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Terry Sleeper
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[*] posted on 11-15-2010 at 03:44 AM
Thinking of buying an oud.


Hello from the UK, everyone.

I am a guitar-player (Gibsons, Guilds, CF Martins) who is thinking of buying an oud.

I have checked around on the www (You Tube, EBay), and found this forum where I want to ask just a few very simple questions - sure you've heard them before!

1. How much would I have to pay to buy a decent oud, one that is not a toy / tourist-plaything?
2. How can you tell a good-quality oud from a piece of you-know-what?
3.What are the materials, the actual woods, used in the construction of ouds (I assume they vary from place to place?).

All basic stuff, I know, but although I am well-up on guitars, ouds are a new thing to me.

Any other advice offered would be appreciated - especially (of course) what to steer clear of!

Thanks in advance.
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[*] posted on 11-15-2010 at 03:59 AM


if you can not play it dont buy it good luck
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Mehran
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[*] posted on 11-15-2010 at 05:59 AM


If your well acquainted with quality instruments (as it sounds you are) you will undoubtedly be able to have an appreciation between a well made or poorly made instrument.

With regards to the oud, there are some features to look for as you may with guitars.

In terms of materials, ebony is generally considered the best fingerboard material, although other woods can be used. The body can be made from a variety of tonewoods, for example walnut, mahogany, rosewood, ash, cherry etc.. The soundboard/face is made from spruce or cedar. Good pegs are commonly made of ebony or rosewood

Important things to be aware of when looking:
- string height (action) - at the neck-body junction, 6mm is commonly quoted to be the maximum threshold of acceptability.
- Pegs - do they fit well? do they slip? soft woods used?
- Fingerboard - is it flat? any areas of significant wear under the strings?
- Loose bracing? - may be elicited by tapping around the face of the oud, but not a complete sensitive test.
- String buzzing? do the strings buzz when plucked in open position?

As for ebay. Id stay away from international sales, again have a look at the reviews written on the forum. Its not necessarily a problem with the instrument but sometimes with transit (i.e. a broken instrument) or even the wrong instrument being dispatched. However not all international purchases end badly I just think that there are enough opportunities to get your hands on a range of ouds within the UK (im also from the UK), that there is no need to the instrument with shipping. Plus its always better to get your hands on the instrument before putting your money down.

For example there is a well recommended luthier in the north of England, Michael Moussa. For example on gumtree one of his ouds are for sale. http://manchester.gumtree.com/manchester/32/64883832.html.

How much would you have to pay? Well it depends on how much money you want to spend.

There's definitely more to say here, but this is a start. Use the forum search function there's plenty on this already written.

Mehran
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abusin
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[*] posted on 11-15-2010 at 06:04 AM



Hi Terry,

Welcome to the forum and the oud world, buying an oud can be a tedious process sometimes, you want an oud free of faults/ something which will function for a while until get used to oud sounds and may hear another flavour you may want to try " it's the same as in guitars you have different schools and brands in ouds".
As you're in the UK "Hommie" I would advice you to consider ouds made by the renowned Egyptian luthier Mr Michael Mussa based in Barnsley Yorkshire "about 50% of UK oudists have ouds built by him and all are very happy bunnies"
here is his website address:

http://www.magicstrings.co.uk/

you can browse through and you can also contact him directly/ visit him and try his ouds
he is a very nice person/ down to earth and very helpfull.

Best regards and good luck




Best Regards

Awad
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abusin
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[*] posted on 11-15-2010 at 06:32 AM



Thanks Mehran, you beat me to it :D it proves Michael Mussa is the best :xtreme:
Hope you're doing well buddy




Best Regards

Awad
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spyros mesogeia
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[*] posted on 11-15-2010 at 08:55 AM


I took a look on his site,all the arab replicas look great
As for the Manol type oud,because it happends to have seen and played quite enough Manols and to own one,I can for sure say that or is a mistake with the picture or something else is wrong:shrug:.
Regards to all my friends




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Terry Sleeper
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[*] posted on 11-15-2010 at 01:38 PM


Thank you for your kind and informed responses.

Your advice is exactly as I expected it to be - though no less valuable for that. It is similar to that which I would give to any oud player thinking of buying a guitar.

Incidentally, I notice that, following my thread, a zakiya_alali posted this:
http://www.mikeouds.com/messageboard/viewthread.php?tid=11358

I then did a bit of digging and hit on a discussion which was less than complementary to this poster:
http://www.mikeouds.com/messageboard/viewthread.php?tid=10906

For information.
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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 11-15-2010 at 02:09 PM


I just wanted to point out that Zakiya, who seems to be oud_man, is NOT the same person as the user oudman, who is honest.





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spyros mesogeia
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[*] posted on 11-15-2010 at 02:22 PM


:shrug:



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Terry Sleeper
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[*] posted on 11-18-2010 at 02:18 PM


Mehran:

No reply yet to the ad you kindly quoted above:
http://manchester.gumtree.com/manchester/32/64883832.html.

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Matthias
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[*] posted on 11-19-2010 at 08:05 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Terry Sleeper  
Hello from the UK, everyone.

I am a guitar-player (Gibsons, Guilds, CF Martins) who is thinking of buying an oud.


