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povster

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Reply with quote  #1 
So the honeymoon period with my Hiren Roy is over. I still absolutely love the instrument but I can now be more critical of what is actually needed.

The single biggest issue is the volume. This is not a loud instrument. It is also a surprisingly heavy instrument. The tone is quite sweet and warm. The action is like a classic sports car that responds to the slightest touch. A very easy and, at the same time, challenging instrument to play.

So volume (and associated sustain). What factors into how loud the instrument is? Some specs:

Thickness of the tablie APPEARS to be about 1/4" at the spot where the two birds are to the loeft and right of the bridge. There is a small hole drilled through in each bird. I slipped a thin piece of stiff paper with one fold at the end into the hole. Slowly pulled it up until the fold caught on the inside and marked the exit area. Seems to be about 1/4". I'm not sure how representative this is of the thickness across the length and breadth of the tabli.

I am using 3 gauge for my main string, tuning to c#. It is the sometimes referred to as "black wire". Very nice stuff with a noticeable difference in tone to the "regular" strings you may get.

The bridges are synthetic.

Volume of the brass string seems a bit stronger, with longer sustain.

Thoughts or suggestions welcome.

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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi. Sounds like baby is set up nicely. Tabli thickness sounds about right. Tap test all around the tabli. If it sounds nice and "resonant" with each tap, that is not the problem. I expect it is ok anyway but worth a check. Try moving the bridge back about 1/2" and see if that helps. There may be a slight shift in jawari. Fret calibration will of course follow if you decide this is a permanent move. Be sure then that you can still get the komal dha fret position as well as the komal re (18th. fret) if you have a taraf peg just above the sa fret (#17). Other than that, jawari is the only thing that comes to mind. Press on!
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Neal

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Reply with quote  #3 
Reminds me of a poular thread from a few years back...

http://66.139.254.145/archives/2/0062.html

I know Povster's sitar is of a different maker but my thoughts on heavy Teak sitars and my original Teak Mangla Prasad Sharma in particular is that it will always be a very mellow instrument of low volume/resonance. It was a very well made instrument, all natural materials etc. per Peter's Cutchey's specs- but it was so thick and heavy, that I do not feel it would ever "break in" and truly "open up". I know Russ had that concern years back- I'd love to hear from him and see how his instrument has aged? Russ, are you out there?
Neal




Quote:
Originally Posted by "povster"
So the honeymoon period with my Hiren Roy is over. I still absolutely love the instrument but I can now be more critical of what is actually needed.

The single biggest issue is the volume. This is not a loud instrument. It is also a surprisingly heavy instrument. The tone is quite sweet and warm. The action is like a classic sports car that responds to the slightest touch. A very easy and, at the same time, challenging instrument to play.

So volume (and associated sustain). What factors into how loud the instrument is? Some specs:

Thickness of the tablie APPEARS to be about 1/4" at the spot where the two birds are to the loeft and right of the bridge. There is a small hole drilled through in each bird. I slipped a thin piece of stiff paper with one fold at the end into the hole. Slowly pulled it up until the fold caught on the inside and marked the exit area. Seems to be about 1/4". I'm not sure how representative this is of the thickness across the length and breadth of the tabli.

I am using 3 gauge for my main string, tuning to c#. It is the sometimes referred to as "black wire". Very nice stuff with a noticeable difference in tone to the "regular" strings you may get.

The bridges are synthetic.

Volume of the brass string seems a bit stronger, with longer sustain.

Thoughts or suggestions welcome.
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povster

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Neal"
Reminds me of a poular thread from a few years back...

http://66.139.254.145/archives/2/0062.html

I know Povster's sitar is of a different maker but my thoughts on heavy Teak sitars and my original Teak Mangla Prasad Sharmain particular is that it will always be a very mellow instrument of low volume/resonance. It was a very well made instrument, all natural materials etc. per Peter's Cutchey's specs- but it was so thick and heavy, that I do not feel it would ever "break in" and truly "open up". I know Russ had that concern years back- I'd love to hear from him and see how his instrument has aged? Russ, are you out there?
Neal
Hey Neal! I actually found that old thread a couple of daze ago. It put me in mind of the old Hemen teak instrument I used to have. Definitely the heaviest sitar I have even handled. The carving was astonihing in its depth, breadth and quality. But it had never opened up.

I DO believe my intrument is toon. Was sold as toon. Looks like toon to me. But it has to be the 2nd heaviest sitar I have ever handled. Time will tell.

Something in that quote from Manilal Nag: Peter: "It is said in India that every instrument has it's own soul and that this soul grows with the musician as it is played by he or she. Do you think that this is true?”
Pandit Mani Lal Nag answers simply and directly "Yes, it is" is all he said and (I think) all he needed to say.


Real food for thought there. Maybe instead of working on it for six hours today I should play on it for 6 hours today.

