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BarefootJoe

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello,

I have been lured into loving the sound of the sitar. I don't have a very large budget but yet would like a decent sitar that will last a while. Has anyone tried this sitar http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA03V01U2626, know where I could get the same model for cheaper or have a better suggestion for sitar under 500 dollars?

Thanks,

Joe
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Lars

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Reply with quote  #2 
You're looking at playing and learning an instrument that is very marginal at the price you're looking for. I'd suggest you save up and find something decent, there are a few places to get them. Sitars are handmade, a guitar with similar work as even the model you posted would run you much more, the odds are that that model you're looking at will have issues that you'll have to deal with. If price is the primary concern then I'd say better to learn the tanpura.

Lars

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BarefootJoe

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks for the suggestion. What price would be a good starting price for a good piece that will last and sound good?
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Lars

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Reply with quote  #4 
Our lowest priced instrument is $650 usually, I have two Varanasi market sitars also @ $575 but they're not on the site yet but it's rare to find something decent and playable for the price. My site is http://www.sitar-tabla.com if you're interested. You can also try http://www.aacm.org as well. Stay away from Bhargava, G Rosul, Radha Krishna Sharma, etc. that are all over the web and ebay unless you're certain they've been set up and verified by someone with experience. That experience will generally only be guaranteed (in the US) at those two sites. I've seen a lot of people get bad instruments and then give up before they even get started, the music is wonderful and justifies being cautious especially when starting out. Good luck!

Lars

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BarefootJoe

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Reply with quote  #5 
Would a Bina Sitar be good for a beginner?
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nicneufeld

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "BarefootJoe"
Would a Bina Sitar be good for a beginner?
I don't know personally, but here's an old thread on them:
http://forums.chandrakantha.com/archives/2/0263.html

My sitar (doffs cap to Lars the Purveyor) was in the 700-ish range as I recall and has been fantastic. Your locale might also be a factor...if you live in a place with experienced sitar players or teachers, and close to a place that sells them, you might take someone along to try them out. However, if you are like most of us you don't have a Sitar Emporium round the corner, so you may be stuck ordering sight unseen. With that in mind I'd err on the side of higher quality, unless you are willing to risk being saddled with a lemon (not a guaranteed thing mind you, I'm sure you can get a fine instrument from the cheaper webstores, but you run more a risk).

Even well made sitars can be challenging, touchy, fragile instruments, so a poorly constructed one would be hell with strings I should imagine!
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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #7 
Binas are mostly junk if you want to seriously play sitar.
There are some that might be OK, but I would stay away from the Bina/RKS/G.Rosul kind of ebay sitar.
I bought one like this as my first instrument, but found out at my first lesson that it was almost useless.
I had to go out and find a better sitar the first week.

There are two great places to buy a sitar that you know will be set up correctly and is meant for a playing musician.

http://www.aacm.org
(Very respected store of the Ali Akbar School of music. They have repair staff that have expertise in setting an instrument up correctly).

http://www.raincitymusic.com
(Store owned by our friend Lars (see above). Sitars are hand picked to ensure a good instrument, and are set up for immediate satisfaction.)

You can trust these store to give you a good instrument at a reasonable price.
Check out what they have.
If you have questions you can cantact either store and tell them what you are looking for.
They will steer you to the right instrument at your budget.
(I would suggest you double your stated budget)

If you want to be a serious student of the sitar I would suggest an instrument that is at least $800-$1,200.
There are many instruments in this general price range that are nice instruments that will last you for a good long while.
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