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chrisnovice

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Reply with quote  #1 
I'd love to hear from anybody who can give me any information about my sitar, approximate age, where it might have been made etc.

Here are some pics:

http://www.esnips.com/web/Sitarpics

I picked it up a few weeks ago (never having touched a sitar before), in a sorry state of neglect and disarray, missing main bridge, two missing kunti, no strings, a couple of holes in the tumba. I fixed it up as best I could ( but unfortunately couldn't match the original kunti). The cracks in the tumba had already been fixed, after a fashion, so I just had to fill and finish a couple of small holes.

I've scoured the web but haven't been able to find any that look like mine. Particularly the decoration on the tabali. I assume it's a basic, student-type model as it isn't really highly decorated and some of the workmanship is a little rough. I can't tell whether the inlays and decoration are bone or plastic. Judging by the state of the remaining bits of old strings and the build up of dirt and tarnished frets it hadn't been played for many, many years. So I'm thinking maybe 60's or earlier?

I'd be fascinated if anybody knows.

Chris.
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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hello from Varanasi, north India where I am for at least another month.
Just had a look at the pics. It seems quite nice, I would say certainly NOT 60s but maybe 80s.

It has the style of the cheaper Lucknow sitars we see so often here. The wooden Langhot, the decoration between the neck join & the tabli & some other 'features'. The curly bits on the tabli & the extra flowers near the Tar Gahan where the strings go over-&-under are sweet though & not usual for a cheapie sitar.

Where are you based as I might be able to send you some matching pegs from here??
I live not far from Manchester, UK. I'll be back in the UK 29th april.

Nick
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #3 
Could also bee a Miraj production from the mid to late 1960's. The wood thumbrests, tumba carving, tail piece, trim at the nut, side trim and oxblood finish are a dead ringer for my Miraj sitar from 1968. Possible makers include Abdul Sattar Haji Abdul Karim, Ismail Abdul Karim, Hussain and Co. - all of Miraj. Glad you fixed this one up.
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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #4 
Much better 'opposing' post to mine. It IS in good condition though.

Jeez, Miraj have certainly pulled their socks up since then.

Nick
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Hamletsghost

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Reply with quote  #5 
I wonder who might have had just a SMALL hand in helping that along?? HMMMMMmm :?:
An ol' sock to be sure.
:twisted: :twisted:

VERY nice find chrisnovice - Welcome to the wonderful world of sitar - Trippy be THE MAN in the UK.

Brian 8)

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Lars

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Reply with quote  #6 
The gourd looks like Miraj but could be Lucknow also as they make a lot of the bubble shaped tablis too. But if it's Lucknow then definitely over 20 years old as they used the plaster over the gourd as a base now like in Calcutta.
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Lars

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Hamletsghost"
I wonder who might have had just a SMALL hand in helping that along?? HMMMMMmm :?:
An ol' sock to be sure.
:twisted: :twisted:

VERY nice find chrisnovice - Welcome to the wonderful world of sitar - Trippy be THE MAN in the UK.

Brian 8)
I wish he had helped a little more because besides from the great peg fitting (no doubt with Tony's peg reamers?) their fitting leaves a lot to be desired. Beautiful instruments done exactly to 90% of what they should be! 7mm jawari height, blahhhhh....I think all the Euro tourist admirers caused a major slacking off. Did someone say "YOUR FIRED"?
Ha ha.....oh what to do, what to do.....

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Hamletsghost

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Lars Wrote:
...I think all the Euro tourist admirers caused a major slacking off. Did someone say "YOUR FIRED"?
Ha ha.....oh what to do, what to do.....

OH! - I WET 'EM

It is too bad tho - MINES A PEACH -

B 8)

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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #9 
Hamletsghost
MINES A PEACH

You should see your doctor!!!

