INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: Sitar Tumba, does it really affect the sound?

 

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Beenkarji
Sitar Tumba, does it really affect the sound? Sep 28, 2003 02:29 a.m.


I have been pondering if I should experiment with new finishes on the lower tumba of the sitar. I curenly use oil based finishes with shellac (french polish) on top, but I am thinking of other methods to use, perhaps a polyurethane based finish. The only reason I won't try it yet, is because I really am trying to figure out if the finish on the gourd will make that much of a difference. My friend Tony had a sitar with an aluminum tumba that sounded awesome, and I have also heard plastic ones too, so I am starting to think, maybe the actual finish doesn't do much to the tumba. Of course the rest of the body is better off with the traditional finish, because it doesn't seep into the pores of the wood. If one were to use polyurethane, then the finish would last forever on the tumba, so I am seriously considering it, but then again, I am so used to doing the traditional method, and afraid to move on. What does everyone think?
Beenkar Ted Ceplina
Remco_Helbers
Re:Sitar Tumba, does it really affect the sound? Sep 28, 2003 07:13 a.m.


What I know from other instruments, mainly electric guitars is that polyurethane finishes, because of the thoughness and hardness more or less "captures" and strangles the tone. It seems so tough that the higher harmonics come out more and dampens the mids and lows. I've read stories of guitarplayers who removes their finish, just to discover their guitar became much more alive and responsive.(Paul Reed Smith, of Paul Reed Smith guitars told an interviewer that he actually liked his guitars more with traditional finishes because of the sound, but the customers were far more impressed with the shiny glossy poly-finish). Also because of the thickness you apply less coats of finish.(Less manhours thus cheaper). Perhaps more (thinner) coats of traditional finish also let the instrument breath more than a thick blob of plastic.

Peace,

Remco

Jeff
Re:Sitar Tumba, does it really affect the sound? Sep 28, 2003 12:31 p.m.


I stripped the finish off of two of my electric guitars and it changed the tone of both, for the better I think.
I seems to have opened up the wood.
Jeffrey R King
Stephen
Re:Sitar Tumba, does it really affect the sound? Sep 29, 2003 12:56 p.m.


Rent the film "The Red Violin" for a twist on finishes.
K.K.
Re:Sitar Tumba, does it really affect the sound? Sep 29, 2003 01:17 p.m.



Stephen (Sep 29, 2003 12:56 p.m.):
Rent the film "The Red Violin" for a twist on finishes.

Stephen:
Why not just explain to Ted how to apply this finish (using the techniques in the film) to his sitar tumba? That way he doesn't have to go through the tedious process of locating, renting, and viewing the video. You'll save him a lot of valuable time and expense!

Beenkarji
Re:Sitar Tumba, does it really affect the sound? Sep 29, 2003 05:57 p.m.


Hi, I know all about "french polish" that is the method I use, but yes, do tell me about other methods which might work.
Beenkar Ted Ceplina
pb
Re:Sitar Tumba, does it really affect the sound? Sep 29, 2003 06:12 p.m.


Beenkarji,
I don't think you want to use the method Stephen is referring to. However, I think you should rent the red violin. I would recommend it, lots of narrative shifts, invites/forces the audience to think and reassemble the plot before the end. If you haven't seen it, I won't spoil it for you.

Pb

Amitava
Re:Sitar Tumba, does it really affect the sound? Sep 30, 2003 10:04 a.m.



K.K. (Sep 29, 2003 01:17 p.m.):

Stephen (Sep 29, 2003 12:56 p.m.):
Rent the film "The Red Violin" for a twist on finishes.

Stephen:
Why not just explain to Ted how to apply this finish (using the techniques in the film) to his sitar tumba? That way he doesn't have to go through the tedious process of locating, renting, and viewing the video. You'll save him a lot of valuable time and expense!


AS>>> It is a good movie..worth spending time/money - in my opinion. But Stephen's point is a dark one. There is nothing technical/useful about it. You have to see the movie to understand. Another recommended movie for musicians is a french one..Tous les matins du monde. Some of you may appreciate the relationships between a teacher-student-music. Very nice music of Sainte Colombe.

My 2 cs.

Stephen
Re:Sitar Tumba, does it really affect the sound? Sep 30, 2003 12:32 p.m.


Yes, I was only joking as I don't believe Ted is married yet. And you're right, I don't really want to explain the finish that is used in the film and spoil it for those that have not seen it. It is a film I recommend very highly though and I think most on this forum would find it very interesting.
K.K.
Re:Sitar Tumba, does it really affect the sound? Sep 30, 2003 12:49 p.m.



Stephen:
Why not just explain to Ted how to apply this finish (using the techniques in the film) to his sitar tumba? That way he doesn't have to go through the tedious process of locating, renting, and viewing the video. You'll save him a lot of valuable time and expense!


Of course I was just joking also. I guess nobody got my twisted humor...sorry

Beenkarji
Re:Sitar Tumba, does it really affect the sound? Oct 01, 2003 05:24 p.m.


Hi, now I understand its about the movie more than the technique. If we are on the subject of movies then you need to see "Latcho Drom" is is a art film about Gypsies, and how they immigrated from Rajasthan all the way to Spain, it is one of my favorite movies.
Beenkar Ted Ceplina
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