Attending the 1st international conference on Lute Study in Higher Educetion this weekend, I will bring a lute that is my answer to this question:  
- What is the ideal lute on wich the student may develop an advanced skill and insight in the early lute repertoire ?
It has to be affordable - that means simple to make and decent materials, but nothing luxorious, it should be 6 or 7 course and have a strong and clear sound that could be taken in different directions, soft, loud, dark , warm or bright by the player.  My lute has 11 ribs of yew (in fact; offcuts from an other project) , neck of black stained cherry,  pegbox in cherry/ebony . Top of seasoned european spruce.  For this experiment lute I re-use  the bridge and rose from an early vihuela I made in 1994. Excellent pegs in plumwood are sourced by my friend, Luthier Lörinczi György.  The shape is  Frei C34 outline and down scaled "Warvick"  sections from old design by Philip MacLeod-Coupe.  The small but important details that make life easy are there; the groove on backside of the bridge that lock the string ends in position to hang on friction, the correct curve and length of grove on the nut and the perfect fit tuning pegs with round and burnished peg holes.   Strings:  chanterelle= Pyramid, basses are Savarez KF , the rest  is Aquila NNG. If you are in Bremen, don´t hezitate to contact me and test this lute.