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DreamingPanther

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Reply with quote  #1 
Help for slipping pegs:

I tried using sidewalk chalk (without wax) as others have suggested, but still found it hard to get pegs to stay. I didn't want to push the tuners in deeper and risk splitting the soft chocolate bunny of a neck. Pushing some is good, a lot is disaster.

So I have this ominous "first gig" coming up and I don't want to spend most of the two hours trying to get in tune! This forced me to start thinking outside the box. I looked into another friction-pegged instrument, the violin. Turns out violinists have some very good ideas on this subject. I found 1 great product (Ardsley Peg Drops), and 1 important string changing mistake I could correct. Both are mentioned in the video below. Together these two ideas have brought the harmonic happiness I needed.

Starting around the 3 minute mark, this violin video illustrates, the stringing mistake, and the peg drops concepts:




To help relate this to sitar, I've also drawn a cross-section illustration for the string winding thing. Pardon my crude drawings!

When changing/replacing strings I wanted to get the string inside the pegbox as quickly as possible so as not to kink it and thereby weaken it. To do this, I would wind the string tightly around the narrow end of the taper and push it through. This was my mistake! Here is what happens:
00Pulls Loose.JPG The string from the dand hole to where it's wound around the peg wants to pull the peg out of its hole. The tighter it gets, the looser the peg wants to get!

To remedy this, try winding the string as closely as possible to the wider side of the taper before you push it into the box (without interfering with the wall of the neck, of course). This way, the tighter you wind the peg, the more it gets pulled into the hole.
00Pulls Tight.jpg This technique, combined with one or two peg drops has worked WONDERS, and the thing stays in tune very, very well now!

Hope this helps someone else


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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #2 
What works for me is to set the peg in the hole (wire connected) and as the peg goes on in, pull up the wire out from the eyelet until you've bottomed out. Loop end is connected, by the way. Start winding the peg while holding onto the wire. As your wire holding hand gets closer to the neck, the wire is winding in a spiral until it feeds off directly under the eyelet. Straight pull is achieved. No kinks in the wire. All good. I'm really not a fan of that goop stuff. It is great on violins as they are made with maple, ebony and other super hard woods. Sitars are generally made of tun wood. This is much softer wood. The goop works for a bit but you still have out of round holes and shafts so a goopy band aid will not solve the problem. You must hit the shiney spots on the shaft with sandpaper and if obvious, the peg holes as well. Getting these holes and shafts as round as possible is the answer. Because the wood is soft(er), the oval situation will eventually return - the nature of the beast. Get those guys round and chalked.
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #3 
Oh yeah ! The bottom illustration above is not good. As illustrated, it certainly draws the peg into the neck as the wire is tightened. Too tight actually. If there is any kind of oval shape on the shaft or peg hole, this setup will only make it worse. That peg will end up being so jammed in that it will take a hammer and flat punch on the peg tip just to free it up and outta there. Having had to do this step many many times on repair work orders, I have to say this is not a good idea. With a new string, leave some extra slack , say about 6" past the eyelet so that there is enough wire to go around the peg shaft in a spiral one way or the other until the wire ends up feeding from a point directly under the eyelet.
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DreamingPanther

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thanks man! Straight down ought to work too. What I was doing was laughably wrong once I realized it... and that was definitely my biggest factor in slipping pegs.

I worried a little about buildup on the peg drops, and I'd read warnings on getting too much on there so its just a sticky goopy mess that has to be cleaned up. I did just one drop on each peg and it certainly seemed to help, but I will heed your advice and go spare on it. The woods ARE very different than violin's maple/ebony aren't they? Chocolate bunny is not a far-off description. But what a gorgeous sounding chocolate bunny. That wear factor is why I didn't want to just jam the pegs farther in.

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DreamingPanther

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00just right.JPG Illustration amended! Thanks SitarFixer!



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Hamletsghost

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Reply with quote  #6 
And they shall call him SITARFIXER

Tony K gives the best tips & tricks around.

Hey Panther....don't know where you hale from but think about getting 20 or so sitars in your area together (easier than you think) and hosting a Sitarfixer road show sometime. I have for the last 7 years and its a gas for sure. Write me (or Tony :roll: ) sometime for complete details...
The best part is the host gets to see his Sitarfixerness working on all the piles of babies in his home and gets an infinite amount of tips, tricks, good times, great stories, & you get to see a wonderful array or instruments ( had over 40 one time in the front room.... Wife IS a saint).
Good luck with your peg problems, & keep that enthusiasm. I have really enjoyed your myriad posts.
Nice to see that much excitement ...... break a leg on your first gigue.

Hamletsghost 8)

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DreamingPanther

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Reply with quote  #7 
Ahh I'm in Fort Worth TX... not sure I've EVER seen another sitarist in these parts! I'm sure they exist but darned if I can find 'em. Maybe this gig will draw one or two out of the woodwork.

I'm not sure what to expect as I have more courage than experience at this. Surely a trained sitarist will laugh and tell me I'm doing it all wrong, (because I know I am! Using all 4 left hand fingers and playing doublestops for one!)

But my hope is it tickles someone's ear, and they are inspired enough to look into this strange instrument a little further... maybe to fall in love with it the way I have.

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Greg

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "DreamingPanther"
Using all 4 left hand fingers


...i've used a quick light touch with an emery board, just enough to rough the wood up a bit...

..and I'm waiting for Tony K to cross the pond....

8)

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DreamingPanther

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Reply with quote  #9 
Thanks, yes I keep an emery board in my cedar box kit and hit the shiny spots too anytime a peg comes out for inspection.

I'm a little worried to hear from SitarFixer the ovals will one day form no matter how gentle I am... It's a little like hearing your delightful children who dance at your feet will one day be sullen teenagers who slam doors and text at the table.

"Say it ain't so, Joe!"

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