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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #16 
Yes, Greg ! Hold that thought. A sack full of bridges - Mmmmmmmmmmmm ! ! ! Side note - my postman's name is Mr. Tabla. No kidding. I saw his drivers license. Mr. Tabla. Gotta love that ! Barend is right regarding the fine tuning aspects of custom fitting a bridge received stock off the shelf or ballparked by me or other makers. There are earlier posts on the forum here that go into reasonable detail regarding setting the bridge legs to the tabli, filing techniques, etc. My advice is to just get in there and get your hands dirty. Make the bridge look good and sound good which will have to involve messing with it. Back in my beginning, I had zero info available to me. Messed up a few bridges getting things sorted out but I was able to teach myself. Trips to India later and hanging out in the music shops confirmed what I had figured out and turned me on to additional techniques for doing this job. Still learning things to this day. Text alone describing what needs to be done is only a push in the right direction. By actually holding the bridge, holding a file and getting down and dirty with it, you "Experience" what the jawari thing is all about. You learn. You adapt and modify. You remember. You even improve. Sure, you'll mess up a few bridges. This is how you learn. Just get in there and do it ! ! It's great when I have somebody here with their sitar for a jawari fitting. Their ears hear their instrument differently from me or anyone else. What might sound like crap to me is golden bells to them. Other way around as well. Their input directs (teaches) me toward a finished product that would have been almost impossible to produce by myself. Been at this sitar building / fixing thing for many years and am only now feeling relaxed and comfortable with it all. It's a learned skill that involved quite a few sub skill sets and lots of time, practice and patience. ( patience alone is learned skill, come to think of it ). Again, go ahead and mess with the bridge. A little off the top. Just trim the sides a bit. Nice kitty kitty ! :wink:
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barend

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Reply with quote  #17 
Good post Tony. Exactly what I was trying to say. Of course I know that jawari work is a difficult craft that takes a lot of experience but I am glad you are demystifying it a bit.
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Originally Posted by "Sitarfixer"
It's great when I have somebody here with their sitar for a jawari fitting. Their ears hear their instrument differently from me or anyone else. What might sound like crap to me is golden bells to them. Other way around as well. Their input directs (teaches) me toward a finished product that would have been almost impossible to produce by myself.
This of course is the ideal situation. Sitting with your jawari maker and give direct comments. But for most people this is just not possible because there is none who can do it in your town (or country). So you are forced to learn it on your own. Same goes for most other sitar work. That being said I would love to have delrin bridges for both my sitars. But delrin bridges are a bit rarer and most people have bone or ebony.
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fossesitar

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Reply with quote  #18 
I think Tony is being too modest - in particular as regards jawari. He has had many decades in this industry to develop his craft and his jawari work is exceptional.

Time and experience is one thing, but jawari work is also one of those things you have to have some talent for - kinda like playing the sitar. If you do not have some talent all the hours of study and at the workbench can be wasted. Tony has talent and his jawari work is exceptional.

Since we moved far apart from each other it is no longer possible for us to build together for a number of days as we did in Nashville and Asheville. But because he knows what I want from those many hours and days together he is able to send me unmounted delrin jawari for the main and taraf bridges which I install (mounting the main jawari on tonewood) into my customers instruments. The results have been nothing short of outstanding.

Barend, 30 years ago I was in the same situation as you, having a badly grooved main bridge and nowhere to turn. It affected my playing time, my enjoyment of the instrument, and really was a big negative. The derin material is such a huge improvement as far as longevity that it really is a whole new world.

Tony is quite capable and if you follow my protocols (described in this thread) in preparing the bridge before shipment that simply puts the odds even more in your favor. I may have the wrong fret listed (for measuring height of the bajtar) is it in fact the High SA fret? I only mention this because a measurement here will tell Tone whether your action is within the correct range for a classical sitar and if too high or too low he can adjust that in the thickness of the jawari plate. Knowing that the flat bottom of the jawari plate has been set parallel to the strings is another plus for jawari work.

Tony has to manage expectations but from my experience you will be thrilled not only with any jawari from Tony K, but alos with the delrin material itself. I do not need to make the slightest adjustments to the jawaris he has made for me, and I think it is a great boon for sitarists to be able to set up their own bridges and then ship the bridge to Tony K from anywhere in the world for a delrin jawari. Believe me you will not be disappointed in his work or in the material.

