View Full Version : Zouk Hunt
hi guys ....
Gonna have about £300 in about a month or so and im looking for a Zouk or a Mandola in that Price range new or Second hand and being the true Scot that I am im looking for a good one for the money i will have...
Any advice or help in any way would be great..........
Thanks in advance
£300 is a slightly awkward price point, being a bit below the entry point for handmade flattop Zouks (from around £500).
In effect you have three choices:
a) Try to find a bargain in a handmade bouzouki. You may be able to find a second-hand Freshwater, Fylde or Moon for around £300 to £400 on Ebay or the Cafe classifieds, and that is likely to suit your needs very well. As far as new instruments are concerned, Hobgoblin (http://www.hobgoblin.com/local/bouzoukiframeuk.htm) have reduced the Sherwood S Octave mando to £399, and that's the lowest you're likely to get a handmade one in the UK for. Sherwood is a house brand of Hobgoblin, which has in the past been made by various luthiers, including Freshwater. I don't know who made this particular one.
b) The generic Korean factory model. These may be badged "Trinity College" or "Ashbury" or "Morgan Monroe" or "Ozark", but the differences are relatively slight. Typical price £300 to £400 in the UK. Hobgoblin's version of this is the Ashbury, selling at £299 for the Zouk or £289 for the OM. I haven't played them, but they're said to be decent if set up properly.
c) The European factory bargain basement. Two main contenders here: Troubadour and Musikalia. Troubadour (http://www.troubadour.uk.com) bouzoukis and mandolas are made in Romania by Hora (http://hora.orizont.net/pages/mandolins.htm) and imported to the UK by David Kilpatrick in Kelso. David has these customised to his own finish specifications, which I think look nicer than Hora's default specs. These are much cheaper than your budget: David's price is £119.50 including UK shipping. You can get the Hora version from other sources (Hobgoblin again at £129 excluding shipping). I have one of these and like it a lot as a fun bashabout (but then I got it for £79 on Ebay and wasn't looking for a £300 instrument). I have no comparision, but others have commented that the Troubadours are broadly comparable in tone quality and playability to the Korean models. Musikalia (http://www.musikalia.it/en/english2.htm?http://www.musikalia.it/en/catalogue/instrument_card.asp?ID=87) instruments are made in Italy and sell at Hobgoblin for £179 (OM) and £199 (Zouk). I've never played them, but there's a useful buyer's guide at Musica Viva (http://www.musicaviva.com/buyers-guide/catlist.tpl?instcategory=md8#about-list) that says it has a "nice, mellow tone" and is well-suited to capoing (as indeed is the Troubadour).
Pete at Celtic Chords (http://www.celtic-chords.co.uk/CONTACTUS.htm) in Stonehaven stocks some of these instruments mentioned by Martin. Also have you tried Pro-sound on Holborn St, Aberdeen? They have a few in the window.
I'm just glad this thread wasn't titled "Uke Hunt"
I have a Trinity College mandola and like the sound--I think it's a GREAT bargain for the price, but I would go for a Freshwater zouk if I could afford it right now--I'm saving up for a mandocello--there aren't any "bargain" priced 'cellos that I can see! Best wishes--once in love with a zouk, it's for LIFE!
a) Try to find a bargain in a handmade bouzouki. #You may be able to find a second-hand Freshwater, Fylde or Moon for around £300 to £400 on Ebay or the Cafe classifieds, and that is likely to suit your needs very well... #
I'm seriously considering putting my hand-made Freshwater Octave Mandolin up for sale within the next few weeks. I would, though, want closer to £400 (600 Euro - I'm in Ireland) for it plus shipping. You can see a photo of it towards the bottom of page 2 of the 'post a pic of your CBOM's thread' (it's the one by the fireplace).
if you don't mind the buy before you try scenario I would try ebay, you will get a hand made greek zouk for just a wee bit more money, I prefer the greek style to the Irish but that's just me I suppose. I got one direct from Matsakis in Greece a few years ago, about 1/2 the price at Hobgoblin including postage to Scotland they have a good web site so that might be worth a try as well.
I prefer the greek style to the Irish but that's just me I suppose.
No, you and Alec Finn (for two). And, Alec plays Irish trad. on his Greek zouk.
Steve, I know, listening to Alec and Kevin McLeod who also plays a Greek is what started me off on zouk !! they have a lot to answer for http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif
Thanks for all the info i have looked up those sites ye put up Martin and they are great plenty to think about there for sure ........Bren im gonna go out and see Pete sometime next week and see what he can do for me ..
I Have a Troubadour Zouk whai i bought 2nd hand off a mate its a great instrement and has a good sound but im looking to step up now.. and you have all given me plenty to think about ....
Steve that is indeed a nice looking instrument indeed ive played a freshwater Mandolin at our wedensday session one time and liked the feel of it and maybe one day i'll get one LOL OM or a Zouk i love the drone from them
Check ebay (search on "mandola") for a listing that says "flat Irish mandola"...it is over on your side of the pond...it doesn't seem to have features that identify it as one of the makers I know (can't make out the label) but from the photos, appears to be well made... solid wood, nice binding. The seller seems new to ebay, so if this interests you, I'd suggest asking a lot of questions about the instrument (specs, quality, condition- esp. of the neck) before bidding, but the scale listed makes it in the OM range (not what we Yanks call mandola). I don't know the guy, have nothing invested... just happened to see it and remembered your inquiry.
I want to thank you Martin for that comprehensive answer! The links are very helpful.
well after an extincive Trawl through the net and checking out some Zouks i think im gonna go for the musikali Zouk . Ita a flat back with a solid Spruce top and Maghognay back and sides looks great and well within my price range so the wife will be happy about that and it capo's well and being kinda new to the Zouk thats just what im looking for .....
Thanks again for all the info everybody has given its been great
well after an extincive Trawl through the #net and checking out #some Zouks i think im gonna go for the musikali Zouk.
Al - I assume you mean 'Musikalia'. They are made in Italy and sold through the 'Hobgoblin' chain of stores, and via 'Gremlin', to non Hobgolin retailers (like me). I actually have a Musikalia Mandola in the shop for less than 300 Euro (about £200).
They are a decent enough starter instrument, which will give you a chance to see if you like the 'genre'. Good luck with it.
yup thats just what I ment Steve and as ya can see my Spelling sucketh big time lol
I have a Troubadour Zouk at the moment and its great but im gettin a fair bit of Guzz off the G strings when I capo up on the 7th fret only started a couple of weeks could be the new strings but i dont know I know the bridge hasent moved cause i taped it in place front and back and Measured the distence from the tailpiece so i dont know whats up there ..........But anyway i like the look of the other Zouk so i'll get one soon fingres crossed
BUZZ even ..............sheesh
yup thats just what I ment Steve and as ya can see my Spelling sucketh big time...but im gettin a fair...I know the bridge hasent moved...Measured the distence...i'll get one soon fingres crossed
Yur spilling looks fone to me, Al