Radha Krishna Sharma #3

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StVitus
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Radha Krishna Sharma #3

Post by StVitus » Fri Aug 19, 2016 3:16 am

Is there any reason not to buy a the Radha Krishna Sharma #3
? Josh Feinberg’s Hal Leonard method recommends it and Music Mall sells it. But it violates the common internet wisdom of not buying a sitar that costs less than $700. This is the instrument in question: https://www.musiciansmallusa.com/radha- ... tar-rks-3/

seepersaudc
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Re: Radha Krishna Sharma #3

Post by seepersaudc » Fri Aug 19, 2016 5:04 pm

Go for it.
The $700 rule is a ball park... but a reputable brand and company like this should take care of you, even through Musicians Mall.
This will be a good student sitar.

randyh
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Re: Radha Krishna Sharma #3

Post by randyh » Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:02 pm

Hi.
It's probably fine but I would spend the extra $65 to get the sitar from Lars at Rain City Music that had been air shipped, checked and balanced by Lars himself. His service and guarantee are worth in my opinion. He even tosses sitars like Hiren Roys if they are not up to snuff and completely playable. Here is the link:
http://raincitymusic.com/halfdecstandard.htm

Good luck.

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povster
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Re: Radha Krishna Sharma #3

Post by povster » Sat Aug 20, 2016 12:50 am

This is not to diminish Lars, who is extremely knowledgeable and ethical. But just to even things up, Musician's Mall does the same thing. The original staff from AACM is still at Musician's Mall. The team consists of four people with over 110 years combined experience (I have 43 years myself). We check and set up each instrument before it is sold. In the case of the sitar the frets are adjusted/tuned/replaced as needed and given a final polish. The Indian strings are replaced with American phosphor bronze and Rosleau steel strings. All pegs are fine fit and chalked. Jawari is done. The instrument's structural integrity is fully checked: bowing of the neck, cracked taraf eyelets, poor fittings etc. Any part that needs refitting or replacing gets refit or replaced. The presence of serious defects such as that bowed neck mean the instrument goes into the parts bin. Essentially the sitar, like any other instrument we sell, is fully vetted before being ready for the customer to receive it.
...Michael
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Panini - the official bread of ICM

katyrow
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Re: Radha Krishna Sharma #3

Post by katyrow » Sat Aug 20, 2016 12:56 am

randyh wrote: I would spend the extra $65 to get the sitar from Lars at Rain City Music
Agree. I wonder how many years ago Josh's recommendation was. They're not what they used to be. And some of MM's prices are preposterous (e.g., a Sanjay studio sitar for $3k+), so I'd wonder whether this is overpriced for what you get. Here's the link to the studio sitar.

https://www.musiciansmallusa.com/sanjay ... dio-sitar/

Call or email Lars and get his input before buying.

rishabsyd
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Re: Radha Krishna Sharma #3

Post by rishabsyd » Sat Aug 20, 2016 1:35 am

I own Musician's Mall. Since our name is involved in this thread, i'd like to intervene. I would like to invite anyone and everyone to visit our store here in the Bay area and talk with the staff. We have sitars ranging from $500 on up. I would advise not to judge any store or individual on the basis of one instrument. Please check our current display of sitars. I'd like to put it out that we can price match with anyone having a physical store in the US.
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StVitus
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Re: Radha Krishna Sharma #3

Post by StVitus » Sat Aug 20, 2016 2:31 am

I ended up going with Musician’s Mall. I’ll be sure to post photos when the sitar arrives.

desh
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Re: Radha Krishna Sharma #3

Post by desh » Sat Aug 20, 2016 4:01 am

I'm afraid I may be chiming in late about this but back in 2007 I wrote about my experience buying a few RKS sitars a decade ago from Mid-East.
see viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2814&p=15023#p15023

In the above post I shared my experience of two the RKS sitars I bought developing warped necks a year and a half later.

