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zachbram

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello everybody!

I would like to want some opinions of the similarity on the sound of the sitars that they produce and the quality. I live in sweden, and these kind of sitars dont grow on trees here, so I do not have the chance to try them out. I love the sound of Nikhil Banerjee and that kind, the sweetness of the sitar.

I want to know how good the standards are of Barun Roy.

I do not have alot of money and I do not have any chances to try instruments out, but I want the Hiren Roy sound. How good of chances is it that a new, barun roy, sitar will give me that? How is the playability? I know that Lars sells these but I want to get as many opinions on it as possible.

Best wishes
Erik
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randyh

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Reply with quote  #2 
I recently purchased a new Barun Roy from Lars at RCM to upgrade from my RA Sitarmaker sitar at the request of my teacher. The sound and playability is amazing and sounds very similar to my teachers sitar who is heavily influenced by the sound of Nikhil Banerjee and is grade A All India Radio artist. We talked a good deal about this purchase as it is probably the only sitar purchase I will make in my life with the expensive price tag. He said that it is the ONLY type of sitar he would consider using at a professional level for a NB type sound. He said Rikhi Ram sitars are OK for the Ravi Shankar style sound. Considering that I feel he is one of the best sitar players in the world today, I took his advice.

From me personally, I can say that a meend from Dha to Ga is effortless and precise compared to my RA. The sound is consistent all the way up the neck and the taraf strings ring evenly and clearly. The biggest the difference is the clarity and resonance of the lower strings. I can usually hear 3 or more tarafs ringing with the lower bass octave notes.

I will admit I have only played Shristi, RA and all of my teachers sitars. He currently playes a Barun Roy and uses Barun for all of his Jawari work. I'm sure there are others on the forum how have played many more types and will have some great advice. Good luck in your search and happy playing.

Randy
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mayer141

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Reply with quote  #3 
I have a Barun sitar made in 1999. I had it customised to my hand size and had to order it around a year before picking it up. It wasn't pricey at all and there is no comparison....no other sitar will give you the sustain of a Hiren/Barun Roy which enables you to execute long meend patterns.
It's better if you contact Barun directly and order one from him, you should go and pick it up as well. I know it sounds like a massive task but if you're going to buy one of these sitars you want to make sure it's right for you. Also if you pay him cash he might give you a good deal :wink:
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zachbram

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Reply with quote  #4 
Randyh: Thanks for the info! I believe I have somehow heard your jhinjhoti practice on youtube, if thats you, then its very beautiful played. The sitar sounds amazing. The sitar Ive got dosent come close to that depth. Who is your guru if I may ask? From dha to ga? I dont know really what kind of sitar Ive got, its a travelsitar(maybe RA?) and it feels as if the string will burst when I pull Dha to Re. when I hold it down as hard as I possible can then I feel it need to go up little more to reach the full tone.

Mayer141: I am unemployed, that kind of money is out of the question. Also I havent played that long that I would see all the qualitys and what that is needed to be fixed. Why I want to buy a Hiren roy is because I only want one main classic sitar, and I love that sound! So, I will order from rain city music, when Ive got money and they have it in stock!
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povster

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Reply with quote  #5 
Hey Zach

I, too have a 1999ish Barun #1 and it is phenomenal. My teacher, Peter Row, still has his 60s Hiren (made by Hiern himself, of course) and it compares very favorably to it.

For the number 1 (fully decorated) there are two main models: Kolka and Angarputta. While both are fully carved "#1s", the Kolka is a heavier, more ornate "cone" (as in pine cone) carving. The Angarputta is the more traditional design. I have handled several of each over the years at AACM and the Kolkas seem to be quieter in the beginning. Over time they will expand very nicely. I owned one for 6 months or so and could hear the instrument opening up in volume. The tone, though, was that Hiren quality. Main reason I got rid of it was to get a surbahar. That was also the time I got the 1999 Barun (a loan from a friend I ended up buying).

ANYWAYS, do not overlook the #2 or even #3 instruments from Barun. I've played both and was extremely impressed with the action and the tone. The #2 and #3 sound like they need no breaking in at all. Very rich sounding also with fine action.

Something I am noticing is Barun's instruments have, over time, developed a slight tone "shift" different from his father's. They retain that original Hiren quality of sound but there is - it is hard to put it into words - a slightly "woody" quality to them as well that is remarkable. (Maybe someone who recognizes that can elaborate further).

Now one thing to keep in mind is that the deco and finish on the Barun instruments may not be as perfect as some other, often less expensive makers. That doe not bother me in the slightest. His instruments play and sound extraordinarily well and that's the key criteria.

