I completed this oud in late 2006.
To my knowledge, this is the first and only sandwich top (also called double-top) oud in existence. I consulted with a classial guitar maker in the production of this oud's soundboard. It is made from 2 micro-thin layers of AAA western red cedar, and a center core of the aerospace material known as Nomex. The sandwich top soundboard demands precision tolerances and requires great skill and care to produce.
It is 40% lighter than a traditional soundboard, allowing the plate to resonate to a much greater degree than a traditional all-wood face, yet retain greater strength-to-weight ratio than solid wood. Consequently, this oud is loud, deep and resonant with incredible sustain and echo, and very clean bass. The amplitude is balanced. Not necessarily a traditional sounding oud, but rather a unique instrument with a unique flavor. I built this oud with a low action for longevity. It is well suited for solo performance in an intimate setting, yielding readily to the delicate touch required for glissando, hammer-ons and offs. Extremely easy to play, it's a joy to hear as well as observe. The bowl wood is American Black Cherry, as is the neck veneer and pegbox. Fingerboard is Rosewood. Pegs are bone, and being extremely dense, turn smoothly and accurately, with narrow shanks for greater tuning precision. Bridge is Black Walnut with Micarta cap. Rose is walnut and micarta, with carved calligraphic center. Rosewood pickguard. Finish is a hand-rubbed varnish that is silky smooth to touch.
Scale length: 61.5cm. Tuning: CFAdgc'
Bowl dimensions: 14-1/2" wide, 19-3/4" long, 8-3/8" deep
Sandwich top ouds may be available in the future. Please inquire for details.