INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: Mangala Teak vs. Tun

 

Author Message
Neal
Mangala Teak vs. Tun Dec 31, 2001 03:45 p.m.


Help!!! I am going crazy trying to decide between a Teak vs. Tun Mangala. Lars has been very helpful, and has given me much input. Is there anyone else out there that has listened to and / or owns both the teak and tun? Any new revelations would be great in helping me decide. I prefer the aesthetics of the teak but I don't want too bright a sounding sitar. Bottom line...after the teak mellows a bit, is there really much of a sonic difference? Neal
Jerry
Re:Mangala Teak vs. Tun Jan 01, 2002 03:57 a.m.


Hi Neal
I don't think I can help much except to say that I have the teak and love it. I went through the same soul-searching as you, initially feeling I'd prefer the apparently warmer sound of the tun. I even went to far as telling Peter I would be ordering it. In the end, though, I went with teak simply because Peter and Lars were saying it was a higher quality instrument. And they're both such high-range instruments that I figured this was going be my number one sitar for life so it might as well be the best one. I haven't regretted it and the concert sitarist in London who gave me a lesson also felt it was an excellent instrument.
Good luck with it whichever you choose. I don't think you can go wrong either way.
Neal
Re:Mangala Teak vs. Tun Jan 01, 2002 10:30 a.m.


Hi Jerry, Well there in lies another question. I was under the impression that the teak and tun are identical except for the wood. Yet as I read between the lines of some of these posts I get a vibe that the teak is in fact, a slightly higher end instrument? Yes? No?
Also, kind of funny but I was concerned that the teak would be to bright for my taste, yet I've heard that it can actually sound dull when new. Was yours dull at first? Neal
Lars
Re:Mangala Teak vs. Tun Jan 01, 2002 03:16 p.m.


Nice to see others have the same things to say about the Mangla Teak. Neal, it is 'higher end', it's the best sitar Mangla makes.
Jerry
Re:Mangala Teak vs. Tun Jan 02, 2002 02:07 a.m.


Hi Neal
As Lars says the Mangla Teak is the top of this maker's range. However, be wary of listening to me. I'm a sitar novice so I'm not entitled to give any advice other than I love my teak model! Speak to Peter at Buckingham if you haven't yet done so. He knows his stuff and he'll recommend the right one for you to buy, rather than the right one for him to sell...
As for bright vs dull, I was worried about the brightness reports too. The sitar is an instrument with huge attack and rapid decay on its notes so a bright one in the hands of a beginner sounded disasterous to me. Don't worry though. I suspect you'd have to be a concert player to notice anything either unusually bright or dull about the sound (Russ has been playing for years.)
Mine looked and sounded beautiful to me.
(It's ferocious on your left hand finger tips for a few days, but that's a whole other story...)
J
Neal
Re:Mangala Teak vs. Tun Jan 02, 2002 07:48 a.m.


"The sitar is an instrument with huge attack and rapid decay on its notes"....Thanks Jerry- What does that mean? Neal
Russ
Re:Mangala Teak vs. Tun Jan 03, 2002 10:28 a.m.


Hi guys;
Well, been reading this long enough; time to jump in.
Neal, attack and decay are the two primary components of a sound wave. Attack is the time it takes a sound to reach its maximum amplification after being produced, usually measured in milliseconds. The faster the attack, the more of a distinct plucked sound you have. Sitar has an attack slightly faster than acoustic guitar. Decay is the time it takes the sound to die away, and can be measured anywhere between one second to quite a few seconds. From what I hear, a high end sitar whether tun or teak has a decay of up to 10 seconds while a "cheapie" has a decay of usually a second or two. How's that?
As you have probably read, I've only had my teak for a little more than two weeks so I'm not an expert on them, but after perhaps 30 or so hours of playing, I am noticing a subtle sound change. Happily, the instrument is sounding brighter and three tarbs are starting to kick in better. I've listened long enough to be able to hear these things. So, it does look like there is a "break-in" time for the teaks while not for tuns.
As far as high-end? Teak is the most expensive because of two reasons, scarcity of the wood and the intensive labor required to produce teak instruments. There are very few teak stands left in the world, so its getting rare fast. Plus, teak is a hard wood to work and takes a long time. So, high labor. But a finished instrument should last beyond your lifetime! A real heirloom. But realize a high-end tun is also a keeper if its well-made. Be careful with known names though. Modern Hemen, Hiren Roy and Radha Krisha Sharma tun sitars are OK, but not anything like those made 10 years or so ago. If you find an old one, grab it!
So, there's my take on this. Hope it helps.
Ken
Re:Mangala Teak vs. Tun Jan 03, 2002 02:47 p.m.


