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chrisnovice

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Reply with quote  #1 
Here's a little tip I just discovered:

My low Sa karaj (laraj?) string has never really growled like I'd like it to, so I experimented with leaving it off completely for a while. The other day I decided to try again and it sounded pretty terrible, not so much of a buzz as a nasty rattle. After tweaking the jawari for a while I still wasn't really getting there. But I noticed that there was some slight unevenness in the string where it lay across the bridge surface. I've got one of those old style langots with 3 bone pegs to hold the strings. So I looped the string round 2 pegs on the langot instead of one, so as to move the string back a bit so that a new smooth part of the string was in contact with the bridge surface. And it worked a treat, still not quite a growl but it completely lost the rattle.

I had on one of Tony the K's "slip knot" looped strings by the way, which made it easy to widen the loop at the end. Of course you could just make a new loop, or replace the string. But I just thought I'd share that if it's useful to anybody. It really does prove that, especially with the soft brass strings, it really is important that there's a smooth contact between the string and the bridge surface.
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #2 
Let me add here another cool trick to get the rattle out of a kharaj wire. Loosen the string a few notes or so, take a pencil or similar, set it under the string just behind the slot contact point, bend the wire down a bit and then "Wipe " the wire for a few inches toward the pegs. Tighten the string to pitch. Rattle should be gone. In effect, you're doing jawari on the string, not the bridge surface. Works like a charm ! ! !
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #3 
Seems there is a bit of confusion. That wire bend trick is done at the bridge, not the nut. Bending the wire down slightly at a point just behind the BRIDGE slot forces the wire to lay lay more solidly on the bridge surface. Rattle is removed. "Wiping" the wire with a smooth gentle upward bend over a 3" - 4" length in effect performs the jawari job rather than hacking up the bridge surface. This trick works on the kharaj only. Any other string - partial vacuum.
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barend

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Sitarfixer"
take a pencil or similar, set it under the string just behind the slot contact point,
Thanks for clarifying. Now I understand it better. Where exactly do you place the pencil? at which slot? right behind the bridge groove at langot side? or on the bridge itself?

And as a side question: I have done some adjustments at the nut to get a better tuning for the kharaj at the low frets. But now my nut slot is cut too deep causing the kharaj to rattle against the first frets. Is there a way of filling up the nut slot with glue or something to raise the kharaj a bit?
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #5 
Hi, Barend. Reread the above. That pencil or wood dowel is placed " at a point just behind the bridge slot ". ( langot side ). OK - numbers. Say 1/16" behind the bridge slot. Since the kharaj string is already way way loose in order to get the bending stick, dowel or what ever you're useing under the string and into position, there will be an unavoidable approximation involved in the process. Since we're dealing with the kharaj string, it makes sense that the kharaj string slot would be the likely candidate for lateral string placement during this operation. Regarding the nut problem - a bass block like I have installed on several sitars with kharaj intonation problems would have been the way to go. Lowering the action helps a bit but not enough and as you have now seen, you've now got the classic fret rattle. Here's what you need to do. There are one bun methods like packing the slot with epoxy and bone dust mix, laying in strips of what ever into the slot to raise the string height - all kit bash half ass and will eventually fail. The best way I've figured out is to cut the entire slot area on the nut, say 3/16" total width and where the string slot would be centered. Cut out the nut to this width on the top but taper the cut lines in a bit as you go down deep ( 3/16" - 1/4" ). What you should end up with is a seemingly huge gap where there used to be a string slot. The side walls are slightly tapered in which makes the appearance like an extremely sawed off arrowhead pointing down. You now need to fill this notch with a scrap of bone. Cut out this block so that the bottom and sides are all the same shape. Don't worry about the overal thickness, height or width as these will be set later. Glue the filler block into the widened notch. When the glue is reeeely dry, cut and sand the exterior of the newly installed piece so that it matches flush and smooth to the rest of the nut. Now you can mark the string slot position with a pencil and cut the new slot - not too deep this time.
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barend

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Reply with quote  #6 
Thanks Tony! will try this out.
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