View Full Version : short scale fixed bridge cittern

Jun-16-2004, 3:14pm
I wonder is anybody has tried these kind of citterns, and how they sound vis-a-vis the movable bridge and... what would be a fair price for a 22" scale length mando somebody is offering to me... look at the pictures below....

Jun-16-2004, 3:15pm

Jun-16-2004, 3:17pm

Jun-16-2004, 3:48pm
BTW, I don't know who is the maker of this axe but it looks closer to Buchanan style citterns.... Also, I have a cuatro puertoriqueño (51 cm. SL) tuned in fifths like a short scale cittern but soundwise I think maybe it is the fixed bridge that make it sound more guitarlike than more traditional styles like Flatiron, etc. Any opinions will be appreciated....

Jun-16-2004, 9:40pm
Lucho - that is most likely a Spira (http://www.jackspiraguitars.com/)Cittern out of Australia. As for playability - outstanding and soundwise, great. The back is made from Tasmanian Black Wood (Koa family of Acacia) and the top looks like Sitka Spruce. These come with Schaller tuners and are very good, very light weight and loud instruments. He is a very small, low production luthier and he really takes is time to get the sound right.

The sound from these is much bigger and brighter than a flat iron type instrument - but not quite like a guitar. It seems the attack is much brighter and hotter than any guitar I've played with the exception of a few very old Martin's and some early Larsons. The thing about Spira instruments ... unlike Buchanan or Fotheringham - this is an induced arch top and back and this seems to make a much "tighter" sounding box. I've got one now and am waiting delivery on another at this time. The one I currently have is a 405mm Mandola - the next one will be a 540mm Octave. Jack told me the Octave is even bigger sounding than the Mandola - and that puts in the stadium class of instruments. #I think you'd like this one. Big sound, very precise and accurate all the way up the neck.

Jun-17-2004, 10:45am
Well spotted, Dolamon. Those are photos off of the Spira website. Lucho-- check out the site... these start at $2000 Australian dollars, which according to the currency converter is about $1350 US dollars...

what a gorgeous instrument!!!

Jun-23-2004, 6:46pm
What Dolamon said! I own a mandola by Jack and it's absolutely splendid. Click HERE (http://homepage.mac.com/philg2/SpiraPix/PhotoAlbum19.html) to see photos. Wonderful to play, listen to, and look at. Dolamon inspired my purchase and I've been very, very pleased.