Aleksandr Sasho Iliev Eppler kaval maker

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11. Bulgarian instruments
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Bulgarian Instruments Made by A. I. Eppler

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

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

--one of less than ten such instruments in existence

Large views:

Front - full
Front - top
Front - body
Front - bridge
Side - neck
Side - neck detail

Bulgarian tambura, bottom

Bulgarian tambura, face Eppler Tambura, opening


Bulgarian tambura

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.

Bulgarian tambura

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.

Eppler tamburatambura, head, neck, string nuts. Еплер тамбура

Photographs courtesy of the owner, S. Ramsey, copyright Robert Weyrick, Perspective Image, 2009

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Text by Nikolai Dimov | © 2005 Aleksandr Eppler
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