The Godin MultiOud is a modern semi-acoustic electric Oud. I have been excited to experiment with one for a long time, so I borrowed my friend’s MultiOud. I’ve been playing with it for about two weeks now and I’ve learned a fair bit about it. After reading this article you will know whether or not the MultiOud is the right instrument for you!

In the video below you will hear some the deal-breaking features of this instrument. You will hear demonstrations on 11 different of the main sound profiles this instrument has to offer. I give you my honest opinion of this instrument and you’ll understand the strengths and weakness of this instrument.

 

The Good Stuff

The MultiOud has a semi-hollow body, with a combination of 2 condenser mics and 1 pickup built into it. The built-in preamp allows you pick a range of sound by drawing from both the pickup and the condenser mics OR you can choose to draw sound from only the pickup or the condenser mics.

Watch the above video for all the details.

 

The Final Judgement

I am fascinated by this instrument. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced player of the Oud. The MultiOud is definitely worth trying.

Strengths:

1. It is a well crafted instrument with state of the art electronics.

2. It is easy to play

3. It is great for playing Turkish music

4. It is easy to amplify

Weaknesses:

1. It lacks the original charm and aesthetic quality of the average Oud.

2. The sound is not a traditional Arabic sound.

 

Would I Buy the MultiOud?

I would love to have a MultiOud in my arsenal. It wouldn’t be the first Oud I buy. But this is the best electric Oud out there! Especially if I played a lot of fusion music with loud Western instruments. This instrument has a lot to offer, and at a good price as well. Get more details below:

http://www.godinguitars.com/godinmultioudp.htm

Now tell us in the comment section below – are you going to buy a MultiOud? If you have one already, what do you think about it? Your comment will help others interested in giving it a try.

 

 

17 thoughts on “Godin MultiOud Review – by The Oud Geek

  1. Rayes

    hi ,

    i bay one of godin multioud the naylon one but neck was broken 🙁 , and its very very good for professional player only . i am going to bay an other one but i want to tray the steel one with sunburst color HG .

    1. Navid

      Did you send the broken one back to the vendor?

  2. Charles Cohen

    Thank you for this review!

    I’m going to spend some time with a friend, trying to make his Godin sound more like an Arabic oud. I hadn’t noticed that the sustain time is shorter on the Arabic instrument; that will be interesting to “fix” on the Godin!

    . Charles

  3. Hi Navid. I have this oud and both love it and find it frustrating! It stays in tune exceptionally well, especially compared to the beginners Turkish oud that I started with that just seems to have a very hard time in the dampness of the Pacific Northwest. I also really like the neck and the overall playability of the instrument. On the other hand, I’ve been frustrated by the sound I’ve been able to get out of it, though after watching your video, I want to go play with the electronics some more! The biggest issue I have is the uneven volumes that the strings seem to have, as well as the fact that both the lower and the higher courses (but especially the higher ones) don’t have the round, mellow sound I want and even sound tinny to my ears at times. The highest two courses also seem to have a pronounced tendency to buzz unless I play very gently. I’m not an advanced player by any means, but I do think I ought to be able to get more out of this instrument. Wondering if it needs to be set up or adjusted and if so, what to tell a guitar tech about setting it up.

    1. Navid

      Yes, I understand your frustration. Where are you located exactly? I might be able to recommend someone that you could take it to. But I’m sure any Guitar tech could help as long as you communicate exactly what you want, and maybe show him what an Oud should sound like in a video or something.

      Strings will really affect the sound you get out of it in addition to finding the sweet spots with the electronics, the highs and lows. However, for strings, I don’t have enough experience experimenting with strings on the MultiOud to give you a recommendation. But, I recommend trying a few different sets and finding what you like. I would give you some strings recommendations but I’m not sure which tuning you use. On acoustic Ouds, I really like the sound of Aquila copper wounds for the basses, but I prefer nylon treble strings. If I were you I would try out Aquila strings, and buy the set for the tuning you want to use. They take a while to break in though.

      Good luck, stay in touch.

    2. Navid

      I’ve also noticed the same things actually. I think this is a result of the strings, but we’ll see. The 1st and 2nd strings seem to respond differently even though they are both nylon. I’ll experiment and make another video about it.

      The buzzing is a result of the strings, the low action, and the finish they put on ebony finger board. I have never seen an Oud with such a nice finish on an ebony finger board, and this really changes things. The instrument and strings really need to be worked in hard. On my Ouds I don’t change the strings more than twice a year.

  4. Hi Navid, thanks for the very quick reply! I’m in Vancouver, BC. There are some very good guitar techs here that I use for my guitars, and I may go to one of them to see about setting it up. Your video of the multi-oud in action would be a very good one to show them. I’d be happy to get sound like that out of the instrument! As for strings and tunings, I use an arabic tuning. I wonder if the strings that came on the oud are more appropriate for a turkish tuning? That actually makes sense, given the “symptoms” I’m describing of a “buzz” in the two highest courses of strings. I’ll look into that, and will try oudstrings.com. I also just read your article about rishees. I make mine out of plastic strapping as well and have wondered if it is too stiff, but perhaps that’s not the issue! Again, thanks, and any other suggestions you have would be most welcome!