This is the reason I have taken the trouble to post in such detail on this subject, because I have been in your situation Barend and believe me, a solution is at hand for you, and all of our fellow sufferers of this rare disease: jawari-itis. I highly recommend Tony K's "ballpark" open jawari for general use on any sitar. Just having a main bridge without grooves under the strings is such a massive improvement that to quibble over this style or that is to me, silly. When your strings are resting in deep grooves in the bridge the only "style" you have is dead sound. All the best to all fellow sitaristas. GF
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fossesitar

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Reply with quote  #19 
BTW in addition to building my Ultras I also do general sitar repairs and restoration work.

I very recently completely restored a mid-60's Calcutta sitar (KP style) that had seen better days, completely removing all the frets and all of the tuning pegs, replacing a badly grooved bone jawari with a "ballpark" open jawari in delrin from Tone, repairinng some of the ceeluloid decoration that was burping up, retying all of the frets and setting the instrument up with a new set of strings and fully rosined tuning pegs. The customer is thrilled and I did not touch the jawari.

Nor would I, it is still the one thing on a sitar I leave to a specialist and that is not going to change. All I did was to prepare the stock bridge as per my protocols here, then remove the grooved bone jawari and glue on the delrin (using super glue on both surfaces) exactly as the bridge blank was delivered to me from Tone. GF
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anju831

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "fossesitar"
BTW in addition to building my Ultras I also do general sitar repairs and restoration work.

I very recently completely restored a mid-60's Calcutta sitar (KP style) that had seen better days, completely removing all the frets and all of the tuning pegs, replacing a badly grooved bone jawari with a "ballpark" open jawari in delrin from Tone, repairinng some of the ceeluloid decoration that was burping up, retying all of the frets and setting the instrument up with a new set of strings and fully rosined tuning pegs. The customer is thrilled and I did not touch the jawari.

Nor would I, it is still the one thing on a sitar I leave to a specialist and that is not going to change. All I did was to prepare the stock bridge as per my protocols here, then remove the grooved bone jawari and glue on the delrin (using super glue on both surfaces) exactly as the bridge blank was delivered to me from Tone. GF

Ok, I think this is a bit of an exaggeration. While jawari is a complicated skill I wouldn't put it beyond anyone's capabilities and put it on such a high pedestal. Also, just because the professionals (UVK like fosse mentioned) have some one else do their jawari, does not necessarily mean they do not know how to. I know for a fact that Pt. Budhadity Mukherjee, Ustad Shujaat Khan and Ustad Shahid Parvez know how to do their own jawari and in their own words have described the process as "simple". I tend to agree. It's all a matter of getting comfortable and practice (when I first started changing strings, especially sympathetics, seemed like an impossible task, but wnow I know better).

Now, with that said, the initial jawari on a brand new bridge is quite a bit of work. My advice is to make sure you have the correct tools to start; the better your tools the easier the job will be. And also, be patient...if you rush you'll make a mistake. As fosse said, its like quicksand especially considering the fact that when you sand away you can't unsand any mistakes; there's no rewind button.
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fossesitar

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Reply with quote  #21 
Different strokes for different folks - pun intended.

IMHO I am doing everyone a favor to discourage filing away on their jawari but of course that is my opinion and your mileage may vary. The fact that a jawari made from delrin will last so long is, if anything, further justification for using a specialist. In the olden days with a bone jawari it was too much trouble, too much expense, far too often to have jawari performed by a specialist. Now IMHO it makes all kinds of sense because of the exceptional wear qualities that delrin has.

As a side note, as many of you know I think Ustad Shahid Parvez is a musical genius of the first water and an absolute virtuoso of the sitar.

I also feel his jawari sucks, it sounds wooden and dead to me and this is true in live performance as well. To each his own.

I am a reasonably skilled sitar maker, if jawari were easy or "simple" I would be doing my own. All the best, GF
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Lars

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Reply with quote  #22 
Good post.... the best advice I ever got was from Sanjay Sharma who said 'just keep practicing'. Most who try to do jawari try to make the curvature too extreme due to articles read on the internet. So get some pointers and figure it out, it's not that difficult but requires a lot of time if you want a perfect jawari. This is why many of the sitars from India aren't good, beautiful furniture that they slap a bridge on and call it good as I'm sure many will attest to here. They don't have much knowledge but even worse they don't take the time. Even a novice can get a good sound but just doing a little bit at a time and trying it out.

I find that a good open jawari is the hardest to do personally but rather than a flat jawari I like to curve it back to get good tension on the string which is why it can get frustrating as your buzz-i-ness will come off the leading edge.

