Renaissance Lute Questions

Discussion of all aspects of early instruments, lutes, theorbos, vihuelas, Renaissance guitars and Baroque guitars.
Jennifer Z

Renaissance Lute Questions

Post by Jennifer Z » Thu Dec 08, 2005 3:25 pm

I have a Renaissance Lute that was made here in Toronto. However the maker is on the other side of the city and given the traffic problems here in Toronto, it's a 2 hour drive. So, my delimma is this: how do I replace worn gut frets and where can I order the gut??? Should I just make the 2 hour drive an suck it up? Also, the tuning pegs are really sticky this time of year and hard to turn, make of rosewood, any suggestions?

I love my lute but the upkeep is worse then my upkeep...hehe

Azalais

Post by Azalais » Thu Dec 08, 2005 5:07 pm

Hello Jen

There are internet sources for fret gut (try google), but you ususally need to order what sounds like a lifetime supply (a full set of full length strings in multiple sizes), because you need to get and use exactly the right size for each position. There are also several websites that explain how to tie the knots, etc... but getting them tight and in exactly the right place without gashing or burning the neck is harder than it sounds in the directions :oops: You can use soap and/or chalk to lubricate the pegs (also make sure that the strings haven't worked their way too close to the holes, which can cause them to jam)

Maybe you could invite your luthier over for dinner and a "house call"? Or send it to him via messenger? Even if it takes one full day to do... you KNOW how happy you'll be when it's all done... It will take at least as long for you to practice and do it yourself, and the results may be frustrating. (If you can "watch" how he does it... it will be well worth the trip!)

Jennifer Z

Post by Jennifer Z » Thu Dec 08, 2005 5:39 pm

I knew it wasn't going to be an easy job. Maybe I'm just lazy and should get in the car and go over there! I mean, I have no problem driving 3 hours there and back to St. Catharines to have my guitar worked on, why should this be any different?

I'll give a look on the web and see what I can find.

Freeman

Post by Freeman » Thu Dec 08, 2005 7:32 pm

The 12Fret is central Toronto :)

Anonymous

Post by Anonymous » Thu Dec 08, 2005 9:01 pm

yeah jen, i just got my guitar from 12th fret, the people there are amazing, especially the owner, he takes a lot of care with everything he does

Jennifer Z

Post by Jennifer Z » Sat Dec 10, 2005 3:04 pm

Hey Patrizio:

I have spent thousands of $ at the 12th fret and even sold a guitar there, I know all about them but they seem a bit in the dark about my lute, after 6 weeks and my own research they finally ordered me a set of lute strings.

Russell

Re: Renaissance Lute Questions

Post by Russell » Sat Dec 10, 2005 5:38 pm

Jennifer Z wrote:I have a Renaissance Lute that was made here in Toronto. However the maker is on the other side of the city and given the traffic problems here in Toronto, it's a 2 hour drive. So, my delimma is this: how do I replace worn gut frets and where can I order the gut??? Should I just make the 2 hour drive an suck it up? Also, the tuning pegs are really sticky this time of year and hard to turn, make of rosewood, any suggestions?

I love my lute but the upkeep is worse then my upkeep...hehe
Hi Jennifer, if it is worth restoring then try these folks in Stratford (or a branch) or even a proper contact. http://www.stringtech.on.ca/contactus.htm
Mr McConville (can't remember his first name)

Russ :)

Jennifer Z

Post by Jennifer Z » Sun Dec 11, 2005 2:04 pm

Hey Russ,

Great link, I just booked marked it. My lute doesn't need any restoration, just those darned gut frets wear down and in the winter they get brittle and shrink a lot. The instrument is well built. I abused it for about three years and didn't humidify it in the winter or play it and it weathered the abuse quite well. Now that I'm playing it a bit the frets are wearing away quite quickly.

Jennifer Z

Post by Jennifer Z » Tue Dec 13, 2005 1:13 pm

Another lute question:

I put some new strings on my lute last night and when I turn the pegs the string stretches from the nut to the peg but doesn't want to stretch to tune. It does end up 'jumping' to catch up to the other part of the string but I can't get it exact. I'm imagining a problem at the nut. Any ideas???

Evgeny

Post by Evgeny » Mon Dec 19, 2005 9:07 pm

Jennifer Z wrote:Another lute question:

I put some new strings on my lute last night and when I turn the pegs the string stretches from the nut to the peg but doesn't want to stretch to tune. It does end up 'jumping' to catch up to the other part of the string but I can't get it exact. I'm imagining a problem at the nut. Any ideas???
It's normal for lutes, especially with gut strings. One way to alleviate this is to cover a part of the string at the nut with graphite (using a pencil). The problem will not go away though, but will be just lesss severe. Then when you tune just slightly pull the string either above the net (to get the tune higher), or below the net (to get it lower) - you may need do severall "circles" of pulling above and below the nut to achieve the right tune.

Jennifer Z

Post by Jennifer Z » Tue Dec 20, 2005 1:49 pm

Awesome, I'll give it a try as it is rather annoying and time consuming tuning the damn thing! Thank goodness it's only a 7-course and nothing more.

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