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Joshua Feinberg

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Reply with quote  #5 
hey povster,

i got a new hiren roy a few years ago so i may be able to help you out. . .

first, get that synthetic bridge off! i played a concert on my sitar a few months after i bought it and while people offered me kind words about my playing, they all said my sitar didn't sound right. i then swapped the synthetic bridge i had (came with the sitar) with a bone one and whala! (a pun! HA!) the sound instantly got about 20% louder and more sophisticated.

ive had my instrument for about 15 months now and its only just now starting to sound really nice. before that the volume was next to nil (not much of a concern if you've got a mic) and the tone was poop. now there's decent body and depth in the sound. ive heard from many players and makers an instrument will take about 5 years of playing to open up completely, so hopefully mines not done yet.

also, check the humidity. sitars like dry weather. my teacher here in boston said that after this winter (a very dry time in doors in boston) my sitar would sound better and he was absolutely right. much of the 'breaking in' of a sitar is the gourd drying. my sitar, like yours was quite heavy when i bought it but now its substantially lighter. if you pick up an older instrument, they're usually feather weight (excluding those teak heavyweights).

oh yea, while you're swapping that synthetic jawari for a bone one, do the same thing with the tail piece, sympathetic jawari, and both nuts. for the life of me i cant understand why Barun would make such a great instrument and top it off with all this crappy synthetic stuff. . . a shame. ive spent a bit of money and time doing this as well as fitting pegs, having fretts finely tuned (thanks Kalyan!) and other not so fun stuff.

anyways, theres my 96 cents (inflation :-) )

wigglin,

jf

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sitarman

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Reply with quote  #6 
NaadDas (hey are you Josh by an alter ego here?), Your 96 cents worth was mostly great stuff, but I have to offer an opinion on the synthetic bridge comments. Regardless of how anyone feels about synthetic versus bone from a traditional, cosmetic, or tone viewpoint, I can say with certainty that it is NOT the reson that sitar is sounding weak or thin! I have a MPS that had the synth bridge done and it is twice as loud and fat as my HR with a bone bridge. It was a good loud sitar to begin with but is even more so with the synth. If that alone was the cause of wimpiness it would be the case with any sitar, true? I think replacing the bridge, ANY bridge, is going to have major repercussions, either good or bad, depending on the new jawari. You can take the best bone bridge and make it sound weak and thin with a bad jawari/setup.
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element-82

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Reply with quote  #7 
I would agree. I think the material for the legs also plays a part. I made a corian bridge a while back with oak legs. The sitar was too loud, in my opinion. I lent it to my buddy to play while he was waiting for his tonyK sitar, and I could hear it over all the sitars in class! Granted, I am no fan of synthetic bridges, but I think it is hard to say that syn bridges are quieter.

On the bright side, the corian bridge didn't show any wear after a 3 months of riyaz.

Pb
Quote:
Originally Posted by "sitarman"
NaadDas (hey are you Josh by an alter ego here?), Your 96 cents worth was mostly great stuff, but I have to offer an opinion on the synthetic bridge comments. Regardless of how anyone feels about synthetic versus bone from a traditional, cosmetic, or tone viewpoint, I can say with certainty that it is NOT the reson that sitar is sounding weak or thin! I have a MPS that had the synth bridge done and it is twice as loud and fat as my HR with a bone bridge. It was a good loud sitar to begin with but is even more so with the synth. If that alone was the cause of wimpiness it would be the case with any sitar, true? I think replacing the bridge, ANY bridge, is going to have major repercussions, either good or bad, depending on the new jawari. You can take the best bone bridge and make it sound weak and thin with a bad jawari/setup.

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povster

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Reply with quote  #8 
Interesting developments here. Last night when I was practicing the tarifs started ringing across more pitches than before. Volume seems to have picked up a smidge as well. And the ringing was to my taste in volume, duration and timing. I believe just more playing is going to do the trick.

I hear the back and forth about synthetic bridges but I cannot fault the tone of this instrument. Very sweet and warm and, again, to my taste.

I believe I am simply looking at time here. The instrument is still quite new - only been played about 4 months. There is true beauty and greatness within it. I shall not force it. Patience, caring and understanding.

I will reserve open heart surgery for an emergeny!

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Joshua Feinberg

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Reply with quote  #9 
hi sitarman,

no alter ego here, just plain am. :-) i felt that with all the goings on of 'people who love world music' (if you get my drift) it may be a bit better to have a name that wouldn't immediately tell people who are new to the forum my name. of course all of you who are vets here will know who i am. :-)

about the synthetic stuff. its important to realize that there are many different materials that are used. Hiren Roy's started coming out with a new synthetic jawari just after i got my instrument. the new one is a plaster looking stuff, the older one is brighter and looks like plastic. i agree that the newer one is an improvement, but im sorry i must dissagree here! sorry, no hard feelings, i just hate those things. heres the real test, if you want to know what the real deal is with instruments and equipment, just look at the pandits and ustads. who plays synthetic? ive never seen anyone! ive seen a few people with ebony, but other than that its always been bone.

that being said, people like what they like and im no one to argue that. just my 96 cents :-)

best,

jf

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