Mike's Oud Forums

Oud Strings News, requests, etc.

Brian Prunka - 8-18-2013 at 04:23 AM

Hey Everyone!

I just got back from another amazing week with Simon Shaheen, Jihad Racy, Bassam Saba, Charbel Rouhana and Rima Khcheich at the Arabic Music Retreat, and I'm getting OudStrings.com up and running again.

I'm about to order new strings (and rishas) from Pyramid and Savarez, so if you have special requests please email me at info at oudstrings dot com.
Even if you have already made a request, please send a reminder just to make sure I don't miss it.

Please use the above email address or this Contact Form. If you use the "orders" email or the forum u2u it may get missed.
Also, please generally try not to use the forums u2u messages: the inbox allows about 50 messages or something and there are almost 2500 members!

Other general updates:
New oud pegs coming in any day now
Still trying to get in touch with Kurschner
Only one oud case left (in black)


Brian Prunka - 10-19-2013 at 08:29 AM

Hello folks, just an update:

I just got in a shipment of strings from Savarez, some Leonida sets but mostly their lute strings. Some interesting options:

gut strings for the treble courses (c', g, d)
carbon wound on carbon (PVF) strings for the d course (these are originally made for harp but I think they may work very well for the d course)
• a variety of carbon (PVF) strings for the treble courses (f' through d)
various nylon and wound strings

I'll be adding these to the site soon but if you are interested in any of these let me know.

I also have a bunch of new pyramid lute strings, including their PVF strings . . .I'm using one now for my g course and it sounds great.

bulerias1981 - 10-20-2013 at 08:53 PM

Its good that you're finding some alternatives.. you might hit something important

Brian Prunka - 10-21-2013 at 05:35 AM

Quote: Originally posted by bulerias1981  
Its good that you're finding some alternatives.. you might hit something important

These harp strings are pretty great for the d course . . . I think folks will be interested in these. Plain PVF for the g course is also very nice.

Aquila - New Options, La Bella Lute

Brian Prunka - 2-6-2015 at 08:11 AM

I just got a shipment in from Aquila, the stock on the site will be updated soon but contact me if you have any questions.

In addition to the new 13o and 9o sets, I got a bunch of Nylgut from their lute offerings (since they are no longer offering the original individual oud courses).

I have several gauges of nylgut for the 1st course (c' or d'), second course (g or a) AND third course (primarily for arabic ouds).

In addition, I got their wound lute strings. I basically have low and medium tension options (of course your scale length will also affect the ultimate results).
These are mostly copper wound.

I do have a bunch of the older wound oud strings as well. Some people have observed that the newer oud sets have slightly different tensions, or that they preferred the old third course, or they use a different tuning that doesn't match as well with the new sets. I will try to create a custom option on the site, but since there are a lot of options, for now just email me with what you're looking for.

I have OU80 and OU80 sets back in stock and a range of lute strings. I have been getting great feedback on the lute strings, and they are very reasonably priced (about $22/set).
I just got some more options so if the option you are looking for isn't listed, just ask.
LaBella Custom Lute Sets

I also have some great new electronic tuners that should be listed soon, unlike the old ones these should fit on the pegbox of any oud.

The full range of Pyramid Lute and oud strings, rishas etc. are all in stock now as well.

Don't u2u me through this site! Contact me here:
OudStrings Contact


andi - 2-11-2015 at 03:54 AM

Hi Brian ! I contacted you through your website and i didn't have an answer yet... Dis you received my message ?

juju - 3-4-2015 at 02:57 AM

I would be curious to hear the carbon wound on PVF for the D strings. It could be a great option for that string.
Has anyone tried it ?

Brian Prunka - 7-9-2015 at 02:20 PM

Hey Everyone, just wanted to post an update here . . . I had some trouble keeping stuff in stock the past month, but Pyramid and Labella are both back in stock. The custom lute sets from Labella have been really nice, getting good feedback on them.

I also have the Aquila 13o and 9o sets, plus a range of their lute strings, including the rectified nylgut for the c', g and d courses —I think it is much better than the plain nylgut found in the 'oud' sets.

And . . . finally I have the Talonite and Mizrite pick materials back in stock. Plus a new material I'm calling 'Mizrite II'—it has qualities somewhat in-between Talonite and Mizrite with characteristics of both. Worth a try if you want to experiment with risha materials. I'm also now offering a "Sampler Pack" of risha materials if you want one of each, rather than buying sets of the same material like before.

Jason - 7-10-2015 at 06:35 PM

Hey Brian where are the Aquila lute strings listed on the site? Are the wound lute strings silverplated copper wound or copper colored like the old oud sets? Thanks

Brian Prunka - 7-10-2015 at 06:55 PM

Hi Jason,

The Aquila lute are not listed right now, they are mainly as an option with custom sets.
I will be adding them as a regular item soon but unfortunately the website inventory system is a bit time-consuming and so I haven't gotten them on there yet.