Interestingly a few weeks ago I went to see this RKS sitar http://www.kijiji.ca/v-string-instrumen ... 1174419315

and interestingly it also had a bowed neck and I didn't buy it. I'm guessing it may have been made around the same time as the ones I bought a decade ago.

I don't know if this problem still exists with RKS sitars -if you read my post from 2007 you'll see that Mid-East admitted this was a problem with the RKS sitars- but if I was you I would ask Musicians Mall for a guarantee that if the neck warps they will at a minimum replace it with a comparable sitar.

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kalyan
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Re: Radha Krishna Sharma #3

Post by kalyan » Mon Aug 22, 2016 12:43 am

katyrow wrote:
randyh wrote: I would spend the extra $65 to get the sitar from Lars at Rain City Music
Agree. I wonder how many years ago Josh's recommendation was. They're not what they used to be.
...."

I wonder what you base that statement on?????
I have been working at the Aacm and now the Musicians Mall since 2000, I can tell you our stock and quality control is as good as ever. As poster said we do a full setup and check of all instruments with complete string change. We have by far the most experience doing this of any other shop outside of India. That is not to say others do not do a good job as well. But to imply we do not have the experience knowledge ,or willingness to do this is frankly malarkey.
The prices for the top makers are set by them and we offer them for those that want them. A quick look through the sit would show that our prices are competitive with the other real vendors. If Braun or Sanjay etc. Decides that as a result of decades of being the most respected builders in the world they want to charge 1/10 the price an equivalent guitar or violin maker gets, then we do not question their own view of the value of their time. As long as the instruments are good and the customers are happy we will offer them.
There are plenty of good instruments in prices much lower than the Sanjay electric and they get as good a setup and check out as anywhere elsIe.
I have seen hundreds of Rks sitars over the years and some age better than others but this is true for all the makers I have seen. It's not fair to compare a sitar that has been delivered directly to the customer in exactly the condition it arrived from India with the instruments that we check and set up. Though we don't throw sitars in the trash we do move unsellable sitars to our rental stash or discount them appropriately.
Sorry for the rant It just seems like a bit of misinformation popping up here again.
Kalyan

goddenmusic.com. musicianmallusa.com facebook.com/goddenmusic

katyrow
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Re: Radha Krishna Sharma #3

Post by katyrow » Mon Aug 22, 2016 4:22 am

kalyan wrote: I wonder what you base that statement on?????
Hi Kalyan. I based the comment on a comparison of my late-model RKS to both my 1967 RKS and my 1973 RKS. I didn't mean it to be controversial. These sitars are not what they used to be. That's just an opinion, which I don't think can fairly be called misinformation.

You have read into my post a criticism of AACM that I didn't make. I have a Barun #1 Kalka from AACM that I know you set up because I spoke with you by phone while you were doing it. (You may remember the conversation -- you said that you were out of new brass kharaj wire so you didn't replace that one.) The instrument was nicely broken in and was very reasonably priced. Every imperfection in the finish was disclosed (with photos) before I ordered it, and your set up was absolutely perfect :D . I've said this in prior posts here, probably more than once. But there is nothing wrong with telling someone who takes the time to ask that it's good to shop around, that sometimes asking prices are out of line (see below), or in advising them that the quality of a particular maker's instruments has varied over time.

I've also said in posts here in the past that is it is a shame that these instruments don't bring more than they do, especially exquisite vintage instruments, given the time and skill required to make them, fit them, and set them up. I didn't mean to say otherwise in my post. Now, I don't know who made the solid-body sitar that I mentioned in my post, but forgive me if I say that $3,200 seems more than a little crazy, even if it was, as you say, fitted by Sanjay himself. If it really is worth $150 more a new HR #1 Angurpatta :shock:, $1350 more than a Sanjay concert VK :roll:, or only $80 less than new HR surbahar :oops:, that would surprise me.

The one thing that I don't want you to think is that I intended to be disrespectful to you or others at the store. If my comments sounded that way, I apologize.

