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raja ajay

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Reply with quote  #1 
I previously posted about who could be the maker of my sitars, although it was in the wrong forum. I’m pretty sure my sitars aren’t “name brand”. I believe my Guru ji used a local maker his family has used for generations. They are excellent instruments in sound, quality and made very well. Here’s a few pics, if anyone can name a maker on these that’d be fantastic. I do know that both sitars were made in Kolkata but that’s about it. If the pics aren’t helpful, let me know and I can take new pics. Thanks and Namaste.

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Nick Proctor

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Reply with quote  #2 
WELLL Ajay bhaiya.
Been having the same problems myself with having sitars sent to the UK with wrong name makers' labels on them ?!?!?!

NOW - I KNOW my sender's NOT a fraud in any way whatsoever BUT, from 2 great guys on here, have found out that so many of mine, excellent though they are, were NOT what they said on the little badges between the tar gahans !

One needs to know about GENUINE sitars so you can compare quality.
I have several just like yours AND from Kolkatta too. Pretty sure a really good maker has produced this one & who may well supply named sellers who may make adjustments etc, according to their own name & style.

Hope this helps a bit.
Namaskar from England
Nick aka trippymonkey
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raja ajay

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Reply with quote  #3 
yes I’ve learned label means nothing I got sold a damaged sitar from one of the best name brand sitar brands. I’m happy with my locally made sitars the sound is as good as my friends “name brand” sitar. I guess having a smaller family operation that makes excellent quality sitars makes it kind of special anyways.
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Lars

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Reply with quote  #4 
A sitar 'maker' is actually the person who fits the instrument with frets, hardware, pegs, jawari, etc. The level of interaction with all parts of the manufacturing process will vary depending on the maker or location and distance from the craftsmen, etc. Some famous boutique brands can often simply put their $1000 label on, everything else having been done by others. Your sitars are what are considered generic sitars, made in Kolkata area by carpenters who specialize in making the structures. These structures are then sold to various shops and makers with no label if they are to be fitted somewhere. Most of the reputable makers will have their structures made to order and the more advanced makers will check and take the structure apart to adjust thicknesses, etc. if needed. Others will just fit 'as is' from the body farms. The quality can vary from horrible to beyond fantastic, most are somewhere in the middle. The best of the structure makers charges quite a lot, more than most other structure makers will charge for what's called 'ready-made' fully fitted. So makers who use these high level structure people will charge a lot more. Bodies that aren't sold or pre-ordered end up in shops or from unknown 'fitters' to be sold as 'chalu' sitars usually inexpensive. Fitting quality will vary, usually a lot of adjustment is needed. There was one person who fit for Radha Krishna Sharma after he left the business to his son who did such a good job it was suggested he become his own label but being busy enough he decided not to. And on and on it goes....

In Miraj the better makers will have others do the carpentry stuff but as everyone is in close proximity everything will be monitored and tap tested, etc. so good predictable results. About 90% of the sitars you see sold in Miraj are actually from Kolkata as they're $50 cheaper. And cost is the bottom line for most of the Indian domestic market.

The perception in the West is usually a little more romantic with an idea of the maker cutting down the tree and chanting mantras while making your instrument. Very few could actually do this and if so would only be able to make a few per year. If you want a traditional Indian sitar this way then better have Alan Suits make you one in New Mexico who make everything in-house. The only maker in India I know that does everything in-house is P&Bros and that's on some of his instruments where you give him time. In Miraj several do this also with a slight variation. The rest farm out the work or buy structures.

A label is placed identifying the instrument as from a particular maker who has put his skill into it (again this varies) and sold to a musician or someone who appreciates his work. Occasionally if they are bargained down they will remove their label or not put it on in the first place. But this is rare, most like these are just from anonymous folks in the industry. Identifying by carvings, etc. is useless as other people do that work...often for many makers as well. There is a way to identify some of the older instruments by a select few famous makers even if the label has been lost or replaced with fake ones, etc. But that's another subject.....

Lars

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raja ajay

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Reply with quote  #5 
My Guru ji has used the same family maker for 4 generations and although it doesn’t have a prestigious designer name tags my 2 sitars plays just as well as a Rikhi Ram, after having played name brand sitars. The worst sitar I’ve ever owned came from a name brand maker, I dealt with the infamous owner as well. I got a damaged sitar that is functionally useless. When I sent an email relaying my frustration (not expecting to get my money back) and just got an “im sorry” response. After dealing with some of these guys I’ll stick with my “mediocre” sitars that sound better and the family that has been making them for decades.
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katyrow

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Reply with quote  #6 
There are some real dogs out there from famous makers, including some vintage instruments that are otherwise desirable because of their rarity.  It's the lumber stock, seasoning, wood thicknesses, and proportions that make the difference in my view.  Instruments from first-tier makers are more likely to be great sitars, but that doesn't say much about any particular instrument. Some of the nicest sitars I've played are generic instruments.

https://www.vintagesitars.com/
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raja ajay

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Reply with quote  #7 
I definitely have learned if at all possible play before you purchase! This would have saved me $1,500 at the fancy name brand place I won’t mention
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Nick Proctor

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Reply with quote  #8 
Lars
Maybe you've seen MY P & Bros sitar??? It's one of my very best - GP munda style. P & BROS (1).jpg  P & BROS (2).jpg  P & BROS (3).jpg  P & BROS (4).jpg  P & BROS (5).jpg 

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Lars

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Reply with quote  #9 
Nice Nick.....that's an oldie!

Lars

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Nick Proctor

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Reply with quote  #10 
Really lovely sitar too. Very warm sound. Have had it quite a few years now - can't just recall which one of my 'dealers' I got it from ?!?!!?
Thanks.
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