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sitardoc

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Reply with quote  #16 
YES INDEED!!!!!!!!!!LONG LIVE SITARFIXER FOREVER!!!!!!!
now my virtual throat is sore from all the virtual yelling!
now to the business at hand. TK has given me even more reasons to love my RR. here's her history: a good while ago, a goy had her up on ebay. since his feedback was 0, nobody paid any attention to him-except me. he lives in colorado y'see-as i do. we arranged to meet and once he opened the case, my heart jumped. he asked for $1100.00. i didn't even try to talk him down. he told me that he'd bought her at the RR shop on Connaught(sp?) circle and had brought her over. there's about a 3 degree twist on the upper neck-TK said it might have just happened through heavy playing of which i was defiNOOTly guilty as sin. the other glitch was a shitty peg job which eventually led to the invention of a customized geared tuning array.
the jawari was open, singing, and perfect. it took me a few months to get right with the fact that i wasn't dreaming.
after hearing all the stupiduselessIndianbullshit about export sitars, i now know how lucky i am. you couldn't pry her out of my cold, dead hands.
thanks TK-
-the doc :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #17 
TNX ! I don't know about living forever, considering my questionable state of health! One thing for certain, Doc. you hang onto your baby. Despite those little quirks, it's a real screamin' kid! Cheers!
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #18 
Just one other point - the description of the Shristi Miraj Sitar is described as having design elements from R A Sitarmaker. Indeed, they are from that shop but that shop lifted those design elements such as the upper tumba back carving and the little dealies on the bridge legs right out of MY design book I gave them. Credit the right source , please. I applied that tumba carving idea from the Kanai Lal Rudra Veena I used to have. That veena was loaded with carving. It seemed like a great idea to put it on a sitars upper tumba as well. The bridge leg add ons - that's my idea. The concept was to match the handles on the taraf pegs. Shristi managed to make them as boxes with the sides parallel to the tabli. I call that a "poor" copy. Anyway, I felt it necessary to get the sources straight. The homies are doing well now it seems. They still owe me for six sets of pegs that I'm sure I'll never see. Good luck dealing with them and anybody else there and be sure to NEVER pay cash up front. Your well mannered best intentions will be regarded as weakness and an opportunity to exploit. Counting the days now until this waterless, powerless, excuse infested nightmare is over.
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Lars

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Reply with quote  #19 
Tony, while it's sometimes a pleasure to see you post it seems that every 6 months you get low and need an ego boost and try to do it at others expense. If you'd like to get spanked online again I guess I'm forced again to oblige but as no one has provided any impetus for your current rant I'd like to suggest that you get busy and make the sitars you said you'd have by summers end, remember? As I've said before your designs were lifted from other makers, leaf patterns, etc. have been around long before you and I were born. The Srishti Miraj has design elements from Miraj, yes, but not exactly and each one was different. It's not a poor copy at all but a well made Calcutta sitar. I know you're mad but it's not my fault RA dumped you, your mouth got you into trouble with posts such as this recent one. Please do us all a favor and show us how a sitar should be made and promote yourself with some class instead of useless rants, get a US production going of quality instruments and I'd be happy to go back to more practicing then and I'll send people your way....
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #20 
Online Spanking ? ? ? Whos expense ? ? ? I'm just clearing up a few misconceptions regarding my wasted labour. Your side feels I'm talking out my ass. I can't change your opinion. You sure as hell ain't gonna change mine. I just hope you fare better with the Miraj homies than I did. When you talk about design elements as not being mine, you are correct when you break them down to individual components. Items such as grape leaf carving, Bud pegs, fish tail pick guards, thumb rests, all those odds and ends are indeed lost to the ages. I pointed out all that stuff in my descriptions. If nothing else, it makes interesting reading. When they are all combined like that teak axe I put up back around 2003, it makes me smile. When I see the copy appear with no reference at all, I'm safety wired to the full pissed position. Show me a string of instruments from Maharashtra that follow that design formula and I'll take back everything I ever said regarding same. If you were in my oversized shoes, I hope you would feel the same. Call it artists pride or whatever, to be ripped off like I've been from Miraj would even rattle a jaded ferengi like myself. Press on with Miraj. I really hope you don't end up with "clunky" instruments. You've clearly got a flair for the business end of it all. I'm envious! When I get back to NC (not soon enough for me) I'll send you a nice gallery of pics that clearly illustrate my point and what you might be receiving. I've even considered putting up such a gallery of these gems on my website. Now that would make for some enlightened viewing.

Actually, it was me who dumped RA Sitarmaker for the load of crappy sitars they dumped on me and the face to face lies I was blessed with. They didn't dump me. Sure I'm mad. You would be too and may yet be. You have nothing to do with the dumping issue so I don't see where you fit in regarding that issue. I sure ain't pointing a finger at you.

