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Sillofthedoor

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi there is a particular model of travel sitar you see everywhere, same design at widely variant prices and further more all sorts of brand names on them, not the big guys, you understand but lots of different people claiming to have made them.

Here is an example of what I think can only be a wildly overpriced one:

http://www.gumtree.com/p/for-sale/electric-sitar/1044517933#photo-content

My question is this: Is there likely, can there be any real difference in quality between this one and the ones going on ebay for half that price? Also what is the story behind them, some kind of mass production to be sure...?

I am not thinking of buying this by the way, I think the guy is a bit star struck (sitar struck?) by his teacher....I would like a travel sitar but would prefer one that had some degree of uniqueness and personal design to it...although I have to go to Australia on business soon and want one for there yet have very little cash to spare for one so...

Funnily enough that is the exact reason the owner in the advert above gives for selling his, lol. Hang on no he doesn't only in another add he gives "My reason for sale is I am leaving the UK for a job in Australia in a few weeks and will have to travel light."

http://www.worthpoint.com/worthopedia/handmade-electric-sitar-camel-bone-271233072

in the first add he gives arthritis. hmm anyway, I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole now. still anyone have answers to the questions?
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Three5Seven

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Reply with quote  #2 
The ones on eBay can be just terrible... frets tied on with fishing line, cheap transducers, super low quality wood and inlays that start warping in mere months... no resonance so it sounds like a broken banjo when you play it... I learned the hard way. I'm all set with eBay sitar shopping from now on. Especially the cheap stuff- that low price is a big red flag.
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Sillofthedoor

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Reply with quote  #3 
Quote:
The ones on eBay can be just terrible... frets tied on with fishing line, cheap transducers, super low quality wood and inlays that start warping in mere months... no resonance so it sounds like a broken banjo when you play it... I learned the hard way. I'm all set with eBay sitar shopping from now on. Especially the cheap stuff- that low price is a big red flag.
Just to be clear: Are you talking about this actual design (which is sold by so many)? Especially when you say "cheap wood" that is something else again, about the basic structure not just set up and finishing, and given that these all come from the one place (I assume anyone know?).
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nicneufeld

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Reply with quote  #4 
The verbage is pretty amusing...he throws in the autographed CD and a Squier amplifier, weird. "Carefully machined tuners" sounds like translation fail.

I had a travel sitar from RA Sitarmaker, with the solid carved wood tumba. The electronics were rubbish (as I think is often, if not nearly uniformly, the case on these instruments in their stock condition) but the sound was great acoustically. It was a great first sitar and I sold it to my teacher for his son. I still miss the ease of chikari tuning, but my current instrument sounds fuller and more clear. Mine was reasonably unique and I think if you go with a more trusted importer you should be able to find something like that. For me, seeing the plastic fender pot knobs on the tabli is the first indication that what we have here is not the highest quality instrument. At least it doesn't have that ghastly guitar style headstock...
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gillo

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Reply with quote  #5 
I have seen where these sitars have been made (they may be made elsewhere too) and I bought one when I was there in 2010 (see the pics/video where the jewari is being finished). This maker sends them all over India and I would assume that anything looking the same has come from there, subject to close scrutiny of other copies/versions. They are generally pretty stock standard and decent for a travel instrument. The one I bought is quite loud and sounds good tuned to D. The dandee is shorter and narrower than a standard sitar which makes it not ideal, but I have taken it on a few short trips and it has been great in terms of balancing mobility with being able to practice. The electrics are very crap but I have only used it for acoustic practice. I paid about US$180 with case and other bits and bobs direct from the maker. They are not a substitute for a standard sitar.

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/110975072504315704507/albums/5475193999383659569?authkey=CMrf2qCdn7ep1gE
https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/110975072504315704507/albums/5448787392941347681
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Sillofthedoor

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Posts: 155
Reply with quote  #6 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "gillo"
I have seen where these sitars have been made (they may be made elsewhere too) and I bought one when I was there in 2010 (see the pics/video where the jewari is being finished). This maker sends them all over India and I would assume that anything looking the same has come from there, subject to close scrutiny of other copies/versions. They are generally pretty stock standard and decent for a travel instrument. The one I bought is quite loud and sounds good tuned to D. The dandee is shorter and narrower than a standard sitar which makes it not ideal, but I have taken it on a few short trips and it has been great in terms of balancing mobility with being able to practice. The electrics are very crap but I have only used it for acoustic practice. I paid about US$180 with case and other bits and bobs direct from the maker. They are not a substitute for a standard sitar.

https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/110975072504315704507/albums/5475193999383659569?authkey=CMrf2qCdn7ep1gE
https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/110975072504315704507/albums/5448787392941347681
Thanks gillo, thats a mine of information there. Vey revealing...

I do notice that the layout of the electrics are different on the example I gave, no diagonal jack socket and the knobs are on the other side, indicating that this might be made elsewhere, almost all that I see are with the exact same layout as one from your source.
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