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CheesecakeTomek

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hello everyone,

I am looking to buy my first tanpura for some vocal practice, but mainly to develop my perception of intonation; and was hoping to get some pointers from some of the members here. Are there advantages between classic gourd models, flatback, wooden? How widely does the quality in tanpura's vary? for instance, will something like this be an absolute waste of money and time? (scroll down past the RKS sitar)

http://www.lutins.org/sitar/

From what I have gathered, though it is called female,' it could be restrung for 'male' tuning? I am on a budget, definitely not being able to spend more than $500, and even that would require waiting a little bit longer. Ultimately I am looking for something suitable for personal study and that will allow me to grow, however at this point certainly not something that will last me my entire life. I am NOT, however, looking for an instrument that is lacking in sound production and has ultimately no benefit for a developing student.

I am grateful for any help I get here

Thanks and cheers,
Tomek
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Lars

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Reply with quote  #2 
Pretty cheap price for that I think. It looks like an instrumental tanpura though to me, hard to say without knowing the dimensions. If it's instrumental sized it's not a problem, you can restring it with wound wire and drop it an octave but jawari is often necessary. Pandit Jasraj uses the small tanpuras from Sanjay Sharma this way. Wilsaxo from this forum recently changed a female to male stringing with bronze wire and from what he told me he had success with it.....good luck!
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sitardoc

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Reply with quote  #3 
honestly, i would be very wary of ANYTHING from BARFGAVA and RKS. what you save on initial outlay usually ends up being spent at the repair shop. unless thier stuff is seroiusly optimized by someone who knows what they're doing, you're likely to end up with firewood. i made the mistake of buying one of their sitars. to put it mildly, i got screwed. NO ONE at the source of these shithole instruments (mid-east manufacturing) can even SPELL "jawari" much less actually perform the service. keep looking-something sweet will come your way.
-the doc
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Lars

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Reply with quote  #4 
A good point about setup for those sitars doc....On a lark I ordered a studio sitar from them since I get a lot of inquiries for CHEAP instruments so what the heck I thought. Not bad at all really for the price although God knows what wood it is and it's not that pretty. But there was jawari...maybe I got lucky? Which one did you get out of curiosity?
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sitardoc

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Reply with quote  #5 
i got screwed out of way too much for a 103 sitar. i put up with it for months before the gods gifted me with my RR.
-the doc
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CheesecakeTomek

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
honestly, i would be very wary of ANYTHING from BARFGAVA and RKS.
I did not realize that that tanpura was also RKS, though I checked their website and sure enough there was a picture of one just like the one in the link. Of course I will be staying away from it.

That aside, if anyone could post answers to some of the other questions I asked, I would appreciate that.

Thanks and Cheers,
Tomek
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Hamletsghost

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Reply with quote  #7 
Morning Cheesecake,

Based on the figure of $500.00 you DO have options - look to Lars He has more than one around that figure. Look to Ali Akbar They have a couple under $500. & while I understand about your budget heck AACM even has a Hemen & a Hiren Roy (altho instrumental) for only $50.00 over your stated top dollar - Might be worth even that little bit longer wait. And by dealing with Lars & AACM you know you will get a perfectly set up instrument with incredible customer service & backup with these 2 most worthy dealers. Good luck in your quest.

Hamletsghost 8)

ps: so I am not remiss in mentioning other sources check out Kala Kendar & Keshavdas - KK has some modestly priced models - STILL better than ebay junk & Barfgava - Keshav does not publish prices BUT his goods will not be outrageous & again good backup from good people. You could also give Andys in Chicago a call to see what they've got in good 2nd hand. HG

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Keshavdas

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Reply with quote  #8 
My ears were burning. Someone was typing my name out there. I have a nice Kanai Lal female instrumental tanpura for $425.00. Our Miraj male instrumental ones are only $300.00 and are set up ala-Rikhi Ram with wound guitar strings and sound every bit as good as the same thing from Rikhi Ram. This is actually one of my biggest selling instruments and lots of little improvements have been made over the years - so they are consistantly great sounding - and they have guitar tuners for stable tuning.
Cheers,
Keshav

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CheesecakeTomek

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Reply with quote  #9 
Thanks for the reply Keshav-ji, that Miraj tanpura sounds like it may be what I'm looking for. I will keep it in mind as I search around a little more.

Cheers,
Tomek
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wilsaxo

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Reply with quote  #10 
Hi Tomek,

As Lars mentioned I recently got a Female 52" tanpura as my first one. It was used on ebay and went for a bargain price, otherwise I could not have gotten it with my limited budget. It is a "Barfgava" with gourd tumba but arrived in good condition and sounded great with the female strings once I tuned it and got the threads in place. The jawari was fine but on the 3rd string it is amazing. I have restrung it for male tuning with phosphor bronze wire that I got from Lars in .020, .025, and .032 that I can tune down to Bb, although I'm tuning mostly to C these days. I love the sound. The 3rd string jawari is still exceptional and I can coax the others to a similar sound with different thread sizes. I will have to file the bridge though if I want it consistent.

Your in a great position with the budget you have. You should try as many styles as you can and buy the one you love. I was hoping to travel to AACM to try each style they have on hand and even take a trip up to Washington to visit Lars and Scott Hackelman. I was at least going to travel to NYC to see what Keshev might have since I'm on the east coast. I don't need to be in any hurry now that I've got my ebay treasure and like the sound, but I am still curious about what else is available. Happy hunting!

Cheers,
David
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