Lutes - Renaissance
My favorites in design and sound are the seven course lutes by the Tieffenbrucker families in Venice and Padua from about 1600. They often used yew wood for the body which makes for a quick, direct response and gives the lute a rich sound. Earlier models i.e. by Georg Gerle or Hans Frei dated ca. 1550 were usually six course instruments and made of maple. This type of wood tends to generate a warmer sound