    1. Navid

      I’m in Vancouver too. Basone guitars in Vancouver employs an Egyptian guy who knows how to repair Ouds. It was a couple years ago that he was working there. And of course Nicole Alosinac. She also knows how to repair an Oud. I’m sure they can set up your Godin no problem.

      Yes, the strings might be better for Turkish. Like I said, you may want to try Aquila Oud strings. They might be good with the Godin MultiOud scale length for Arabic tuning.

      About Rishees, many Oud players prefer max stiffness in the Rishe, but it’s all up to personal preference and playing style as it is with Guitar picks.

      Let me know how it goes. Feel free to email me at support@oudforguitarists.com.

  5. Hi Navid,
    Many thanks for the great review!
    Do you know if the steel string version is different to the nylon string version? (apart from colour)
    Interested to try both, but it would be a good option if strings could be swapped over.
    As for set up, both my Godin Glissentar and Nylon Fretless Multiac require regular truss rod adjustment, when the Glissentar arrived the truss rod was rattling inside, completely loose, so the guys with playing issues should take a look at this…
    J

    1. Navid

      I have heard the steel string version is a little different when it comes to the way they are tied to the bridge. I think the bridge has a different configuration. I saw something on Mikeouds forums about it. I would email Godin about it.

      When I did that review I was borrowing a friend’s MultiOud, but I just purchased my own, and I’m going to do another review soon, because I’ve changed my mind about a few things. It arrived in perfect condition fortunately.

      I think it would require different set up for different strings and such. I’m going to experiment with that this time around. Thanks for the tip!!

  6. I am thinking of ordering one. Can you suggest where from and what I might expect to pay?

  7. Aaron Michael

    Hello, Thanks for doing this review. I believe it will help a lot of players with a decision about this oud. I’ve been playing for about 40 years and have both Arabic and Turkish ouds, some newer, some older. And I recently bought the Ambience version of the Godin. As you say, it’s different but it definitely has its place in my collection. I agree with most of you comments. However one correction: The Fishman Aura Pro preamp has no microphones on board, just the bridge pickup. The mic “images” are stored in non-volatile memory. They are developed from studio recordings of ouds with various mics. Then the pickup output is compared to the recording and a DSP algorithm is developed to transform the pickup signal to a sound that is close to the mic recording. Fishman has done a lot with American acoustic guitars with this system and has done a great job. I don’t think it will be long before similar advances are made with this oud. New mic images can be downloaded from Fishman and already they have a simple “do it yourself” image processor available.

    1. Navid

      Completely correct. Thank you for adding this comment. I didn’t learn this until much later. It was very challenging to get detailed answers from Godin on the subject. From their sales material online it’s difficult to understand whether they used acoustic Ouds or recorded the MultiOud acoustically with different mics. And if they did use acoustic Ouds, which Ouds did they use? I’m sure a lot of potential buyers would like to know.

      I should start experimenting with the images from Fishman online and the image processor. I would hope they would record antique Nahat Ouds with great sound and see how it sounds with the image.

      1. Aaron Michael

        You’re right, the info is not clear. I didn’t learn this at first either. But I’m really interested in this approach to sound processing. So far the Fishman Aura image gallery has no mid east instruments in it. And the only bouzouki is Irish. But they have a large collection of American acoustic instruments. I imagine that’s their main market. I’m trying to find out if Godin did the oud images and is keeping them proprietary or what. I’ve done some signal processing programming and would like to see if I can develop more traditional oud images. BTW, I agree with you: the Godin is a great giging instrument for club work and other amplified jobs. But not for classical or chamber music.

  8. Selçuk

    Hi

    May be there is in your multioud videos but I have not found so please would you like to prepare a video about using of L key for adjusting neck of multioud. The fabrication mod is hard for me (ambiance model). I want to close a bit the strings to neck.

    1. Navid

      I think this video talks about it at the end. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_BQfLH1wIs&t=421s What is he saying here?

    2. Aaron Michael

      Hi, Adjusting the tension rod is the same as on any guitar or similar instrument. Turning clockwise tightens the rod and will pull the headstock back. Although some guitar techs feel the need to leave some camber (or bow) I have never found any advantage in doing so. I use a straight edge and tighten until the fingerboard is flat. I have found that all the multiouds I’ve adjusted (5 so far) have all come from the factory with a small concave bow.

      But if you want to lower the string action more, it will not help to tighten the tension rod farther than flat. That will make it less playable. To lower the action further, the best way is to adjust the neck angle with shims behind the back two screws. That’s easier than shaving the saddle in my opinion. Plane geometry will tell you the thickness needed for any string height change.

      Hope this helps, Aaron

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