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BronxSitar

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Reply with quote  #1 
I would say about last year or so I contacted La Bella and complained about the ST30 set of strings. How the main Baj ma string was too thick (014) and the symps only had 11 strings. They told me I could custom order strings, but the cost was too high. However, I recently went on the JustStrings.com website and I saw that La Bella not only changed it's packaging, but changed the main string to a 012 gauge. There are still 11 sympathetic strings but you can cut two of them to barely fit all 13 strings as the higher strings are shorter. Say what you will about La Bella strings, I have enjoyed playing them on my sitar for years. They last just as long if not longer than the imported strings and they sound fine IMHO. So Thanks La Bella for a fine set of strings. La Bella ST30. and no! I don't work for La Bella.
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DonovanJaymz

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Reply with quote  #2 
La Bella does a fine job making strings for ethnic instruments. I tried several brands for my Turkish saz and Greek bouzoukis and La Bella had the best tone and lasted the longest.
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #3 
Glad to hear La Bella got things figured out. I remember sets of old that had a brass SA string that would have been better used as a taraf string on a sarangi. All the loops had a 3" machine winding which made them impossible to set onto tab style tailpieces and any beads there would be in for a reeeeel rough ride. Cool ! This machine looping may be cost effective but is not user friendly. Adjustable loops will truely work on ANY sitar, settle in all nice and snug but most importantly are not weakened in the winding process. Keeping the wire straight all the way to the back of the post or tab where they are connected provides longest string life.
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DreamingPanther

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Reply with quote  #4 
For extra tarafs, you can purchase single .008 or .009 gauge guitar strings at most any music shop that sells guitars. They are the right length for taraf replacement, and you can quickly form a loop by running one end through the brass "ball."

They are the right gauge for Chikari's, but too short. I have made do in a pinch replacing a chikari by looping the broken string at the peg and the too short new string together, between the peg and chikari post. This effectively ties them together between the to form a proper length.

It's not ideal, but it will do in a pinch if you're like me and have to order strings online and wait. I keep a couple of single .009's in my kit.

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mister_hatter

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Reply with quote  #5 
I'm so glad I found this post. It kept me from posting another question about this. But so I can be sure, DO LaBella ST30s already have a looped end?
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #6 
Every set of La Bella I've encountered has factory made loops with 3" of excess winding. For the taraf - not the end of the world. It just makes for a lot of wire clogging up the tailpost area where they come around from the back pin. My string sets are all looped but are all adjustable, have straight wire to the back of the loop and allow plenty of room for beads to do their thing.
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