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coyootie

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https://picasaweb.google.com/105415539596594041760/2012_06_21

I had a neat old upper tumba languishing in my workshop, so I put it on my favorite old Sher Mohamed sitar. The varnish matched the main tumba perfectly. The bracket's attached with 3 screws, this is the way to go, rock solid and excellent contact to the neck= best sound transmission. The tumba is a funny shape I'd not seen before, a natural gourd with a very broad wooden top- looks like a cooking pot. it is tuned just at the Pa of the sitar, a miraculous bonus. As any good upper tumba should do, it definitely enhances the sitar's sound.
I added a taraf puller like on Tony's wonderful vintage sitar he'd shared recently. I was intrigued to note the neck is pine, quite obvious when I bored the hole for the puller.
I also retied all the frets which were done with monofilament and were wobbly. I used some nylon crochet thread I'd found at Hobby Lobby, looks like natural silk and is slightly stretchy. This cord worked perfectly- when tieing on the frets, just pull really tight, and the stretch really anchors the frets. This improved the playability and sound considerably.
I took the main bridge down 2 mm to lower the action, this had the result of dropping it 1 mm to 9mm at the highest fret. I carefully copied the angle on the feet and miraculously the jawari was fine,needed no tweaking...... when I did this I found the tabli was also pine!
I moved the taraf bridge over just past the Ma string, which entailed a restring, so , good fresh strings. The taraf bridge had some shirtboard (!!!!) glued under the feet that I replaced with Spanish cedar- just like tun wood.
I refit the pegs just a tad, they were good to begin with, but I took off just a teeny bit at the small end so they turn perfectly now. The pegs were fairly long to begin with so there was no risk of ending up with too- short taraf pegs.
Discovering pine was used for the construction really floored me. I've had 3 Sher Mohamed sitars which were all super instruments, all sounded great and were very well built.I suspect all the black varnished ones form this workshop are pine. Based on the solidity ( this sitar was made at the time of Partition if not somewhat before!) the sound and the care that went into the work, the use of pine must be deliberate and not a cost cutting measure. If anyone's in Lahore and can ask the guys in the still-going Sher Mohamed workshop about this, it would be very enlightening. to know.
anyhow fellow sitarwallahs, any tweaking you do, like retieing your frets, pays off bigtime in playabilty and sound.
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coyootie

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Reply with quote  #2 
hmm, found an article online from a Pakistani newspaper- there's a pic of the workshop, and it looks pretty conclusive that the sitar shown is pine.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/259173/musical-heritage-the-last-of-the-sitar-makers/
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OM GUY

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Reply with quote  #3 
Very interesting read, indeed. By the way:

" I also retied all the frets which were done with monofilament and were wobbly. I used some nylon crochet thread I'd found at Hobby Lobby, looks like natural silk and is slightly stretchy."

Please do elaborate on what this is, what the package says, as I will be at this store in a few days. I would like to take a look-see at this "thread".

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Let's hope 2016 is less violent and that people discover the soothing influence of ICM. Hari OM!
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povster

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "OM
Very interesting read, indeed. By the way:

" I also retied all the frets which were done with monofilament and were wobbly. I used some nylon crochet thread I'd found at Hobby Lobby, looks like natural silk and is slightly stretchy."

Please do elaborate on what this is, what the package says, as I will be at this store in a few days. I would like to take a look-see at this "thread".
Also if you could mention if any gauge is mentioned or other identifying factor in case there are other sizes of this thread.

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Dasani - the official bottled water of ICM
Panini - the official bread of ICM
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coyootie

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Reply with quote  #5 
package/label long gone but it should be pretty obvious-they have a large selection of colors in the stuff.
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povster

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Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "coyootie"
package/label long gone but it should be pretty obvious-they have a large selection of colors in the stuff.
Not as obvious as you may think. One or two gauges in either direction can result in either too weak for that good pull, or too fat for the number of loops you want. Believe me, I've been there hitting jewelry/bead stores for their nylon threads and eyeing them. Although the one gauge too thin stuff I o0nce bought makes tremendous thread for tying down the pancham/kharaj hooks to a fret!

Best solution I guess is to take a sample of the thread you want to match and look for the matching gauge.

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Dasani - the official bottled water of ICM
Panini - the official bread of ICM
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