1971 Khalifa, Damascene oud

I received this oud in barely playable condition. Stucturally, the bowl, neck and soundboard were in good condition. Following is a list of improvements and repairs I made to the oud:

· New pegbox of padauk
· New pegs of rosewood
· New shamsa and qamriyya of white linen Micarta
w/ Jameel Raji Khalaf calligraphy
· Full-length fingerboard and corner points of Indian rosewood
· New bone nut set up for 11-strings
· New raqma (pickguard) of Indian rosewood
· Thick layer of shellac removed from soundboard
· Soundboard thinned. Soundboard includes two areas with cracks. The cracks have been reinforced and are structurally sound.
· 2nd brace below main hole thinned and shortened for increased response
· New bridge of black walnut, with double sets of string holes for adjustable action.
· Neck thinned and shaped for better ergonomics
· New original diamond-shaped inl
ays around soundhole
· New tail cover plate of padauk
· Entire instrument (sans soundboard) taken to bare wood and refinished
· All repairs made with traditional hot hide glue.

Scale length: 62cm
Strings: Aquila Light Tension Turkish set C#F#Bead'
Tuning: CFAdgc'

The action on this oud is very comfortable. The sound-quality and balance are excellent. I was quite amazed when I played this oud for the first time after the improvements I made. It is simply a fantastic instrument. This oud is almost 40 years old and it sounds like it. Deep, sustaining bass combined with sweet and warm trebles make this a very traditional-sounding classical Arabic oud suitable for professional performance.

Sound Sample

Video Sample

This is a raw recording of the oud, without EQ or effects of any kind. I recorded this in a small room with no acoustics, using a pair of binaural microphones and Adobe Audition software. Binaural recordings are best appreciated with a good set of earphones for the most accurate reproduction and depth.