Aleksandr Sasho Iliev Eppler kaval maker

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Bulgarian Instruments Made by A. I. Eppler

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Tambura (Lute)

Bulgarian Tambura (Lute)
No. 4, 1981 - Aleksandr Eppler

(One of less than ten such instruments in existence.)

A. I. Eppler tambura тамбура Александър Илиев Еплер  tambura, reverse

Eppler tamburas have a unique design resulting in an instrument that has greater depth of tone,
volume and stability, as well as a substantially different appearance from the norm.

The Eppler tambura is made from only three different woods: European spruce, deeply figured European maple and African blackwood (grenadilla). African blackwood was preferred by the maker because of its superiority over ebony: it is much harder, has better dimensional stability, and does not suffer from thermal shock as ebony does.

tambura, long view  tambura, string nuts

The neck is made from laminated African blackwood (for strength, stability, and greatly increased "sustain")
with a solid piece of blackwood used for the peghead. The fingerboard has twenty-four frets and is inlaid with
green abalone. The finish is an oil (violin type) varnish prepared by the maker. The upper string nut is elephant ivory.

All other inlay and purfling are made of African blackwood and figured maple.

tambura, bottom

  tambura, interior and inlay
Photographs courtesy of the owner, S. Ramsey.

1. Home page | 2. Background (part 1) | 3. Background (part 2)
4. Photographs | 5. Photographs | 6. Photographs | 7. Photographs | 8. Photographs (other instruments)
9. Photographs (personal) | 10. Links| 11. Bulgarian instruments 12. Contact

Text by Nikolai Diamandiev | © 2005 Aleksandr Eppler
Webpage last updated: November 4, 2011 | Webmaster: Helena Lenore Hietkamp (