I ordered this instrument since it was the only lute in the price range I wanted to afford on it. I wanted to try it to supplement my classical guitar repertoire with new music pieces and techniques.
I received one lute with a minor mistake, (a wooden piece touched and bended the g' string at the head, and the string was finally torn there). Thomann was very correct and replaced it with a new one and covered all the postal costs.
I took both instruments to my teacher and he recommended to keep both of them since they are really good instruments, and that little mistake on the first one could be easily repaired by filing the wood a bit (I did not want to lose the warranty so I refused this...). He told me that for this price, it is a present, and he will recommend it to his other students.
So, now I have that new one and am happy with it. The sound is warm, the instrument is easily playable, there is no problem with it at all. I can easily tune it (it is not like a classical guitar with a machine head, but compared to other folk instruments I tried so far, it is easy to tune. The pegs fit very well the holes, you just need to push them inside a bit if they are too loose and don't keep the string, and then it is OK. I have not put any soap or powder on it, it just works.
I just discovered that I take it into my hands very easily and more frequently than any of my guitars... Practicing the guitar needs more preparations (sitting in a proper chair, with enough place around you, foot rest, etc.), but this lute "jumps into my hand" very easily anywhere, even in my armchair, it is much fun!
For the money, it's fine: spend a bit more on some decent strings and you will end up with a reasonable sound - not loud but good enough to learn on. I've played one of these professionally in a small venue [stone building holding about 80 people] and is was heard well enough. The tuning pegs work well. A great starter lute.
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