INDIAN MUSIC FORUMS

Sign up Calendar Latest Topics Chat
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment   Page 2 of 2      Prev   1   2
Repairman77

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 51
Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "fossesitar"
The pegs on most sitars are just........ beastly. I wonder if ebony would help
Well they almost exclusively use ebony for violin pegs and they certainly are better to tune than these relatively soft-wood ones; at least we can use beads on the first 4 which is a real godsend.
0
fossesitar

Registered:
Posts: 983
Reply with quote  #17 
Yep as a violin player I know those pegs work INFINITE:Y better.
Of course not only are the pegs ebony (a hardwood) but the pegbox
is maple (another hardwood but softer than ebony).
0
Repairman77

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 51
Reply with quote  #18 
On the same subject as tuning I did find that the 2 bronze and 1 brass strings did have a tendency to unravel from their loop when tuning up, despite having many turns on the loop end; instantly cured by running a small amount of solder down the twist. Brass and bronze take to solder well. Depending on the metal this may work with the steel strings as well but due to their harder nature I don't seem to have a problem with them unravelling provided they have enough turns.

Mike.
0
fossesitar

Registered:
Posts: 983
Reply with quote  #19 
Good info Repairman, thx very much. I have had problems with both loop-end and ball-end strings from reputable makers "pulling out" when installed as a straight pull IE when used in cello fine tuners for example. It is for this reason I began to use Fender "Bullet" strings on my sitars which have no such issues. However, after sourcing same and buying in quatity Fender decided they will no longer sell single dtrings from the bullet line, guitar sets only which is useless for my sitar. So I have gone back to what has been proven to work - bending the loop-end or ball-end string at 90 degress before terminating it just as we do on the banjo and just as they do for sitar. The additional leveridge given by the 90 degree bend makes a big difference, guess the ol boys knew what they were about.....

Windings on loop-end or ball-end strings definitely contribute to tuning "drift" and tuning issues at least until they settle in as I discovered when I used the bullets which stretch in after one or two pulls and give no further tuning problems after that. Much better design.
0
Repairman77

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 51
Reply with quote  #20 
I also found that the brass and bronze strings do stretch a lot more than the steel ones until they settle, which is understandable as they are a lot softer metal.

Oh for a set of custom made Grovers for the sitar. :roll:
I have noticed that there are now some sitars (mostly short scale) made with the top 5 strings fitted with geared tuners, but unfortunately I think it spoils the look of the instrument.
0
fossesitar

Registered:
Posts: 983
Reply with quote  #21 
I could not agree more about spoiling the appearance. After 8 years of constant though and expirimentation in attempting to optimize a tuning system for the 17 strings on my electric sitar I have (it appears) arrived at a combination of the new and the old. Since the swans, or beads, are so simple and effective (or can be if all the angles etc are optimized) I am using them for the 4 main strings with (as it happens) locking Grover tuners for the two chikari and the 12 taraf. Main strings are bent 90 degrees at each end of the neck (which goes entirely under the table plate) and terminated into zither tunung pins at both ends - one end being tuned, the other just termination. Zither pins one for each string - are very adaptable since you can feed a ball-end string through or loop a loop-end string over the post......

Since there is no perfect solution my system offers the player the opportunity to lose the tuning pin wrench.
0
nicneufeld

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,564
Reply with quote  #22 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Repairman77"
Oh for a set of custom made Grovers for the sitar. :roll:
I have noticed that there are now some sitars (mostly short scale) made with the top 5 strings fitted with geared tuners, but unfortunately I think it spoils the look of the instrument.
It's anathema to a lot of players for lots of good reasons (imagine a violin sporting guitar tuners...) but I can't express how much I've become a believer in these...my sitar is a "studio" model and the main and chikari strings are all mechanical tuners. Tuning is so easy, and it holds its tune remarkably well. Compare that with my rikhi ram tanpura, which I struggle with, and it only has five total strings, and tuning them is frustrating venture where I have to put inward pressure on the peg to get -just so much- of a turn without overshooting, and then having to tweak the fine tuning piece back and forth, ensure it has plenty of room to move if needed, etc. etc. It ends up feeling a lot like that "clipper ship" analogy, and that's just to keep four Sa's and a Pa in tune.

They do look ugly a bit, yes, but I'm sure a builder could devise a nice way to integrate them with an acoustic sitar...perhaps custom wood carved knobs, to start with, and something matte and ungaudy for the metal components. But put it this way...I had a lot of misconceptions as a guitarist that I brought with me to sitar, that I've eventually come to realize my error on, but this is not one of them (yet! ). If I were having a sitar custom made, I'd skip the kuntis, beautiful and traditional though they are, and go for machine tuners. The tuning beads are essentially useless on my sitar because a string can be so quickly and accurately adjusted with the knob.

The huge caveat: your mileage may vary. These are my preferences/experience only.
0
Repairman77

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 51
Reply with quote  #23 
I guess with all instruments over the decades we just get used to what they look like, but if we'd never seen an original sitar and then saw one with geared tuners for the first time we'd accept that.

Personally I like the look of the original sitar but one with all geared tuners would certainly be easier to play.

Incidentally mine always stays in tune as long as I don't approach it within 2ft.
0
theteacher

Registered:
Posts: 29
Reply with quote  #24 
Here is a way I tune that I haven't read exactly yet.

I tune by ear but I use the drone on iTabla pro on my iPod touch. I start with a Sa-Sa and tune the Sa. If my next sympathetic is Re, I would set my electronic Tampura to Sa-Re so the Re is an Indian Re, not a western "D" (if it was C). Then set to Sa-Ga on the Tampura and so on. This way, I hear the Sa the whole time but also hear a true tuning of the note I'm tuning to. I'm so much happier with my tuning since doing this. Sometimes I go back through, but I like the results and it saves time for me. I do the same with the playing strings after sympathetics. Tuning can be frustrating for beginners like myself, but his really gets it dead on and takes out some guess work, but still has the "ear" component to get it right. Take care - Randy
0
nicneufeld

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,564
Reply with quote  #25 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "theteacher"
I tune by ear but I use the drone on iTabla pro on my iPod touch. I start with a Sa-Sa and tune the Sa. If my next sympathetic is Re, I would set my electronic Tampura to Sa-Re so the Re is an Indian Re, not a western "D" (if it was C). Then set to Sa-Ga on the Tampura and so on.
Excellent idea! I may have to try this!
0
psirotta

Registered:
Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #26 
Find Sa by gently pressing the finger on the Ma string just in front (toward the tumba) of the Sa or Sa' fret and plucking as you quickly raise the finger. This gives a high harmonic "true" Sa tone you can use to tune the Ma string accurately. All other strings can be tuned to it by ear. That's how I was instructed.
0
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.