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Thread: Guitar bouzouki conversion problem

  1. #1

    Default Guitar bouzouki conversion problem

    Ok so ive been playing this bad boy for a while now, however its starting to become obvious that the volume is a bit lacking. Any ideas how to combat this? I know the shallow bridge angle is the root but i don't see any way around itClick image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Registered User Colin Lindsay's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guitar bouzouki conversion problem

    Quote Originally Posted by garryireland View Post
    Ok so ive been playing this bad boy for a while now, however its starting to become obvious that the volume is a bit lacking. Any ideas how to combat this? I know the shallow bridge angle is the root but i don't see any way around itClick image for larger version. 

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    One of the problems I found with guitar-bouzoukis; you sacrifice volume for tone. Fit a pick-up?
    "Danger! Do Not Touch!" must be one of the scariest things to read in Braille....

  3. #3

    Default Re: Guitar bouzouki conversion problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Lindsay View Post
    One of the problems I found with guitar-bouzoukis; you sacrifice volume for tone. Fit a pick-up?
    I will be for gigs but in a session setting it just feels like i need a boost to be heard over the two guitars. Having said that, its grand when im singing alone which its what its for. Im looking at these Canadian made pickup. Apparently same as k and k but half the price

  4. #4
    Registered User Wes Brandt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guitar bouzouki conversion problem

    I can't tell from the photo but is that a pin bridge? If you can go back to using the pin bridge or make a new one you would most likely gain much. The instrument was designed to have all the string tension loaded the bridge… not into a tailpiece. I make pinned bridge octaves and they can really punch out the sound.

    I had a 6 to 12 string conversion in the shop a while back that had two strings notched in for each of the 6 bridge pins… it was done a bit crudely but it worked ...and got me considering future possibilities for a pinned bridge mandolin where the bridge footprint needs to be as small as possible. You should be able to double up on the 4 center pins.
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  5. #5

    Default Re: Guitar bouzouki conversion problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Wes Brandt View Post
    I can't tell from the photo but is that a pin bridge? If you can go back to using the pin bridge or make a new one you would most likely gain much. The instrument was designed to have all the string tension loaded the bridge… not into a tailpiece. I make pinned bridge octaves and they can really punch out the sound.

    I had a 6 to 12 string conversion in the shop a while back that had two strings notched in for each of the 6 bridge pins… it was done a bit crudely but it worked ...and got me considering future possibilities for a pinned bridge mandolin where the bridge footprint needs to be as small as possible. You should be able to double up on the 4 center pins.
    Yeah i was thinking of a way to do jt easily without putting too much tension on the top. Ill try the pins sure whats the worst that can happen!

  6. #6
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guitar bouzouki conversion problem

    I think if you use the pins & correct strings the tension will be virtually the same. In my case I used x 2 =10 16 28 40 on a standard 25.5" guitar scale & that gives about 20lb less tension than a standard six string set

  7. #7

    Default Re: Guitar bouzouki conversion problem

    Quote Originally Posted by Wes Brandt View Post
    I can't tell from the photo but is that a pin bridge? If you can go back to using the pin bridge or make a new one you would most likely gain much. The instrument was designed to have all the string tension loaded the bridge… not into a tailpiece. I make pinned bridge octaves and they can really punch out the sound.

    I had a 6 to 12 string conversion in the shop a while back that had two strings notched in for each of the 6 bridge pins… it was done a bit crudely but it worked ...and got me considering future possibilities for a pinned bridge mandolin where the bridge footprint needs to be as small as possible. You should be able to double up on the 4 center pins.
    Excuse the crude drawing but could this work
    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #8
    Registered User fox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guitar bouzouki conversion problem

    Yes, that will work. You might need slightly deeper groves in the saddle but for an experiment it will be fine.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Guitar bouzouki conversion problem

    The strings wont stay in the grooves

  10. #10

    Default Re: Guitar bouzouki conversion problem

    The OP confirmed what I have guessed all along. If you replace the guitar bridge with a floating bridge and use a tail piece, the volume suffer due to the shallow angle of attack. For my conversion (twice on a full size and a junior size guitar) I simply use the existing bridge, plug the 6 holes and drill 8 new ones. These two play with more volume than the original guitars due to the double strings. The full size is a bit too large for my small fingers (I sold it ), the junior one is good for me to play.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Guitar bouzouki conversion problem

    I know its an old thread but Im trying it again using new pin holes. How do cut the new holes to ensure the pins fit snug. I know a reamer is needed?

  12. #12

    Default Re: Guitar bouzouki conversion problem

    I know its an old thread but Im trying it again using new pin holes. How do cut the new holes to ensure the pins fit snug. I know a reamer is needed?

  13. #13
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Guitar bouzouki conversion problem

    A reamer that fits the taper of your pins is required. Stewmac sells them and the pins as well. Depending on the condition the bridge plate may need to be replaced as well. You also may need to cut new slots. Stewmac sells saws for that as well.

    You might take a look at this article on Frank Ford's www.frets.com.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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