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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hey all,

A friend of mine has an old Hemen sitar (Very pretty) BUT the tabli seems to be depressing under the bass end of the bridge (Under Kharaj strings).
It just seems to be caving in slightly right under the leg of the bridge.
The depression is about an inch wide and three inches long.
You actually have to angle it to the light to see it.
It is not like a big dip or anything.
Does that sound the death bell for this old sitar, or is there a way for him to get it fixed?
It would be a shame if it is dead.
Any ideas?
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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #2 
This is exactly what's happened to that old brown sitar I posted pics of before. The one I found in a music shop in Varanasi. The area just behind the bridge, where the tuning beads are, is flat so you'd have to use a fat bead or one with a different hole angle to allow tuning.

Shame but....
Tony?????

Nick
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AllenDS

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Quote:
Originally Posted by "trippy
This is exactly what's happened to that old brown sitar I posted pics of before. The one I found in a music shop in Varanasi. The area just behind the bridge, where the tuning beads are, is flat so you'd have to use a fat bead or one with a different hole angle to allow tuning.
I would be interested to know whether the tabli could be reinforced with a rib like you find on guitars or a bass bar similar to the way violins are made. I never built an instrument from scratch so I don't know how difficult it is to fit these ribs. :? If fitted properly, one would hope there's a good chance the tone wouldn't be hurt too much. :?:
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Originally Posted by "trippy
Tony?????
Any thoughts, big guy?

-Allen

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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #4 
Panditji Ravi Shankars #1 war horse - the Nodu machine from Monterey '67 up to the early 90's was smashed by either Alitalia or Air France. The "Butcher of Delhi", after fixing the myriad cracks and slapping on the most god-awful varnish job I've ever seen, proceeded to fit a cross brace strip of wood perpendicular to the wood grain. The expected result - completely dead sound - like it was sitting in a tub of water. Panditji handed me the brain dead sitar and asked me to put it away. He couldn't even look at it any more. That was a real moment! The message here - don't put a strip of bracing wood like that. Maybe if a strip was put in going along with the grain, the results might not be so bad. Getting that flat spot out of the tabli is another prerequisite step as well. Good luck there!
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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #5 
So does that mean that these sitars are dead ducks?
Are they to be put out to pasture?
Or is there a hope that they could be resurrected.
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #6 
A lot of these stalwarts do get put out to pasture. I figure that as long as the tabli can hold up the bridge, even in it's flattened state, then run that old horse around the track. I'm sure baby will appreciate it. Your old friend will feel good in your hands. You may have to lengthen one or both bridge legs a bit to get it up the the correct height for string / fret clearance but other than that you should be ok. Cheers!
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coyootie

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Reply with quote  #7 
guitars and violins are fixed thus:
a crack running with the grain is glued together as tightly as possible. thin wooden diamonds, maybe 1/16" thick and 1/4- 3/8 " square, are glued along the crack to reinforce it. These usually have no appreciable effect on the sound. Zillions of old guitars and violins etc have these repairs.
if the tabli was too thin/ weak to begin with it is probably screwed.
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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #8 
Actually it is not a "crack" that I am talking about.
Usually a tabli on a nice sitar will have a graceful curve across from the center of the tabli to the edges.
On the Hemen, when you angle the tabli to the light you can see a very slight but noticeable depression in the curve.
Just under the bridge on the bass side the tabli follows the curve and it just dips a little.
It is about 1" x 3", running from back to front.
I must say it is very very slight.
You would never see it or feel it when you ran your hand along the tabli, but in just the right light as you move the face of the sitar you can tell that the geography of the tabli changes slightly in just this spot.

I always check instruments this way. It is a residual habit of buying guitars. I always angle the soundboard of a guitar to the light so you can check for warping of the soundboard.
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