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LLD ® Dowland 8c Renaissance lute

Bowl in Flamed Maple • Bright treble, strong mid-range and full bass sound • LLD ® FG-R case included

Excl. Tax: €1,750.00

Availability: Out of stock

SKU: LLDI01-D

• Model: Dowland
• Type: Renaissance lute
• Number of strings: 8 courses
• Tuning pitch: A 440 Hz
• Tuning: Dd, Ff, Gg, Cc, ff, aa, dd, g
• String length: 590 mm
• String spacing at the nut: 56,5 mm
• String spacing at the bridge: 120 mm
• Ribs: 11
• Weight: 800 g

Details

Unique masterpieces produced by the hands of craftsmen

Quality, refinement and tradition. Le Luth Doré® lutes, early guitars and mandolins are designed in Paris by experienced european luthiers, and handcrafted in our high quality new China-based manufacturing facility, by today’s top luthiers in the country.

LLD® instruments represent the culmination of over 40 years of music instruments manufacturing by our European and Chinese luthiers and 20 years of music expertise by world famous lutenist Miguel Serdoura.

The tone, resonance, and beauty of fine instruments are all dependent upon the wood from which they are made. The wood used in the construction of LLD® lutes, early guitars and mandolines is carefully chosen and aged to guarantee the highest quality.

Each LLD® instrument is a work of art that begins with the selection of the finest materials and is brought to perfection with great passion.

With select solid woods and impeccable workmanship, LLD® instruments will satisfy anyone looking for a truly superior sound and an unique experience with exquisite early music instruments.

All LLD® instruments are sold with modern, exclusive and refined fiberglass hard case, featuring a convenient climatic system to ensure your instrument great protection against travel, storage and climate changes.

History of the lute

The lute is probably the most widely distributed type of stringed instrument in the world. In Europe, the lute enjoyed great popularity from the 15th-18th centuries where it had an important role in both courtly and popular music. It is depicted with great frequency in artworks from the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque periods. It was the principal plucked string instrument of its time. It originated in the Middle East as the Arabic ʿūd. The instrument was brought to Europe in the 13th century where it was adapted to suite local musical styles. The European lute has a deep, pear-shaped body, a neck with a bent-back pegbox, and strings tied to a bridge glued to the instrument’s belly. European lutes have a large, circular sound hole cut into the belly and ornamented with a perforated rose carved from the belly’s wood.

The earliest European lutes followed the Arab instruments in having four strings that were plucked with a quill plectrum. By the mid-14th century the strings had become pairs, usually referred to as courses. These were tuned in unison or, in the bass strings, at the octave. Late in the 15th century, the plectrum was abandoned in favor of playing with the fingers, movable gut frets were added to the fingerboard, and the instrument acquired a fifth course. The frets were important as they opened the way for lutes to play multiple notes or chords and still be in tune.

The Renaissance lute

By the 16th century the classic form of the Renaissance lute was established, with its six courses of strings (the top course was a single string) tuned to G–c–f–a–d–g, ascending from the second G below middle C. Later in the sixteenth century, additional courses of strings were added to the 6-course instrument. Some of leading lute makers of the time included Laux Maler, Hans Frei, Vendelio Venere, Moeses and Magno Tieffenbrucker.  

As the instrument developed, it playing technique was systematized, and a custom made tablature notation developed using the horizontal lines of the traditional staff to represent the courses of the lute and then, either letters or numbers to indicate the notes. In effect, the tablature tells the player the frets to be stopped with the left hand, the strings to be plucked by the right hand, and the rhythm as well.

The archlute, chitarrone and the theorbo

By the early 17th century the 7-course lute was extended by the addition of extra basses, resulting in lutes of 8, 9 and 10 courses. Instruments changed in line with these additional bass strings, or diapasons, which required the widening and lengthening of the neck and head of the instrument. Such modified instruments were called archlute, chitarrone and the theorbo.

