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katyrow

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Reply with quote  #1 
Can anyone explain this slotted thing just south of the meru in this sitar? I've not seen that before and wonder whether it mean the neck is warped or there was some other intonation issue requiring correction. Thanks.

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Lars

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Reply with quote  #2 
Those are used to correct problems or wear from aging. Some makers like to keep it all original so instead of replacing the nut they just add a piece like this to raise the action on that end, etc. or correct intonation which can change as the neck ages or bends a bit. The open part without the slots can be used as extra jawari for the kharaj strings as used by Nikhil Banerjee although it's largely useless except for on open strings and unless the neck is made longer it will mess up the kharaj intonation as well. Kharaj strings are normally sharp at the 2nd fret and so having an extra jawari surface there makes it even worse.

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sason

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Reply with quote  #3 
It is also used to make the distance between the upper nut to the jawari shorter so that the (old) sitar can be tuned to D with less tension and for easy pulling.
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barend

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Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "sason"
It is also used to make the distance between the upper nut to the jawari shorter so that the (old) sitar can be tuned to D with less tension and for easy pulling.
Are you sure? never heard of that. Although it could be a good idea for D tuning. What worries me is the distance to first fret (tivra Ma). Is there still enough room to play that fret?
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #5 
Regarding the jawari block at the nut, Having it there for the kharaj string WILL CORRECT the sharp fretted notes from that string. Example - say the distance from the nut to the second fret is 3 3/8". Open string SA is established. The second fret is played and the note is sharp. Not changing anything, fit the block under the string at the nut. That block is 5/8". That means the total string length is now 5/8" shorter and with that, the open SA will be sharp. That string then gets detuned back to a true SA to compensate for the new shorter string length. With this shorter string length and no movement of the frets, each of those frets is closer to the new string departure point. The second fret is now 2 3/4" away from the new departure point. In other words, each of those fretted notes will be lower in pitch than before the installation of the block. Lower in pitch means correction for the original sharp notes produced. Needed to clear that up and there it is.
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #6 
Hey, Sason ! The idea of this block allowing D tuning - I don't agree. That block would have to fill the gap between the nut and fret #1 to have that effect. The string tension is still the same anyway. I would also think the longer string would make for easier meend, not shorter. Meend range would be reduced a little bit with the longer string, depending on gauge and tension - not enough to worry about.

Hey, Barend ! Your concern over room to play fret #1 is valid. I fit one of these blocks to one of Gaurav Mazumdars sitars. It didn't work for him because he uses two fingers for kharaj meend work. Pt. Ravi Shankar got around the fret #1 intonation issue by pressing down on the kharaj string between the two nut strips ! ! Saw him do that many times. I offered to install a block but he passed - " old dog / new trick syndrome " !

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sason

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Reply with quote  #7 
I am surprise from the comments.
I heard about it from a few sitar players. My sitar is longer than the new ones and I was advised to add such a nut so that the tension will be lower. I also talked about it with Rikhi Ram (Ajay), and he knew what I am talking. He was reluctant to do this.
I also made a few temporary trails and it worked. But there was a problem the position of some frets.
I am more than satisfied about the current condition of my sitar, so I would not dare to do a permanent change.

Look hear:

http://forums.chandrakantha.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=8666&p=52316&hilit=sugato#p52316
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Lars

