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Author: Subject: Strings for mellow soud
Marcus
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[*] posted on 2-18-2019 at 04:31 AM
Strings for mellow soud


Hi Oudies:wavey:

I have a 7-course JT-Signature-Oud made by Veyssel Saricus in Istanbul.
I play Pyramid Lute strings and allways liked them because of the crispy sound and their long-lasting.
Now I like to try strings that produce a more mellow, bassy sound.

Does anybody know what would be good strings to try?

Cheers,

Marcus




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Jody Stecher
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[*] posted on 2-18-2019 at 09:16 AM


Maybe D'Addario or LaBella, or certain Kurschner formulations might give you what you are looking for. Or if you can find the old formulation of Aquila oud strings, the copper windings tend to give a mellow tone.

I have found Pyramid lute strings to be balanced in tone on every oud on which I have tried them. Bass response has been good. "Crispy" is not what I have experienced
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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 2-18-2019 at 09:53 AM


Presumably you bought the JT model because you like his sound? Perhaps you should ask Joe what strings he likes to use.

In my experience, Pyramid Lute are some of the mellower sounding strings. Savarez are also mellow, with slightly less sustain. On some ouds this is an improvement, while on others they can sound a bit dead.

The Aquila lutes might be what you are looking for. I have them in gauges similar to Pyramid Lutes for oud, the wound are plain copper on nylgut multifilament and the trebles are rectified nylgut.


D'addario are some of the brightest strings.
LaBella are balanced. They start out a bit brighter than the Pyramid but after a couple of weeks are very nice.

Kurschner are also fairly bright-sounding in my experience.






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Jody Stecher
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[*] posted on 2-19-2019 at 07:21 AM


There seem to be a variety of strings called Kurschner and —during some period in the past — some were made in Turkey and some in Western Europe. And these had the same name but not much in common sonically. D'Addario EJ95A oud strings for Arabic tuning are advertised by the manufacturer as having "warm full-bodied tone". My experience accords with the description. But that has been only on 3 ouds. Maybe they are bright on others.
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Jody Stecher
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[*] posted on 2-19-2019 at 07:41 AM


The D'Addario strings I have tried for Turkish oud on the other hand have been beyond bright. They were brash. I guess it all depends on the oud and on which formulation of strings and from which years. And it depends on the player.
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Microber
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[*] posted on 2-20-2019 at 07:26 AM


Hi Marcus,
I doubt it will be easy to find mellower strings than the Pyramid Lute.
Actually for me, as Jody says "Crispy is not what I have experienced".
The Pyramid are available in silver or copper wound. The copper is supposed to be mellower. But in my experience, the difference isn't dramatic.
I also like a lot the Aquila Lute. The feeling is different because of the Nylgut. And the trebble strings are rectified that is for me a good point.
Maybe you may try different rishas. Or why not another right hand. But that solution could be expensive. :-)
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DavidJE
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[*] posted on 2-20-2019 at 07:46 AM


I agree that Pyramid Lute are some of the warmest sounding strings I've tried.

Another possibility if you already have Pyramid Lute strings is to try a different pick. There can be a huge difference in sound if you compare a softer pick material (like the black and white "rubber" feeling Turkish picks) to a stiffer/harder pick. I find the soft picks have a much warmer sound, though playing with picks at either extreme is very different.
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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 2-20-2019 at 10:23 AM


Quote: Originally posted by DavidJE  
I agree that Pyramid Lute are some of the warmest sounding strings I've tried.

Another possibility if you already have Pyramid Lute strings is to try a different pick. There can be a huge difference in sound if you compare a softer pick material (like the black and white "rubber" feeling Turkish picks) to a stiffer/harder pick. I find the soft picks have a much warmer sound, though playing with picks at either extreme is very different.


True, different picks will have a very different sound. Also the shape of the pick's tip will have a big impact also. How wide, how sharp or rounded, etc.





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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 2-20-2019 at 10:25 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Jody Stecher  
The D'Addario strings I have tried for Turkish oud on the other hand have been beyond bright. They were brash. I guess it all depends on the oud and on which formulation of strings and from which years. And it depends on the player.


Interesting. I worked with D'addario on their Arabic set, and I'm surprised to hear you describe it as so different from the Turkish set. The strings are (while different gauges) the same construction, and very similar overall. The Arabic set is designed to have a bit lower tension at pitch, which also makes for a mellower sound.

Perhaps the strings Marcus is using are simply too high in tension for the sound he wants?




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Jody Stecher
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[*] posted on 2-20-2019 at 01:15 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Brian Prunka  
Quote: Originally posted by Jody Stecher  
The D'Addario strings I have tried for Turkish oud on the other hand have been beyond bright. They were brash. I guess it all depends on the oud and on which formulation of strings and from which years. And it depends on the player.


Interesting. I worked with D'addario on their Arabic set, and I'm surprised to hear you describe it as so different from the Turkish set. The strings are (while different gauges) the same construction, and very similar overall. The Arabic set is designed to have a bit lower tension at pitch, which also makes for a mellower sound.



The D'Addario Turkish strings I tried was years before your input on their Arabic set. It was on a Turkish oud at Turkish tuning.
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[*] posted on 2-20-2019 at 05:42 PM


My only non-aquila-strung oud is Thomastik. They are bright and and maybe "crispy" to me - but the oud sounds good. I wonder how anyone who has used them would compare them to the other standard nylon strings that are not nylgut?
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[*] posted on 2-20-2019 at 08:24 PM


Mm..

I also love mellow strings

I've been dying to hear the pyramid lute copper.. but couldn't find a sound sample anywhere

If anyone has one, I'd love to hear it

About to search for a sample of aquila lute, now.. plain copper over nylgut is a very interesting proposition.
I had a set of the aquila Oud with red copper.. but found them scratchy with the risha and quite bright.. loved the feel though, which i attributed to the nylgut monofilament. Lots of sustain and articulation on slides
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Marcus
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[*] posted on 2-24-2019 at 04:56 AM




Hi all:wavey:
thanks for the replies.
I use different rishas-soft turkish-style,pyramid medium,horn rishas from soft to very hard in many shapes-for different styles and moods-and was always satisfiyed with the sound of the pyramid lutes on my oud.
Maybe it is just because I hear a lot of old recordings during the last month, so my "taste" changes a bit.
I guess i'll follow Brians advice and try strings in lower tension to reach the sound I'm looking for.
Otherwise there is no other way than buying one more oud-I'd love that, but my "government" shurely wont:D

Cheers,
Marcus




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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 2-24-2019 at 03:18 PM


Quote: Originally posted by Marcus  


Hi all:wavey:
thanks for the replies.
I use different rishas-soft turkish-style,pyramid medium,horn rishas from soft to very hard in many shapes-for different styles and moods-and was always satisfiyed with the sound of the pyramid lutes on my oud.
Maybe it is just because I hear a lot of old recordings during the last month, so my "taste" changes a bit.
I guess i'll follow Brians advice and try strings in lower tension to reach the sound I'm looking for.
Otherwise there is no other way than buying one more oud-I'd love that, but my "government" shurely wont:D

Cheers,
Marcus


You can try tuning your strings down 1/2 step and see how it sounds, it may give you a general idea what it's like with lower tension. It's not exact, since the pitch has an impact as well, but may give you an idea.




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