So, you are looking to buy an electric oud? What an exciting time!
You have a lot of decisions to make and models to compare and we wanted to make that as easier for you as possible. How have we done this? By creating The Ultimate Guide to Buying an Electric Oud of course!
Let’s jump right into this interesting part of the instrument buying world.

The Origins

For those who love folk music, you might already know that the oud is used in this genre around Greece, Arabia, the Middle East and North Africa! It is a mighty instrument that you should feel proud to wield.
Since Turkish, Syrian and Arabic ouds are the most common, you can easily find these for sale online. However, you are here for the electric ones, right? You are in luck because nowadays, they produce electric versions of these prominent models.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t make it any easier to buy one. But not to worry, we are about to simplify the process.
Things to Consider When Buying an Electric Oud
Of course, this wouldn’t be “The Ultimate Guide to Buying an Electric Oud” without telling you everything you need to think about it before you purchase!

Your Budget

This probably goes without saying, especially if you have bought an instrument (or any other semi-expensive item) before.
As long as you define your budget, you can decide what other aspects you may need to compromise on — or not if you have a whopping great budget!

a classic silent oud
A very popular model, featuring a slim body. SIlent oud.

Your Needs

Then, you will need to decide on your needs as a musician to figure out whether the electric oud is the one for you.
Those who perform in multiple locations and are constantly traveling around prefer electric ouds because they are far easier to transport. How come? It is due to the high-quality materials that are used in their construction that make it beautifully light. So, if you are an innate globe trotter, you will love this instrument.
People who want additional, convenient features like volume adjustment, silent playing mode and seamless connection to sound systems. Big stage performances are where the electric oud belongs.
Plus, you can use them as acoustic! It is the best of both worlds! Not to mention that you can obtain a completely different atmosphere when using an electric as supposed to an acoustic. It truly depends on your personal preferences.

The Construction and Sound

Regardless of whether it is a Turkish, Syrian or an Arabic electric oud, they all contain 11 strings that are set into 5 groups of two, with one on its lonesome. However, some factors vary depending on the type. Let’s take a look at these now:

Turkish Electric Ouds

These guys can be used as both electric and acoustic since it has the equalizer and pickup included within the actual instrument.
They usually sport the classic bowls and utilize ebony wood (super dark) for the bridges and nut (or bone). Of course, the way it is constructed ensures it remains as light as possible.
From these types, you should expect a sound that is akin to the traditional Turkish models — unique and mesmerizing.

An arabic oud with a 3/4 bowl size
A unique electric oud with a special 3/4 body. Giving the comfort for the stage, and the sound when playing acoustic.

Arabic Electric Oud

The Arabic ouds feature a slightly bigger bowl, but display the same ebony bridges and fingerboards as the above mentioned Turkish versions. Although, if the budget allows, you will obtain a 3/4 bowl for extra comfort.
In terms of sound, they are one step lower than the Turkish ones, so you will have to consider what tone you prefer before you buy.

Syrian Electric Ouds

Ouds originating from Syria tend to be akin to their Arabic cousins when it comes to their tuning. However, they stand taller than them, making it slightly harder to play – you’d have to stretch your fingers, that’s sure. Plus, they consist of the same bowls and ebony or walnut fingerboards. In this sense, there isn’t much to distinguish them from the Arabic ouds.

Godin Multioud

Goding oud has a special cutaway that makes it a breeze to play in the high octaves. This means that if you are playing the C string often, consider an oud with a cut. That actually doesn’t take some of the volume, but is slightly more expensive. The special shape also has it’s a unique beauty, that people simply can’t ignore it! If you don’t feel like researching anymore, the Godin Multioud is the way to go — brilliant tuning, no feedback and little to no maintenance! What more could you ask for?

Godin Oud
The flagship of electric ouds. The ‘godin’ model, with mechanical pegs & the famous cutway.

The Bottom Line

Thanks to our ultimate guide to buying an electric oud, you are well equipped to go forth and wield this king of an instrument!
Oh, one last thing — you can purchase a Fishman Pickup which will pick up the vibes from the strings as you play and enhance your whole experience. Just a little bit of food for thought!

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