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zachbram

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Reply with quote  #6 
Povster: Hello and thank you for further more information! This sure puts me in a buying/playing mood.
How does the sitars hold up in D tuning?
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barend

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "povster"
ANYWAYS, do not overlook the #2 or even #3 instruments from Barun. I've played both and was extremely impressed with the action and the tone. The #2 and #3 sound like they need no breaking in at all. Very rich sounding also with fine action.
I have a Barun Roy sitar. How do I know if I have a #1,2 or 3? and what is the difference? Always thought mine has a misprint (?) on the name tag; Barun Ray instead of Roy... But now I see that Barun Ray is his name (?). What is his full name? Barun Ray Roy? Confusing
Mine has exactly the same name plate as this one. Think the newer ones have a different (golden) one?: http://www.raincitymusic.com/hirenroy/full%20decoration%20number%201/barun%20roy%20name%20plate.jpg

My sitar looks exactly like this one. With the redish decorations:
http://www.raincitymusic.com/hirenroycurrentstock/rhrfull.jpg
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povster

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "zachbram"
Povster: Hello and thank you for further more information! This sure puts me in a buying/playing mood.
How does the sitars hold up in D tuning?
Hi Zach. Barun's sitar are world class. There should be no reason why they cannot hold up to a D tuning.

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kalyan

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Reply with quote  #9 
the sitar pictured is a #1. The #1 will have a full leaf pastern carved on the back from the petals on the gourd up to neck joint. the on the # 2 just the petals have the carving and the upper part of that area is left plain, the # 3 has the same carving style as the # 2 but has thinner inlay along the neck that does not extend into concave portion of the face of the neck and has swirl pegs instead of lotus. Also in general only the #1 and Kalka designs have large natural gourd upper tumbas
Kalyan

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povster

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Reply with quote  #10 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "barend"
Quote:
Originally Posted by "povster"
ANYWAYS, do not overlook the #2 or even #3 instruments from Barun. I've played both and was extremely impressed with the action and the tone. The #2 and #3 sound like they need no breaking in at all. Very rich sounding also with fine action.
I have a Barun Roy sitar. How do I know if I have a #1,2 or 3? and what is the difference? Always thought mine has a misprint (?) on the name tag; Barun Ray instead of Roy... But now I see that Barun Ray is his name (?). What is his full name? Barun Ray Roy? Confusing
Mine has exactly the same name plate as this one. Think the newer ones have a different (golden) one?: http://www.raincitymusic.com/hirenroy/full%20decoration%20number%201/barun%20roy%20name%20plate.jpg

My sitar looks exactly like this one. With the redish decorations:
http://www.raincitymusic.com/hirenroycurrentstock/rhrfull.jpg
Chris, it looks like you have a #1. Sweet!

The most immediate visual identifier is the extent of the carving. See Kalyan's description above. One other thing I have noticed in addition is that the Barun #3 has a brass tailpiece and the 1 and 2 have bone or composite that looks like bone.

You are right about the name tag color changing and the use o0f "Ray" instead of Roy. I'm honestly not sure what's up with the name shift but they always say "Hiren Roy's son" under the name.

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Lars

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Reply with quote  #11 
I think he's a fan of Ray Charles and hence the name

Lars

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barend

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Reply with quote  #12 
Ok, thanks for clarifying that I have a #1. Are there any pictures of the #2 and #3?

I don't get the Ray Charles joke. If my last name was Roy I would want that on a sitar name plate to avoid confusion. That's why I thought it was a misprint. Reminds me of the Hender or Gibsun guitars type names I saw in India at some music stores.
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rex@sitar.co.za

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Reply with quote  #13 
... just to get back to the "D" tuning.
D-key sitars should be a slightly shorter scale length, shouldn't they?

I had my early 90's era Hiren Roy tuned to "D", and when I took it in for a service at the shop Himangshu was very unhappy about this and told me that it should only be tuned C#.
He couldn't explain why, and I haven't since found any answer, so any thoughts would be welcome.
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #14 
When I was co-cranking sitars with the Miraj homies, the C# -D question always came up when the spec list was being put together. Any sitar that was going to be set up for D tuning was automatically set with a scale length 1 1/2" shorter than the C# scale length. Makes sense, doesn't it !?!
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Gyurme

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Reply with quote  #15 
two questions: if the sitar, such as a Hiren Roy or another well made instrument is made 1 1/2" shorter to play in D, how would this same sitar respond to playing in C#?

Who would you consider to be in the number 2 or 3 spot today of sitar makers after Hiren/Barun Roy, for consistency of quality, outstanding tone and playability?
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