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Author: Subject: New Enhanced Wood Top Oud made by Sebastian Stenzel
rojaros
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[*] posted on 2-21-2021 at 12:36 PM
New Enhanced Wood Top Oud made by Sebastian Stenzel


As announced yesterday:

I just received a brand newly made oud, equipped for the first time with the Enhanced Wood type of top construction.
This construction has been described recently in an article by Sebastian Stenzel:
http://stenzel-guitars.de/resources/pdf/Enhanced_Wood_2020.pdf

This oud again has a cedar Enhanced Wood top and walnut ribs, black walnut neck and a sorbus domestica bridge in one of the renaissance styles. It is sparsly ornamented upon my request; wanting to keep the price as low as possible. It has Wittner violin geared pegs (which are the way to go for a stable and secure tuning with absolutely no adventures with slipping pegs etc.). They are finely geared and allow for a very precise tuning without guessing.

At the same time the oud has obtained a new shape (so again it is a prototype - I have a standing tradition with Sebastian to inspire prototypes: Enhanced Wood classical guitar, oud(*), Enhanced Wood oud). It has a bigger body volume with at the same time narrower top improving projection and treble response. At the same time the bowl is much flatter than usual and the side ribs are strongly slanted towards the middle, so that holding the oud becomes soooooo much more ergonomic than with the traditional design.

As to the sound: one of my first reactions was to tell Sebastian "If I was a more sentimental person, I would have cried of joy".

(*) I should explain more about that: when I met Sebastian Stenzel for the first time (that happened shortly after I learnt that he was living in literally the same village as I, without me knowing that I have a world reknown luthier as neighbour!), he was building only guitars.

I said, what a pitty he's not building ouds, as I was looking for a hand made oud. He then told me he was thinking about building ouds for more than 15 (if I remember right) years, even drawing sketches of the bowl and of the rosette. He just couldn't afford to interrupt his professional work on guitars without being paid for his work, so I happily ordered an oud from him knowing that it will be his first and a prototype. We agreed I would not need to take the oud if I didn't like it, but this situation didn't occur. That way he built his first oud for me and it is a great instrument by all accounts, even a very experienced oud builder would not be ashamed of it. Nor long after I met Mustafa Said who was very impressed by this oud and so I made the contact, and the rest is history. Sebastian Stenzel met Albert Mansour quite a bit later, after having built some ouds before that happened, so it is not that he exactly learnt from Mansour, but of course, when he met him, he got some additional inspiration, no doubt.

Meanwhile he certaily has developed his own style and strong innovative force, maintaning highest craftmanship and producing consistently great results - I haven't heard a single oud made by him that I would call mediocre, let alone bad.

look also here:Stenzel Guitars and Ouds

Here some pics:

new_large_ewc_full-1Delc.jpg - 161kB

new_large_ewc_full-4Delc.jpg - 157kB new_large_ewc_full-9Delc.jpg - 181kB new_large_ewc_full-13Delc.jpg - 157kB new_large_ewc_full-14Delc.jpg - 124kB

new_large_ewc_full-2Mike.jpg - 137kB new_large_ewc_full-3Mike.jpg - 120kB new_large_ewc_full-6Mike.jpg - 137kB new_large_ewc_full-7Mike.jpg - 157kB
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maraoud108
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[*] posted on 2-21-2021 at 04:56 PM


Wow, what an amazing instrument. Is it possible to post some videos of you playing it?
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rojaros
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[*] posted on 2-21-2021 at 11:13 PM


Quote: Originally posted by maraoud108  
Wow, what an amazing instrument. Is it possible to post some videos of you playing it?


Thanks!

I might do something when I got acquainted with... I'm just an oud lover, not any player worth mentioning, so I'm always affraid of misrepresenting an instrument...
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[*] posted on 2-22-2021 at 12:20 PM


Congrats on the new oud !
It is an amazing work Sebatian is making on bowls, i think there is future there ! From the very first which already has a beautiful, it is great seeing the eovultion. Thanks for sharing and supporting the developpement of those prototypes ! I think my preference go aestheticaly to this very last one...stunning ! And i'm a hundred percent sure the sound will be great too !
Wish you to enjoy it in good health. Best !




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rojaros
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[*] posted on 2-23-2021 at 06:19 AM


Thanks a lot!
I'm enjoying to play it indeed, almost like an addict ;)...

The ergonomic shape allows me (I'm having some problems with my right shoulder) much longer playing sessions than before, and together with the beautiful sound I can sit and play for hours on end.

