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Posts: 69
Reply with quote  #1 
For my benefit and for the benefit of others out there new to buying sitars, I would like to know who to trust. I have owned two sitars in my life so I'm not brand new to the game. But I keep hearing a lot thes days about famous dead sitar makers who don't matter anymore, old sitar maker companies who use to be good but now suck and current makers and shops who only sell overpriced junk. Then there will be the sitar that pops up that is magnificent, only to be made by a no name. So, how is a person to know? So for those on the forum who don't have to be politically correct and can be honest, please throw out some names. As far as dealers go, I can personally testify for Lars Jacobsen because I bought a Radhey sitar from him a few years ago and it was great. He sells good stuff and he has integrity with his products. But as far as any place else I don't have a clue.
I have a couple of sitar maker names that I could use advice on because these seem to be somewhat common. I realize that there are many brands other than these. Please feel free to throw out more names. Also, at what $ amount does a sitar become worthy?

R.A sitar maker
B.M sitar maker
MKS sitar maker

Me and others in the future would much appreciate any experienced advice. thanks

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Posts: 746
Reply with quote  #2 
I won't commit suicide by suggesting brands - I leave that to the experts - Here goes:

You can Always trust Tony K for sage advice & value for your hard earned roops when purchasing.
Lars is as you said very honest & a straightup businessman very knowlegable.
Keshav also has a great reputation.
Kala Kendar always stands behind their goods
Sitars etc has always been good - we hope the kids or whoever are running the show now keep up Bharats excellent legacy of customer service.
Ali Akbar College Store has always been a great place to shop very good reputation.
In the UK Trippy Monkey I believe brings goods back for sale & can direct you across the pond.
Trust people like Beenkar if you want advice on buying a Veena. Trust your fellow forumites Povster or Carlton or element82 & Sitarmac or any of the other old hands here on this forum to give good advice about what to look for & what to avoid.
Here in the Midwest Andy's Music of Chicago is carrying a major collection of vintage instruments (they aint givin em away but selling at good value for your buck at current market prices)
Some examples of their current stock or in transit from their buyer in India:
(I WISH thay'd get their website goin.)
1947 etched badge Rikhi Ram
1950's Rikhi Ram bone necklace
1970's Murchana
1970's half carved Naskar
1970's Hiren Roy
1980's Simple Naskar
1970's VK Naskar
1980's Dulal Kanji VK style sitar
1980's Dulal Kanji RS style sitar
New Sengupta full carved sitar
2 Magnificent vintage Kanai Lal Rudra Veenas & a Vichitra Veena
I have seen anumber of beautiful KL's HR's & much more come in & fly off their shelves - all set up by Tony K & the folks at Andy's.
From the reports of Ted Andy & the crew this is the focus & direction they will be going for sometime to come. (Talk about a droolfest when you walk in that door ops: )
As you've seen in other strings - don't be afraid to ask when you see dem ebay specials we all dread (or look forward too once in a blue moon).
Finally the best advice I think would be trust your teacher to guide you. Lacking a teacher trust yourself - do your homework - get the axe in your hand - If it sounds good & feels good & seems structurally sound & is within the budget you want to pay it is probably a winner - & read the archives of this forum that David has so generously provided to help us all learn & grow with the instruments & music we love.
God I hope I didn't forget anyone (feels like an Oscar speach )
I hope this helps & I didn't step on anyones toes.
Hopefully the experts mentioned will now chime in with brands - buying tips etc.
LET THE GAMES BEGIN :!: :twisted:

Hamletsghost 8)

These are completely unbiased opinions - I dina get a dime frum nor do I work for anyone mentioned here - Just lots of reading research &/or direct dealings.


Posts: 69
Reply with quote  #3 
Perfect. Thanks for speaking up on the subject. Me and others in the market will appreciate it.

Posts: 317
Reply with quote  #4 
It is simple: trust no one.


Surbahar Dude (formerly Sitar Dude)
trippy monkey

Posts: 4,281
Reply with quote  #5 
Just in Kolkatta at the mo.
Saw the 2 Hemen shops on Rash Bihari Ave but it's about 5 miles long. The Avenue NOT the bloody shop!!!!

2 of my last best surbahars were 'built' by either Rajesh or his father Mohan Lal Sharma of Patna. I stop off to visit the shop on my way back to Varanasi in a few days so I'll report on that later.

I have a 45+ year old sitar made by Bhapulal C Mistry & sons from Panjarapole, Baroda. I've had it from the early 80s & it has a very resonant sound. Can anyone name the wood? And check out the delicate AUMs in each taraf peg! An actual gourd as an extra toombi & the work around the taraf eyelets on the neck! 8)

I'll post pics of ALL my latest additions as soon as poss. With makers where poss too.

We must never forget the people who are building the actual bodies that are sent to these various builders. Most bodies, the building from scratch of wood, gourd & bone, are made here in Kolkatta & go around India. Very few people make COMPLETE sitars outside of there, even the RRs.

My teacher has been giving really good advice such as whether you can easily pull from lower MA tivra/Pa to mid SA without breaking the first string. I broke my first in God knows how many years to find out my latest Deep Red Beauty is a C# not D sitar. And is all the better for it.
Other things such a fret clattering as you pull upwards.
Neck warping & also getting top SA from meending from mid MA with a little bit of space left before you fall off the end of the fret!!

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