My rants aren't useless if others reading this extended typing are alerted to the reality of doing business in India. That I would think is a great service. The fact that you are absorbing it all and providing customers with good quality instruments is an even greater service. I salute you there !

Regarding my "Summers end" projection - in the wake of additional paperwork for an exit visa the hired lawyer didn't inform me about, the delay is obvious. Try getting a police clearance from Hong Kong, another police clearance from the Poontown passport office, yet another police clearance from the Poontown police commissioners office, a govt. stamped birth certificate from Hyderabad, (not requirerd until 1969), four years of my USA tax returns to show financial responsibility which, since I'm in India and not the USA, required getting a sponsor to help broker this whole visa deal - yeah! I think you get an idea of what I'm up against. YEP ! Summers end just ain't gonna happen. Sorry about that! Fortunately, the customers who are already waiting for these new sitars are not hounding me for which I'm most grateful. Not to waste all this lost time, I've put all the designs and specs on paper. That took quite a while but will speed things up once I get 'hands on'. I was in NC just last week to pow-wow with the lawyer yet again. While there, I aquirred the last of the necessary power and hand tools. I also was able to get my paws on the necessary materials to complete the first batch. With all this ground work, I'll be able to dive right into production as soon as I get outta this Asian sub-continental nightmare.

What the hell are you talking about with my mouth getting my ass into trouble on this forum ? ? ? I've been totally up front on all issues, even that Uncle Ken screw up from a few years ago. By the way, that particular sitar is sitting in N. Carolina, it's future uncertain.

I will indeed do " US ALL " , ( are you the official spokeman )??? a favor and produce sitars in the USA. I WON'T show you or anybody how its done, bank on that. That will be a very classy thing to do. Actually, I thought some of my rants HAD a touch of class. Maybe not. I suppose "US ALL" will have to decide that.

You've promoted yourself with considerable class just by setting up your online operation. Salute again. I tried the same promotion with the best instruments I could produce in India. WE saw how that turned out. I can still back up the limited run I co-produced over the past few years as I was still in control at that time. I will beat that effort by light years with an entirely different product once I get my troubled ass back into the USA.

As they say here " sorry for the delay " !

Jeeeeez! As if I didn't have enough going on! Cheers !

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Djinn Fizz

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Reply with quote  #21 
Paul Theroux in his book "The Elephanta Suite" speaks of some Indians affected propensity to pridefully and pedantically orate their pleasure, in taking credit for repeatedly re-inventing the wheel. I have noticed how many Westerners who, after spending time in India, learn to imitate the ubiquitous Indian head wag. Many here in the US find this harmless artifice to be an amusing party trick. Sadly, Mr. K, has become afflicted with the former, much less charming affectation.
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festus

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Reply with quote  #22 
Brother Tony... I'm on your side on this

There's none so blind as those that keep their eyes close and just like to fumble about

You've freely helped me to perform repairs and tweak mystuff so I may perform to the best of my ability. I had been doing the best I could before joining this forum... I did alot of things earlier on that were incorrect... hell they were pitifull.... Almost 40 years since I started playing the sitar and doing my own repairs......... their are some of the greatest people in the world right here in front of your eyes..... and some who are just Takers & only give for a price... and watch out what they hand you.

Thank you to all you Tweakers :Tony, Coyootie, brother Sitardoc, U2 Martin and they rest of yous' ( you know who you are)

Peace Out

.
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coyootie

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Reply with quote  #23 
well y'all, Tony has been extremely generous and helpful and his innate enthusiasm for all thangs sitar has always been obvious. a resource like TK is very hard to find, especially one who has been so ready to offer hard-won advice.
anyone who has had any experience dealing with india's unique ideas about craftsmanship, integrity or trust would understand only too well why TK has gotten just a bit sour on the people he's worked with.
a public "THANKYEW TK" is hereby offered by another person who has benefited from his help and advice!
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Djinn Fizz

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Reply with quote  #24 
Bottom line is that in India everybody in the business steals other people's ideas and designs and it's been like that forever, but Mr. K being a firenge seems to think that we should all be enthralled by the soap opera of martyred outrage over the fact that he, out of millions of people in India, isn't exempted and unaffected by the the local code of business ethics.
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Lars

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Reply with quote  #25 
Sorry to hear of your continuing visa troubles Tony....I don't wish to have this discussion portrayed as 'this side or that', I think it's childish. I simply responded to a post where you were seeking to promote yourself at my expense. And enough of the 'clunky' reference, for those who don't know it was me who coined the term in reference to the sitars RA made for Tony. Most sitars from everyone are this way, I have a preference for low profile necks and so any sitar whether it be an RR grand pro or RA or whatever in the Kharaj Pancham style will be clunky to me in that the thicker neck combined with the fret style make it more cumbersome to move up and down when playing.

