INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: Sitars by Shaid Ali of Bharatiya Tantuvadya Kendra in Miraj

 

Author Message
Beenkarji
Sitars by Shaid Ali of Bharatiya Tantuvadya Kendra in Miraj Aug 12, 2003 01:31 p.m.


Well, my friend Shahid Ali finally send me some pics of his work, mainly rudra veena, but he did give me a few pics of sitars he has made, so I though I would pass them on and see what everyone thought. I own a rudra veena of his, and am absolutely in love with it, Shahidsaheb is also a wonderfull rudra veena player also. Everyone let me know what you think of his instruments, I would like to offer them in the US hopefully by the end of this year. Miraj sitars are of very good quality, the reason they are less popular is due to the fact that Miraj is in the middle of nowhere, and the decorations can be very simple, which to me is the least important thing on an instrument.
Well, here are pics of two of the styles he offers if both fit in this message.....

Vilayat Khan Style Sitars

Kolkata Style Sitar

Russ
Re:Sitars by Shaid Ali of Bharatiya Tantuvadya Kendra in Miraj Aug 12, 2003 02:06 p.m.


Very nice examples of the contrasts between the two styles. The VK style is less common, and maybe that's why I'm attracted to it.
If you read the article about Miraj instruments on Buckingham's site, their opinion is that Miraj tambouras are second to none, but sitars from there are not so good. Have you heard this before, and what do you think?
Beenkarji
Re:Sitars by Shaid Ali of Bharatiya Tantuvadya Kendra in Miraj Aug 12, 2003 02:30 p.m.


Well, It can be true that sitars from Miraj are junk, but it just depends on the maker, and most important is how picky you are. The instruments I have recieved from him so far are a rudra veena, tanpura, and sitar-sarod, and all of them are extremely nice instruments. When going about ordering them you have to specify the sound you are looking for, what kind of materials, and all that. It is a shame the Buckingham site put down Miraj sitars, maybe just because they favor Kolkata sitars, or maybe they are afraid to do business with the maker himself.
Russ
Re:Sitars by Shaid Ali of Bharatiya Tantuvadya Kendra in Miraj Aug 12, 2003 04:03 p.m.


In all fairness to Buckingham, that was written quite some time ago. I don't know how the current owners feel, or even if they have an opinion for that matter. I have lost touch with them over the last year......
K.K.
Re:Sitars by Shaid Ali of Bharatiya Tantuvadya Kendra in Miraj Aug 12, 2003 06:39 p.m.


Beenkarji, is there anyway we could see some close-ups of these sitars? Our friend Tony K. who as you know now resides in India, and is planning on exporting to the US, says the average "off-the-shelf" sitar he's seen in Miraj "blows away anything he's seen coming out of Kolkata recently."
Beenkarji
Re:Sitars by Shaid Ali of Bharatiya Tantuvadya Kendra in Miraj Aug 12, 2003 07:57 p.m.


Hi, these sitars will be available this fall. I am just working on details with the maker, and also have to get fiberglass cases as these are not found in Miraj. If anyone want one, please let me know as I already have a waiting list, there is no commitment though, I just need to see how serious people are, and it show commitment to say you are very interested in one. I know Tony is off and doing his own thing in Miraj, but I just like to deal with the maker, and Shahid is a good friend of mine, and a fellow beenkar, so naturally we help each other out.
Pb
Re:Sitars by Shaid Ali of Bharatiya Tantuvadya Kendra in Miraj Aug 12, 2003 09:14 p.m.


Beenkarji,
I have to say that the VK style sitars look very nice. The other one is a bit light for my taste, but that is irrelevant if it sounds good. I wonder why there is not an ebony bridge on the VK.

Pb

Beenkarji
Re:Sitars by Shaid Ali of Bharatiya Tantuvadya Kendra in Miraj Aug 12, 2003 10:24 p.m.


Hi, ebony is a recent thing that Bishwan Das has been doing to the sitar that he made for Ustad, so in a sense he has to now endorse the instruments for recieving a gift from them.... a very dirty trick indeed. Rikhi Ram is the only company using ebony, the reason being it is much cheaper, and takes a lot less labor on their part. Ebony is horrible, just give a few months worth of practice and the sound is as dull as a tourist instrument, if not worse. So if you want ebony, its up to you, but I have tried it out on my own sitar, and one of my rudra veena and was very dissapointed. Other materials making their way into the scene are Delrin, and Acetal plastic, which are okay for jawari, but Hiren Roy uses it for anything that requires elkhorn, so you end up with a really unstable instrument. I think someday I am just going to experiment with different materials, but right now I like this black camel bone that you can get from Afghanistan, or good old fashioned elkhorn. By the way, maybe you would like camel bone instead for the Vilayatkhani sound, it is a bit harder in density than ebony, and sustains its shape about the same as elkhorn. Don't get the Indian camel bone though, it is lighter colored, and very dense, and it give too much of a bright tone for a sitar. The Afghan Camel bone is somehow softer, and then it is dyed black, which may also have an effect on the density. One other thing I tried with satisfactory results was water buffalo horn I picked up at the Hmong new year, it has a really neat pattern.
Jeff
Re:Sitars by Shaid Ali of Bharatiya Tantuvadya Kendra in Miraj Aug 12, 2003 11:30 p.m.


Beautiful instruments! I would love to see some photos of your veena also.
JM
Re:Sitars by Shaid Ali of Bharatiya Tantuvadya Kendra in Miraj Aug 30, 2003 06:25 p.m.


Thats weird. My teacher has a 19 year old Rikhi Ram Gold Medalist with an ebony jawari - that was retro-fitted perhaps ten years ago - and it sounds just fine. I know he has practiced more than a few months, yet it does not sound as dull as a tourist instrument. Hmmm?


Ebony is horrible, just give a few months worth of practice and the sound is as dull as a tourist instrument, if not worse.

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