EMS Soprano Rebec with Semi Rigid Padded Case
- String Length: 285mm
- 1st string - . e' - 0.85 - plain gut
- 2nd string - a - 1.00 - plain gut
- 3rd string - d - 1.50 - plain gut
- Length: 486mm
- Width: 111mm
- Height: (inc. bridge) 105mm
The contact to the Early Music Shop was super friendly and very fast at all times! The team made it possible to send the Rebec in only a few days to Germany where I was nervously awaiting for it since I wanted to use it with my ensemble for rehearsals and concert. Because of the fast delivery it all worked out. The EMS gave me a price reduction which I am very happy about, since I had to pay import customer service (80 quit) at the door when recieving the parcel. The instrument itself needed some maintenance before it was actually playable. The middle string wasn't really playable because the curve of the bridge was too shallow, some cutting down the edges and sanding solved the problem easily. The strings that were on the Rebec when it came were of poor quality, they didn't really make a clean sound, so that was the next exchange (there were spare strings with it though, but the same quality). Fortunaltely we had some broken Violin Strings left that seemed too short to ever fit on any instrument again... they are doing a brilliant job on the short Rebec! I tuned it d - a - e so you can play it like a violin. A thinner e string (62) did a better job than the 78 that was put on initially, the g - string is also better a little lighter. The instrument itself behaves quite well and gives the impression it is worth double as I payed for! It sounds actually a lot louder when you hold it against the shoulder instead against the neck and instead of plaiyng chin on at certain passages. After all we are very happy with the deal! Even though I have to mention that making deals with England since BREXIT has become a lot more expensive than before.
I am a musical amature, this is the only rebec I have ever touched, so this review might not be very insightful. Have played it for a few hours now with some basic tunes. The instrument looks good, plays fairly well, and seems like good value. There are some items that I will note: The strings that come with the rebec seem to be a low quality woven gut, the A string is already starting to fray where I bow it. It did come with an extra set of strings. The bow cannot be adjusted or unstrung, will probably be an issue later on with humidity/heat changes. The gut strings need to be retuned every few songs. The bridge was almost flat so that I could not play the middle string, and needed to be shaped before playing. The pegs are close together and a bit awkward to adjust, they do more smoothly though. (for reference I am a big guy 6'5" with size XL hands) I live in Canada and cannot find a local source for gut strings, so I recommend buying extra with the instrument. As a hobby I do 14th century living history, and the instrument looks very close to what is in manuscripts, though not sure if the raised fingerboard existed in my time period. All the issues noted are things to be expected with a new historically inspired instrument. Anthony was very helpful when I e-mailed in questions, and it shipped ridiculously fast. Overall I am happy with the purchase.