The wound lute strings are copper colored. I got them in gauges to match the tensions of the typical Pyramid lute sets I offer.

Jason - 7-13-2015 at 07:04 PM

Thanks Brian. I ordered a La Bella set to try before the Aquilas. What's the pricing like on the Aquila lute strings? As much as Pyramid?

Brian Prunka - 7-13-2015 at 08:34 PM

Hi Jason, thanks for the order and the interest.

The Aquilas are less expensive than the Pyramid by a bit. A typical set is $38, a bit less if you are just getting 5 courses or want a Nylgut dd course.

If you want high f'f' tuning I don't currently have the 'lute' nylgut, but you could get a 5-course lute set and the regular 'oud' f'f' pair.

Aquila custom 'lute' sets

Brian Prunka - 7-15-2015 at 09:32 AM

I'm having a summer sale at OudStrings.com through the end of July, 15% off on standard Pyramid (#650, 652, 665, 706 sets), LaBella (OU80, OU80A) and Aquila (9o, 13o) sets, as well as all sheet music.

Coupon code is 15OFFJULY

Thanks to all the loyal customers!

In-stock items only, doesn't apply to single strings or custom sets.

Brian Prunka - 3-12-2016 at 08:58 AM

Hey Everyone!
I just got in a big shipment from Aquila. They have redesigned the 13o Arabic set once again, I think this is the best version so far. They got rid of the aluminum-wound d course and now all the wound courses are red copper.

13o: Standard Arabic tuning C FF AA dd gg c'c'. The gg and c'c' courses are plain nylgut, the rest are copper-wound.

61o: "Iraqi" tuning F AA dd gg c'c' f'f'.
Slightly heavier set made for shorter ouds and floating bridges. This is the replacement for the old 57o and 59o sets. Note that as they always have, Aquila makes this as an 11 string set also, not 12 strings (the low F isn't doubled). I will mention this to them and see if it's possible to at least offer that low F separately for those who like 12 strings. I do have some individual F strings from the old 57o and 59o sets, but the color of the copper is different and I'm not sure how well they would match up with the new set.

1o: Turkish tuning E A B e a d'.
They stopped offering Turkish tuning for a while, now it is back.

All of the plain nylgut strings from the oud sets are available as pairs separately once again!

I also have their "lute" strings, including rectified nylgut in various gauges for the c'c' and gg courses. These can be purchased separately, in Aquila lute string sets, or mixed with Savarez, Pyramid or LaBella Lute sets. Note that this is rectified nylgut, while the "oud" strings are plain nylgut. The sound is a bit different. So far I prefer the rectified nylgut, but each oud is different and people have their own preferences.

Discontinued items —whatever I have in stock is the last of these!

9o "Standard Tension" Arabic set. This is version 2, silver-plated copper C FF AA, aluminum-wound dd, "new nylgut" gg and c'c'. I have 10 or so of these sets left.

42o high f'f' "light tension". This is the pair that would normally have gone with the 13o to make it a 7-course set or would have come with the 59o set. I hope to prevail upon Aquila to start making it again, but for now what I have is all that is left.

33o high f'f' "normal tension". This is being replaced by the "Iraqi" high f'f' pair, but I still have a number of the previous version.

alaaraj - 3-12-2016 at 11:53 AM

Thanks Brian for the update ..

Aquila strings are my favourite .. I shall give the new ones a go!
I note they have a pink coloured package now "which is ugly"!!!!


Brian Prunka - 3-12-2016 at 12:05 PM

It's not pink, it's red . . . I think it is actually an improvement over their old brown package which would always come open. Please share your feedback on the new strings!

mavrothis - 3-13-2016 at 06:10 AM

Great news about the strings Brian, especially the treble pairs! Looking forward to eventually trying the rectified nylgut trebles.

Just for reference (and when you have time, no rush), how do you compare the tension of these rectified nylgut trebles to what I typically use:

D'Addario rectified nylon:

.024 - c' (57cm)

.030 - g (57cm)

.022 - d' (58.5cm)

.028 - a (58.5cm)

Thank you sir!


Brian Prunka - 3-13-2016 at 10:19 AM

Quote: Originally posted by mavrothis  
Great news about the strings Brian, especially the treble pairs! Looking forward to eventually trying the rectified nylgut trebles.

Just for reference (and when you have time, no rush), how do you compare the tension of these rectified nylgut trebles to what I typically use:

D'Addario rectified nylon:

.024 - c' (57cm)

.030 - g (57cm)

.022 - d' (58.5cm)

.028 - a (58.5cm)

Thank you sir!


The closest equivalents for tension would be:

Nylgut .56mm ~= Nylon .024in
Nylgut .70mm ~= Nylon .030in
Nylgut .50mm ~= Nylon .022in
Nylgut .64mm ~= Nylon .0275in
Nylgut .66mm ~= Nylon .0285in

I'll have to check if I have these. I'll also check the Turkish non-rectified "oud" strings and see where they fall.

