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Author: Subject: correct price?
henkdrunen
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[*] posted on 12-30-2014 at 03:53 PM
correct price?


Hey guys,

I'm new on this forum :) I will be buying my first oud in a few days. (2nd hand) I'm very excited, because it has been a wish for a long time to have one! The owner tells me he bought it at Cankaya Music Istanbul about 10 years ago…

Since it will be my first one, and I have no idea how I can tell if it is a good instrument or not; do you guys have any tips? Or maybe when you look at these pictures, what would you think would be a fair price to pay?
Thanks!
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nard
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[*] posted on 12-30-2014 at 08:22 PM


It's hard to tell from a photo alone. Tip - on the inside of each oud there should be a label that will identify the maker and sometimes the model/year of the oud. You can see it if you shine light into the rosette. This will give you more info about the oud to help with pricing etc. (Of course this won't tell you about condition... that you can only tell by hearing it play).

Other folks on this forum are much better versed than I ... but I would guess if it's from Cankaya that it's a Sandi oud. I don't know if this is a safe way to "guess" the oud model, but if the catalogue on their website today corresponds to their designs 10 years ago, this looks like it could be a VMIU-50 or MUA-30.

See
http://www.cankayamuzikevi.com/katalog2.htm or http://www.cankayamuzikevi.com/katalog3.htm

See their main page for more info: http://www.cankayamuzikevi.com/frameset.htm

Then you can use google to see what similar ouds are selling for. Good luck!

Quote: Originally posted by henkdrunen  
Hey guys,

I'm new on this forum :) I will be buying my first oud in a few days. (2nd hand) I'm very excited, because it has been a wish for a long time to have one! The owner tells me he bought it at Cankaya Music Istanbul about 10 years ago…

Since it will be my first one, and I have no idea how I can tell if it is a good instrument or not; do you guys have any tips? Or maybe when you look at these pictures, what would you think would be a fair price to pay?
Thanks!
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Microber
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[*] posted on 1-1-2015 at 07:47 AM


Hi Henk and welcome to the forum,

I am pretty sure it is the VMIU 50 model Of Cankaya on the picture.
I have had the same. It is a good instrument.
But since it is ten years old you should verify a few things.
1. The action : max 3 mm at the neck body junction
2. The fingerboard : straight ? grooves ? (mine had grooves after 5-6 years)
3. The general condition of the instrument. Keys, cracks on soundboard or bowl...

Concerning the price you can refer to the actual prices for a new one. Sadettin Sandi and his son sell their ouds on ebay. Here are a few links. Note that the prices include a hard case (probably fiberglass). So for sure, don't pay more than this.

http://www.befr.ebay.be/itm/PROFESSIONAL-TURKISH-OUD-Saadettin-SAND...
http://www.befr.ebay.be/itm/PROFESSIONAL-TURKISH-OUD-Saadettin-SAND...
http://www.befr.ebay.be/itm/Saadettin-SANDI-Bahadir-SANDI-PROFESSIO...

Where are you located ? How much does the seller ask ?

Robert
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fernandraynaud
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[*] posted on 1-3-2015 at 02:09 AM


@henkdrunen, yes welcome! Hopefully you can touch the instrument. The oud's "action" is especially important as there is no way to adjust the bridge or the neck. It's better to have too low an action than too high, as it can be raised a bit. Take a good look down the neck and make sure it's straight and level. Yes, the action should generally be no higher than 3 mm at the neck-body junction. For many people 2.5 or 2 is better. The strings are wrapped over the bridge, so they can be pulled a little up and down to adjust the action a hair. The ideal situation is when the action is around 2.5 mm at the neck-body junction, and the strings are centered on the bridge, so you could both raise and lower then a bit. That's seldom the case, and with the cost of resetting the neck in "the West", what you get is what you get. Don't jump at an oud with high strings that's a torture to play. There are 67.2% more ouds cast aside in closets because of high action than for other reasons. Sorry I made the figure up.

This is a Turkish oud, but it could be strung and tuned Arabic, and if you do that the action could perhaps be tolerated a little higher, like 3-4 mm.

Do you like the feel of the neck, or does it feel "all wrong"? How is the nut? It's usually easy to make a new one or mend an old one, but it's sweet to start out without repairs. Is the string spacing suitable? Is the first course far enough away from the edge?

Is the soundboard level? There are often some valleys in the soundboard caused by the tension of the strings right in front of the bridge, if it's not too deep it's OK.

You should have a slight angle between the soundboard plane and the neck's, the head leans back a bit. If you use a straight-edge you can check in different axes and down the neck.

How are the wound strings? are they clean and do they sound like metallic wound strings or like spaghetti? You might prefer not to change them the first day you have the oud, and a badly maintained set of strings is a bad sign. Is the scale length as expected, and can you mike the strings to verify they are proper gauges? Barring that, does the tension on the different courses feel about the same?

See how the pegs tune and hold. Can they be turned easily and smoothly? Do they stay put once turned? Bad pegs will drive you insane. It's hard enough tuning 11 strings using old violin type pegs with no gearing. If they "jump" at the pegbox or at the nut while tuning, or if they slip once tuned, you will soon be mad. If they do both, and you can't correct it, you will probably smash your oud before the year is out, and THEN go mad.

The remedy is taking the pegs out and touching up the holes and the pegs with shaver or sandpaper, so they mate perfectly, then applying a trace of soap and chalk. Soap to provide glide, and chalk to provide braking and sticking. Commercial peg compounds are similar. It's a fair bit of delicate work.

It's unclear why, but some oud pegs are cursed and cannot be fixed, making the whole instrument a siren song that drags the owner into countless ineffective procedures. That's the second highest reason for cast-aside unwanted closet-ouds. So it's good to figure out your relationship with pegs. If the owner concedes that "the pegs suck", ask what he proposes: a new set of pegs for you to install, a luthier will do it, or you live with it?

Best success!
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fernandraynaud
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[*] posted on 1-4-2015 at 01:53 AM


Oh, in case I didn't put the proper perspective on the pegs, the only really effective solution is to use a peg shaver on the pegs and the correct matching reamer on the holes. These tools are not especially cheap, though Asian ones can be found much cheaper than say Swedish ones. And because the pegs have usually suffered enough, it's better to start with a new set, they sell 'em all over the Instambul metropolitan area. I'll add one more morbid detail. Arabic ouds especially, but all ouds at times, use unusual tapers. What do I mean? The pegs are conical, some taper down sharply, others are almost cylindrical. So you perhaps need a set of reamers, and an adjustable peg shaver, one that you have no idea how to adjust. I speak from experience. Another riddle to solve. The pegs are sometimes standard violin 25:1 but sometimes not. It also turns out that some resources say that 30:1 (and not 25:1) is the violin standard. People who live between a humus stand and a luthier's shop don't see the problem. Those of us who are living the Western urban dream find that this all contributes to a sort of malaise, something akin to discovering that Carbon 14 dating needs to be corrected by the signs of the zodiac. And that it's expensive.

@henkdrunen, if you show us some close-up photos we will do our best -- I think I can speak for all of us -- to give you honest opinions of what we can see. If this is a remote control purchase, say e-bay, it's sad we can't try the instrument, but good close-ups of the exact instrument you are purchasing can still be useful.

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Don Z
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[*] posted on 1-4-2015 at 10:42 AM


A hummus stand and a luthier shop...funny.
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