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Carlito

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi guys,
What do you think of carbon sitars, are they
any good what are their speciality and why
Are they so expensive(around 2500$)?
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OM GUY

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Reply with quote  #2 
You know, these are all good questions... I guess it all depends upon whether you like boxers or briefs, or plastic pants. Each one has it's pluses and minuses, yah know? :roll:

Not many of them out there, I guess, to generate much of a response. And who wants to piss off "Carbon Sitars"?

I'd really like a professional player to answer this question, pros and cons. But to each his own.

Honestly, I've never played one, so I can't say, but I like the idea of individual wooden ones, as they are quite charming when they change like living things. I like all metal cars too, but if someone were to... give me one of them plastic classic Corvette's.... I wouldn't turn them down, nor would I look a gift horse in the mouth.

There, hopefully I've answered your question while not slapping up the carbon crowd...

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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #3 
This carbon unit likes them. So does Vger !
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Lars

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Carlito"
Hi guys,
What do you think of carbon sitars, are they
any good what are their speciality and why
Are they so expensive(around 2500$)?
Expensive? Are you out of your vulcan mind?!

Good grief.....I've corresponded a little with Harry during his process of making these, I can guarantee you that by the time he's done he hasn't even made minimum wage. Same with Tony's instruments or Fosse....Same even with what I'm doing.

सस्ती सितार सस्ती मन के लिए उपलब्ध नहीं है

I haven't played one, would love to try any of the instruments from the US makers but haven't had the opportunity as it's a big country and everyone is far away from each other. I can say this much about Harry (Carbon Sitars) in that he has a lot of experience making other instruments and I like his approach in that he's not trying to replace ice cream, just adding another flavor. Even 10 years ago no one here was doing anything (except Coyotties 2 sitars honorable mention). It's great to see all the efforts at doing it different.

If I ever get to try one, will post a review. I think they have some sound samples online if I remember as does Tony and Fosse.

Give one a try and let us know?

Lars

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Carlito

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Reply with quote  #5 
I know Shaid Parvez khan plays a carbon sitar
Sometimes.
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coyootie

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Reply with quote  #6 
$2500 for a handbuilt instrument is absolutely a bargain.sheesh.do you know how many hours go into custom work????
check out what guitar and violin makers get.......... and well known big name makers get 5 figure prices with no complaint from players.
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fossesitar

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Reply with quote  #7 
All other things being equal, a correctly designed and built carbon sitar will have the following advantages:

1. Virtually immune to changes in temperature or humidity

2. Much stronger than wood and especially much stronger toomba if toomba is carbon

3. Extreme resistance to any change in pitch due to meend, even extreme meend

4. Maximum pitch stability due to great rigidity of the main structure - stays in tune

Shahid Parvez "has played" an acoustic sitar made from carbon. He also "has played" the Fosse Ultra.
To my knowledge he has never played any carbon sitar in concert. His comment to me after playing
the Ultra, was that it was the best electric sitar he had ever played.

Lars, you are correct about none of us making minimum wage : ) GF
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Hamletsghost

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Reply with quote  #8 
AGREE ACROSS THE BOARD WITH Lars Coyootie & Gregg.

I have had the opportunity to play a number of carbon instruments - fossee sitars - guitars - and miced up a few also - sound is outstanding. And the playability is wonderful in any environmental conditions.

As an analogy about price:
The carbon sitars I have seen here & elsewhere over the last few years have run on the low side a little over 2200 dollars to a high of over 6000.
This is a relative pittance. A Sanjay - A Barun - An Ajay - high end instruments can run from 2 to 3 thousand and UP depending on the ammout of customization.(IF they will do a custom for you)
Lets take it a step further - I once contacted CF Martin guitars to design a custom shop build for a client IN THE LATE 80"S -- Retail quote from Martin was over 18 THOUSAND ---- IN THE 80'S
I have designed fantasy guitars for myself using the Martin Custom Shop design tool just for giggles and I was over 25 thousand in the last couple of years - Check out Taylor - Even Fender American custom shop lines & see what an instrument designed to YOUR specifications materials and ornamentation will run you - IF they will even do that.....

