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Harry D Collier IV

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Reply with quote  #16 
Also, very nice video.
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Tomek Regulski

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Reply with quote  #17 
The Ganesh surbahar on the alba site looks like the kind sold on Ebay, and so it is possible that the others are of the same quality, given similarity in price. I believe someone on this forum bought one of these in the last year and reported it needing a good amount of work, as expected. 

The all-india site linked above has a Kanai Lal for sale in the used section, which would be a grand instrument, but comes with a heavy price tag.

I do not know much about sitarsencat, although I did have some correspondence with the owner about used instruments, and he seemed sincere. This could be worth pursuing. 

I do not know if AACM (musiciansmallusa.com) ships to Russia, but they do have some student models and even a nice-looking vintage with very fair prices. These would be guaranteed to be set up professionally - I can say first hand that the shop has great and knowledgeable staff. 

In the same breath, I would have to also reiterate the quality at Rain City Music as mentioned above. Again, not sure of possibility to ship to Russia, but the quality is among the best you can find.

Hoping that someone from Europe catches on here to help inform of possibilities on that side of the pond. Of course there is this forum's very own Nick (Trippy Monkey), based in the U.K., who I believe has 1 or 2 vintage surbahars. 

As far as instruction, look up Jeff Lewis. He is in Seattle, USA, but I have heard good things about his teaching over Skype. He is an very accomplished musician who teaches sitar/surbahar/rudra veena. Coordinating time could be tricky, but I would imagine even occasional lessons would go a long way if you end up pursuing this instrument. 

It's quite an endeavor, but take your time and do your research, and I hope a good instrument finds its way to you. 
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Harry D Collier IV

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Reply with quote  #18 

I looked online and there are a few shops that sell (what appear to my amateur eyes) very barebones designed rudra veenas for about $500.  No idea on the quality but here is a link to one to see the basic design I am talking about.

https://www.ayurvedabay.com/rudra-veena.html

I started out say surbahar surbahar but this may be a good alternative for a poor man such as myself (if it turns out not to be a scam).  I will eventually do the surbahar though.

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nicneufeld

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Reply with quote  #19 
I'm not a veena guy myself (zero experience, never seen one in person), but just from my general perception / reading, I would say the disadvantages of the surbahar vs the sitar that I listed (such as, general scarcity, cost to get a good one, physical challenge to play, difficulty in finding a teacher) are even more pronounced with rudra veena...again, just from what I know or have heard.  It's an interesting beast and in the right hands a wonderful sounding and very, very old instrument.  Maybe others could weigh in, but unless you are 1.) extremely dedicated 2.) have found a teacher, I wouldn't normally advise anyone to consider it.  It's just not a very "casual" instrument!!  Rudra veenas on sale for 400-500 USD, that just feels too good to be true.  But who knows!  Could get lucky.

Also, the more you understand of the music, the more it will help your choice.  If you don't particularly care for dhrupad, the veena is probably not your thing...likewise, if you wanted to play like Vilayat Khan, the kharaj pancham sitar is not the right instrument (though I have converted a couple to gandhar pancham)...  Do a lot of listening and don't rush your decisions at this stage....
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musicslug

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Reply with quote  #20 
I'd just confirm a lot of what's been said:

- find a teacher, even if it's via Skype. even a few lessons might help you
  avoid learning bad habits. a teacher might help you find an instrument.

- the odds of finding a $500 surbahar or rudra vina that will sound good
  (i.e. make you enjoy practicing) are pretty much zero. everyone I've ever
  heard of who bought one of those cheap vinas ended up either putting a 
  lot of $ into it, then getting rid of it, or just immediately getting rid of it.
  if you were in India, could actually audition one before buying, you might
  luck out and find a decent cheap one... otherwise you should expect to
  spend $2.5 - $3K if you want something good. some of those ebay vinas
  even have sitar bridges, not the 'sound box' characteristic of a true vina!

I don't mean to discourage you so much as hopefully help you avoid being disappointed. I play both instruments, think they're very much worth studying. surbahar's easier than vina, and finding a good surbahar is easier than finding a good vina. also: fine-tuning the sound (esp. jawari) is easier with surbahars... 

good luck!
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geezerjazz

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Reply with quote  #21 
I have bought instruments from Lars at Rain City and also recommend him. For fretless bass I suggest tuning C G C F, low to high, or the same thing a whole step higher if you prefer. That gets you closer to the Indian music world. Here's a fine ICM bassist:

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