recurrent problem in sarangi set-up

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martin spaink
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recurrent problem in sarangi set-up

Post by martin spaink » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:25 pm

In all the sarangi's I've seen and worked on, there is one particular thing that may create problems, and that is the instrument giving in to the stringtension, causing the bottom-left (in playing position) part where the strings are attached to the targahan to rise above the supposedly flat plane of the instruments' top. The strings are supposed to run parallel to the fingerboard so as to allow good fingering up and down the string. This limits the height of the bridge (ghoraj) in a proper set up. Where it all clashes is that if the bottomleft part is raised through deformation/torque, you end up having little or almost no angle of the strings over the bridge to the bottom part. Having almost no down-bearing over the bridge results in a weakening of tone, but you can't raise the bridge because it would make the string run out of parallel with the fingerboard. What I did on several occasions, before puting on a new skin, is to plane/sand down the raised part. If you lay a ruler over the fingerboard and the bottom left part you can easily check how much that part has raised, giving in to torque. Sometimes it is possible to cut a small recess in the lower part to allow the playing strings to lie deeper. As the targahan always is below the rim of the instrument where the skin is glued on and makes a square angle over this rim, if a notch is cut / filed the width of the string, it allows for more downbearing angle of the string, thus producing a better tone of the instrument.

peeceebee
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Re: recurrent problem in sarangi set-up

Post by peeceebee » Mon Mar 18, 2013 7:17 pm

I've had good luck improving tone on the low sa string by increasing the angle the string makes over the bridge laterally, drilling a new hole so the string is anchored farther to the side of the instrument. Doesn't increase downpressure much, but gives the string more mechanical interaction with the bridge, picks up higher overtones a bit, on the low sa every bit helps...

stringtester
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Re: recurrent problem in sarangi set-up

Post by stringtester » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:54 am

I don´t think it´s necessary to have the string parallel to the fingerboard. Playing higher
tones then Ma the fingers don´t need to touch the fingerboard. I found higher tones more
easy to finger without touching the fingerboard.

martin spaink
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Re: recurrent problem in sarangi set-up

Post by martin spaink » Wed Mar 20, 2013 11:15 am

Hi, well even if you don't find it necessary, plenty of others do, I've had lots of discussions a bout this point. I know lots of sarangiyas do not have their instruments set up as well as they could or should be, but this is one recurrent issue. I've had it explained that particularly for quick gamakas the fixed reference of the fingerboard is essential.

pritlee
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Re: recurrent problem in sarangi set-up

Post by pritlee » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:08 pm

Martin

as they say a picture says a thousand words...... i am talking on behalf of all thick people like me.... any way you can post a pic of your work you are talking about please??.....if it’s not too much of an effort of course.....

thanks bud

p.s thanks very much for proactively sharing your knowledge and ideas....it is always very much appreciated and greatly received :)

peace

p

stringtester
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Re: recurrent problem in sarangi set-up

Post by stringtester » Wed Mar 20, 2013 12:35 pm

Hi,
But if you play so your fingers touch the fingerboard even when you play higher tones, why
can´t you just let the string glide up higher on the finger?
The problem with bad angle is realy not god.

martin spaink
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Re: recurrent problem in sarangi set-up

Post by martin spaink » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:10 pm

Here, in the one picture, you see a yellow spiritlevel lying over the fingerboard and the bottom-left corner. Even when this instrument had been flattened before reskinning some 10 years ago and the instrument is at least 50 years old, it has moved up a bit, leaving almost no downbearing angle behind the bridge, which you can see in the other picture.
[img][IMG]http://img841.imageshack.us/img841/610/dsc01627sc.jpg[/img]

[img][IMG]http://img259.imageshack.us/img259/4016/dsc01625sd.jpg[/img]
Last edited by martin spaink on Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

martin spaink
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Re: recurrent problem in sarangi set-up

Post by martin spaink » Wed Mar 20, 2013 3:17 pm

stringtester wrote:Hi,
But if you play so your fingers touch the fingerboard even when you play higher tones, why
can´t you just let the string glide up higher on the finger?
The problem with bad angle is realy not god.
I don't follow. As the string is either at the top of the nail, just below the cuticle, or just on the cuticle, which seems to vary from one player to the next, there is for any one player a fixed spot where (s)he plays the string. So moving higher up does not seem to be an option. Please be more precise?

stringtester
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Re: recurrent problem in sarangi set-up