AND
Remember they want all that money UP FRONT and NO RETURNS. EVER

This idea because so many cheap instruments come out of India it's too much - or that its NOT a material harvested from forrests - or it's not the way we've been doing it for a hundred generations is just rubbish. The price is on scale with cost of materials - design - ornamentation - throw in the hours of build time & you're getting the bargain of a lifetime.
Carbon fiber is not a cheap material - Just look up prices of minor dress up items for your car & they are astronomical.

A Blackbird Rider steel string carbon fiber guitar with a soft case is 1600 & 75 bucks shipping right now.
A super OM is 2030 heck a Tenor Uke is 1180.
Rainsong - OXO - GUS - New Millenium - Miller - ALL these carbon Fiber instruments are Thousands -
Carbon sitars are very reasonable in comparrison - IF you are looking for an alternative to wood.

BTW I was at an old friend's music shop that specializes in acoustic guitars and he told me about one of the companys initial tests to see how environment affected carbon fiber instruments. They built the neck & body - strung it up - played it - took the metal hardware off & sunk it in a pond on their property for the winter - The instrument was frozen - SUBMERGED - in the spring it was thawed out - left to warm - dry & settle - hardware was reinstalled - strung up & there were NO appreciable changes except for a little funky pond smell that eventually went away -

CARBON FIBER
Wave of the future??????
Who knows????
Tough alternative for the road??????
MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM COOOOOOOULD BEE
Interresting Future for sure......

Your Friendly
Hamletsghost 8)

Update --- Just went to the Martin site & designed a BEAUTY with a carbonfiber CASE
I came in at almost 28 thousand dollars ------ NOW THAT'S EXPENSIVE.
UNLESS it's what you REALLY want - Must have - Or are a Star touring the world & want the Finest -
Then again look at Willey's little ol' parlor guitar - Gotta make you wonder :roll:

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fossesitar

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Reply with quote  #9 
Thank you Ghost!!

I would add that not only are carbon fiber sitars - or the custom creations of Tony K - a bargain but also those high-end traditional sitars from India - in particular those made by the finest makers (Hemen, Rhiki Ram, Hiren Roy, Kanai Lal among others - I am having a "senior moment") during the 1960's which I would consider the golden age of sitar making.

Crafting an instrument with 17 to 21 strings is a monumental task compared to making a guitar and that does not even include the carving or the exquisite decor on many of these instruments. When more time has passed these superb instruments will be valued accordingly and any prices you see for them today are simply a ridiculous bargain.

I have been "upstairs" in George Gruhn's shop in Nashville, he has one wall with nothing but early telecaster's from the 1950's, the cheapest one is around 20 grand and some are over 50, this is just a plank of wood with a bolt on neck and six strings. Do not get me wrong, I love telecasters but the prices for fine sitars - especially collectible ones - represent the biggest values in musical unstruments on the planet in my humble opinion.
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theprosperone

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Reply with quote  #10 
There are actually a few videos of Ustad Shahid Parvez playing the Figro acoustic carbon sitar on youtube now:
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CarbonSitars

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Reply with quote  #11 
When I sat out designing my sitars, I had only a couple of reasons for doing so: I wanted a sitar that stayed in tune, and I wanted one which had a greater frequency response and dynamic range. I wanted a more rudra veena-style volume out of the kharaj strings. Carbon fiber wound up being the only material which could satisfy those criteria without drastically redesigning the instrument's shape. The other advantages are numerous and have already been mentioned. Really what it has evolved into is just trying to make good sitars.

I think as we continue to move away from the 20th century, we will see more and more makers continuing to improve upon and experiment with the sitar, and where its place is in music's lexicon. I don't believe it has ever been perfected, nor will it ever be. Its history is one of continual change and evolution, and this is what makes it interesting to me. While its popularity has waned in the public's eye, I think we are only beginning to see where it will go. More and more I see new projects utilizing the sitar in new and interesting ways, and that gets me very excited to see what will happen and where it will go. That there are newer makers out there trying all kinds of things creates the sort of diversity which will help the sitar thrive once again. That one can get a sitar for so little money right now is an anomaly in history and will not last.

