Make tanpura more warm and open sounding?

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theactor10
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:36 am

Make tanpura more warm and open sounding?

Post by theactor10 » Fri Nov 18, 2016 5:16 pm

I have a flatback female tanpura by MKS which sounds awfully think, tinny, ear piecing and buzzy in a bad way. I mean, it's not terrible, I just would rather it be warm, airy, open sounding, and full.

So I'm wondering what is the best way to achieve this. Jawari hasn't been done since it left MKS in India a few years ago. I have pyramid strings on it and have tried others with no luck. I've heard of people drillling some type of sound hole to give it a similar warmth to an acoustic guitar. Anyway, suggestions are welcome!

katyrow
Posts: 164
Joined: Sun Feb 21, 2010 4:46 am

Re: Make tanpura more warm and open sounding?

Post by katyrow » Fri Nov 18, 2016 5:28 pm

I'm thinking that an ebony bridge might be the thing to try.

theactor10
Posts: 75
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:36 am

Re: Make tanpura more warm and open sounding?

Post by theactor10 » Fri Nov 18, 2016 8:51 pm

Interesting, what are the characteristics of the ebony bridge vs the standard?

Bhairava

Re: Make tanpura more warm and open sounding?

Post by Bhairava » Sat Nov 19, 2016 12:40 am

You will want to do some jivari work on it to warm it up.

First thing is to use 40 weight 3ply 100% cotton thread you can find at a sewing fabric store. Every thread type will have a different sound, thicker threads will make that synthetic bridge sound awful.

A bone or ebony will sound better, but getting a good bridge might be a challenge. If you do you will also have to learn how to set the bridge so that the feet are flush.

Jivari;

With the strings at full tension Wiggle them left and right so that you get a triangel shape like shown in the link below.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/jivari

Then loosen the strings and remove the bridge, be sure and mark the position before hand.

Then use 300+ grit sand papper, the black kind cut in a small piece and wrap it around this type of eraser, it will give you minor flexability but allow for an even sanding.

http://www.dickblick.com/products/blick-art-gum-eraser/

sand very lightly to make even the triangle shape the strings made.

Clean the dust off and put back on the tanpura and tune it up.

Repeat if needed

That should help)
Last edited by Bhairava on Sat Nov 19, 2016 6:24 am, edited 4 times in total.

Lars
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 6:05 am
Location: Seattle, WA
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Re: Make tanpura more warm and open sounding?

Post by Lars » Sat Nov 19, 2016 4:41 am

theactor10 wrote:I have a flatback female tanpura by MKS which sounds awfully think, tinny, ear piecing and buzzy in a bad way. I mean, it's not terrible, I just would rather it be warm, airy, open sounding, and full.

So I'm wondering what is the best way to achieve this. Jawari hasn't been done since it left MKS in India a few years ago. I have pyramid strings on it and have tried others with no luck. I've heard of people drillling some type of sound hole to give it a similar warmth to an acoustic guitar. Anyway, suggestions are welcome!
Most you can do is make sure the feet are in full contact with the tabli and that the jawari is ok. MKS instruments will usually need some kind of fitting or at least every one I've seen. Some are very nice looking also. One issue may be if it's spray polished with poly urethane, this will inhibit the sound for a few years but it gets better. If you want to put a hole in it try directly under the bridge in the center, this will get more air flow and season the wood better, just 1/8 inch will do and you can close it up in a few years once it's where you like it.

Lars
http://www.raincitymusic.com

seepersaudc
Posts: 21
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:38 pm

Re: Make tanpura more warm and open sounding?

Post by seepersaudc » Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:08 pm

Why don't you roll some thread under the string and open the jawari that way? All vocalists I've met that use Tanpura that isn't electric use thread to create that amazing sound.
I've watched my guru bring 3-4 Tanpura to life that I thought sounded terrible. Each took less than five minutes. I could make a video showing you...

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