INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: Chikari strings


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Chikari strings Aug 29, 2002 12:05 a.m.

I love my Mangla rose petal, I set the intonation "bridge and frets where needed" I guess Buckingham didnt tweak it' but thats okay. Anyway,my chikari strings sound kind of dead. I've read here that the Manglas have to break in to open up,but has anyone else had this problem? The chikari strings on my other sitar ring thru loud and clear.Its a no name sitar that can not compare to the Mangla but I hope this problem with the Mangla chikaries will correct itself over time. All the strings look like a good brand new set. So can anyone tell me whats up wth this? Thanky
Re:Chikari strings Aug 29, 2002 07:27 a.m.

Damn dude, mine purred on arrival. It was the first indication that I wasn't messing around with a student grade anymore. A very silky tone. But on the other hand, I have noticed the break-in period, as with some things (mainly the tarabs) it is really obvious from day to day, week to week, the changes that occure. I have heard anywhere from 1-5 years for an instrument to settle out. Spend the money for strings and play aggressively to help your instrument find it's (and your) voice.
If you are not already there, I would experiment with a higher (C#) tuning. Amazing the difference even a quarter step up makes on these instruments. The higher tension will make those tarabs start to come to life, especially during meend.
Glad to hear that your love affair has begun.
Re:Chikari strings Aug 29, 2002 10:37 a.m.

Indeed welcome to the club. From all I've heard, the tun version of the Mangla opens up anywhere from two weeks to one month. Recommendation is to play it daily, about one hour, tuned in C. Also remember exact tuning is very important for sound. Take the time to tune it acurately. You should have a good set of callouses by the end of the month, at which time then tune up and play in C#. Any "mute" strings will be open by then. At that point, increase your daily playing time as the strings, instrument, and your fingers should all be "broken in". I've had my teak now for 8 months, and we're still getting to know each other.
Re:Chikari strings Aug 29, 2002 12:10 p.m.

Hi Jeff: As Stephen and Russ already stated, your sitar probably just needs to settle in. (Here comes the "but") There are a couple of things you might check - Make sure the bridge is not set too close to the chikaris, which can cause them to bang against the posts. Also, the posts are not glued in and are just press fitted into the sitar. A loose post can absorb vibration, causing the strings to sound dull. My teak had this problem. A thin (maybe .001") coat of super glue put on the bottom part of the post (and left to dry, of course) increased the diameter enough to enable a tight press fit. Problem solved. What ever the problem is, don't stress, it's just growing pains - K.K.
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