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Thread: Matsikas Zouks

  1. #1

    Default Matsikas Zouks

    I am enjoying learning to play the Irish Zouk at the local ITM sessions.

    I have also always been a fan of Alec Finn and his style on his 3-course Zouk. The DaDannan stuff, and many of his other listenable ventures speak for themselves, but his work with Mary Bergin really is pretty danged magical to my ear.

    There are also a few more youngsters out there who are doing some pretty cool stuff as well with the 3-course.

    I saw that the Mandolin Store is looking at carrying the Matsikas line, so I took the journey over to spend the afternoon with Dennis and give these instruments ( as well as a handful of other REALLY cool stuff currently in house at TMS) a good going over.

    I played the 4-course Zouk (traditional) and their mandolin. The fit and finish was weak in some areas; fret finsihing the most obvious. The frets were level and the intonation was pretty much on across the 26" fingerboard, but if you are strong on the looks end you might have an issue.

    Both have extensive inlay and there were little imperfections here and there; again, if you need your instrument to look perfect you may have an issue.

    For me, the tuning pegs were the biggest performance issue. They would need to be replaced sooner rather than later.

    Otherwise, the materials, actual poly finish, and most importantly the playability were really there. The zouk plays like a dream. I have never seen such level string height across a board of this scale.

    They sound great. Definitely good enough for an entry level instrument. I wouldn't have hesitated playing either pieces I played out in a sesh, or at a show.

    I'd group them in there with Eastman mando family stuff as far as getting a great player for not so much $$$.

    Here are some pics I took (quickly, with the phone camera) ;


    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

    Default Re: Matsikas Zouks

    Agreed. They are a nice value and there is a bit of a resurgence in Greek zouks for Irish trad.

    I have a bowl front so it doesn't combine with the bowl back very well. Flat back works better for me
    Northfield NF5S
    Bayard Guitar bodied octave mandolin
    Gernandt Octave mandolin
    Crump B1 Bouzouki
    Davy Stuart Mandola
    www.singletonstreet.com

  3. #3

    Default Re: Matsikas Zouks

    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Leyda View Post
    "Snip"...I have a bowl front so it doesn't combine with the bowl back very well. Flat back works better for me
    LOL! Me too! That's always a bummer part when picking up a bowlback.

    This recent trip to TMS I made it a point to try a few different ways to work around (pun intended!) and get comfortable with the 4-course I played and I think I can eventually get used to it.

    Of course, I can always work on reducing the radius of the front bowl!

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  5. #4
    Registered User Reinhardt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Matsikas Zouks

    I have a 4 course Matsikas myself, not like the one in the photo though. cost me about €550 from Thomann in Germany. Its not my main zouk but Alec Finn was always a hero of mine so I got one to try to copy the great man, much more difficult than it sounds.. Great value bouzouki.I think the sound far exceeds the pacific rim offerings, I too am blessed with a large paunch which I hope to get rid of shortly. I use a small patch of 80 grit sandpaper fixed to the back of the zouk where it touches my lap area. it works, doesn't slip.

    John

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