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Owl

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Reply with quote  #1 
Calling all wise sitar spirits, I once again seek your wisdom.

Is it possible to use wound strings on 2, 3, and 4? I know that the instrumental tamburas sound awesome with guitar strings but they would not be long enough for sitar. Is this a good idea or am I off my rocker? I would think this would give the instrument a pretty thick sound, where would you look for longer strings?

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Surbaharplayer

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Reply with quote  #2 
My previous teacher Pt. Ashok Pathak used a very heavy wound kharaj-string. Listen to his CD's: he's sounding great....very emllow. I assume you get rid of the tuning problems as well (certeainly does on surbahar...)

Remco
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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hi
My new surbahar has a 4th Veena round wound string for its Kharaj SA as the 'ordinary' one wouldn't settle properly.
I got several on my visit to Chennai when I saw a veena there with them on its 3rd & 4th strings. I just hoped the length would be fine when I went to revisit my surbee in Varanasi a few weeks later & IT WAS. Hooray!!!
I intend to get more as it IS a length issue.
Isn't it always
The sound was perfect too BTW.

Nick
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Amerikon

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Reply with quote  #4 
My concern with using wound strings would be the increased difficulty performing mirs. I'm not too knowlegeable about the sitar side of things but it makes a huge difference on a guitar. Most heavy electric, and most all acoustic string sets come with a wound 3rd string. With a normal 3rd you can bend about 2 full steps, but a wound string can only bend about half as far. Does anyone know what the expected mir range of the normal (non-wound) strings would be?
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Surbaharplayer

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Reply with quote  #5 
Absolutly right about losing range in the meend-department:
On my surbahar I could bend from re to ma on the kharaj with a wound string. When changing to a plane thinner one I could meend from re to ni. But playing it by fretting is a bummer....you won't be in tune...

Remco
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Sitarfixer

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Reply with quote  #6 
My ricky bad rotosound round wound string on it (YES, Chris Squire, Roundabout). Great sound! Moving lots of rippled air. Chews up frets. Would expect the same on a sitar, especially meends with the 3rd and 4th. string. Big gouges expected on the frets. Possibly tape (flat) wound strings would work better. Love em on my bass! Source - try a place that supplies strings for harps, celtic or otherwise. Southie tanpura strings are wound and nice and long. Sound produced is more of a purrr than a buzzz.
Not off rocker! Good luck with the string shuffle.

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AbdulLatif

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Reply with quote  #7 
Man sitarfixer you is tired...sounding like Charles Bukowski!!

I do not like wound strings because of the limited meend range (I loves me alaps) and the feel. I'm also not that fond of fixing my jawari. The softer sound is sweet and the intonation improvement is a strong incentive but all in all I'll stick with the wire. The intonation block on my sitar is a great solution and I'll probably try it on the veen. Also don't forget when changing string guages one needs to take a critical look at the nut and bridge slots as these areas can affect intonation, volume, as well as be a source of buzzing.

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justjim

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Reply with quote  #8 
What abt as Tarzan...I mean sitarfixer mentioned

using flatwounds/tapewounds or maybe groundwound/half-round/semi-flat/quasi-yummi/demi-crazy strings?

still too much material "bite" ya think?
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Monica

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Reply with quote  #9 
Perhaps cello strings would be long enough?
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Owl

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Reply with quote  #10 
Thanks everyone, It's good to hear both perspectives. I guess I won't really know until I try. Hopefully I can find some strings to try.
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sitarman

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Reply with quote  #11 
Here's my 1.5 cents-after -inflation-worth. The kharaj and laraj strings, and the sound that sitarists love- that growling bass, is almost always played with meend. So, even though the intonation problems may resolve, the fact that meend is limited pretty much negates any advantage. Who is planning to play non-meend passages on those closely spaced strings- kharaj taans anyone?
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justjim

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Monica"
Perhaps cello strings would be long enough?
cello scale length is typically 27.5" (for a full sizer) but you often have some wigge room for extended scales etc

One caveat with arco instrument strings (at least the meaty ones)...they tend to have more internal damping than a pizz string(you can even find varieties of double bas strings that are specifically arco or specifically pizz) as you are constantly feeding energy into the system

playing arco with too "hot" (one with little damping) a string feels to me like playing volleyball with a balloon (some solid body cellos feel that way too)
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AbdulLatif

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Reply with quote  #13 
A bit off the subject. I use this company for my wire. They sell the rosleau wire and spring bronze and brass alloys used on sitars, tambouras, veenas in coils or spools.
http://www.fortepiano.com/wire.htm

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element-82

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Reply with quote  #14 
Yes,
so do I. I like their wire. It sounds good and is affordable.

Pb
Quote:
Originally Posted by "AbdulLatif"
A bit off the subject. I use this company for my wire. They sell the rosleau wire and spring bronze and brass alloys used on sitars, tambouras, veenas in coils or spools.
http://www.fortepiano.com/wire.htm

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