The best harmonium brand

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chichito
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:29 pm

The best harmonium brand

Postby chichito » Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:56 pm

Hi, i´m an spanish musician and i need your help. I want to buy a 2:1/2 or 2:3/4 scale portable harmonium but i dont know too much about indian brands. I have been checking in internet and i have found a couple of good looking instruments like:

- DMS-4b and DMS-2
- BINA 23B DELUXE
- Pakrashi SP/2.5-030

Do you know this brand? What`s the best for you? Do you suggest another different brand?

I really need your help because i can not go to India to try the harmonium so i have to but it without trying before.

Thanks a lot for your help

Djinn Fizz
Posts: 125
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2007 1:43 pm

Re: The best harmonium brand

Postby Djinn Fizz » Tue Sep 02, 2014 12:39 pm

DMS and Bina are virtually the same - but DMS generally does a better job - especially with tuning. The Pakrashi is a different animal altogether. They never do a good job of tuning - tho the construction is quite good. If you are buying direct - be sure you know somebody local who can tune the instrument for you when it arrives.

chichito
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 10:29 pm

Re: The best harmonium brand

Postby chichito » Wed Sep 03, 2014 12:39 am

Thanks a lot for your opinion. When you say "If you are buying direct - be sure you know somebody local who can tune the instrument for you when it arrives" are you talking about Pakrashi harmonium or all the other brands?

One more question: Do you know DMS-2 Harmonium? I like it because it looks very easily portable and i travel a lot, but maybe its sound is worst than DMS-4b Harmonium. What do you think?

The last thing, Could you suggest a good indian shop when i can buy my DMS or Bina harmonium?

thanks again

Djinn Fizz
Posts: 125
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2007 1:43 pm

Re: The best harmonium brand

Postby Djinn Fizz » Thu Nov 06, 2014 3:26 pm

Sorry to reply so late. the #2 model is very limited. It's what's played by the Hari Krishnas for singing simple kirtan in the street. They have virtually no sustain and are pretty challenging to play.

Re: Tuning - what I said is true for all brands of harmoniums. They never arrive from India properly tuned - even if they leave India properly tuned. They all require a certain amount of TLC when they arrive. Even some of the top brand makers whose harmoniums sell for $2,000.00 arrive in the States with poor tuning.

As far as shops that sell and do proper set-up for harmoniums in this range, there have been for years only two brick and mortar stores in the USA that provide this service; Ali Akbar in California and Keshav Music in NY. Not sure what the status is with Ali Akbar since they sold the shop to Bhargava. Keshav Music is still around, tho they moved to a bigger shop on the lower East Side in Manhattan. The 4B is actually a very sweet harmonium and has good sustain for a 2.5 octave instrument.

User avatar
Mickey
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2014 10:36 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: The best harmonium brand

Postby Mickey » Fri Nov 07, 2014 11:44 pm

chichito wrote:Thanks a lot for your opinion. When you say "If you are buying direct - be sure you know somebody local who can tune the instrument for you when it arrives" are you talking about Pakrashi harmonium or all the other brands?

One more question: Do you know DMS-2 Harmonium? I like it because it looks very easily portable and i travel a lot, but maybe its sound is worst than DMS-4b Harmonium. What do you think?

The last thing, Could you suggest a good indian shop when i can buy my DMS or Bina harmonium?

thanks again


There has been quite of few good points made by the previous poster on this topic. However just to add on that, I would like also stress rather just focusing on a certain brand ie DMS or Bina; I would also point out the local shop has a certain responsibility in preparing the instrument for the final delivery. In fact, in my humble opinion this would either break or make the service aspect and the performance of instrument. In short, know about the shop your dealing with, their return policy, their customer service in the event something goes wrong, or simply if you picked the wrong instrument and you need to exchange it.

Depending on where you live, I would strongly suggest in trying out that harmonium or harmoniums, it wouldn't hurt to make that 3 - 5 hour drive (?) to try out the instrument you want so bad. Just like all musical instruments, its all about personal taste and I believe with a little bit of effort it can be fun and educational at the same time.

I have some experience with smaller harmoniums, including the build and design and perhaps some of these instruments follow your 'wish list' per say,

Harmonium - The Traveler® http://www.kalakendar.com/harmonium-the-traveler/

Proline Traveler® Harmonium http://www.kalakendar.com/proline-traveler-harmonium/

Harmonium - Butterfly Dulcetina® http://www.kalakendar.com/harmonium-but ... dulcetina/

We have a full service showroom where you can try out the instruments, there is generally a good selection (anywhere from 18 - 30 harmoniums on display at any given point to try out). If distance is an issue, you can always give us a call or any of the other dealers located in Canada or the US.

Good luck!

Mickey
Mickey
http://www.kalakendar.com

shamjamal
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue May 08, 2012 7:47 pm

Re: The best harmonium tuning and repair

Postby shamjamal » Fri Oct 02, 2015 11:13 pm

Hi guys you need no to worry about TUNING your harmoniums. I do a professional job, tuning, replacing reeds, any kind is repair for any kind of harmonium, specializing in scale changer coupler. Work done by a well known musician, 35 years of experience, advanced harmonium player myself. I am in Vancouver, British Columbia, Cabada. Email shamjamal@hotmail.com. I have even tuned brand new harmoniums to A=440.

joshuamusih27
Posts: 14
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:35 pm

Re: The best harmonium brand

Postby joshuamusih27 » Tue Mar 29, 2016 7:45 pm

If you go to your local gurduwara, many of them sell harmoniums. They usually only sell punjabi brands like RINA or NAGI but they are still much better than most harmoniums. I picked up a portable NAGI for $200 brand new and it sounds amazing.

Djinn Fizz
Posts: 125
Joined: Thu Sep 27, 2007 1:43 pm

Re: The best harmonium brand

Postby Djinn Fizz » Sat Apr 02, 2016 1:38 pm

joshuamusih27 wrote:If you go to your local gurduwara, many of them sell harmoniums. They usually only sell punjabi brands like RINA or NAGI but they are still much better than most harmoniums. I picked up a portable NAGI for $200 brand new and it sounds amazing.


Have you yourself recently purchased a harmonium from a gurudwara - for $200.00? Or is this info anecdotal? With all due respect, a decent harmonium purchased in Delhi will run you about $140.00; a decent harmonium, and these guys don't exactly transport themselves free of charge from India to the West. Even if purchased in bulk and shipped by sea, average cost to ship a harmonium will be at minimum $75.00 not including costs for customs and duty. I've been playing harmonium for over 20 years and purchased not a few from India. Unless the gurudwaras are selling harmoniums at zero profit - I don't see how they can sell anything half-way decent for $200.00; not in this current economy.

Moreover - if you have any teething problems with your new harmonium (and that is the case more often than not) the good people down at the gurudwara won't be doing the repairs. Better off to bite the bullet and buy a proper harmonium from a shop that has repair people on staff. Kala Kendar, Keshav Music and that guy in Illinois all have competent repair people who can do set up before shipping. I don't know if any of them accept repairs shipped-in on harmoniums that develop issues later. Nothing worse than to be living in some city or small town 1000 miles from the nearest repair guy with a leaky harmonium.

rishabsyd
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2015 3:54 am

Re: The best harmonium brand

Postby rishabsyd » Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:32 am

Hello,
My name is Rishab Bhargava. The name of our store is Musician's Mall. It is situated in Berkeley, CA. Its one of the oldest Indian Musical Instrument store in the United States. Our website is www.musiciansmallusa.com.
Feel free to call us on 510 225 9597. We will try to help you in the best way possible.

Cheers!!!
www.musiciansmallusa.com


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