The Baroque lute

Shortly after 1600, modified tunings were introduced by French lutenists giving rise to a few decades of great experimentation. However, by around 1650 the scheme known today as the "Baroque" or "D minor" tuning became the norm and the number of strings grew even more to 13 by the 18th century. The first six courses outline a d-minor triad (ascending A-d-f-a-d’-f’) followed by an additional 5 to 7 courses, descending stepwise from the low A. Lutes in D minor tuning today are known as Baroque lutes and can have 11, 12 or 13 courses, according to the nature of the different types of repertoire.  

Modern lutenists tune their lutes, vihuelas, archlutes or theorbos to a variety of pitch standards, ranging from A = 392 to 470 Hz, depending on the type of instrument they are playing, the repertory, the pitch of other instruments in an ensemble and other performing expediencies. No attempt at a universal pitch standard existed during the period of the lute's historical popularity. In modern days it is usual to tune the Renaissance lute in A to 440 Hz and the Baroque lute in A to 415 Hz.

© Le Luth Doré SAS

Characteristics

Wood and color characteristics

The LLD® Dowland 8c Renaissance lute bowl is made with Flamed Maple, a highly dense and reflective wood yielding a loud, projective, and sustained tone. Maple wood is celebrated both for its range of figuring patterns, from curly or flamed to quilt to birdesye, which add beauty to an instrument.

The orange goldish color of our mat finishing oil varnish used with our Flamed Maple wood makes our LLD® lutes look aesthetically very similar to the varnish color of historical lutes from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

Sound characteristics

The most important sonic quality maple is known for is its linearity — it is a very predictable transparent-sounding wood. It reflects exactly what the design and the player's style bring to it.

Flamed Maple is a much appreciated wood for its transparency of sound, reflecting precisely the sound qualities of the soundboard but without coloring it too much. The Flamed Maple of our LLD® lutes delivers an appropriately loud tone that projects well.

Flamed Maple or Ribbon Striped Sapelli?

Ribbon Striped Sapelli is an harder wood then Flamed Maple. Both tend to be direct, bright and warm at the same time, but Ribbon Striped Sapelli exhibits warmer treble presence and deeper basses than Flamed Maple – that will be the main sound difference among this two woods.

Flamed Maple as a very direct but warm sound, and has fewer overtones or complexity then Ribbon Striped Sapelli. What you hear initially with Flamed Maple, is what you get.

The sound the lute projects at the attack is still the same sound you will hear as the note decays. Flamed Maple is a wood that has to sampled with age to be fully appreciated.

Ribbon Striped Sapelli sound will be a little less direct than maple, with more overtones, and adds a bit more complexity to the sound of the lute overall.

The soundboard

Spruce is the most common tone wood used for the soundboard of the European lute family instruments. LLD® uses only high grade and excellent quality solid spruce soundboards on the construction of its lutes.

The top, or soundboard, as the name suggests, bears great influence on the way a lute sounds, though the back also is a key component. The top seems to affect the lute's responsiveness, its sustain and even some of its overtone coloration and quality of each note’s fundamental tone. Taking in consideration the differences of the Flamed Maple wood (which develops more the fundamentals of the sound) and the Ribbon Striped Sapelli (which develops more the overtones) we have chose two different sorts of spruce in order to equilibrate those specificities.

The LLD® high grade tight grain spruce used with the Flamed Maple lutes is a high grade well-rounded tonewood with high stiffness and relative lightness.
It translates to a broad dynamic and strong fundamental sound.

Instrument settings

All our LLD® lutes are carefully inspected in Paris before shipment to the customer by a professional, conservatory-trained lutenist and adjusted as necessary by a luthier in Paris specializing in making, restoring and repairing historical and modern professional quality lutes.

Our instruments are precisely designed and then adjusted to assure proper scooping of the top and height of the nut and the bridge to provide optimal action of the strings.