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Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Sitarfixer"
Regarding the jawari block at the nut, Having it there for the kharaj string WILL CORRECT the sharp fretted notes from that string. Example - say the distance from the nut to the second fret is 3 3/8". Open string SA is established. The second fret is played and the note is sharp. Not changing anything, fit the block under the string at the nut. That block is 5/8". That means the total string length is now 5/8" shorter and with that, the open SA will be sharp. That string then gets detuned back to a true SA to compensate for the new shorter string length. With this shorter string length and no movement of the frets, each of those frets is closer to the new string departure point. The second fret is now 2 3/4" away from the new departure point. In other words, each of those fretted notes will be lower in pitch than before the installation of the block. Lower in pitch means correction for the original sharp notes produced. Needed to clear that up and there it is.
Must have confused you. I'm referring to the use of this as a jawari surface which doesn't do anything really. If you turn it around so that you have it as an extended nut then of course it would work, in this case on the kharaj that's not being used from the picture. You can raise it of course and have a new departure point but then it can get murky and rattle unless a really sharp angle used and then just might as well do the extended nut in that case, yeah?. There's a much easier way to correct the kharaj intonation on most instruments anyway so why bother with the hassle of an upper nut anyway? In the case of this instrument it must have been to correct a worn nut since it's affecting the 1st and 2nd string. Have the same thing on my sitar, here's a pic: http://raincitymusic.com/vintagehirenroy/ohrbadge.jpg

Lars

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barend

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Lars"
There's a much easier way to correct the kharaj intonation on most instruments anyway so why bother with the hassle of an upper nut anyway?
Very curious about this! What is the easy way to correct that intonation of the Kharaj?
I have had the kharaj block on my Waseem sitar and was not happy with it at all. It was not set up right in the first place. That block is a PITA to set up right. But besides that I don't like having less room for your fingers. Especially when you use two fingers for meends. I can imagine why Ravi Shankar didn't want it on his sitar. Although better intonation on the kharaj is very welcome.
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Sitarfixer"
Pt. Ravi Shankar got around the fret #1 intonation issue by pressing down on the kharaj string between the two nut strips ! ! Saw him do that many times. I offered to install a block but he passed - " old dog / new trick syndrome " !
Are you sure he was bending between the two nut strips? I just tried this but it doesn't really work. There is too much tension and too little room for your fingers. What I do sometimes instead is bending the kharaj behind the nut (between the first nut and the tuning peg. Asad Ali Khan does that on rudra veena also sometimes.
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #10 
Hey, Lars. Yeah, that makes all kinds of sense. Your HR looks like a vintage gem, patina and all !

Hey, Barend . Yep, Raviji jammed those fingers in between the two nut strips, not between the outer nut and the peg. Makes you wonder ! ! ! IF the kharaj needs to be tweaked, you can possibly lower the string slot on the nut. That means less string tension to get the string onto the fret. Think " reduced vertical meend from pushing the string onto the fret. Down side of that is it raises the possibility of the string rattling on fret 1,2 or 3 in the open position. String #3 usually can be lowered a bit as well, depending on how your baby is set up. If you go this route, be ever so careful.

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Lars

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "barend"
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Lars"
There's a much easier way to correct the kharaj intonation on most instruments anyway so why bother with the hassle of an upper nut anyway?
Very curious about this! What is the easy way to correct that intonation of the Kharaj?
I have had the kharaj block on my Waseem sitar and was not happy with it at all. It was not set up right in the first place. That block is a PITA to set up right. But besides that I don't like having less room for your fingers. Especially when you use two fingers for meends. I can imagine why Ravi Shankar didn't want it on his sitar. Although better intonation on the kharaj is very welcome.
Tony explained it well, not surprised you're having issues. It's quite a common problem and even more so for the 'makers' emerging which have the decoration down well enough but no clue on fitting. Take the block off and check the string height as per Tonys instructions and you should get it right if the bridge to nut dimensions are correct, etc. It's reasonable to expect an in tune kharaj string for 2 to 3 notes at least which is all you need really. New out of the box you'll be hard pressed to even get a komal Re out of the kharaj on most of the decoration oriented instruments.

Lars

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barend

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Lars"
It's reasonable to expect an in tune kharaj string for 2 to 3 notes at least which is all you need really.
I like to do meend from frets 5 and 6 of the kharaj as well (to get to the middle Sa for example). Ravi Shankar and others do that also sometimes. Since it's mostly meends anyway these frets don't need to be perfectly in tune. As long as you don't play 'on' the fret. Although it would be nice if they were in tune.
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