New Project

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katyrow
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New Project

Post by katyrow » Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:55 am

This (I think) is either a late 1950s or 60s Mohan Singh, a 1960s Gurdial Singh, or a 1960s Rikhi Ram. My money is on Rikhi Ram based on decoration, especially the patta. Opinions? Doesn't really matter I guess. Will post progress photos. Tumba is light as a feather and the tabli taps thin.
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katyrow
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Re: New Project

Post by katyrow » Wed Jan 25, 2017 2:57 am

More.
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cwroyds
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Re: New Project

Post by cwroyds » Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:21 am

Just out of interest, is that the one off eBay that was listed as a "Filipino Sitar"?

I like those older Lahore style sitars.
They can sound awesome.
I thought this might be the one off Ebay because it had a similar bone bits decoration on the gullu.

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Sitarfixer
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Re: New Project

Post by Sitarfixer » Thu Jan 26, 2017 12:32 am

Not a Rikhi Ram. Every one of them, even pre 1947 had a label, either a decal or plastic nailed on badge. Other shops in Delhi and the area made these instruments in very similar design. Looks like a good score for you.

katyrow
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Re: New Project

Post by katyrow » Thu Jan 26, 2017 4:54 am

Some progress. Clean and polish. Repair tabli decoration. Retie one fret. Polish Frets. Fabricate and install one chick post. Start sympathetic restring.
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cwroyds
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Re: New Project

Post by cwroyds » Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:17 am

Sweet!!
It cleaned up nicely.

katyrow
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Re: New Project

Post by katyrow » Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:21 pm

Install 4 missing nibs on main pegs. Finish restring. Add sandpaper strip and swan from same era. Done. Comparisons with Mohan Singh from the same period below.
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katyrow
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Re: New Project

Post by katyrow » Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:23 pm

More side by sides with MS.
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katyrow
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Re: New Project

Post by katyrow » Sat Jan 28, 2017 8:27 pm

One more.
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StVitus
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Re: New Project

Post by StVitus » Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:13 pm

Looks better already! What did you use to clean it? I find that the lacquer polishes I use for other instruments can discolor Indian finishes by creating light spots.

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cwroyds
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Re: New Project

Post by cwroyds » Sat Jan 28, 2017 9:30 pm

From the comparison shots, I looks like the new one is probably not from the same maker. Definitely references the same style decor, but the quality execution is very different. The Mohan Singh shows much more care and attention to detail in the decoration and general construction. You can see the difference in quality most notably in the shot of the two headstocks. One is very clean and tidy in the design and construction, and the other is much more sloppy and haphazard. The last shot showing the sides of the tablis is another. Note the difference between the two black pieces, and the birds on the tabli. A lot of those Lahore sitars have similar decor, probably from the shared influence of Sher Mohamad, who taught Rikhi Ram, Mohan Singh, and Kartar Chand how to make sitars. Anyone making sitars in Lahore probably referenced that style from these makers.

Still a cool sitar regardless of maker.
How does it sound?

Also, is the tabli flat in the middle?
It looks like it is caving in, but I suppose that could also just be an optical illusion caused by the odd wave in the grain of the wood.

One of my favorite sitars ever was an old small scale Lahore style RR. It had a light airy tone that was just beautiful. It wouldn’t be your main sitar for modern performance, but what a nice instrument to take into the garden for a noodle.
This is the one. I would love to own this sitar. (same decor, just FYI)
http://www.karaseksound.com/ShowBigPic.php?ID=IMG0071

katyrow
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Re: New Project

Post by katyrow » Sat Jan 28, 2017 11:03 pm

cwroyds wrote: How does it sound?

Also, is the tabli flat in the middle?
The tabli on the new one is flatter than most, but it was made that way. I agree with all of you comments regarding construction, appearance, etc. I have another MS, and it's clear just from appearance that they are from the same maker. Not so with the new one. The fret wire on the new one is also thinner. The main non-cosmetic differences between the two are that the MS has a much thicker tabli and a much heavier gourd. The new one has a more open sound than the MS, which had a more focused sound. Many people, I think, would say that it sounds better than the MS. I like them both, but for different reasons. I'd be happy with either as my main playing instrument.

chikubhai
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Re: New Project

Post by chikubhai » Sun Jan 29, 2017 2:54 pm

Hi Guys.
I was happy to see this post that took me back to1970 when i bought my first sitar - exactly like this.
Besides seeing Ravi Shankar on TV (with Menuhin) there was and interview and afternoon concert by Ustad Imrat Khan on the Finnish television.- I was mesmerised and I told my girlfriend:"I am going to buy a sitar this summer if i make enough money".
By the end of the summer I had already bought a guitar amplifier, but still had some money left, maybe enough to buy a sitar.
Took a train to Helsinki and went to a store that sold all kinds of Indian handicrafts and I saw the first real sitars in my life.
Some of them were so beautiful, but with broken necks or bashed gourds, hardly playable. But there was one lighter coloured little sitar that was in tact
The owner obviously didn't know anything about sitars as he told me that he brings them in inside rolls of rugs and that's why so many of them are damaged - my guess is that he tried to avoid import taxes.
I tried the little sitar: the Ma- string peg had come off and was rattling, so I pushed it in and tuned it to be sure that it is playable.
After that i loosened it again and started negotiating with the owner about the price. I told him because the Ma-string is loose it needs to tightened to be playable so I needed get some discount. He agreed to do that then offered that he could also glue peg in so it wouldn't rattle anymore. I told him not to glue it, i'd rather take the discount and do it myself later. Thank god he accepted that.
So I returned to my hometown flat broke, but happy with my new sitar. It served me well for 9 years until I went to (then) Bombay to study sitar and bought a Naskar.
You have obviously given this sitar a new lease of life - it looks gorgeous - have fun with it!
I have got more info about this sitar thanks to your project. I always thought itis a Miraj-sitar since the only sitar of that kind I had seen was on an album cover with some sitar player from Miraj. Live and learn.
chikubhai

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