As everyone said before, those of us who make them are doing it for less than minimum wage. With my prices, I'm giving them away. Any less, and I could be mistaken for a charity. I know it's not the answer people want to hear, but as I continue to get new interest in my work and a backlog increases, my prices will only increase; it's the only way I can sustain myself and production. Hopefully I can continue to find new ways to keep them affordable.

There is no better time to buy sitars. If you want vintage ones, non-traditional ones, wood ones, CF ones; the market is such that prices are at their lowest. Only history will be able to tell which ones will become desirable in the future, but I can guarantee they will never be this affordable again. Even if the sitar falls completely out of fashion, demand for them from collectors will drive the prices up and out of the hands of players, just as the market for vintage guitars has done.
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Bakersbites786

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Reply with quote  #12 
Hi
The sitar that Ustad Shahid Parvez played in YouTube clip has only a carbon fibre tumba whilst the rest to the body is tun wood. I was present at that particular performance. He also played the same sitar at another venue, no more than 5/10 minutes.
BTW Ustad SPz is playing at the Nishkam centre Birmingham UK 15/4/14 this Saturday from 7/10 pm.
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theprosperone

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Reply with quote  #13 
I'm not totally sold on the sound of it either. Obviously the playing is fantastic but Ustadji could play my first firewood sitar and make it sound that good! I honestly prefer electric sitar when going with Carbon fiber. The Fosse prototype that I have is a lot of fun to play unplugged as well, its like playing a really nice hollowbody electric guitar without amplification, satisfying. Plugged in, mmmmmmmm
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barend

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Reply with quote  #14 
The thing that draws me back on the carbon sitars is the looks. If the looks would be more traditional there would be a much bigger market for them and then serious classical musicians would also join in I guess. Otherwise most classical musicians (and many other as well) will stay away from it.
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Hamletsghost

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Reply with quote  #15 
OK Friend Barend
I do understand & can sort of agree
BUT

Check out carbon sitars site - he CAN do traditional front carving for a C note upcharge.
Also his peacock inlays shown here: http://carbonsitars.com/
are great and while not TOTALLY traditional they ARE an extreme nod to the past and Indian Designs.

That being said:
If stars (and others) want a great alternative that's tough as Nails for traveling the world (or just to lessons) carbon fiber is available now.
If you want a super duty beauty in a traditional (or modern) design with the best materials and with modern build techniques - See Tony
Inovative musicians wanting the best NON traditional design with incredible r&d sound and electronic flexability will see Fosse.
(remember Gregs been working on this realized alternative for decades - I know first hand from my dear departed guru - he talked to me about Greg & his ideas almost 30 years ago)
If they want Indian made top shelf the stars will stick with what they know (ALTHO they won't pay the High prices WE will tho).
Altho a smart star would really get on board to help with development of instruments like Tony's - Fosse's - Carbon Sitars. - instead of just sitting back stoically & waiting for something to drop in their laps so to speak.

It all goes back to my origional question:
Wave of the future???? WHO KNOWS????????

But finally consider this:

15 years ago NO ONE thought those hacked down - travel - nightclubber - compact - electric seetars would EVER be used or bought - except as a novelty made only for hippie guitar players acting out their Beatles fantasy (or old Hippie sound engineers aka: Your Friendly Hamletsghost ops: ) - HOW MANY are available now? Made by the top maker down to ebay firewood - & owned by many here on the forum - used in the studio (stars won't fess up but I think they use them a LOT more for recording than they will ever reveal).
Heck Panditji made it mainstream to use them on the stage.
All it takes is one visionary.

HG 8)

PS - While poor for ANOTHER project I am right now - Tony and I have been working on a beautiful new instrument for me for over a year. After that I DO see a Carbon Fiber of some kind in my future and thats a fact

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