I can't credit design work to you for this particular sitar as you didn't make it, sorry. We have only your version on this forum of things that you've done. The story in India is different so I've just left a general description of the design as using elements from RA, etc. I don't care who designed what, etc., I just want to get good instruments to those who want them.

Your help to others is invaluable and I'm happy to recommend you and have in the past and if you ever get instruments going I'll also respond favorably. Just do me the simple favor of leaving what I'm doing out of your promotions and I'll respond in kind. With your similar experiences you know I have enough things to do than spend time on stuff like this. 8)

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Uncle Ken

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Reply with quote  #26 
Ah, my friend Tony. Please be very clear about: "I've been totally up front on all issues, even that Uncle Ken screw up from a few years ago. By the way, that particular sitar is sitting in N. Carolina, it's future uncertain."
Do you mean by the "Uncle Ken screw up" the Sitar that I ordered from you, gave you $1k up front and in something like 13 months you never made? The one you said "got placed on the back burner and was somehow left there"? The one that you told me was never made and never delivered to NC? Would that be the one that you are now saying is "sitting in NC"? Or would that be the second sitar that I completely refinished for you, the sweet little vintage Bina that you told me you were going to fix up for your wife, the one that I gave you 13 Ebony sympathetic pegs as a gift for and the very sitar I did an extra nice job on with Behlan's Gloss Instrument lacquer and the same sitar you told me to just go ahead and "Burn it in the back yard" if it was in my way since you completely forgot about it? Or would it refer to the fact that you represented my work in photographs to your client as being your work and that the photo's of my shop were represented to your client as being "your" shop?
So which would it be Tony? I only ask because your post makes it sound like some sort of screw up that I'm responsible for and that because I canceled the order it's now "sitting in NC, it's future uncertain." When in truth you specifically told me it was never made. You also stated that the same situation had occurred to at least four of your other clients who paid you up front. Is that what you refer to when you say "never pay up front?"
In specific reference to my Sitar order: you had misrepresented to this forum that I had backed out of the deal and that you were then "stuck" with an instrument that I ordered and backed out of, which was, as you have put it "a bold faced lie", lying directly to my face and to members of this forum as you knew at the time that the instrument was never made! Please reply to this post and make it clear exactly what you are referring to.
Remember as well that I've never said you didn't have any skill with the instruments nor have I ever stated that you haven't helped anyone. I never said you were a bad person or referred to you in any way as being incompetent other than in a business way which you have previously admitted. In my case you miserably and irresponsibly screwed up what could have been a very advantageous relationship for you. It certainly doesn't mean you treat everyone that way nor is the fact that you have helped some any indication that you haven't sorely mistreated others.
I, like Lars would never bother to post concerning you or your business practices, nor the way you have dealt with R.A. Sitarmaker who, it could reasonably be said, put you on the map by making "your" sitars for you and whom you've taken every opportunity to belittle. If it were not for your making a nefarious reference to my name, in an ambiguously negative manner I never would have bothered with this.
Please clear things up for us Tony as there are many here who respect your word due to your selfless help to them. As for what has gone on with your relationships in India let's just say that there are those over there that do not share your perspective, many here who are aware of "Indian" business practices and choose to do business with them anyway, and leave it at that.
Note as well that Keshav has had considerably more negative experiences with the "Indian" business thing but doesn't habitually bash them, even though he has every right to. Bruce, no doubt has run across much of the same but you have NEVER heard anything negative about it from him, talk about class. Lars also falls into this category which I know by personal experience. All have had the pleasure (?) of being involved with the Indian musical instrument business far longer than you and I daresay have not burnt as many bridges. Cheers, (as you say) . . . Uncle ken

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Keshavdas

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Reply with quote  #27 
I have class?
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #28 
OK ! In no particular order :

Djinn Fizz - your response underlines the true aspects of Indian business practices. It's amusing to read about but another thing to actually experience first hand. I'll check with the mirror and confer with wife type : 1 each regarding the head bob thing. If I'm indeed doing that head thing, I'll make a dedicated effort to stop. By the way, is there a particular code or 'language' to that head thing? There are numerous variants, some quite striking. This is no soap opera, by the way. This is a very real, disturbing and even frightening situation I'm in. Aspects of it are pointed out here in response to my production delay. If you live in India, you know what I'm talking about. The newspapers here are loaded with it. Perhaps reinventing the wheel ain't such a bad idea. Tweeking existing items often brings about good positive change. I hope to do just that in the months ahead.

