The Sound-board and its Sound

Sound-board profile under microscope!

Without trying to simplify the most difficult, important, and serious technique of bracing and tuning the soundboard of a bouzouki instrument, and without being myself a luthier, or having any experience at all in bouzouki construction, I decided to write a short post regarding the timbre of a bouzouki sound, and how this can be influenced by the sound-board's profile construction.

Of course the quality and timbre of a bouzouki sound depends on a lot of other factors, as the volume of the bowl , depth of the bowl, size of the sound hole, bracing of the soundboard, thickness of the soundboard, woods of the soundboard and bowl, bridge dimensions and materials, scale of the instrument and many many more.

Here, we are investigating the different sound three bouzoukia would produced if they have been constructed with the three different soundboard profiles , but with all other elements and factors , identical .

My attempt, writing and sharing this post is to verify with luthier friends, if my assumptions from observations are correct.

At the first profile, I am illustrating a bouzouki soundboard , with the characteristic small dip under the bridge, and the elevated angle towards the tail piece.
From my small experience and observation ,I have come to the conclusion that bouzoukia constructed this way, produce a bass , loud, (μπάσο) and full sound .
The playability is very soft and the action low. The bridge in this case strongly vibrates and slightly pulsates on the soundboard.

At the second drawing, I am illustrating a bouzouki soundboard constructed with an almost straight line profile.
Bouzoukia with this construction produce a balanced sound of bass, mids, and high tones. Their timbre is a little more dry, with a balanced chap on their sound

The last drawing illustrates a soundboard constructed with the characteristic sharp break angle after the bridge , and a decline angle towards the tailpiece .
A bouzouki created with this construction usually creates a very strong, dry,(πριμο) full of chap timbre.
Its bridge sits firmly on top of the soundboard with a very small ability to vibrate.
The action on this construction is a little higher and the playability feels a little " harder"

Please comment with your input, in case my observations and conclusions are completely incorrect .Thank you !


Popular Posts