INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: Srishti Standard

 

Author Message
Billy
Srishti Standard Aug 25, 2003 01:50 a.m.


I received my Shrishti "Standard" sitar from Sitars, Etc. Friday night. I haven't had a lot of chance to explore it completely, in fact, I just got it tuned up this afternoon.

Let me say that I am quite impressed! This is a lot of intrument for its price.

I'll try to post a better review (from a beginner's viewpoint) or at least provide some photos, in the next few days, I just wanted to let you all know that I did get it, and its a great sitar!


Namaste',
Billy Enigmar Godfrey
Jan
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 25, 2003 08:05 a.m.


Have fun!

jan

Jeff
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 25, 2003 09:57 p.m.


Cant wait to see some pics Billy, there aint nothing like a new sitar to adore. Lets see some pics of your "no name" sitar for a side by side comparison.
Jeffrey R King
Billy
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 27, 2003 01:28 a.m.


Rather than post a bunch of slow-loading photos, I built a little webpage about my new sitar at:

My Srushti Standard


Namaste',
Billy Enigmar Godfrey
Jeff
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 27, 2003 01:50 p.m.


Nice,,,,,,,,,,,, Have fun with it Billy. You'll also find alot more inspiration to play now that you have a decent instrument. As for your old sitar,,,,, at least you have a cool wall decoration to hang up!
About your little website,,, Can any idiot,,(me),, make one? My son has a PC, but I dont know the first thing about 'em. Do you have to pay for that or is it free? Just curious,,,, Thanky!
Jeffrey R King
Billy
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 27, 2003 04:01 p.m.


[quote]Jeff (Aug 27, 2003 01:50 p.m.):
Nice,,,,,,,,,,,, Have fun with it Billy. You'll also find alot more inspiration to play now that you have a decent instrument.
quote]

Yeah, definitely a lot more inspiration than I had before. It will be more inspiring once I grow those calluses. I'm working with it daily already, so I can hopefully get those finger-tips conditioned. I think I may even try the henna idea.

I noticed in your profile you play dulcimer. I sort of play also; more of just barely getting by. I took one of those week-long folk camps in North Carolina on it a couple of years ago. One thing the instructor told us that, no matter how busy we are, spending even at least 15 minutes a day will help develop and maintain muscle memory as well as an ear. Of course I am trying to spend more time than that on sitar, but I think the point is important.

The building a website question is probably a bit long to post here. I'll email you some info.


Namaste',
Billy Enigmar Godfrey
Jeff
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 27, 2003 04:31 p.m.


Hey Billy,
I've been playing mountain dulcimer on and off for about 12 years, I'm no pro though but I get by.
I've made 6 of them in the past year or so but havent made any in a few months due to health and laziness issues.
I've been planning to make the ultimate "sitar stand" but never seem to get around to it, (again "Laziness).
I also started to make a Didgeridoo but never finished it, the dogwood tree that was in my front yard died in vain for that little venture.
I also plan to build an acoustic guitar but I'm a lazy fellow now a days, so who knows when I'll get to that project.
My brother "Harry" has been making violins and he's doing pretty good at it.
I have a great woodworking shop here a home but finding the time or energy seems to elude me anymore.
The dulcimer is fun, its even sort of like a sitar I think, with how the scale is set up. But its hard to find time to play it with the sitar practice and guitar practice.
I even stopped the didge practice for awhile and I was sounding pretty good at it too! My next instrument of choice will be the open back banjo,,,,, someday.
Jeffrey R King
swansong
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 27, 2003 06:19 p.m.


wow billy, she's gorgeous... nice page too. The pictures on Lars' site don't reveal the richness of the woodwork and stain as well as your pics. the varnish color is sooo beautiful, the mahogany looks like it is glowing (drool...), and that's only the "standard" model!

envious,
Emmanuel

PS. considering the fact that heat damage is so common I figured I should ask, what do you need to do to remove it? is it like a cracking/blister or just a fading of the color? Thanks and have a blast!

K.K.
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 27, 2003 06:34 p.m.



Billy (Aug 27, 2003 04:01 p.m.):
Yeah, definitely a lot more inspiration than I had before. It will be more inspiring once I grow those calluses. I'm working with it daily already, so I can hopefully get those finger-tips conditioned. I think I may even try the henna idea.


Billy, I've been using henna the last couple of months and I'm convinced it helps. Take a close look at Raviji's fingers on the "In Portrait" DVD, you can see the orange stain on them.
BTW, there's all kinds of treasures you can pick out on that DVD, if you use the zoom in function on your DVD player.
Russ
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 27, 2003 07:14 p.m.


