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Senior Member
Posts: 100
Reply with quote  #1 
Wondering if it was possible to retrofit a sarangi with machine head tuners for the sympathetic strings? I'm a bit curious if this can be done.

Posts: 102
Reply with quote  #2 
This is the only one I have seen

I love the charm of my antique wooden sarangi and can't imagine machine tuners but I am sure it can be done with some modifications



"Real music is not for wealth, not for honours or even the joys of the mind... but as a path for realization and salvation."
Ustad Ali Akbar Khan

Posts: 107
Reply with quote  #3 
It's more than charm- Although I'm sure that mechanical tuners could be adopted in a system to work on a sarangi, it would change the tone and responsiveness with the extra mass, and coupling the strings to the body through the metal tuners instead of more directly with standard wooden pegs- Metal has a different resonance than wood.
trippy monkey

Posts: 4,281
Reply with quote  #4 
A BORG Sarangi!!??

It makes me shudder?!!?

martin spaink

Senior Member
Posts: 330
Reply with quote  #5 
Hello all, I will completely chime in with pcb above. Not only that you'd have to add bits of extensions onto the instrument to create enough space to fit them all, which will deaden the resonance etc just as pcb wrote.
So let's consider what is behind all this: an unsatisfying relation with the instrument, at least while busy tuning it. Honestly I don't think the genral design will bear any sort of improvement without actually getting worse. On the other hand, if good materials are used, everything is carefully and knowingly tweaked and fiddled, and you have all the proper strings everywhere, and still you have a hard time tuning, try to decide where a meaningful improvement can be made. Either someting about the instrument, the tuningwrench you use or in the way you go about it. If you have paid sufficient attention to fixing all the hardware, that should normally allow you to smoothly glide into proper pitch instead of hit and miss in an erratic zig-zag fashion. Have a hard look at the tuningwrench in action. You want a good fit / not too lose nor too tight, if possible drill a hole near the top to allow for a round steel bar of 8 mm. / 12cm to be used as a T-bar handle to increase control and force. Note that often pegs are being pushed on all the time, often exceeding the comfort zone, jamming movement and maybe sometime split that part of the body. So check that and necessary pull back up. If even with T-bar grip it's no good on some particular pegs, take the time to solve the problem. Take the peg out if you have to, have a good look and feel whether there is any axial play, check visually the probably somewhat shiny band(s) on the peg, polished by turning in its peghole(s). These bands should be smooth all around, no gaps, long pegs should fit equally tight in both pegholes. Gaps can be filled with superglue and be filed even. Work in some peg-dope, NEVER use oil.
Besides all that, especially on some uncooperate pegs, you might find a way to fit a small tuningbead in somewhere. I ended up having as many as possible, in jumping rows under the bridge, and have always enjoyed the comfort of being able to tweak the tuning in playing position without the tuningwrench. I used oval glass beads approx. 4x7 mm. and some larger,round ones.
David Berner

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Junior Member
Posts: 23
Reply with quote  #6 
A friend of mine found this article, i think some of you may find it interesting...

Sorry the photos are so small. Looks pretty crazy.

Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #7 
I assume that you are the same Michael Wheeler who posted all the esraj videos on youtube. It was your videos that got me interested in the esraj. (i am going to buy one from exotichub soon, one with machine tuners) So i will gladly buy a copy of your book. I am sure it will be very helpful. This is my first foray into bowed instruments.

Posts: 7
Reply with quote  #8 
Replacing with Machine tuners may affect the sound a VERY TINY bit. Majority of the sound is produced by the transfer of string vibration through the main bridge, which in turn vibrates the skin. The sound hole then amplifies the sound. It is sort of saying that the machine tuners on an acoustic guitar makes a difference. For that matter, even the neck of an acoustic guitar doesn't make a whole lot of difference. May be like 1% or less. Primary amplification happens in the guitar body, specifically by the wood top, back and sides.

I do understand the the natural frequency of the body changes as the mass & the coupling changes, but realistically speaking, it does not matter. For all intents and purposes, the coupling of wood + wood vs. wood + metal can be approximated as rigid. However, this is a moot point, because the peg doesn't transfer the sound to the sound hole body. The main bridge & the skin does.

Posts: 47
Reply with quote  #9 
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