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Three5Seven

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Posts: 34
Reply with quote  #1 
Ok, so I decided online shopping is not the way to go... I'm going to NYC to actually look at some sitars and get one in person.

Having never done this before, what are some things you look for in a sitar? I know you want to make sure it's quality wood, deep carvings with no halo around them, well-tied frets... and you need to like the sound of course... what else do you check for?
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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #2 
Actually, the only thing that really matters is the sound.
I don't care what it looks like if it sounds good.
You can tell quality by looking at the construction and the care taken in the decoration etc.
Sloppy decoration does not mean it won't sound good, but an instrument made with care is always better. (edited: "not" added to correct typo.
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fossesitar

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Reply with quote  #3 
Tune the instrument very well before evaluating, including the frets - positioning them correctly. At some point you will want to check each fret for buzz - do a full meend (5 notes) on each fret and make sure there is no buzzing or contact with the fret above. Check all the glue joints for signs of losening or dried, flaking glue that looks like it will disintegrate soon. Check the neck joint especially for solidity and no signs of warpage or damage.

Sight down the neck to be sure it looks straight and true. Check to see how much wear is already in place on the jawari especially if there are deep grooves under the strings as this will require a jawari shaping (at the least) or a new jawari bridge (use delrin). A worn jawari will have a very negative impact on the sound so if it sounds pretty good with a badly grooved jawari it will sound a lot better once proper jawari is performed by a professional.

While doing extreme meend on MA string, pluck main SA drone string (next to MA string or bajtar) and see how much sag in pitch takes place when pulling the baj as far as you can (meend) compared to at rest in normal position. If there is sag in pitch during meend it may be tolerable (about 1/4 tone max), but if excessive it indicates a weak instrument or even one where the neck joint is giving way.

When tuning the instrument tune taraf as well, get a feel for the operation and feel of each tuning peg and see if any are mis-aligned (interfere with frets) or need their tips cut off (tips stick out too much on playing side of neck). If a solid fiberglass case is not coming with the instrument use that to knock down the price by $150 or more so you can buy a case to protect the sitar. Take a tuner or tuning fork with you so you can be sure to tune the instrument to C# for proper evaluation. GF
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gillo

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Posts: 192
Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "cwroyds"
Actually, the only thing that really matters is the sound.
I don't care what it looks like if it sounds good.
You can tell quality by looking at the construction and the care taken in the decoration etc.
Sloppy decoration does mean it won't sound good, but an instrument made with care is always better.
Did you mean to say "does NOT mean it won't sound good" ?
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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #5 
LOL Yes, it was a typo.
Sloppy decoration does NOT mean it won't sound good, but an instrument made with care is always better.
I edited the original post.
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yussef ali k

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Posts: 322
Reply with quote  #6 
Hi, all.

357:
Since you're going to have to travel to buy a sitar, I suggest you ask for spares for it WHEN BUYING: Pegs, frets, tying thread, Jawaris (you may want to try alt-material ones), strings/picks, moghras, finetuners ... those tiny plastic peg-tops, even a 2nd targahan ... & whatever I forgot to list.

Hope you'll get these... those will SPARE you !

Have fun,
Y.
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bluebird5

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Reply with quote  #7 
A worn jawari will have a very negative impact on the sound so if it sounds pretty good with a badly grooved jawari it will sound a lot better once proper jawari is performed by a professional.
Sight down the neck to be sure it looks straight and true. Check to see how much wear is already in place on the jawari especially if there are deep grooves under the strings as this will require a jawari shaping (at the least) or a new jawari bridge (use delrin).



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