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AbdulLatif

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Posts: 449
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi,
Hey I'd like to encourage people to do extensive reviews of their instruments. This section of the forum is "approved" by Dave for reviews of any instruments #1: Owned privately. #2. Not for sale. #3. In the ICM stringed instrument category.
Instruments owned and played by Vendors are acceptable.

The Banjo and Guitar Forums are full of reviews and they are quite useful. All years and makes are good for giving an overview of a particular makers history as well as a range of opinions of their products. more objective info is really helpful. Basic construction, materials, fit/finish, customer service, price, and then the subjectives, sound, beauty, heaviosity? I'll be posting one ?soon? with a format that might be useful. The banjo forums review section is very good and sorted alphabetically. I chose two banjos based on reviews there and both winners.

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tommy

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Reply with quote  #2 
The only difficulty with this is that most guitars and banjos are mass produced to the same specifications where most quality sitars are handmade and slightly different. While the most reputable makers are pretty consistent with building many sitars that sound great, there will still be some slight variance between "models" etc. Guitars and banjos on the other hand sound more or less the same if they are the same model.

Most guitar and banjo quality feedback sites (like harmony-central etc) are extremely unreliable because you'll see a 150 dollar guitar and a 15000 dollar guitar both get ratings of 10. People are too subjective to give an objective opinion on something they've invested time and money on.

With that said, I can't accurately compare my sitar to others because I have played so few and don't think I could compare it accurately to others of better/less quality, sorry.
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sitarman

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Posts: 599
Reply with quote  #3 
Good point, Tommy. I know that several members own quite a few sitars, but I would guess that the majority of us will own one or two really good ones in our lifetime- mainly because of price and limited selection compared to guitars, which are mass produced or semi massed produced and are available in every city in the country. The percentage of hands-on workmanship does make for more varirance in sitars- even from the same builder. When I read a member's review of their new sitar with words like "this sounds better than any one i've played' or "this sitar has an incredible sound and feel" I have to chuckle. It is SO subjective. A person who likes the sound of Ravi's sitars would pick up a good VK style instrument and probably not be thrilled. Lokewise someone used to closed jawari would hate Ravi's instruments. Very personal, musical tastes. However, I enjoy instrument reviews because, in the long run, if many people are satisfied with a certain make, it says something about quality, and I find that I leasrn more about the instrument, it's care and tweaking, from reading others posts about their new loves.
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rex@sitar.co.za

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Posts: 675
Reply with quote  #4 
.. the other problem is that even cheaply made sitars can sound fanastic if tweaked correctly and Hiren Roys can sound like a tin can on a bad jawari day.

But, apart from sound, there is a lot there's a lot more that can be said about quality and style of workmanship. Simple "reports" of the instruments we own, rather than "reviews" would probably be fascinating to many here.
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AbdulLatif

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Posts: 449
Reply with quote  #5 
WOW Too much to reply too and lots of good points. A hundred dollar sitar and a five thousand dollar sitar might both get 10 ratings but most readers can seperate apples from oranges?
Any way I'm just a member here, If ya like the idea it use it, if not? Well its all good. ps check out the banjoforum...the reviews are well organized and helpful. Lots of stuff is subjective ask Heisenberg, but it would be interesting to A. learn about new or obscure makers. B. Have a data base of HK, RR, MKS, MPS, etc. Its all good fun fellas 8) I have a pic of a HR for instance that wouldn't make the cut at Mid East. What does that owner have to say?

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"Words are said to have a delusive nature (Mahamaya Matrika) because the word itself, although it may contain a reference to an object is often surrounded by clusters or Kulas of lesser Shaktis...."
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Andius

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Posts: 84
Reply with quote  #6 
AbdulLatif,

Excellent idea; of course owners may praise to heaven the sound of their own sitar while another player would be itching to tweak it drastically. Open/closed jawari and other variables give a very wide range of sound available; someone somewhere will like even the extremes.

My sitar is a middling model (can't afford a top-of-the-line one.) Its much better than the "student" (being polite here) model I had in the '70s.
Odered it online from JAS musicals here in UK. I know ordering sight/sound unseen is not to be recommended, but had no choice being out in the sticks here. Description: Good decoration, overall very sound (chikari posts, pegs etc all good). Had to move the bridge over to the centre so my thumb cleared chikari strings (see earlier post). Good sized gourd. Sounded just ok when new, but since Ive been doing jawari and general tweaking, it now sings! Signs of haste re;finish on it, i.e: frets and bridges applied when varnish still wet. But regarding the more important basic playability its fine. Will try to post pics/sound sample soon.
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AbdulLatif

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Posts: 449
Reply with quote  #7 
Heres a rough draft I came up with ops: Its probably too long and if the idea sticks it would be great to set up a method to sort by maker name. Maybe a member more adept at templates would want to change it or make it a stand alone template with catagory headings etc?

INSTRUMENT:Sitar BUILDER:Tony Karasek STYLE:Kharaj Pancham

Where purchased:Builder Year Purchased:2005 Price Paid:NA
       
Check here if you purchased the sitar used:        

How does it suit your music style (and what is that style)?:

How do you set it up for the best sound?:

Rich/Full sound? Loud? Bright sound?:
       
               
Was the sitar setup well when you purchased it?:

What setup changes have you made, or would you recommend?:

Was the sitar easy to make setup changes to?:
       
               
Is it easy on the eyes?:

What type of wood/finish/inlay work does it have?:

Any custom inlay/wood work done?:

Did the sitar contain any appearance flaws (finish flaws, poor quality wood, poorly made bridge/nut/tailpiece, low quality pegs, sapwood etc)?:
       
Does the sitar seem like it will last?:
Is the finish good enough to last, are the frets loose/cheap?:
       
If you've dealt with the company, how helpful/friendly were they?:

Ever try and get it repaired? Was it under warranty?:

How long is the warranty?:
       
What are some of the standout components (parts)?:

Are there weak or cheap parts that should be upgraded?
       
Would you recommend this sitar, for the price you paid?:

Do you love it, hate it--what's your favorite feature?:

Questions you wish you'd asked before buying it?:

Comparisons to other sitars you've played?:
       
Overall Rating :wink:        
       
[/u]

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"Words are said to have a delusive nature (Mahamaya Matrika) because the word itself, although it may contain a reference to an object is often surrounded by clusters or Kulas of lesser Shaktis...."
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