Hey Neal,
I have had my Mangala tun for three weeks now and I am very happy with the sound and feel of it, don't know how it could get much better but Lars has both so he'd be the man.
Thanks for the info on sustain Russ, also on the scale data you sent me. Curiosity got me and I timed the sustain on mine, 10 seconds, with inaudable vibration of the string lasting another two seconds.
I probably would have gone all the way to teak myself had I not been getting the AA tabla for Deb at the same time, a decision I am very glad I made. I really like the warm rich tone of tun and am getting a great deal of action on the sympathetic strings.
I'm really glad that you can hear the difference after only 30 hours Russ, geesh I've had mine for a week longer and haven't put in 30 hours more like 18, your sssmokin...
Good luck Neal let us know how you like your selection, do you play any other instruments as well? Thanks everyone for all the info. . . ken
Ken
Re:Mangala Teak vs. Tun Jan 03, 2002 02:47 p.m.


Hey Neal,
I have had my Mangala tun for three weeks now and I am very happy with the sound and feel of it, don't know how it could get much better but Lars has both so he'd be the man.
Thanks for the info on sustain Russ, also on the scale data you sent me. Curiosity got me and I timed the sustain on mine, 10 seconds, with inaudable vibration of the string lasting another two seconds.
I probably would have gone all the way to teak myself had I not been getting the AA tabla for Deb at the same time, a decision I am very glad I made. I really like the warm rich tone of tun and am getting a great deal of action on the sympathetic strings.
I'm really glad that you can hear the difference after only 30 hours Russ, geesh I've had mine for a week longer and haven't put in 30 hours more like 18, your sssmokin...
Good luck Neal let us know how you like your selection, do you play any other instruments as well? Thanks everyone for all the info. . . ken
Russ
Re:Mangala Teak vs. Tun Jan 03, 2002 04:53 p.m.


Neil
For a quick answer, the Mangla teak appears, feels, and sounds well-made, and deserves to be called top-end. I can't say anything about the Mangla tun as I haven't seen or played one, so ask Ken or Lars. I have played a Hiren Roy teak also. I will say that I think the Hiren Roy teak has better frets than Mangla, both heavier and thicker. But the Hiren Roy teak model is very bright sounding, perhaps too much. Has kind of a "sterile" sound to it, no soul. In comparison, the Mangla teak does sounds better. Buy hey, two weeks is not enough play time for a decent answer. I'll have a better one in a month or so!
neal
Re:Mangala Teak vs. Tun Jan 03, 2002 04:24 p.m.


Hi Russ,
Since I have been playing the sitar now for a whopping 6 weeks, let me tap your decades of experience. Relative to your past sitars, what sonic differences do you notice with 1) a Mangla in general? & 2)with a teak Mangla specifically.
neal
Re:Mangala Teak vs. Tun Jan 03, 2002 07:09 p.m.


Thanks Russ,
This would be easier if one could play each type of sitar before buying. Being new to the instrument it is tough to do on-line, sight and sound unseen / unheard. Maybe Peter will open McMangla's Franchises (with a drive-through window in select cities), so one can play each before purchase. ha-ha.
Russ
Re:Mangala Teak vs. Tun Jan 04, 2002 10:07 a.m.


Had to reply to that. McManglas huh? You want that with fries? Actually not a bad idea! The only thing that makes me a little uneasy is that Peter appers to be the sole shipper of Manglas in the US at the moment.
I have bought a couple of sitars in the past, sight and sound unknown. Bad move! Fortunately, I had a two-week trial on both, and I sent both of them back. Unfortunately, I had to pay shipping and insurance both ways, adding up to $100 wasted in one case! So, my mantra is to play before you pay! That way you know what you're getting. Can't decide between teak or tun? Only way is to try both yourself. Each has it pros and cons.
Jerry
Re:Mangala Teak vs. Tun Jan 05, 2002 02:25 a.m.


Just a quick post re tarbs ringing or not on the teak Mangla.
Somewhere on this board Peter posted a detailed description of how to tune the taraf strings precisely (I'd been doing it largely by ear up to now).
The result was dramatic. The sitar started singing through its whole range from about dha below middle sa right up the neck.
Lovely! Thanks Peter.
J
Russ
Re:Mangala Teak vs. Tun Jan 07, 2002 10:59 a.m.


Peter's tuning is the last two most recent postings under Sitar, Basic Instruction. He uses a chromatic tuning, tied to the actual notes the sitar play going up the scale. Includes all the sharps and flats of the bilaval scale. Not a bad way to tune. Thank, Peter.
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