I am a loo-thee-ay, I file the frets all day...
Is this why you approached
Bozo Podunavac to build a guitar for you?
I traded one of my guitars for one of
his 6-strings because the sound was what I was after. I
felt then that if I asked him to build a 12-string, I'd
come close to what he did with the 6- string and what I
wanted to hear in a 12-string.
How much were you involved with
Bozo in the construction of the first 12-string he built
I didn't really get involved with the
construction. I told him where I'd be pitching it
[the E string is pitched two steps lower, to a C]
and that I wanted a 2" wide neck... I did decide on
rosewood for this Bozo. On a proper guitar -- that being
one that sounds right -- I prefer one that has mahogany
rather than rosewood because the note sounds warmer, more
apparent, friendly, more musical. That's true of any
mahogany guitar, but especially true of the 12-string,
and you don't need much of that. Bozo also knew that I
liked a cutaway since I play a Martin Conversion that is
a 28" cutaway guitar.
Do you plan to add any other Bozo
guitars to your present collection?
Bozo recently built me a new 12-string
that has a smaller box. The reason why I opted for that
is I wanted a 12-string with a faster decay rate. On the
12-string you don't want a lot of ring because it will
run into itself.
You first asked Bozo for a 2" neck
and now you've changed your mind. Why?
Right, I don't want it as wide as I
did at first. The first guitar I got from Bozo had a 2"
neck, like the Gibson B-45, only with the fingerboard
less curved, which makes a big difference. I'm personally
in favor of the curve, but again it depends on who's
making the instrument. Bozo uses much less of a curve
than Gibson so that a 2" neck was a little too wide.
We're down to whatever his standard is for a 12-string
[about 1 & 7/8"], which is perfectly
comfortable...Although I really like the tone of the new,
smaller bodied Bozo, I may go back to the big bell, which
started off as an experiment for me anyway.
Can you make a comparison between
the Gibson and the Bozo?
The Bozo is sweeter, more melodius.
The B-45 has a "quack" sound -- more presence, more
apparent level -- which is both good and bad. The Bozo is
my favorite instrument in my collection. It's just at
this moment I'm not sure how I want to reproduce it live.
I stopped using the big bell Bozo when I found this
Gibson B-45 and I wanted to see if I could still get the
same sound as I had on my first B-45, the one that was
How many guitars do you
...I also have four Bozos; one
12-string is about six or seven years old, and the other,
a cutaway, about three. Then there's the new one with the
smaller bell, and I also have one of his 6-strings. I
find that I no longer like guitars with a lot of inlay.
It seems more fitting to have the plain, straight
Bozo uses sitka spruce from
Washington for his tops. Does that make a difference
from the sound a 12-string gets when European spruce is
Well, Bozo and I think that European
spruce is too fragile, plus there's not much of it left.
The most important thing I found out about a top,
especially a twelve, is that it has good silk. You have
vertical grains, but there's a grain called silk that
goes straight across. You get it when you have the right
kind of wood first of all, and a perfect quarter cut.
That makes all the difference in the world because if
you've got good silk everywhere, that means the wood
isn't torquing very much. So going vertically, it will
stand pretty straight. A tree eventually twists doesn't
it? But Bozo's construction is achieved by the use of a
big cross brace with delicate bracing elsewhere. It
doesn't look standard at all. He uses thicker spruce and
arches his top just a bit so there's a bubble; a slight
bell to it.