I've noticed each maker does jawari a little different too, the curve shapes vary. Have seen Sanjay do a bridge from scratch off the sitar and 20 minutes later done, put it on a sitar and was perfect (if you like open sound). Due to practice and a good eye. He grew up surrounded by it but other than pointers he still had to practice....Barun the same thing. Others like Rajesh Sharma will do it and then let the instrument sit for weeks, periodically checking it (new sitars) as the neck assumes its shape under tension. Also being able to play is important so you can tell where it needs to open or close.

As for sending in bridges, it's possible to get work done without the sitar if it's a simple clean-up with ample bridge height and the original shape is followed. Tony, Scott and I do this stuff as do others I'm sure. I'm lucky in that I have a lot of instruments here and can match the height by finding a similar sitar and see what the 'before' state of the bridge is compared to the 'after'. But still its a YMMV sort of thing and the odds are lower if you're doing a full reshape off of the instrument.

For linear instruction on this, you'll never find it as it can't be taught. This is why some say it's a mystical thing but it's not, just takes time, practice, and a good eye and ear. There probably is an esoteric aspect to it as some days it'll take all day, and other days it's 1/2 hour which can really be irritating at a flat rate fee. Can I get an Amen?

My 2 cents....

Lars

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barend

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Reply with quote  #23 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "fossesitar"
I also feel his jawari sucks, it sounds wooden and dead to me and this is true in live performance as well. To each his own.
I think many here will disagree. Really like his tone. He always has lots of sustain and a nice round even tone in all registers. That is also due to his jawari.
I always liked a more open tone but lately I tend to move to a more closed tone because it has more sustain and is more suited for the long meends with many notes as SP is doing all the time. But as you say to each his own.
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fossesitar

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Reply with quote  #24 
Yup I really love the extra long sustain he gets on meend, especially when he gets the ghostly harmonic tone going on, love that. For the rest my opinion remains and I suppose part of the reason is that I prefer, as does Lars, open jawari, in fact my request to Tony has always been "as open as possible".

That is pretty funny in light of my strong preference for the GP style sitar but it seems to work much better than a closed jawari on an electric and anyway I just like the open jawari better across the board. Another side note: the Indians pre-dated the "Marshall Sound" (overdriven tube distortion) by centuries with the invention of jawari, the effect is very similar, to fatten the tone and emphasize harmonic content and richness. Smile : )
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Lars

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Reply with quote  #25 
I actually prefer 'gol' jawari, round...which is half open or closed whichever way you want to look at it.....have learned over the years that most people that buy instruments here prefer open so I carry a lot that are setup that way. I don't like full closed either but it's easier to make a bridge that way for sure.

Lars

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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #26 
" AMEN, Brother Lars " ! ! !
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sraman

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Reply with quote  #27 
In my opinion, doing a Jawari is not not that difficult at all if you have patience and if you are a bit technically minded. You will need the right tools for the right job, that is all.
I write this from my own personal experience after reading through the comments. I thought 'why not take a chance'. I have now spent three 4 hour sessions (12 hours) over two week-ends to do the jawari in my sitar and it sounds all time the best. By doing the jawari correctly even the sympathetic strings resonate fantastic (that is a spin off, even for the lower octave thevra Ma note). I have never done a jawari ever before. I have done it from reading, researching and applying a bit of common sense.If any body wants to share my experience I will only be happy to contribute in this site. 100% honesty is applied here.
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rex@sitar.co.za

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Reply with quote  #28 
Learning to do your own jawari is a basic skill that all players should learn, just like learning to tune your instrument.
If you just file away the grooves without doing anything else, you're 90% of the way there.
(And often, that's all you need to do if the bridge was properly fitted to begin with).
The other 10% is just trial and error based on things people have mentioned on this thread.
It doesn't requite any specialize training, years of practise or magic.
Just don't be afraid and believe you can do it - you can!

(For the record: Over the years I've had ebony, deer horn and bone bridges: Delrin is the best by far.)
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Nico Rocha

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Reply with quote  #29 
Hello all

I´m now battling with mi surbahar jawari... so I went through all your topics, very fruitful and productive, but I dont know you already knew the Thomas Marcotty chapter (Djovari giving life to the sitar) in the Manfred Junius book Sitar.
I follow your, already old, discussion about doing or not doing your own djovari. I would love to have nearby someone who master this science, but here in Brasil is not easy to find nothing of these subjects be it knowledge or e instruments. As I didn´t see any mention to these fundamental piece, and I discovered that he himself made available his text in the internet so I´m posting here the direction:

http://www.rudraveena.org/marcotty/jawari/Djovari_Giving_Life_to_the_Sitar_by_Thomas_Marcotty.docx
Have fun...

many thanks

Nico Rocha
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