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Dheltha

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Hello, friends. So I've recently been very interested in learning to play the sitar. Being a highschool student makes it difficult to pay for a quality instrument, however. I came across these two offers and i was wondering if they would make good starter sitars. (I dont want to pay too much and then decide that I'm not interested in learning, that is.) http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/msg/5083356728.html and http://annapolis.craigslist.org/msg/5042601815.html. Thank you very much!
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rex@sitar.co.za

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Reply with quote  #2 
The first one (for $200) is much better than the other one.
I would get it, it looks like a great beginner's sitar, and at $200 it's a steal.
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HeavyCosmicKinetic

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When an ad says "needs work", that's a big red flag for me. I would go with the first one as well based on the few images.
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mahadev

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Are these good sitars ? Not really. Could be made to work but that requires skills and experience.
Spend a bit more and buy a good simple student sitar that works right out of the box and save yourself a lot of frustration. Lars may have something that's right for you.

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nicneufeld

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I'd concur that the first one looks more promising than the latter one, and "needs work" in sitar world is basically going to be "unplayable" unless you have someone like one of our resident sitar / jawari luthiers (who are in short supply!) around. And unless it is something worth restoring (ie., an old Kanai Lal, Hiren Roy, or other classic maker) it might be good money after bad as they say.

If you don't feel like you want to risk spending more than that budget, first one seems reasonable. Just with the caveat that if it is a piece of junk (and there are many of them out there) that will hamper you learning to play, and so you will very likely find yourself upgrading later if you do stick with it. That may be acceptable risk!

I'd second the recommendation for Lars' Rain City Music...I bought my first from him and it was a great little studio sitar (now owned and used by Ust Imrat Khan). It seems he has shifted a bit more to the higher end sitars in general so there isn't that much in the beginner price range as there was years ago when I was first shopping, but its a lot safer than randomly buying from those ebay sellers that are out there. The former AACM store also had a good reputation, and has student sitars in the $500 range, it looks like. http://www.musiciansmallusa.com/sitars/
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barend

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "mahadev"
Are these good sitars ? Not really. Could be made to work but that requires skills and experience.
Spend a bit more and buy a good simple student sitar that works right out of the box and save yourself a lot of frustration. Lars may have something that's right for you.
Totally agree with this. Maybe spend a little more. Lars (Raincity music) has some good student sitars.
You can also check Sitarsencat. Here you have a student sitar for a very affordable price (285 euro including fiber case is very cheap!!). Normally you already pay 175-200 euro for a good fiber case:
http://www.sitarsencat.com/prod-sitar-sitars-tabla-india/180/student-b
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Lars

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Quote:
Originally Posted by "mahadev"
Are these good sitars ? Not really. Could be made to work but that requires skills and experience.
Spend a bit more and buy a good simple student sitar that works right out of the box and save yourself a lot of frustration. Lars may have something that's right for you.
Max! Where you at now? Send me an email.....

Lars

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mahadev

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Reply with quote  #8 
Hey Lars Baba,

good to hear from you. I am in the UK , just for a change of climate....
Ok, will mail.

How many people started to play sitar and gave up because they had an instrument that did not work ? So many. Thousands. Almost any sitar can be made to work but that is a time consuming process and may not be worth it unless it is a good instrument to begin with.

Any of the vendors mentioned above will provide an instrument that works. If properly made and set up even inexpensive student sitars can be delightful. It is really worth spending the extra money if only to avoid the ' is it me or is it the sitar ' merry go round that many of the forumites here are all too familiar with, I am sure !

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