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Author: Subject: Oud quality vs. oud price
animalwithin
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[*] posted on 1-15-2020 at 11:21 AM
Oud quality vs. oud price


I played electric guitar for many years and from personal experience and others I have spoken to, the consensus is that you can get a near perfect electric guitar for around $1,500. Beyond that you're basically paying for only aesthetics: fancy woods, unique design, etc. But the difference in quality and playbility between a $1,500 guitar and a $3,000+ guitar is negligible.

I'm curious, is this the same for oud? If I can find a good/respectable luthier who can make me a $1,500 oud (or any specific price), is there a difference in quality between that oud and, for example, a Mohammadi oud or Turunz oud going for over $4,000?

I feel this question isn't as straight forward as electric guitar as oud is a completely acoustic instrument, more or less devoid of non-wood elements, but I am curious.
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DavidJE
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[*] posted on 1-15-2020 at 04:01 PM


As far as Türünz ouds, in my experience there is no difference in quality between his $1,300 "reduced price" ouds and his much more expensive "custom singles". I have one of his reduced price (Turkish bracing/tuning) and two of his custom singles (one Turkish and one Arabic). Each of the three has a different sound, but the workmanship, playability, and tonal quality are equally outstanding.

What you get once you go over the $1300 are custom choices in terms of bowl wood and finishing, rosettes, ornamentation, and soundboard finishing options. I really like the unique style of each of my custom singles, but I play my reduced price just as often, and the sound quality and playability are definitely just as good.

Actually, when I first visited Faruk Türünz I was prepared to buy either a custom single or a reduced price. I asked him if there was a difference in sound or quality and he told me there was not. So he really talked me into the reduced price for my first oud, and more or less said that I'd never need another.

Of course pricing can be different depending on where the oud is made or where the maker lives. To get the quality of a Türünz oud from a maker in the US or Europe for example, probably in Israel too, you're going to have to pay a lot more due to the much higher cost of living.
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animalwithin
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[*] posted on 1-15-2020 at 08:30 PM


An excellent reply, thanks David!

I know ouds of all prices can have varying sounds, I just wasn't sure if after a certain price point, you're basically paying for only aesthetics and ornamentation rather than quality and playability. I can see how this applies to oud as much as it does with other instruments.
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