>>> Lutar <<<
For the first 25 years of his career, Ben Salfield performed exclusively on a 10-course renaissance lute built in 1985 by luthier Philip Brown of Newbury, Berkshire. After the lute's third re-build - it was albut destroyed several times in transit by different airlines - he commissioned the West Cornwall based instrument maker Kif Wood to develop a brand new instrument. The result was the unique lutar, an instrument that looks rather like a multi-stringed guitar, sounds like a loud lute, but whose design actually owes more to cutting edge technology than to either traditional instrument.
The sound was designed before the appearance. Once Salfield and Wood were happy with the projections from their simulation, they embarked on designing an instrument that would fulfil the criteria of being aesthetically beautiful, easy for Salfield to move across to from the lute, sturdy in its construction, lightweight to carry and transport, and without using traditional animal glues.
The lutar's body uses that of the lute for a template, with a high waist added. The neck is hollow to balance the weight of the instrument, and the ten courses comprise six single strings and four paired basses with octave strings. The lutar is semi acoustic and has five handmade pick-ups under the bridge. The bass and treble may be amplified separately. The internal structure uses a newly-designed strutting system.