Hello Terry,

a few parts have still been explained by others. But others are missing.
There are mainly three types of Oud's like the
-- türkish - smaller size, tuned in d, shorter scale length
-- classical arabic oud - scale normally 60 cm, bigger body, some are very big, too big
-- iraqi style oud with a floating bridge and a higher tuning in f
- the older ones from the time of Munir Bashir have a 60 cm scale
- the newer ones which are played by Naseer Shamma have a 57 scale

So the first decision should be which tuning you like to play and for what music you want to use it.

As you play professional guitars, I'm shure you will not long be happy with any cheep instrument. Take the time to clarify your aim and to try different instruments from cheep to high level. You are invited to visit me.

One remark I have to Mehran's comment:
6mm action is absolutely too much! around 2 mm will be good, turkish ouds have sometimes less, but for me that produces too much buzzing.

Have a look at my website, there you can see the different types of arabic models which I make.
Actually I do have 4 instruments on stock. To one of these you can listen here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9i9uvzpSoQttp

Best regards

Matthias




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Mehran
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[*] posted on 11-19-2010 at 08:33 AM


Well, you've got the advise of a luthier now! The difficulty is knowing what kind of oud music you want to play. Im still having a difficulty with that in determining what i want my next oud to be. Is there anyone or places near you where you could try out an oud?

As for the advert, it was posted a while ago so maybe it was sold or the seller is just busy?
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Terry Sleeper
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[*] posted on 11-30-2010 at 01:03 PM


Taking delivery of my first oud next week - can hardly wait!
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Terry Sleeper
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[*] posted on 12-9-2010 at 02:07 PM


The oud has landed!

I love the sound - especially when I can manage to keep the instrument from falling off of my lap. The bowl back is a strange, strange feeling to a guitar player.

What I need now is advice on setting the instrument up. I have spent the last 2 hrs on the Web researching strings, tunings, etc., and am going round and round in ever-decreasing circles.

I shall seek advice on a separate thread.

Thank you to everyone on mikeouds.com who has pitched-in with advice on this thread. Your comments have been invaluable.
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[*] posted on 12-9-2010 at 03:23 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Terry Sleeper  

I love the sound - especially when I can manage to keep the instrument from falling off of my lap. The bowl back is a strange, strange feeling to a guitar player.


Terry,
I had the same problem because I never wear jeans and slacks are very slippery for a polished oud bowl.
A solution to keeping the oud from sliding is to buy one of those thin rubber mats used to place inside of kitchen cabinets for glasses and dishes to sit on. Place it on your leg and sit the oud on it, the rubber will keep it from sliding. Make sure it has rubber on both sides so it will grip your pants and the oud. If you can't find one contact me and I'll give you one.
:)


rubber-oud-pad.jpg - 221kB




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[*] posted on 12-9-2010 at 06:32 PM


I keep a chamois in my oud cases to wipe them down after use, (strings like a bit of tlc) it also makes a good non-slip surface on your leg, and that way it's at hand when you're finished.



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[*] posted on 12-10-2010 at 01:07 AM


Great idea Sazi...I'm going to try chamois!!:applause:



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[*] posted on 12-10-2010 at 05:56 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Terry Sleeper  
The oud has landed!

I love the sound - especially when I can manage to keep the instrument from falling off of my lap. The bowl back is a strange, strange feeling to a guitar player.


Congrats Terry, play it in good health my friend... As for the slipping issue the "Chamois" suggested by Sazi is a very good addition to your oud case and rather very important to have around ouds, as we sweat and all of those fluff and dust particles flying around us it's very much needed for a good dust off and shine before and after playing and most importantly to stop your oud slipping off your grip again :airguitar:

Matthias: That's a beautiful sounding oud played masterfully by Mr Khoshaba




Best Regards

Awad
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[*] posted on 12-10-2010 at 09:43 AM


Quote: Originally posted by abusin  


Matthias: That's a beautiful sounding oud played masterfully by Mr Khoshaba


Thanks Awad for the compliment. Yes, Raed is a great player, especially on this model, where he brings out a wonderful tone.

btw, this instrument is for sale.

Regards Matthias




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[*] posted on 12-10-2010 at 11:34 AM


Hi Terry,

congratulations for your new oud but ... which one is it ? We are all curious :D

Dan
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Terry Sleeper
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[*] posted on 12-10-2010 at 02:40 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Danielo  
Hi Terry,

congratulations for your new oud but ... which one is it ? We are all curious :D

Dan


Hi Dan. Thank you for your interest.

The oud is this one:

moussaoud1.jpg - 40kB moussaoud2.jpg - 37kB

It is s/h, made by Michael Moussa 4 yrs ago. Iraqi-style, Munir Bashir model, floating bridge, zebra-wood bowl.

As I said above, I need further advice re setting-up. I will start a new thread to seek advice on this matter. All I can say at this point is how amazed I am at the lightness of the instrument compared to even the smallest guitar. The oud is feather-light - are all ouds so weightless, I wonder?

Again, thanks to all on this thread for your kind advice.
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[*] posted on 12-10-2010 at 03:35 PM



Hi Terry,

Congrats matey, this little Zebrano is a wonderful oud I really enjoyed playing and holding it many times during my visits to Dr. Mussa but I went for a full size oud as a personal preference :cool: , well done buddy you got yourself a grand oud. Take it easy you'll get used to it in no time.
Play it in good health




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Awad
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[*] posted on 12-10-2010 at 11:48 PM


Very nice oud Terry, enjoy :xtreme:

Yes ouds are always very lightweight... good ones are usually below one kilo. This among other things makes them very resonnant.

regards,

Dan
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