Akos Balazs is a talented young maker from Budapest
in Hungary. His work is neat and well thought out. Best of all
- his instruments sound really good.
Akos has three grades of instrument - Gold, Silver
and Bronze. Just as a medal is awarded at the Olympic Games - based
on performance, Akos has adopted this simple grading system to
identify the quality of each instrument that he makes.
As mentioned in our first paragraph - all the instruments
that Akos produces are of the highest quality and standard. The
difference in the grades is as follows;
1) The Gold Series; Akos makes the Gold Series
instruments entirely by himself. The quality of the timber used
is always excellent and every attention to detail is paid in
the making of these instruments.
2) The Silver Series; The Silver Series instruments are - in the
main - reworked Hungarian and Romanian instruments. Akos selects
and purchases the best instruments from other makers in Europe.
To make sure that the wood is dry - they are then stored for two
or three years. Reworking the instruments includes rethicknessing
work, fitment of a new bass bar, fitment of a new neck and fingerboard,
complete varnishing work and a full fit up.
3) The Bronze Series; The Bronze Series instruments are very similar
to the Silver Series instrument - except not quite so much time
is spent in the reworking and finishing work.
No - not always. Sometimes the work is done
by his colleagues. To reassure all prospective purchasers that
the work is done to Akos's own high standards he comments; "In
order to guarantee a high quality of work, I myself control and
finish each stage of the work".
Really there are lots and lots of things that make
this instrument a real winner. As you look at the images of the
instrument here are a few to consider;
1) The model;
The model - an elegant violin outline - has been designed to
suit a great number of players. In particular the nicely raked
shoulders and a slightly reduced measurement to the depth of
the ribs make this a very manageable instrument.
2) The wood; The Yugoslavian
spruce used to make the table is particularly attractive. It
has a stunning straight even-medium grain. The Bosnian maple
used to make the back, ribs and scroll is also of high quality
and shows a nice horizontal flaming.
3) The varnish; The rich red-brown
varnish over a yellow ground is absolutely superb in colour,
texture and application.
4) The feel; The feel of this
instrument is spot on. There's a really nice slim feel neck to
allow total freedom of movement for the left hand and just take
a look at the string length stat. It is only 104.5cm - which
is perfect for small hands.
5) The set-up; The set-up is
absolute perfection. The following have been fitted;
i) A good quality set of machines set on brass
half-plates of German manufacture.
ii) A high quality and reliable endpin unit that also comes
iii) A top quality French bridge, manufactured by Aubert.
iv) Aluminium bridge adjusters.
We think that the sound quality of this instrument
is absolutely awesome. There are those rich deep dark sounds similar
to the instrument that all the pros seem to use - coupled with
responsiveness that is absolutely delicious.
For a named instrument of this quality - the price
could easily be a lot, lot more.
This instrument really looks and sounds the biz.
For anybody wanting an instrument to get them right the way through
music college and into the profession then this Bronze Series instrument
by Akos Balazs represents tremendous value for money. Pro jazz
players too will be mighty impressed by its slim feel proportions,
superb sustain and colourful sound quality.
LOB (length of back) - 112.0cm (44.10in)
Width across upper bouts - 46.0cm (18.15in)
Width across middle bouts - 35.0cm (13.75in)
Width across lower bouts - 66.8cm (26.25in)
Depth of lower ribs inc both plates - 21.7cm (8.50in)
Body Stop - 59.3cm (23.30in)
String length - 104.5cm (41.15in)