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rain

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Reply with quote  #1 
Just wondering what people have to say about the pros and cons of using a thicker gauge ma string
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Sanjeeb

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Reply with quote  #2 
If you are doing extensive pulling of the strings a thicker string would be better as it wont break easily.
Sanjeeb
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rain

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Reply with quote  #3 
I suppose I am also curious to know how a thicker string affects the general sound, and does it hinder any aspect of playing?
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Anonymous

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Reply with quote  #4 
In our experience here at Sitars Etc, There are 3 thicknesses in general use for 1st string. The first is .011 gauge which is used mostly by young students and very basic beginners. This permits them to learn how to meend and does not hurt as much at the beginning. Then there is what we consider the "standard" gauge for 1st string, .012. Above that is .013 and not many people call for that. .014 is surbahar thickness and we do get a lot of calls for that. It seems that people who have well trained meend muscles can further train and strengthen them by using .014. Also, I believe it was popular with Nikhil da.

I hope that helps.

Bharat
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rain

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Reply with quote  #5 
What would be the benefits of using a .013 string?
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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #6 
Don't forget the extra strain a thicker string will put on the whole sitar.

Nick
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neela sangeeta

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Reply with quote  #7 
My ma string packet says "3". Does that mean .013, can anyone translate these numbers on the packets to actual dimensions?

Thanks,
Neel
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Anonymous

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Reply with quote  #8 
Indian #3 is .012 gauge.

Bharat
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rain

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Reply with quote  #9 
Is there anyone on this forum who uses a .013 string (or who knows someone who does), and can describe their reasons for preferring this size?
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #10 
Ustad Shujaat Khan uses a .014 ma string tuned up to D! As if that isn't hard enough on the poor instrument, all the taraf are .010, the chikari are .010. Generally speaking, he uses one step thicker than standard strings all across and tuned up that extra half step. All that combined with a high profile airfoil shape bridge surface produces the dryest, non buzz sound possible. I set a sitar for him in this configuration resisting at every turn. He's telling me this combination gives him the response to string hits, the right volume and overall the right "sound". It's really difficult to nail that down to specifics that can be fully understood. With him happy after my string and jawari work, I can only describe that as loud, definately. The thicker strings do offer that aspect. Meend with this setup would require a true masters hand, or somebody with a bionic arm! Jawari lifespan on the ebony bridge - I cannot say. He loves them though so that might be a factor as well. For me, I could only feel a sitar crying out for help. Even with the deep shaped neck which can handle the extra load or so it is said, this Rikhi Ram axe was not at all happy. As one who always considers the instrument first, I wasn't happy either. Since I'm not a Pandit, Ustad or whatever, I just left it at that. My recommendantion is to limit string thickness to the 'standard' guages, either at C# or D. Experiment like crazy, by all means, but keep the instruments well being in mind.
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rain

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Reply with quote  #11 
Do you think that using .01 size for chikari adds much volume? Has anyone tried this who can tell the difference?
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Neal

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Reply with quote  #12 
Hi Rain,
Tony answered your question..."With him happy after my string and jawari work, I can only describe that as loud, definately. The thicker strings do offer that aspect.
Neal


Quote:
Originally Posted by "rain"
Do you think that using .01 size for chikari adds much volume? Has anyone tried this who can tell the difference?
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rain

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Reply with quote  #13 
You're right, he did answer my question! Thanks Tony for such a great response. I guess I was just hoping to get input from a larger number of people who prefer thicker strings.
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Joshua Feinberg

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Reply with quote  #14 
hi rain,

there is a lot to consider with regard to string gage. the Imdad Khani instruments are slightly shorter than that of Maihar. shorter string length means lower string tension so it is easier for them to use a higher gage string. i use the german system, which is #1, 2, 3, 4 etc. Most sitarists use a #3 and tune between C# and D. If you use a thicker string, you'll get a bit more sustain and a slightly bigger sound, but its much harder to play. Nikhilda experimented with a #4 for a while, but he said although he liked the sound, it was too tough on his hands. he used #3 most of his career. keep in mind that when you change string gages, you'll have to redo your jawari. same is true if you change your sa. all these same priciples can be applied to a change in gage on any of the main strings.

hope this helps.

jf

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Neal

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Reply with quote  #15 
Hi Josh, What is amazing to me is going from, say a .012 to a .013 is only 1/100 increase- yet the thicker wire feels like a cable. Much harder to fret in my opinion. I cannot imagine going up to a .014 gauge, let alone tuning it to D!
Neal
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