Post by stringtester » Wed Mar 20, 2013 8:44 pm

Ok, I can understand it´s best to have a fixed spot where you play the string.
On my instrument the string is not parallel to the fingerboard. Must I now buy bones
to make a higher upper bridge? Take away all strings and the skin and do us you described
to make the right angle. It seems to be a hell of a jobb. Why doesn´the instrumentmaker
create a instrument with the string parallel to the fingerboard?

martin spaink
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Re: recurrent problem in sarangi set-up

Post by martin spaink » Wed Mar 20, 2013 9:37 pm

To stringtester:
It' s not that I meant that everyone should now check and do a major overhaul; I pointed out one of the many difficulties one may come across trying to get the best out of an instrument. As it is, judged by the sarangis I have seen, this particular deformation seems to occur often. If things get stacked under bridges to raise them it is not only bacause the skin has given in but also because of this particular deformation. In the picture with my instrument and the yellow spiritlevel you can see it is not quite flat anymore while it was 100% flattened before I reskinned 10 years ago, and that for a well-seasoned instrument.

peeceebee
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Re: recurrent problem in sarangi set-up

Post by peeceebee » Thu Mar 21, 2013 2:14 am

stringtester wrote:Ok, I can understand it´s best to have a fixed spot where you play the string.
On my instrument the string is not parallel to the fingerboard. Must I now buy bones
to make a higher upper bridge?
A sarangi will play "better" with the high sa string roughly parallel to the fingerboard so the fingers can slide along the string evenly while lightly contacting the fingerboard, with the string sliding along the same area of your nail/finger, as discussed.

This can be fine tuned in most cases by using shims or files to raise/lower the string height at the bridge and at the nut, as necessary. To lower at either location simply file the groove deeper with an appropriatelt-shaped file. If it needs to be raised, the nut can easily be shimmed higher, or if the groove has previously been filed too deep, it can be raised without shimming with a filler made with a little bone-dust made from filing another piece of bone, and some superglue- after it hardens it can then be re-filed to proper height. If the string needs to be raised slightly at the bridge, it can be shimmed with a little folded paper or something to raise it a bit. The bone bridge can also be built up, even above the current top edge, with the bone dust/super glue method for more a permanent fix-

stringtester
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Re: recurrent problem in sarangi set-up

Post by stringtester » Thu Mar 21, 2013 5:36 pm

My instruments bottom have not moved up yet. But the strings distans to the fingerboard
is 5mm. more at playingplace for high Sa then it is at the nut. It doesn´t look like I can put
bone-dust and glue in the groove in the nut. So the option is to file a deep groove in the
bridge.I´m not glad to do so. I´m also afraide the sound vill be weaker because the bad
angle over the bridge it vill cause.

Maybe another solution is to place a little extra board on the fingerboard. Around 1cm.
broad. Very thin at the upper bridge and gradually being thicker up to high Sa so it vill be
parallel to the string. And fixed with small spots of glue so you easy can remove it if necessary.
Maybe it also can be longer up then high Sa. The material can be some hard wood.

DrKashyap
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Re: recurrent problem in sarangi set-up

Post by DrKashyap » Thu Mar 21, 2013 6:13 pm

The remedy to this is - any one of the following or varying combination of both.

1. raise the nut at upper end ( Aad ) by placing a small packing underneath it. You need to detach whole aad from the finger board & need to fix a packing ( any wood can do ) between fingerboard & bottom of the aad.
2. Loosen all the strings & cut the appropriate portion of the legs of main bridge to bring that end down.

Be very careful to do the 2nd job, as it may change the tone of sarangi & may take some time to recover it.

stringtester
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Re: recurrent problem in sarangi set-up

Post by stringtester » Thu Mar 21, 2013 8:55 pm

What I can understand the second job you descibe will give a more bad angle over the bridge
then the first job. So because of that reason raiseing the nut is to prefer. The string will also
be higher up from the fingerboard.

martin spaink
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Re: recurrent problem in sarangi set-up

Post by martin spaink » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:36 am

What it all boils down to is that there is often a conflict between playability and getting a good sound out of your instrument! I did repairs on a sarangi for a friend who has very short and small nails, so the string has to sit lower for her otherwise she just can not play. This precludes a possibility to get more tone out of the instrument. Again, look at the angle the strings make over the bridge of a violin or a cello, which is more acute and is bi-sected equally back and front. With sarangi it's straight horizontal from the front, and a smal angle at the back. It doesn't help!

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