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Author: Subject: Can you achieve old oud sound (like Farids for exaple) on newer oud models?
fameeyyoud
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[*] posted on 12-19-2020 at 10:35 AM
Can you achieve old oud sound (like Farids for exaple) on newer oud models?


Hey guys!

Sorry if this question got asked before, but i have a Zeryab Shami 1 with Pyramid Strings and im actually pretty happy with it in general. However, like many here, im a big Farid fan, so when i play taqsims like Rabi3 on my oud i noticed that modern ouds have a lot of hall and sustain in their sounds and general sound duration even when tuned exaclty like Farids, but when Farid (or other players or that time) hits notes they sound really short and deep with almost no sustain, like if he was playing drums, if that makes sense.
So i was wondering could thst sound be imitated by the right choice of strings, or maybe by adjusting the action, or were old ouds built different then new ones and you cant achieve this kind of sound anymore?
Also talking about the strings, were the old ones also C,F,A Copper and Nylon and D,G,C Nylon or where they all
somehow copper?
Id be really happy about any advice!
Thanks in advance!
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Jody Stecher
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[*] posted on 12-19-2020 at 01:42 PM


Any strings will sustain less after a few months of hard playing. So that can help. Farid used no 6th course. That can have an effect. It's true that many new ouds have more sustain than ouds did in Farid's day. This can be overcome to some extent by keeping that old sound in your mind.
Farid used a feather risha but that had no effect on sustain although it did affect the tone quality.

Maybe some of the above will help. I do like that old sound!
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Brian Prunka
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[*] posted on 12-19-2020 at 03:31 PM


Farid also may have had more sustain in person than comes through on the old recordings; having played some ouds of that era they do have a "dry" sound but not less sustain. However, he played on gut strings, which very well may have had less sustain and a more fundamental-heavy sound than modern strings. The typical strings would be gut for 1/2/3 and wound on gut core for 4/5/6, I believe.




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fameeyyoud
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[*] posted on 12-20-2020 at 03:46 AM


Thanks a lot for your quick replys and help guys!
That was exactly what i was looking for!
Any idea where you can get a good set of gut strings or any set you would recommend?
I only found aquilas „nylgut“ hybrid.
Some say it brings the best of both worlds others say it sounds nothing like real gut.
Whats your take on that?
Thanks in advance!
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Jody Stecher
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[*] posted on 12-20-2020 at 06:31 AM


I think that the first formulation of Aquila Nylgut was better sounding than subsequent versions, especially the trebles. But the gauges were too heavy. Only the so-called light gauge Arabic strings were safe to use. Since then the formulation has changed several times and with each change the sound got worse in my opinion. If you can find an old set in either brown or yellow packaging it might be worth a try.
The copper winding on the lower pitched strings tends to emphasize the fundamental rather than "upper partials" and that might move the sound in the direction you want. It depends on the oud. But no it won't sound like gut.
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fameeyyoud
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[*] posted on 12-21-2020 at 05:23 AM


Thanks a lot for your answer!
So if not the nylgut, are there any other strings you'd recommend for that purpose? I cant seem to find original gut ones, are there any still around?
If not what would be the best alternative in your opinion, or
would you still advice to go with nylgut?
Thanks in advance!
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Jody Stecher
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[*] posted on 12-21-2020 at 07:09 AM


I would begin by keeping the sound you want in your mind as you play on the strings already on your oud. You might get pretty close to that sound just by using this "technique".

I have seen some gut strings that were many decades old and they had gotten brittle and unusable. I don't know if that is always the case.

I think Aquila is still making gut strings in Italy. You'd have to determine the gauges you want.

Several companies in the USA, Britain and maybe Europe make gut strings for harps. These have been treated and coated. They sound different from old formulations but they do sound good. Again you would need to determine the gauges you need. A good place to start is Bow Brand in the UK.

There are also Early Music shops that sell gut strings. But these will not be sold as sets for Oud.
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kampanas
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[*] posted on 1-9-2021 at 07:26 AM


I feel like this is a little overlooked, but tuning down a whole step helps a lot. You can hear how low the string tension is when Farid hits the strings in the recordings. You'll find a similar thing, if you look up videos of old Nahats ouds. I tried it on my Sukar, it really brought the "antique" sound to life.
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