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Adam A

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Reply with quote  #1 
There has been a lot of talk about Surokar harmoniums, does anybody know where one can purchase one (or even see a photo)

I have been playing harmoniums for many years (mostly Paul & Co and Haribhau Vishwanath) and would like very much to see/hear/play a Surokar.
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Lars

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Reply with quote  #2 
I don't know anyone that has these in stock, they are very good harmoniums though. I ordered one for somebody awhile back and was in their shop a few weeks ago checking it before shipment. The tone is nice, they run a little sharper than A440. As for holding air, it's the best I've seen ever. Everything is made right in their shop, I have some video clips playing it, etc. Send me a PM as the clips aren't for public viewing, was only to verify its condition before shipping which went well thankfully...
DMS harmoniums are pretty good also, I like the tone of the Paul & Co...I've had several scale changers from them but I think the air chambers could be better.

Lars

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Marcio

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hi all

About Surokar Harmoniums I can give my impressions: I have a surokar, bought a couple of weeks ago through Lars. I must say it´s really different from all the others I have played. The tone is very peculiar, very refined and very beautiful. Different from all harmoniums I have played.

It lacks at the moment some homogeneity between the notes in terms of some appearing to sound louder than others, but i think it is still suffering from the long trip to Brazil, because it´s getting better day by day. It arrived with a very "timid" sound but it flourished dramatically after a week of playing it

It has a very good loud sound as well, I had not the impression others in this forum had before of surokar harmoniums being very soft. It´s soft, but when you pump well....

The overall exterior finishing is very "normal" nothing better than others I have seen. On the other hand, the interior finishing is superior to others I have seen. They really take very good care of the "insides", it doesn´t have any piece of wood that is not painted or lacquered inside the harmonium. Even the air passage tunnel between the outer and inner bellows is made of lacquered teak wood. This is not normal... all the keys painted carefully by the inside as well as the "wood chambers" that houses them carefully painted as well. they have this type of care

The sustain is fantastic, the best I have seen, and the easiness to pump is fantastic as well. Very light, it "breathes" very well indeed

In terms of sustain DMS harmoniums are very good as well, particularly the DMS 3s types. I have played Paul CO harmoniums and didn´t like ( at least the one I played) the sustain. They seem not to hold air

HOpe to have helped about surokars
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Adam A

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Reply with quote  #4 
thanks for the reply guys, much more information than I had before about these illusive harmoniums.

Lars, where is their shop in india? you seem to be the man that knows the most about these harmoniums, would you say it was better than a Paul & Co (depending on playing the right one of course)

Marcio, I am very interested in how you describe your Surokar, I like nothin better than a good sounding harmonium with great sustain.

do you know of anyone in the UK that would have one?
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Adam A

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Reply with quote  #5 
Also..is it a scale changer?
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Marcio

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Reply with quote  #6 
Hi Adam

I think nobody sells these harmonium outside India... and even there you have to wait for them to build one for you... I don´t think they have a lot ready for selling

It´s not a scale changer, i don´t like scale changers.... i asked for a bass/male collapsible teak wood harmonium, no coupler
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Lars

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Reply with quote  #7 
Marcio and I had a lot of fun with this order!....To answer the question of comparison my opinion is that the Surokars are better than the Paul & Co harmoniums due to the details which Marcio pointed out. The shop is in Kolkata somewhere, I forget exactly where....

Lars

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Keshavdas

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Reply with quote  #8 
A few years back I mentioned in the forum that how impressed I had been with the Surokars and it earned me a lot of inquiries about them. I should say that my limited experience with the one Surokar I owned was almost 11 years ago. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then. What I liked about it was the very refined tonal quality. And the the keyboard action I thought was really silky. The reason I sold it was twofold. First - it didn't have much volume and second, the windchest was so tight - that the bellows would become compressed and stiff in a very short time. Too many harmoniums have exactly the opposite problems. And remember . . . this one piece that I had owned - was only one out of many that have come out of the Surokar workshop. When I heard from Lars recently telling me that a customer of his liked his DMS harmonium better than the Surokar I had to laugh. It's all so subjective. Possibly too - there is the "familiarity breeds contempt" factor involved too. I sell so many DMS scale-changers that I've become a bit jaded and take their quality somewhat for granted.
Cheers,
Keshav

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Lars

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Reply with quote  #9 
Actually I think it wasn't that he liked the DMS more but certain aspects or ??? I thought the Surokar was very good myself. It's Marcio from the forum that bought it, perhaps he'll see this post and elaborate for us....
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Marcio

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Reply with quote  #10 
I compared one DMS Harmonium of the DMS 3S type ( this one which is Calcuta style, but no scale changer) with the Surokar I have just received...

What I told is that the DMS has a very good sustain, almost as good as the Surokar and its outside finishing was as good as the surokar.

This DMS that I have has steel reeds, very sensitive, all reeds work very well, even the highest ones and the surokar arrived with problems with the male set of reeds, they were all lazy... so the first impression wasn´t the best at all. But the Surokar Tone improved in a few days, all the reeds started to work and so on

In terms of tone and sound the Surokar is superior without a doubt, mainly because it has a very peculiar sound, deep but at the same time refined, once Keshav said that it was like "butter" describing his impressions and perhaps this is a good word as I don´t know exaclty how I would define it.

And it´s loud! Very potent sound.

But the DMS 3s is a very good harmonium, very good sustain, a very good outer finishing, and for those who like a very sweet sound... a very good sound.

But the Surokar is indeed a very special harmonium
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Marcio

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Reply with quote  #11 
I just forget... this one I have hasn´t any of the problems mentioned by Keshav.... it´s almost impossible to feel the "compression" and the sound is very loud.
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Keshavdas

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Reply with quote  #12 
Glad to hear that you've not experienced the same problems I did. That is why I'd mentioned that it had been a long time since I'd owned a Surokar and that it was not necessarily representative of others from the factory. If as you say the reeds are lazy - you should look them over, determine which ones are slow and re-set them to look like the ones that are working properly. A reed that is slow to respond - is either open too much or closed too much. When adjusting them - be gentle. If you're not comfortable with this process - you can try getting a copy of the Harmonium Handbook from Inni which had illustrated photos of reeds being adjusted. The large male reeds at the left hand side of reed board can be the most difficult to adjust as they tend to be floppy. This is especially so with Calcutta reeds which are quite a bit softer than most Delhi reeds. And much much more so than the steel reeds in your DMS harmonium.
Cheers,
Keshav

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Marcio

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Reply with quote  #13 
Thanks Keshav for the tips, but the reeds have adjusted by themselves, only the very high ones ( the last 3 notes actually) are still lazy, but I will wait they make no differente anyway. It´s strange, how the harmonium changed after a couple of days and everything seemed to work well.

I have the book, I think I learned almost everything that can be learned outside of India about harmoniums. The first harmonium I bought from Inni was severely damaged by UPS and I had to open it a thousand times, repair a lot of things.

THis Surokar LArs sent me from India through FEDEX, arrived perfect, without a scratch
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Lars

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Reply with quote  #14 
Just a note for people getting harmoniums shipped, since they're free reed instruments they're highly sensitive to changes in humidity, etc. This results in a short of shock that corrects itself after a few days. I've notice most instruments do this after shipping but since the reed frames are mounted on wood, harmoniums are especially sensitive....

Lars

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