• Troy Donockley's Fanfret wedge body, tropical Bouzouki
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Troy Donockley's Fanfret wedge body, tropical Bouzouki

Troy Donockley wanted an “unusual” bouzouki, I think he wants to upstage Ade Edmonson. I suggested fan frets, and he said “fantastic” without realising there was a pun in that. I think this is the first ever fan fret bouzouki. (It was Ralph Novak who first applied this ancient European concept to the modern guitar).
Then the fun started. I wanted a fairly large body, which meant that it would be deep, and possibly a bit awkward to play. Hence - a wedge body (Thank you Linda Manzer who first thought of this), slimmer on the top side, tilting the fingerboard slightly towards the player.

I had a set of Curly Mango that had rather too much discolouration for my taste, but this was an ideal opportunity to try it out. Then I had a flash of inspiration. I also had a plank of Coconut timber, incredibly hard and heavy, with a lovely ring to it. With a fair chance that both of these came from the Caribbean, they were ideal partners.

The neck is English Walnut, the closest match I could get to the Mango colour, with a central section of Coconut, allthough I did get the weight down by using a Mahogany core. I did consider sloping the soundhole the other way, but this way emphasises all the strange angles. The bracing inside is more or less a double X brace, with the angles changed to fit, and it is equipped with my usual Headway FEQ pickup.

The fan frets really do work, it puts the left hand at ideal angles as it swings from the elbow, and combines the top-strings of a short scale bouzouki with the bottom strings of a long scale. What more can you want? Look at Troy’s face in the picture.

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