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AllenDS

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi Everyone,

I haven't posted for a few years, and it's wonderful to be back. I acquired an unplayable bamboo rudra veena from a collector. The case, which I assume is the original, has a Rikhi Ram label that was used by the company as late as the 1960s.

I'm a retired person who is interested in woodworking, so I have the time and enthusiasm to repair this instrument properly, but I'm a sitar player unfamiliar with the rudra veena. I have much to learn!

I would be grateful for any and all advice, but my first question is regarding the peg layout. The attached photos show the peg head area on both sides. Not shown are 2 chikari pegs and their posts. The instrument has 8 pegs.

I'm confused by the 6 pegs in these photos. My theory is this instrument is unusual: all 4 of the playing strings are routed to guide posts, 3 of those guide posts are (very strangely) behind the pegs. If so, there are 2 javari strings nearest the players palm.

Before I begin restoring it, I need to know if my assumptions are correct or not. For the record, even if I am correct, I question whether I should string it in this unusual way.

Thanks in advance for your input!

-Allen



Attached Images
jpeg IMG_20190305_143403981.jpg (280.91 KB, 20 views)
jpeg IMG_20190305_143535115.jpg (196.21 KB, 21 views)
jpeg IMG_20190223_181728411.jpg (435.59 KB, 21 views)


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Ramon Rivases

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Reply with quote  #2 
good luck , whit this amazing proyect .
sadly i can not help , but i will be waiting your future result .
regards from spain
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AllenDS

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Reply with quote  #3 
Thank you, Ramon. I edited my post to clarify that it is made of bamboo. I only noticed this fact a few minutes ago.
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musicslug

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Reply with quote  #4 
more pics - esp. the 2 chikari pegs you mentioned - would help. using your first pic as reference, my guess would be that the top right peg is for the laraj (single string on the back of the daand), top middle for the kharaj (lowest string), and the top left for the pancham. on the bottom of the pic, the left peg would be for the jordi, the middle for the main string, and the right for the low chikari. if the other 2 pegs are mid-way up the daand, facing the player, they'd be for mid and high chikari - a 3 string chikari, which would be very unusual (2 would be the norm). does the chikari bridge have 2 or 3 grooves at the back? maybe this had 5 melody strings? I suspect the function of those guide posts will become clearer once you put strings on; maybe they guide the strings so tuning beads will work properly. that guide peg on the lower left is a puzzle - maybe the string looped over it and fed onto the tuning peg from behind. hope that helps.
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AllenDS

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by musicslug
more pics - esp. the 2 chikari pegs you mentioned - would help....


Quote:
Originally Posted by musicslug
a 3 string chikari, which would be very unusual (2 would be the norm). does the chikari bridge have 2 or 3 grooves at the back?....


Thank you for your observations. I'm sending a few more pictures.

The chikari bridge (and also the other side bridge) is missing, so we can't easily determine how many chikari strings were used. One of the chikari posts is completely broken off, and the remaining one is chipped at the tip, so there isn't a way to determine if either was used to hold two strings.

The three retaining posts on the peghead are shown on the closeup picture. The middle post in the picture is firmly in place, and it has a deep groove that may indicate that a peg was routed backwards to it as I suspected in my original message.

I welcome all comments! The previous owner wasn't a musician, so only a few strings we're placed on the instrument to make it look good on display. It's clear to me this instrument was strung in different ways during it's life, therefore making it more difficult to study.

Thanks in advance for anything anyone would like to add.

-Allen

Attached Images
jpeg IMG_20190306_205914243~2.jpg (161.17 KB, 15 views)
jpeg IMG_20190306_204905925.jpg (202.79 KB, 18 views)
jpeg IMG_20190306_204802771.jpg (188.60 KB, 18 views)
jpeg IMG_20190306_204948904.jpg (186.05 KB, 17 views)


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westsea

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Reply with quote  #6 

It looks like it has 3 chikari strings.  I have no idea what those 3 posts are (red arrows) veena01.jpg 
That peg for Pa seems to be a too long replacement.  What is this...

veena02.jpg 
veena03.jpg 

 Is that middle post connected to that piece on the other side?


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musicslug

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Reply with quote  #7 
in the left peg in the first of the new pics, it looks like the hole for the string is on the end of the peg instead of by the handle, supporting the idea that the string guide to its left fed the peg from behind. it also looks like this was a 3-string chikari - I don't know how else to explain the 3 pegs that are to the right of the nut.  
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AllenDS

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Reply with quote  #8 
Hi Westsea,

Yes, the Pa peg is an awkwardly long replacement.

The mystery posts won't have a function in a 3 chikari setup, and I'm leaning in that direction.

You ask if the middle post connects to the object on the other side. It doesn't. The object on the other side is a wooden spool rotating on a screw. I assume someone used it to guide the string coming from the nearby peg. I don't believe it's useful to me, but time will tell.

Thanks,
Allen

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AllenDS

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Reply with quote  #9 
Hi Musicslug,

I feel that I'll either refurbish this instrument to have a 3 chikari setup or perhaps I'll remove one of the 3 chikari pegs and use it to replace the extra-long peg on the other side of the instrument (it doesn't match the other pegs).

I haven't decided for sure, but these are my thoughts.

Thank You,
Allen

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westsea

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Reply with quote  #10 
That's what I would do... make it a 2 chikari veena.
veena1.jpg 
That would create a pretty normal placement for the 2 chikaris
veena2.jpg 
those other objects are a mystery.  especially
"The object on the other side is a wooden spool rotating on a screw"

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westsea

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Reply with quote  #11 
the pegs will probably decide which ones can go where.  you may have to move them around.
that top chikari peg may be better suited for the Ma string.  Pa is a fairly thick string.
just as the instrument teaches you how to play it, it probably also teaches you how to modify it.
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AllenDS

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Reply with quote  #12 
All of your advice is appreciated. A plan is coming together. Thanks!
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AllenDS

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Reply with quote  #13 
Update and a question or two:

The new frets I'm making are coming along nicely: the rough basics are done, and they all seem to fit securely on the dand. I've decided to utilize all the pegs where they are currently positioned, so this rv will either have three chikaris or I'll simply not use one of the chikari pegs if that sounds better to me. Again, thanks for the advice!

I have a question about string gauges. I've seen conversations on this site regarding strings that other players use (and I've made notes), but this is a small instrument with a string length of only 31.5". I'm guessing that since I want Sa to be G#, it might be good for the main Ma string to be 0.020". If anyone has an opinion on this, I'd really like to hear it.

I have another question about string height. The frets I'm making are ready to file down to size. Keeping in mind that my scale length is only 31.5", may I ask for a big favor? I'd like for players to press down on a fret on the main playing string that would make the string length to be closest to 31.5", then measure the string height over the fret that is 12 frets higher (that will be my 12 fret). Also if you're willing, please measure the string height over your fret closest to the bridge and tell me how many frets positions up it is from where you're pressing. I hope that makes sense.

I'm enjoying this project, and I recognize that I don't know enough to avoid mistakes at this point.

Thanks,
Allen


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musicslug

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Reply with quote  #14 
hi Allen -

- as far as main string gauge goes, I think you should just experiment once you're happy with the jawari; the optimal
  gauge will be a sweet spot between depth of timbre (thicker gauge) and maximum meend (thinner). 

- string height @ 12 frets above 31.5" point = 1/4"

- string height @ highest fret - 21 frets above 31.5" point = 7/16"

Daniel
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westsea

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Reply with quote  #15 
Quote:
I want Sa to be G#

Why?
The instrument should decide.  My bamboo rudra veena is tuned to Sa = D#
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