Fantasia and Recercar Lutes

The production for the Fantasia lute has changed from a batch system to regular production. Now you can place an order for the Fantasia or Recercar model lute and it will be scheduled for work as soon as the workshop time permits. 


It started with an idea. I wanted to provide a really nice lute at a reasonable price. Not a "student" lute, exactly, but a lute that could be affordable to a student. A lute that would be a great first instrument for a beginner, or a good second instrument for an established player. One that sounds sweet and strong. A lute that is comfortable to play, with a clean, low action.

So, I went to the drawing board. I used the top half of the Hieber lute design and the bottom half of the Frei C34 lute. Then, I brought the bottom curve of the Frei out a little more to create a little more air in the instrument. I designed the back to be half round with eleven ribs. The string length was settled at 61cm. This length is comfortable to play, yet it is long enough to optimize the tension and playing properties of nylon strings. Since the most requested lute is the eight course model the obvious thing was to make the Fantasia lute with eight courses. That way the musician can play almost any of the renaissance repertory on it.

Then, I thought about materials. The choice had to make the instrument affordable, yet provide a good tone. Cherry seemed to fit the bill. It also helps that I have had a lot of experience with this wood and know how to work it into a lute. For the fronts I purchased a load of excellent quality, very fine grained Engelmann spruce. Then the details: rosewood pegs for smooth and dependable tuning and rosewood binding on the fingerboard binding so the frets won't bite into the edges. A rosewood cap on the cherry bridge to resist the strings cutting into the bridge. A rosewood end button for those who want to play with a strap.

Six course Recercar lute

Six course Recercar lute

This lute model is available in two styles:

Fantasia style - eight course lute for Elizabethan music
Recercar style - six course lute for 16th c. Italian music

Lute Features:

  • Back: Eleven cherry ribs
  • Neck: Cherry
  • Head: Cherry
  • Front: AAA Engelmann spruce
  • Rose: Pattern "A"
  • Fingerboard: Cherry with rosewood edges and points
  • Bridge: Cherry with rosewood cap
  • Nut: Bone
  • End button: Rosewood
  • Pegs: Rosewood
  • Strings: Nylon and fluorocarbon with wound nylon basses

A form fitting, custom made Kingham case is available for purchase with the instrument.

Instrument specifications:

  • String length 24" (61cm)
  • Overall length 27 3/8" (69.5cm)
  • Body length 17" (43.2cm)
  • Neck length 10" (25.8cm)
  • Body width 12 7/16 (31.5cm)
  • Body depth 6" (15.3cm
  • String spacing between courses at bridge 10.1mm
  • Spacing between strings in course at bridge 4.9mm
  • String spacing between courses at nut 5.7mm
  • Spacing between strings in course at nut 3.1

Package includes:

One year warranty
One year subscription to the Lute Society of America


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