Townfoot Estate, Brampton, Cumbria

Omega Music

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Atlas AO-15 Oud, Turkish Lute



Atlas AO-15 Oud, Turkish Lute

Manufacturer: Atlas



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This product qualifies for free mainland UK delivery - Scottish Highlands and Islands contact us for details

The internet describes the Atlas AO-15 Oud as a "good playable oud with solid spruce top and ribbed bowl back", which isn't exactly an informative guide. We have looked at this model in a bit more detail and found that, though it is very well made, the tuning pegs can be a little stiff or too slack making tuning the oud quite difficult. Here at Omega Music we are lucky to have a skilled violin technician, and he found he could transfer his skill and knowledge from the violin peg box to the oud's peg box and tuning pegs. This procedure is now carried out with each oud we sell and with the tuning issue checked, and if needed fixed, we can really have a good look at this strange but wonderful instrument.

With a distinct lack of oud players here at Omega, we passed it to our guitar tech. From a guitarist's point of view, with no frets and eleven strings in five pairs with one single 'drone string' or 'bam teli', the oud might be a bit difficult to come to terms with. However, after 10 minutes, he was playing some very melodic eastern-sounding tunes, although he admitted he had no idea  what notes he was playing or had played. We found the action to be good and, in the tuning of E A B E A D, the strings felt at the right tension and sounded clear and resonant, as they should be. We did try an Arabic tuning, D G A D G C, but, probably due to the gauge of strings fitted, the top three pairs of strings felt a bit too slack, and the oud sounded quieter and less resonant.

The Atlas AO-15 Oud is therefore designed to be tuned to the Turkish tuning of E A B E A D which is found in Turkish, Armenian and Greek music. Originally an Arabic instrument, the Turkish oud was modified by Greek luthier, Manolis Venios, who was living in Constantinople (Istanbul) at the turn of the 20th century. Eleven strings are common, in five pairs of strings and one single 'drone string'.  

Here are some common Turkish tunings (lowest string to highest string):

  • E A B E A D
  • D G B E A D
  • D A B E A D
  • B F# BE A D
  • C# F# B E A D
  • C  F B E A D

This instrument also comes with a gig bag and is checked and set up before dispatch.

It is made in Turkey.