I have used quarter sawn Oregin Pine for Irish bouzouki tops with fine results! Main reason for using spruce rather than pine is weight/stiffness ratio I think. See attached picture for two of my pinetop zouks.
I think you're doing a terrific job! I'm a real parlour guitar addict myself and have built several; starting up a new series of six right now and the previous series can be seen and heard on my site:…"
a lot of differences indeed, but the one similarity is that we are deeply involved in the art of building and playing these beautiful and interesting instruments and enjoying their beautiful sound... Shortly I will finish my first…"
After watching these videos of yours, one thing we may be sure of: the only similarty between an Iris bouzouki and a Portuguese gutar is the soundbox shape...
Nevertheless, I did enjoy the songs (mostly whisky in the jar), and I did like…"
To be honest, I don't know how a bouzouki is tuned.
The tuning of Portuguese guitar is absolutely demential:
1st pair: bb
2nd pair: aa
3rd pair: ee
4th pair: bB
5th pair: aA
6th pair: dD
meaning that the 3 first pairs are tuned in unison and the 3 last pairs are tuned in octaves.
I also don't know much about the origins of bouzoukis. Have they evolved from mandolins? And how the hell was that migration from Greece to Ireland?
Portuguese guitars too have an interesting story: they seem to descend from old European citterns, but there was an inportant influence of the 18th century " English Gittars".
One of the particular featutures of the Portuguese guitars is the top strutting: they have three transverse bars, the first near the neck aproximately under the 15th fret, the other two right before and right after the bridge. But there is also a longitudinal bar uniting the third transverse bar to the tailblock. This longitudinal bar is put in place under pressure to counteract the string tension on the bridge..
I'd be delighted to discuss any aspect of instrument making with you...
Saw your comment at guitar makers group discussion on "Terroir...". Then I noticed your instrument which, at first glance, looked a lot like mine. In fact, it is rather different, but, after all, I can see that we both have a passion for instrument making. So, you're invited to my page, have a look on Portuguese guitars, see how they look, hear how they sound and... maybe we have a lot to talk about! I'm curious about that thick nut in your bouzouki's bridge. Is it a way to get better intonation, or does it conceal a pick-up?