Billy, I'm curious about the "stereo effect" you mentioned the player experiences from the spun wood tumba. You mean the top tumba becomes a second sound source? I've never heard that before.
Matt
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 27, 2003 07:48 p.m.


Billy,
Congratulations on the new addition to your family! She's beautiful!
Billy
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 27, 2003 07:54 p.m.



swansong (Aug 27, 2003 06:19 p.m.):PS. considering the fact that heat damage is so common I figured I should ask, what do you need to do to remove it? is it like a cracking/blister or just a fading of the color? Thanks and have a blast!

Fortunately, the heat damage isn't that bad, no blisters, no indentations, just mostly some dulling at the point where the toomba sat in the case. I suspect it will polish out with a little help. Lars has already given me some instructions on how I might attack this.


Namaste',
Billy Enigmar Godfrey
Billy
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 27, 2003 07:59 p.m.



Russ (Aug 27, 2003 07:14 p.m.):
Billy, I'm curious about the "stereo effect" you mentioned the player experiences from the spun wood tumba. You mean the top tumba becomes a second sound source? I've never heard that before.

Russ,

The "stereo effect" you mention must be from Lars' right-up from his site that I posted on the page. I'm not sure that is the term I would use, its more of an ambient sound. Its a bit larger than the toomba on my caca-tar, which may be why I heard little difference with it on.

What does the top toomba do for you on your sitar, especially since its gourd?


Namaste',
Billy Enigmar Godfrey
Jeff
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 27, 2003 08:22 p.m.


I posted this toomba question some time ago. I couldnt tell at first but now I can hear a difference with the top toomba on. Even with my sitars with wooden toombas I can hear a slight change in sound, though the sitar with the natural gourd is more pro-nounced.
Jeffrey R King
Jeff
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 27, 2003 08:31 p.m.


And,,,, The MPS gourd still sounds the same, even with a nasty crack in it.
Jeffrey "Hell Hound" King
Jeff
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 28, 2003 09:20 a.m.


Why dont all you peope wise up and move to south jersey here. After all it is thesitar capital of the world .
And you cant beat the poltical corruption, high taxes, high car insurance, crooked cops or the urban sprawl. Plus who doesnt love 100 degree summers with 100% humidity? Ahhhhh. And for fun you can swat at the flies and musquitoes and pick off the deer ticks and chiggers
Jeffrey R King
Lars
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 28, 2003 12:16 a.m.


Well, hmmmm....'stereo' was the best way I could describe it, heh heh. I think there's quite a difference in tone, not necessarily in volume but in depth.
Swansong: The shellac has to get very hot to blister. What happens in the US in the summer mostly is it gets soft and you get imprints from the cover in the finish. I use satin fabric to minimze any impressions and to prevent the case material from becoming embedded in the finish.
The obvious solution to this is that all sitar players in the US move to Seattle!
Lars
Neal
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 28, 2003 08:42 a.m.


OR BOSTON!
Russ
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 28, 2003 11:57 a.m.


Wow, Jeff must live in paradise! Reminds me of those old Bill Cosby jokes, talking about Jersey mosquitos that don't leave without at least a pint! Here's one for you. The only real moisture we get in south New Mexico comes in late summer from Pacific monsoons, raining right now in fact. The Rio Grande flows thru here, and right about now, the mosquitos are flying in bomber squadrons from the river's edge into town. You go outside in the early evening here, you get eaten alive. And this is mostly desert!

Hey Billy, my ears do detect a difference in sound with a gourd on. Mid-range is a little bit deeper. Vegetable gourds seem to work better than spun wood. However, using western technology, a tumba made of thin-walled spruce, well polished on the inside as well as outside, would probably also work quite well. Nice material for good quality guitars. There are sitars made where the fingerboard itself is also an effective resonating body, and a top tumba would make no difference.

pb
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 28, 2003 01:57 p.m.


regarding the top tomba, I have a spun wood one as well. I don't notice a lot of extra sound, just more resonance, maybe 5% more. My instructor says that he hears  more, but those are his ears I can feel the neck humming a lot too. I'll look into getting or growing my own real gourd soon.

Most of these spun wood things have a fairly rough interior. If this was sanded smooth would it be more efficient?

Pb

Billy
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 28, 2003 02:04 p.m.



Russ (Aug 28, 2003 11:57 a.m.):
There are sitars made where the fingerboard itself is also an effective resonating body, and a top tumba would make no difference.

