minstrel: My new EMS lute
agent036 at astromonkey.net
Mon Nov 17 14:16:43 PST 2008
I had a little money saved up and I've wanted a lute for years. It's been a
driving need for a long time. So I finally have the chance to order one but
the only one I can afford is one of the EMS lutes made in pakistan. I've
heard some real horror stories about these lutes, but I've also heards some
good things about them more recently. The quality of eastern merchandice has
been generally increasing for the last several years so I figured their
lutes might be the same way. So I took a chance and ordered one.
When the lute finally arrived I was filled with elation and terror. Opening
the box I find the case is very nice, and the lute inside in pristine
condition despite it's long journey. Examining the wood work it looks pretty
sound and I'm surprised at how light it is compared to my Oud. The nut is
farely well shaped, and the rosesste is beautiful if slightly rustic (it is
after all the student model). I was very worried about the frets. As I had
heard, they were nylon rather than gut, as where the strings, but I tunned
it up and gave it a go.
It plays wonderfully. After several weeks of playing it I can report that
the nylon frets are staying in place quite well. When they wear out I'll
replace them with gut but I'm surprised how well they are working. The pegs,
which are well shaped, are staying in tune quite nicely with very little peg
dope required. The strings aren't great but they are working quite well, no
buzz and the tone is alright if not perfect. Some folks have advised people
not to get a cheap lute saying that a comparably priced classical guitar
will sound much better. I do not agree. My lute is sheer joy to play and is
really a dramatically different experience from my classical guitar. Also,
I'm a reinactor and guitars just aren't right for a renaissance minstrel.
I hope this helps any aspring lute players.
-Cedric the Minstrel
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