• Top in high grade tight grain solid spruce, finished and slightly varnished
• Bowl in flamed maple, finished and oil varnished in orange color
• Spacers in ebony
• Neck, bridge and pegbox in maple, finished and varnished in black
• Pegs in ebony
• Fingerboard and soundboard frets in ebony

• Slightly curved fingerboard (about 1 mm)
• Fingerboard frets in natural sheep gut
• Nut in natural cow bone
• Laser carved rosette
• Strung with Aquila Nylgut® strings
• LLD® FG-R case included
• Two LLD® L1 case straps included

5 Reviews For "LLD ® Dowland 8c Renaissance lute"

  1. EXCEEDING ALL EXPECTATIONS.

    by Paul Craven on 11 Mon,2018

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    I must congratulate Miguel Serdoura and his team of builders on their vision and enterprise in producing this wonderful instrument. The quality of the woods, construction and case are far beyond my expectations. The lute is very light indeed. When held by the neck, normal level speech causes the lute to slightly vibrate! The quality of the maple wood used for the back is very attractive and has been constructed to a very high standard with small ebony strips in-between the maple ribs. The whole then has a well applied satin finish. The rose is laser cut with an attractive pattern. The pegs hold tune very well as do the strings. The fibreglass case should also offer good protection.
    Sound wise the lute is new so should open up more with playing but my first thoughts are that the lute displays a very good bass response with smooth, sweet trebles. It does not sound harsh or brittle when played over the rose like some other lesser instruments and I am looking forward to hear just how it develops over the coming months.
    It is magical to think that an instrument of this caliber is available without the prolonged wait and understandably large price tag from U.K. luthiers with their higher workshop costs. How many potential players have been put off by that?
    If you are reading this and are thinking of buying your first Lute but think "I have seen Lutes for less money on eBay" (or similar) please think again. I have examined quite a few of these instruments. In general they are heavy, clumsily constructed and nearly all would require remedial work on their set-up and tuning pegs adding an additional cost. Even with this work done you are still going to get an inferior instrument. In short, buy on of these, and thank you Miguel for opening up the Lute to many more players. Kind regards, Paul

  2. Beautiful Lute with a Wonderful Sound

    by Cynthia Sutton on 04 Tue,2018

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    Quality
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    I purchased the Dowland lute from Le Luth Doré at the recommendation of my teacher, and could not be more pleased. It is a beautifully-made instrument, has a lovely tone, and feels just wonderful to play.

    In addition to its aesthetic appeal, it is crafted with evident care, from the tuning pegs to the beautiful rosette. The hard-shell case is solid but light-weight, and I love the built-in humidifier.

    I have had my lute for eighteen months, and from the day I ordered it, Miguel has been helpful and friendly, answering my questions quickly and thoroughly. The books I received are also wonderful; carefully edited, easy to read, and with a sturdy binding.

    My entire experience with Le Luth Doré has been excellent, and I am so glad that I have one of these fantastic lutes to play every day.

  3. A Very Fine Lute

    by Susan Meredith on 08 Tue,2017

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    I received my Dowland lute from Le Luth Doré in May of this year and am very pleased with it. It is a beautiful work of art that inspires me every day when I play it.

    The customer service throughout the purchase process and since I have taken possession of it have been first rate. Miguel is very responsive and helpful. he went out of his way to make the experience of buying my lute a pleasure.

    The lute sounds great. It is beautiful to look at and comfortable to hold and to play. I play it every day and am very happy to be an owner of a Le Luth Doré instrument.

  4. Excellent Pro-level lute

    by Rob MacKillop on 04 Fri,2017

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    This is the second Le Luth Doré lute I've tried, and I am as impressed with this "Dowland" lute as I was with the "Weiss" lute.

    The same high-level of craftsmanship is evident all over the instrument. It really is a pro-level lute, and I would happily use it in concerts and recordings.

    I recommended it to a student of mine, and she now has a fantastic instrument, which should inspire her for years to come.

  5. First class!

    by Frank Eyler on 01 Sat,2017

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    Quality
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    The LLD® Dowland 8c Renaissance Lute I recently bought from Le Luth Doré is most impressive!

    Triple A maple and spruce, beautiful workmanship and finish, good and powerful sound.

    First class!

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