From the sitars I've seen/been around closely enough to notice in the past, I've had mixed emotions on the viability of the upper toomba. I think its most important aspect may be to help the sitar player hear their own instrument better on top of the tampura and tablas and stuff, sort of siphoning some of the sound more toward the player.

When I've seen sitar being played, the mike is on the floor down fairly low; if the upper toomba really made a difference, why not put another mike up there?

Overall though, alone in my room, I do believe the upper toomba adds an ambience, making it sound bigger, sort of like playing in a cave or canyon. Not quite an echo, just added ambience.


Namaste',
Billy Enigmar Godfrey
Russ
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 28, 2003 02:26 p.m.


Billy, I think you hit it.
From the audience point of view, there is no difference in sound. Only the player notices a difference, and even then only a little. But to really hear the effect, sit and play close to a wall. The sound coming out of the top tumba hole reflects off the wall behind you and towards you. Kind of like singing in the shower! You get that acoustic amplification thing going. For kicks and giggles, try playing a sitar in a shower (hey, turn the water off....) Awesome sound!

Pb, a smooth surface is more efficient in reflecting sound just like a smooth surface is more efficient in reflecting light. The curved surface inside the tumba directs sound towards the opening, kind of like the mirror to a telescope. The smoother it is, the more sound is sent out. A rough surface would scatter it, and even absorb some of it. The larger the tumba, the more noticeable this becomes. That's why I spend time with very fine sandpaper to smooth the inside of my top tumba.

Billy
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 28, 2003 02:43 p.m.



Russ (Aug 28, 2003 02:26 p.m.):
For kicks and giggles, try playing a sitar in a shower (hey, turn the water off....) Awesome sound!

What, miss my chance to soak the tarb pegs??
Namaste',
Billy Enigmar Godfrey
pb
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 28, 2003 03:05 p.m.


Hey Russ,
I'll try playing near a wall to see what happens. Thanks for the advice. I'll get some fine sandpaper and smooth out my spun wood to see how it sounds.

(I think I would like to get a real gourd anyway. They really resonate better I hear, no pun intended).
Pb

Russ
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 28, 2003 04:53 p.m.


Yeah, I just like the thought that my sitar is "stock". That is, made more the old fashioned way with natural materials rather than new "tech" stuff. A veg gourd weighs a lot less than a spun wood gourd too. Billy, you're a nut!
Jeff
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 28, 2003 05:04 p.m.


Hey Russ,
Where did you hear about these spun spruce tumbas? This sounds very interesting.
Jeffrey R King
Russ
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 28, 2003 05:35 p.m.


They don't exist Jeff. That's just a thought on my part. I wish they did! Seasoned spruce works so well on acoustic guitar bodies that it makes sense to have a tabli or tumba made from it. But I don't guess spruce grows in India.
pb
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 29, 2003 12:57 a.m.


Hey Russ,
sitting in front of a wall makes a big difference! I screwed on the upper tomba and the tarabs really sound good. Next step: sand the inside of the damn tomba (lightly).
Pb
Jan
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 29, 2003 10:35 a.m.


I´┐Żll make a new thread of this.
For everybody to spill their guts about Sitar Innovations.

Jan

Russ
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 29, 2003 11:10 a.m.


Hi Jan. Yeah, we had a sitar innovations thread going for a little while sometime last year. I think it started off with tuning pegs made like the lock and gear type on a guitar or banjo. Would keep those darn things from always slipping. A few people brought up Green Onion sitars. Good to see the thread continued.
Pb, only sand until rough edges are gone. Don't have to do much......
Jeff
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 29, 2003 03:10 p.m.


Russ,,,,,,
I assume you are talking about sanding both natural gourd and spun wood tumbas?
Jeffrey R King
Russ
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 29, 2003 04:13 p.m.


I've only sanded the inside of a natural gourd with a hole big enough to get my hand in. But yeah, you can do the wood one as well. Choice of sandpaper would be different between the two though. Real gourd is not as hard as spun wood, so use at least 800 grit sandpaper or even finer, and don't use a lot of pressure. For spun wood, maybe rougher grit is OK, then finish off with finer stuff. You can also use the 0000 steel wool in place of fine grit paper.
K.K.
Re:Srishti Standard Aug 29, 2003 05:19 p.m.


Russ: Did you seal the inside of the gourd after you sanded it smooth? I know, on drums at least, it makes a difference in the reflective qualities, if you seal the raw wood on the inside of the drumshell.
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