Are metal frets on a lute a deal breaker?
I am interested in learning Renaissance Lute, specifically for John Dowland’s repertoire, and am on a hunt to find a reasonably priced, luthier made instrument. I am currently learning piano and electric guitar, and have no experience in classical guitar. I spent months deciding whether it was wise to pursue classical guitar, ultimately deciding I cannot have nails of any length because of my piano playing, which took classical guitar out of the picture.
RWHowe is selling a seven course lute by Manouk Papazian for $1250, which to my knowledge is the only lute for sale on Delcamp (link: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=79477
). Papazian built around 40 Renaissance Lutes, so he had some experience with them. However, the lute has metal frets and Brazilian Rosewood ribs, so it appears to be influenced by the classical guitar, like Julian Bream’s lute. Would it be wise to learn Renaissance Lute with this instrument? I have read that lutes use movable frets for exploring musical temperament and tunings, but how much repertoire would be lost if one were to play a fixed, metal fret lute? Is there a percentage of repertoire that requires movable frets?
The reason I am interested in RWHowe’s lute is that the majority of lutes and their luthiers are exorbitantly expensive and mostly made/available in Europe, primarily the UK. If I could acquire an authentic, luthier-made Renaissance Lute for under $1500, I wouldn’t think twice to purchase it.