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kalyan
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Re: Radha Krishna Sharma #3

Post by kalyan » Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:16 am

Hi Katyrow, Sorry I did misread the meaning of your post :oops: . I also do not consider an RKS sitar that is pre 80's to comparable with the modern ones. It really is apples and oranges, the new ones are entry level sitars that will need a professional set up to properly evaluate. the vintage ones are more comparable to old hemen, hiren Roy's, etc. Still the RKS sitars that we we sell are always well checked out and set up, and are absolutely fine sitars for someone who is starting out and does not want to spend top dollar.
In truth I am of two minds about the buy the best sitar you can afford right from the start moto anyway. Unless money is not an issue I think that one can make a much more informed decision on their lifetime ax once they have played for a while so a GOOD entry-level or mid range instrument is a great way to get started. If you end up falling head over heels for the music then by all means once you have enough experience to know what you are looking for ( your taste will change a lot through your first year or two of study)you should go for the best available especially since even Sanjay's sitars are relatively cheap when compared to other classical instruments. Then you can either pass the first one on,keep it as a travel instrument or put a pickup it for you rock band gigs.
I still have not had a chance to play the Sanjay electric or check out the pickup system so I can speak to value comparisons yet. But Sanjay is very much a man of the world and a great craftsman that sees what his peers in other traditions make so he has decided to produce a "boutique" brand , and sell it at a higher price. We shall see what the invisible hand of the market says. In truth you can count the top sitar makers that export more than a couple sitars a year on one hand so I think at least in the higher end stuff we are going to prices go up instead of staying the same as they have for the last 20 years.
After all these years of working with instruments I still find putting a dollar value on them dificult. For me selling something I make I take the price of materials and supplies used and add that to the time I spend making it, is it worth that? Hopefully but it is up to the buyer.
If I am thinking about buying an instrument I simply do the magic equation : how bad do I want it , how many are available, what's the price of the next best option, whats the price of any better opinions, how much money do I have spare and how often would I actually play it. then I put all the data into my patented instrument value spreadsheet and out pops the exact dollar value. Then I have to get rid of some things to make room. Easy peasy
StVitas we will go through and get you a nice one going have no fear.
Kalyan
Kalyan

goddenmusic.com. musicianmallusa.com facebook.com/goddenmusic

StVitus
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Re: Radha Krishna Sharma #3

Post by StVitus » Fri Sep 02, 2016 5:36 am

The sitar arrived today. It’s NICE. The setup is excellent. It’s significantly easier to play than a cheapo instrument. If they can import these and set them up at this price the Bhargava family must be subsidizing Musician’s Mall at a loss. I’ll post pictures and more details, and maybe a video, tomorrow when there’s better light.

StVitus
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Re: Radha Krishna Sharma #3

Post by StVitus » Fri Sep 02, 2016 11:00 pm

I’ve posted photos of the sitar and case to Flickr if anyone is interested. I’m too sick to do a recording right now. https://www.flickr.com/photos/28813954@ ... 3231957956

desh
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Re: Radha Krishna Sharma #3

Post by desh » Sat Sep 03, 2016 11:40 pm

StVitus wrote:The sitar arrived today. It’s NICE. The setup is excellent. It’s significantly easier to play than a cheapo instrument. If they can import these and set them up at this price the Bhargava family must be subsidizing Musician’s Mall at a loss. I’ll post pictures and more details, and maybe a video, tomorrow when there’s better light.
Congratulations on the sitar! It looks fantastic and I'm sure you'll enjoy it for many years to come.

Enjoy!!!
Desh

StVitus
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Re: Radha Krishna Sharma #3

Post by StVitus » Sat Apr 08, 2017 8:45 pm

I thought I should post an update now that I’ve had this sitar for seven months. I’m very happy with this instrument. It still plays well and the sympathetic sound is continuing to open up. It isn’t an especially loud sitar, so it doesn’t sustain long enough to do the amazing meends heard on records by people using great instruments from Rikhi Ram or Hiren Roy. But for a student instrument it is serving me quite well.

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