On the same note of finishing, I was called by my teacher here, Padmabhan Singh, that the Akhtar Satar Makers had arrived & would I like to see their 'stuff'? Of course, sayeth I & duly arrived a little before they did at the house.
One surbahar was in a box on the floor & THAT looked very nice with a great South Indian style Lion/Dragon's headstock. The guys came in a put another surbahar on the practice dais between me & P. Well.....
The 6th peg chikari post had been drilled so it stood UNDER the PA string. GREAT WORK!!!!
Many frets were catching as you pulled a meend from each one & the worst thing was, when asked the price, said 45 THOUSAND!!!!!!!
Well, MY mouth hit the floor with a sound louder than a bomb. I wish I'd have seen my face.
I MIGHT have given him 15 because the body was very resonant, but then they hadn't made THAT bit!!! :wink:
I felt a bit sorry for the deliverer as he obviously had no idea about this kind of thing. I believe he even asked about an offer but 45 THOU. Come on!!!! At last get the fittings right!!!
I even said at the time, 'you charge Rikhi Ram prices then you do Rikhi Ram quality' Deaf ears, I think!!!
Poor Padmabhan had to sit there quietly but I just KNEW he agreed with all I'd said. :wink:

We then had a look at the boxed one on the floor. This was much better but tuned too high, almost duetting with sitar. Nice tone but, again, frets clacking. What is it with these people???
MY guy from Kolkatta goes through EVERY fret, pulling nearly to its extreme to avoid clacking.

What a shame for these poor guys that really had NO idea of what they'd brought as representative of Akhtar Satar Makers, Miraj. Silly buggers!!!
ANYWAY......

Nick
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AllenDS

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Reply with quote  #10 
I have a sitar that is similar to this one and Tony K told me he thought it had a similar history:

http://s305.photobucket.com/albums/nn228/Allends_photos/Miraj%20Sitar%201960s/?albumview=slideshow

To my eyes, yours could be a few steps up from mine and perhaps a few years newer too. What do you think?

BTW: In my slide show I titled the pictures as if they are, in fact, of a Miraj sitar from the 1960s, but I didn't mean to be that certain about it. Apologies. ops:

Cheers,
Allen

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chrisnovice

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Reply with quote  #11 
Hi Allen,

yes yours is very similar to mine apart from a few minor details, but lots of aspects that look identical. I guess we can never be 100% certain of exact date and origin, but that's good enough for me.

Thanks everybody for your input.

Chris.
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gillo

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Reply with quote  #12 
ditto - "I'd love to hear from anybody who can give me any information about my sitar, approximate age, where it might have been made etc..."

I have some ideas about it, including Kolkata as its origin... but any help would be great.

http://picasaweb.google.com.au/simonggill/OldSitar#

this is a smallish sitar but with a very loud sound with strong attack... I have the original small resonator gourd which is not shown.

thanks...
Simon
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #13 
I don't see any scars of a badge - nail holes, glue smear,etc. up between the nut strips. Hmmmm ! ? ! The varnish and neat trim job look very Calcuttaesque. The tailpiece does not. The fact that it's bone and on a not so high end sitar speaks of age. Ballpark guess there would be sometime up to the early 80's when I first noticed the brass tailpieces appear. I assume you are playing this instrument. I see at least one split taraf string eyelet. Need to replace. Rewrapping the strings on the main pegs will help keep them from slipping while playing. Watch out for those wire ends so that they don't scratch circles on the neck. The swan duckie is riding on it's chest. If you file its chest down a bit it will seat better on the tabli and stay put once positioned. Polished frets would a be a good finishing touch. Scratchy sound will be greatly reduced when yanking the strings. Overall, you've got a sweet sitar. Nicely carved. Clean trim. Nice wood. Fat frets. Wazup with the main bridge ? ? ? Obviously an aftermarket addon. Never seen one with those proportions. Jawari looks good but the meat on that bone is massive ! ! !
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gillo

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Reply with quote  #14 
Thanks Sitarfixer - yes it is a sweet little sitar, I don't play it much as I play a Sanjay RR VKS but I couldn't resist it when it was on offer, the ebony bridge was custom made for it by a friend... it's a small package but a bold and loud sound...
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