Danielo - 3-13-2016 at 10:58 AM


The rectified Nylguts have been - by far ! - my favourite treble strings for years... They sound very good at low tension (3-3.2kg), warm and sharp at the same time. They fit very well with Savarez copper wound strings for instance. They are very different sound-wise from the plain nylgut of the oud sets, and are very accurate regarding intonation.

I encourage everyone to give them a try !


mavrothis - 3-13-2016 at 01:31 PM

Thanks Brian!

Alan-TX - 3-26-2016 at 09:42 AM

I am looking on oudstrings.com for the rectified nylgut strings but I cannot find them in the Aquila brand. How do I order these from you Brian? I would like to try out the rectified nylgut.

Brian Prunka - 3-26-2016 at 10:50 AM

Hi Alan,
My apologies, I am working on updating the site inventory but haven't added them yet as individual strings. Shoot me an email and I'll set you up. Let me know your tuning and scale length for your oud.

Multioud, New Arabic D'addario sets, and more!

Brian Prunka - 8-5-2016 at 01:11 PM

Hi Everyone,

It's been a hectic summer and I have had to shutter the store a couple of times due to travel, but I am open until the 30th of August (I will have to close for a few days at the beginning of Sept.).

But there are some exciting developments!

First of all, my long collaboration with D'addario to update their oud sets has finally borne fruit. The new EJ95A set is a great addition to the available prepackaged sets for Arabic classic tuning. Based on your feedback and multiple trials, this set should work very well for a lot of oudists.

c' - .026 rectified nylon
g - .031 rectified nylon
d - .024 silver-plated copper wound
A - .028 silver-plated copper wound
F/G - .032 silver-plated copper wound
C - .043 silver-plated copper wound
Average tension 3.6 Kg at 61.5 cm.


Their classic Turkish set has been updated as well, with rectified nylons and corrected tuning/tension information.


Next is to convince them to offer an F-f' set, but for now you can still order that as a custom choice.

Over the past year, the Godin MultiOud has seen an explosion of popularity, and our forum member Navid (Oud For Guitarists) has put in a bunch of effort to help figure out the best strings for it. Working with Navid and some of my customers, I've come up with several options for the MultiOud for various tunings. Navid was very helpful, and I recommend people check out his site to see what he has to offer —lots of great free lessons as well as more involved paid courses.

The MultiOud is intended for pretty high tension (ca. 6 Kg) - because the top essentially doesn't vibrate, the strings have to do all the work and so need to be heavier. The strings from Godin are made for F AA dd gg c'c' f'f' tuning. I took their values and developed similar sets for C FF AA dd gg c'c' tuning and Turkish C# F#F# BB ee aa d'd' tuning.

People reported decent results with the F-f' set tuned to Turkish tuning, so using that as a reference, I came up with a lower 'medium' tension set for all three tunings:

F AA dd gg c'c' f'f'
C FF AA dd gg c'c'
C# F#F# BB ee aa d'd'

If there is interest, I can work on other tunings as well, but those are the three most popular usually.

MultiOud Sets

The feedback on the new Aquila 13o and 61o sets has been good.
There's also a new Turkish/Armenian set for E A B e a d' tuning:

Individual treble courses from these are available again:
Light c'c' 43o
Light gg 44o
Medium Iraqi f'f' 62o
Medium Iraqi c'c' 63o
Medium Iraqi gg 64o

I still have the Aquila Lute strings as well for those that want more tension/gauge options or who prefer the sound of rectified nylgut.

I have plain copper-wound and silver-plated copper Lute strings from LaBella that are really nice — a great economical alternative to the top-of-the-line Pyramid Lute strings for most cases.

As always, if you want to mix and match string offerings or are looking for a custom set/tuning or just have questions, just get in touch via the contact form. I get a lot of inquiries, so sometimes there is a delay on custom requests but I will try to help as much as I can. If you don't hear back from me in a few days, feel free to check in again—sometimes messages can get buried when things get busy.


Jason - 8-6-2016 at 09:32 AM

Have you tried the copper wound LaBella lute strings Brian? I've been pretty happy with the silver set but feel like the dd course is a little zingy sounding on my ouds and doesn't really match with the rest of the set in timbre. I always liked the old Aquila copper strings because they tended to be a little warmer sounding. Now that they're being made again I've considered pairing the wound Aquila strings with the LaBella rectified nylon trebles.

Brian Prunka - 8-6-2016 at 10:56 AM

Yes, I have. They're slightly lighter than the silver at the same gauges and they have a warm sound.

I actually like the silver ones very much and feel like they pair well with Aquila rectified nylgut trebles—almost the opposite of what you're proposing! I like the rectified "lute" nylgut much more than the plain nylgut that's in the "oud" sets. Though I have liked the plain nylgut on certain ouds, I've preferred the rectified on my own.

But every oud and player is different—that's why I encourage everyone to experiment and not take my word for it! There's no way to know what the perfect set for you will be.