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gustaf

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi!

I have roughly played sitar for a year now and I play with an sitar from 20 years ago, and it gives a real nice sound. I have a second sitar, not even a year old, which I have not played on for about six months and before that barely at all. And I notice now that the Baaj string gives a very plain sound. I use a 0.012 steel string, no rust or damage. What can I do to tune it up?
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fossesitar

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Reply with quote  #2 
This is a good place to get answers Gustaf but you need to include enough information to enable us to decipher what might be going on.

First - is it the 20 year-old sitar that has the "plain" sounding baj, or the one you have not played for a while?

Second - have you lifted the baj to determine how much it has worn into the jawari? Is there a deep groove, worn into the jawari surface, under the baj? Is there another slot for the baj right next to the one now used, that has no groove cut into the jawari bridge surface because it has never been used? Maybe you can just move the baj over 1/8" and get a new start? If there is not an extra slot maybe you can (very carefully) cut one using a fine hack saw blade, angling the slot down at 30-40 degrees and being careful (go slowly!) not to cut into the bridge itself more than the tiniest bit if at all. I would just use the blade of the hacksaw, not the rest.
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gustaf

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks for the reply!

It's the newer one, I've had for about 10 months. But almost never touched because the older one has a much nicer sound.

There almost no groove in to the jawari, less than the kunti strings at least. And they sound fine. It does not have an extra slot for the baj, but I will try to find a blade small enough to make a new cut next to the old one. Is there anything else that can effect the sound of the baj?
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Bakersbites786

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Reply with quote  #4 
Post some pictures, that will help the guys to understand more clearly.
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Bakersbites786

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Reply with quote  #5 
If it's Taraf string deep then thats deep I think.
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fossesitar

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Reply with quote  #6 
Strange. Moving the baj will not help unless the is substantial wear on the jawari. Did you try a brand new string?
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gustaf

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Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #7 
I changed the baj string to a brand new one and it improved it a little bit, but it is still very "plain" and it lacks a good resonance..

Here are some pictures of the jawari and the sitar: http://imgur.com/a/Oy4pR#0

Maybe it is just the quality of the sitar..
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Bakersbites786

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Reply with quote  #8 
Seems as if the jawari has been moved back. Is it the way u got it or has someone realigned it?
It looks as if it's a jawari issue. Fear not! It'll be soon diagnosed.
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #9 
Hoo Boy ! ! ! What I see is a Gandhar Pancham (VK) sitar ( and a very nice looking one ) that has a rack of Kharaj Pancham strings slapped on. The curve of the bridge surface slopes down toward the slots as is standard for the non bass string variant. Look at all the daylight under the bass string (#4). I would bet the slot for that string is not wide enough to accomodate the bronze .028 string. It would be fine for the .011 - .012 steel string that must have been there originally. Widen that slot to get the bass string to fully contact the bass string. With the current bridge surface shape, you will have a very closed sound, no escaping that. This is the "plain sound" you describe. A jawari job is needed to get that "Ravi Shankar" sound I suspect you're after. Flattening the bridge surface to get a more acute angle with the strings will open up the sound and fire up that zing and sizzle sound. A detailed description of that process would cramp my fingers here. If you're in the Chicago area I can help you out. Good luck with the project.
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gustaf

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Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #10 
I seee.. well, I swiched the bass string instead of having to widen the hole and it does give a much nicer over-all sound. The jawari was like this when I bought it, so if it has been moved it must have been the maker. I have found webpages that describes the process of flattening and reshaping the jawari but Im not sure if it is worth the risk, since Im in Norway at the moment. Unless someone here in the forum is in/from Norway and feels like helping me out? Aanyway, thank you so much for all the info, it's a good sitar to practice with so when I feel like blasting people with the awesome sound I go to the 20 year old, Ravi Shankar style one!
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