthier claim its necessarily better

The kapaki should be thinned to a particular stiffness and flexibility...if it reaches that flexibility at a thinner level..then it is also lighter..for the most part..and this adds color to the notes as it can resonate better with different frequencies."


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