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Senior Member
Posts: 174
Reply with quote  #1 
I’m considering learning rudra veena. I’m in the USA, so I would have to mail-order an instrument. The only dealer I can find in the USA is Mid East, who sell a Banjira unit. Does anybody know if these are even intended to be used as instruments rather than decoration?

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Senior Member
Posts: 352
Reply with quote  #2 
I have nothing against in fact, I bought my first Rudra Veena from them.
But, it was not an inspiring instrument. It needed a lot of adjustments... string height,
jawari, fret adjustments, etc. If you add all of the expenses up, you may as well
buy one from Altab Sitarmaker and get a really good instrument.
After trying to 'fix' my mid-east Rudra Veena, it was still hard to play and never did
have a great Rudra Veena sound. But, it kept me moving forward.

Are you wanting to play a traditional style instrument, or Dagar style?
The mid-east instrument appears to be an Asad Ali Khan style, traditional
(as opposed to a bamboo, Shamsuddin style traditional). But, the mid-east
chikari pegs don't appear properly spaced.

Having said all that, the mid-east instrument 'looks' very nice. I don't know if mine was a Banjira.
I noticed the Banjira Rudra Veena string set indicates 'copper'. I'm not sure if they actually mean
copper, or if they are in fact, bronze. It makes a difference. I tried copper once and found it to
be very 'muted' sounding... no resonance. That's the last thing you want, for a Rudra Veena.
It would be nice, to play and hear one of these Banjira models, before buying.
It's selling for less, here (different model?)

My advice is figure out the total cost of the mid-east Banjira and talk to Maqsood, Altab's focal.

Compare the prices and see. If the Banjira needs work, can you take it to Tony Karasek or Scott Hackleman... or would you need
to ship it to and fro? Or, can you do it yourself?

I own two Altab Rudra Veenas and can testify they're great. My traditional teak model plays and sounds better than
my KanaiLal. The carving on the Altab is in a league of its own... exceptional.
Getting one custom made by Altab, you can choose how much to spend. No carving and simple decoration will still
sound great, and be a lot less expensive.

Good luck, keep us posted!

Senior Member
Posts: 174
Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks for responding! I think for now I’m going to stick with sitar and maybe pick up a surbahar. I have a local sitar teacher, and his guru is an old-school Indian player, but if I go to veena I have to do Skype lessons. So I’ll wait on the veena until I have a better understanding of raag.

Posts: 130
Reply with quote  #4 
BANJIRA are no good at all. They charge a fortune for low quality stuff - just check out their crap on Amazon & Ebay.
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