Best wishes and good health - we all need especially these strange days!
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[*] posted on 2-23-2021 at 07:43 AM


Oh, and by the way...and juste for the pleasure ot the eyes ;) won't you mind sharing a picture of the back of the bowl ? I'm always amazed by the way Sebastian Stenzel assembled the ribs



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rojaros
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[*] posted on 2-23-2021 at 02:36 PM


Sebastian specifically asked me not to, because the consttruction is not yet the final one. It looks very good, but he doesn't want to get nailed the he didn't keep to the form of the model when somebody orders it and then gets something looking a bit differently from my pictures ... so I promised not to do. Maybe when he's finished with his form, I can post it as 'historical' phase :)
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[*] posted on 2-23-2021 at 10:53 PM


I have discovered a recording of this oud played by Negar Bouban. The oud was totally new when it was done - freshly taken from the work bench and stringed:

Negar Bouban playing the new oud
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Doc139
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[*] posted on 2-24-2021 at 05:12 AM


Thanks, Robert, for the link to this sound recording!
Do you know by chance which kind of strings Sebastian put on this new oud? Just wondering...
Wonderful instrument b.t.w.
Alexander, Switzerland
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MattOud
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[*] posted on 2-24-2021 at 07:21 AM


Is this not the same OUD we have already discussed here?:
http://www.mikeouds.com/messageboard/viewthread.php?tid=18476

I am confused. This looks the same unless I missed something...
It is beautiful regardless!
:wavey:
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[*] posted on 2-24-2021 at 10:00 AM


@MattOud
No, it is a totlly new oud built to my order; the other one is Sebstian Stenzel has built for Negar Bouban. Similar ideas, but different. Size is bbigger and shape is slightly different, too. And it has for the first time in history of oud an 'Enhanced Wood' cedar top...

(read here: Enhanced Wood Article)
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[*] posted on 2-24-2021 at 11:53 AM


Quote: Originally posted by Doc139  
Thanks, Robert, for the link to this sound recording!
Do you know by chance which kind of strings Sebastian put on this new oud? Just wondering...
Wonderful instrument b.t.w.
Alexander, Switzerland


Hello Alexander,
On this oud he put a calculated set of Savarez Early PEriod Instruments NFA (silverplated) wound strings, and Kürschner fluorocarbon ttrebles. At the moment I have also NFA 70 as gg course and a thinner cc course (Sufix 0.52), but on the recording with Negar Bouban the trebles are Kürschner 0.54/0.66 carbon strings.
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[*] posted on 2-24-2021 at 12:33 PM


So there are now at least three of these ouds in existence: Nagar Bouban, Mostafa Said, and Rojaros, with the exception that the last one has in addition the double (enhanced) top. It seems that the Stenzel bowl is finding its way (no patent on this either I presume, but he's probably the only one who can construct it, at least for some time before the technique becomes common knowledge...)
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[*] posted on 2-24-2021 at 01:00 PM


Quote: Originally posted by saad  
So there are now at least three of these ouds in existence: Nagar Bouban, Mostafa Said, and Rojaros, with the exception that the last one has in addition the double (enhanced) top. It seems that the Stenzel bowl is finding its way (no patent on this either I presume, but he's probably the only one who can construct it, at least for some time before the technique becomes common knowledge...)


As far as I know this is all true: three ouds of new type out there, and the enhanced wood is not patented. As usual the trouble is always with the detail.

Think of conventional ouds: the principles are well known and there are many drawings and plans to be found, but the quality of actual instruments of the different makers is stunningly different - all with the same idea behind...

The experience, knowledge, talent and intuition of the makers are the decisive factors, what will come out of a commonly known idea... some may call it a gift from God...

Sebastian Stenzel built already his first oud on a level that is not easy to achieve for others even with a lot of experience - and it's not only me who is saying that... So I really hope for him that people start to recognize the singular quality of his craft.
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[*] posted on 2-24-2021 at 01:20 PM


Yes, and it seems that he is still experimenting with dimensions, or possibly planning to produce his concept in multiple versions. There is a description of your oud on his webpage and the fact that he made it a bigger version of his previous model, here: https://www.stenzel-guitars.de/page-2/pg1/

What is the scale length of your oud?
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[*] posted on 2-24-2021 at 10:23 PM


I think at the moment the task is to optimize the rib form within the given dimensions. To change the dimensions is quite a big undertaking as then you need a new wooden form on which the oud is shaped. But the exact details how the ribs are shaped and which way they are bent and come together at the end block must be experimented with ond optimized.

The scale length is 585mm and feels quite natural to me. I also had an oud (more traditional form) made by Stenzel with 570 and it felt a bit crowded, so I gave it back to Stenzel (although it also was a beautiful instrument - I think I have written about it previously). BTW Mustafa Said plays 570mm scale length...

The 570mm oud was this: Stenzel 570mmm scale length oud

I think it is available. Ask Stenzel if interested...
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[*] posted on 2-25-2021 at 01:21 PM


Quote: Originally posted by rojaros  
Sebastian specifically asked me not to, because the consttruction is not yet the final one. It looks very good, but he doesn't want to get nailed the he didn't keep to the form of the model when somebody orders it and then gets something looking a bit differently from my pictures ... so I promised not to do. Maybe when he's finished with his form, I can post it as 'historical' phase :)


perfectly understandable :) was just for curiosity, previous ones for which he shared pictures were already of stunning master craftsmanship !




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