I have been playing around with the raga bhim palasi - heard a recordking by Kartek Sheshardi and fell in love with it - he seemed to have his sympathetic strings tuned beautifully - anyone have any idea how he has them tuned - or any suggestions of your own???
Try the South Asia Woman's forum/music or any of the websites that give the sargam for the various ragas to find the thaat for Bhimpalasi and tune to that. If you have a sitar with 13 tarabs (or enough spare tarabs for any thaat), tune to the thaat and then tune extra tarabs to the dominant and sub-dominant of the particular thaat. I have been following the recent advise to tune tarabs first and then main playing strings and frets to the tarab tuning with great results. I'm doing this on surbahar, but would imagine that the same effect can be had on sitar. I have the Kartik Sheshardri version of Bhimpalasi and it is quite nice, Pandit Banerjee really nails this one down as well. Normally, I don't listen to a lot of Pandit Shankar's work, but do like his version of this rag too. Just experiment with that tarab tuning and remember that you will get them to really jump out of your instrument if you produce the note under meend instead of just the straight fretting of the note. The heavier the meend, the more pronounced sympathetication (I don't think that is really a word, but you get my drift).
Just a brief note about Kartik Sheshadri. He studied under Pandit Ravi Shankar, and always begged Raviji to have one of his Mullick instruments, and since Raviji never provided one he swore that he would come as close as he could. So far to date (according to his sitarwallah) he has destroyed a minimum of 7 Kanai Lal sitars just to find the perfect sitar. So he may be a good sitarist, but has no respect for the instruments whatsoever.
Beenkar Ted Ceplina