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s1owpoke

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Reply with quote  #1 
I am in the process of trying to make a decision on what kind of Tanpura I would like to purchase. It would be best if I were able to experience these in person but due to location it is not possible.

I will be using the instrument for some vocal practice, some meditation and on occasions for accompanying instruments.

I have only listened to a instrumental tanpura once in person which seemed a bit low in volume and did not have the full sound I would like to have but maybe it was the performer playing. Not sure.

I looked at the full size tanpuras with the gourds which sound amazing!! I am worried about the ease of them breaking, cost and size.

I see that Monoj Kumar Sardar makes a flatback version which seems to be a nice fit. I have read that the sound projection is nice and has deep rich sounds. It is big but does not have the gourd so it is smaller in that way and less chance of breaking. The only problem is that I can not find any video or sound file of one playing. I would love to hear!! If anyone has one or knows where I can hear one, please send me a response.

I would love to hear some opinions from experienced people. I am still very much new and learning.

Shanti

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"Real music is not for wealth, not for honours or even the joys of the mind... but as a path for realization and salvation."
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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #2 
I am no expert in tanpuras, but...
If you want a small travel tanpura with a huge sound you should check out the "Personal Tanpura" made by Scott Hackleman.
http://www.raincitymusic.com/PersnlTamb.pdf

It is small and has a shallow wooden toomba.
I will tell you that the sound is awesome, and the bass response is incredible for such a small instrument.
Just a thought.
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plectum

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Reply with quote  #3 
Are the smaller tanpuri any good or is it better to go for a full-sized tanpura?
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #4 
Some of the Carnatak vocal tanpuras are shallow backed all wood construction. These are the best of all worlds. The full length strings provide the vocal range it seems you're looking for. The all wood construction and shallow profile offer the obvious. If you can find a vintage "Ramjee" brand tanpura, you'll have it made. The shops in Miraj are making a similar version of this instrument type. I've owned a tanpura like this in years past ( Ramjee ) (( still miss it )) and the sound volume, quality and projection was amazing. I expect the Miraj copies would be most suitable for your needs. Here are the links to ones I've found on eBay. The general quality will be ok but there may be a few things like loose pegs, etc. to attend to to get these running properly. The "male" and "female" listing are the true vocal size. The "travel" type will be short enough where it will be necessary to tune it one octave higher or else serve to accompany instruments in the C - D - E range.

http://cgi.ebay.com/MALE-TRAVEL-TANPURA-MIRAJ-TABLA-HARMONIUM-SITAR-SAROD-/390317851205?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5ae0c1c245

http://cgi.ebay.com/FEMALE-TRAVEL-TANPURA-MIRAJ-TABLA-HARMONIUM-SITAR-SAROD-/390317851246?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5ae0c1c26e

http://cgi.ebay.com/TRAVEL-TANPURA-MIRAJ-MADE-TABLA-HARMONIUM-DILRUBA-SITAR-/220790932238?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item33682a430e

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cwroyds

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Reply with quote  #5 
There are some nice ones at Raincitymusic too.
http://raincitymusic.com/tanpura.htm

The Hiren Roy looks pretty cool.
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Lars

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Reply with quote  #6 
You can call if you like and I can play the MKS flatback over the phone. I like them, no they're not as loud as a full size but fairly close. Same deep octave, a lot of fun and quite long. I'll get a sound sample over the summer probably....
Instrumental tanpuras will be lower volume and one octave higher.
A compromise could be a box tanpura which is the same low octave as the MKS flatback but small.


Lars
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s1owpoke

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thanks for all of the info!! This is a fantastic site.

I am just starting to sing so my SA for now is A#. I hear that over time it may go lower so I am wondering if a male or female tanpura would be better suited for me. I think the females natural note is lower G and male lower C.

any advice?

thanks

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S1owpoke

"Real music is not for wealth, not for honours or even the joys of the mind... but as a path for realization and salvation."
Ustad Ali Akbar Khan
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #8 
Shai: wife type: 1 each sings in Ab, A, A#. I would go with a "ladies" vocal tanpura given those specs. String gauge and length can also play a big part in workable pitch range for the chosen instrument. If you're needing a few steps higher, go to a thinner string and you'll be there. Limited range here as the cheese factor in sound quality will set in. Thicker strings give a lower pitch range while still maintaining a comfortable string tension. Keep sound quality as well as strain on the neck in mind when setting your baby up. Have fun !
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