Lars - I'm not promoting myself at your expense. If anything, I'm promoting you as amuch as I can. Since I've dropped the entire Miraj production, I really hope you get some good stuff out of them. Regarding the neck issue, I intentionally had them thicker to defeat the flexing issue. I think the Calcutta sitars are generally made with a denser wood. The Hemen I used to have was a true mahogany, not tun. Nice slick neck. Could never get that from the available wood in Miraj. If the homies build you sitars with your requested neck dimensions, do verify the flex factor. If good, then my expectations were in error.

Ken - I fear the "my friend Tony" reference may be laced with sarcasm. I sure hope not. The 'screw up' I refer to was indeed the back burner shuffle I messed up back when. Those interested can scroll back inthe archives. That was totally my doing and again, I apologise to you for that. That chopped sitar appeared with the following shipment in a standard fiberglass case along with a few of the other all wood chopped sitars. At the time, as the homies pointed out, it had not been made. They followed through alright, just way behind shedule. - and that makes me look like a 5 star liar to you. This goes to further illustrate the frustrations of getting instruments right, getting them delivered, forget about on time. Once again, control was lost in it's production and delivery. The fact it made it to NC at all is quite an accomplishment. I've done everything I can to make amends with you, Ken. I've apologised to you in person and here on the forum. All cash deposits and extra were delivered to your door. I've promoted your unmatchable talents here on the forum and elsewhere to all interested. I'm pretty much exhausted now.

The 'Bina' and the little one are safe in cases in NC waiting for my final return. Those are in no way screw ups. Quite the opposite! Those are examples of brilliant refinish work. Regarding shop photos, I need to know exactly what you mean saying I refered you and your shop as being examples of my work. I have never said any such thing to any one. I have always given you full credit for your work. You, or someone you refer to may have gotten that impression . Bring it up here and I'll clear that up immediately. I can't imagine where you got the idea I was trying to claim your work as mine. That needs to be taken care of immediatley. I don't give a rats ass about the India side of things now. I do care about how you regard me. You can be as pissed off as much as you like regarding my screw up with that chopped sitar. There's nothing more I can do about that but I'm always open to suggestions. You thinking I'm a liar or Indian seller will not be accepted. Lets get those details up and we'll address them together.

R A Sitarmaker is a 7 generation shop along with the 30 odd shops in Miraj. They are big on tanpuras. That is the Miraj claim to fame. The sitar selection when I showed up in 2002 was deplorable. Crude hack jobs at best. RA was the only shop who would actually listen to my ideas rather than try to shove a sitar in my face for a "special price". Seeing the potential, I collaborated with them to produce what we've all seen in the past on my website. For you to say that they put me on the sitar map is pure fantasy. Such a statement can only be the product of your ongoing rage against me. Look at any pre-2002 sitar made in Miraj and compare them to the stuff currently in production - the results of the great handbook I stupidly left there. You and anybody with half an eye will see the glaring difference in design and overall quality. Now nearly all the principle importers in the USA have the RA line. Do you really think that would have happened without my direct input ? ? ? Not bloody likely ! ! !

To all those forumites I've been able to assist, my heart felt thanks. Retaining maintenance info as the stuff of the inner sanctum is total crap. The instrument and its upkeep cannot progress if there is a bottle neck in the way. It's clear I'm not in this dance hall to turn a profit. I just don't have the skills or stomach for it. My profit comes elsewhere and totally unrelated to sitars and all things ICM. This is a good thing. It keeps each identity clear.

Keshav - yes, you have class, and a cast iron stomach !!!

I think I'm done here for now. - - as I and at least half of the former England say - "Cheers"!

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Djinn Fizz

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Reply with quote  #29 
It's not your complaints about the bureaucracy and immigration issues that anyone finds annoying. On that you have everybody's full support. But the "soap opera" of your constant bad-mouthing of everyone in Miraj that people find objectionable. You're beating a dead horse. When you were in your hay days - the stuff out of Miraj was all peachy. But now Mr. K has left the house, it's all suddenly crap and firewood. It's the whole "white man's burden" thing and it's so clearly a case of sour grapes. People all over are buying and selling sitars from Miraj and demand for more RA Sitarmaker instruments by satisfied musicians shows that dealers and customers all around, don't agree with your assessment of the breed. You had your time in Miraj and the curtain has fallen. Why after all this time the need to rain on everyone else's parade? It would seem to many here that you resent the fact that folks in Miraj are not only standing on their own two feet (without your help) but they are actually thriving. For how many years will we have to listen to you taking credit for the success of a seven generation industry? Time to move on Tony. Build on what you know and what you have and stop moaning about what should have been. You are a constructor, be constructive.
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #30 
Djinn Fizz - right on all counts. That horse is truely dead. Construction is indeed the direction to go. It's killing me not being able to do just that. I can't even wash the dishes here. It's not my job ! Paws are itching to carve some wood ! ! ! Fair enough. You won't hear any more out of me. Good ? ? ? Good for me. Cheers !
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