I've read all I can find about buying a new/used sitar, and it seems as if the best thing to do is to buy the instrument in person. Is it right that the gourd size can vary so much as to make this essential (ie a small person may have trouble holding an instrument with a large gourd etc.)? Also, are new instruments so terribly varied with regards to quality (ie overall finish, alignment of frets/bridge)?
Hi. Saw your query on how to buy new or used sitars. You are absolutely right that you need to actually sit down with it and play it. The variablity in those things is unbelieveable. Unfortunately, Indians don't seem to understand the concept of ergonomics, that is, match the machine to the human for optimal performance. Sitars come in small, medium and large sizes (just like people)and if you get the wrong one, you will give up, and that will be that. Also, quality of wood (mahogony versus teak)makes a big sound difference. I know. I own three sitars, all of which I bought without trying out, and none are suited to me. Now I'm stuck with them! So, don't make this mistake. There is virtually no quality control with sitars, so be sure you try it before you buy it! Good luck.