Author Message
Dear Mr. Athlye Jul 03, 2003 12:11 a.m.

Dear Mr. Athlye,
I have visited your web site. Your tablas have been very highly recommended. However, I would be hesitant to fill out an 'order form' without knowing the cost of your instruments. I am aware that shipping costs vary widely and there may be additional features such as tabla grade, cases, hammers, rings, etc. that may make the price more or less. But what is your base price for a standard dayan and bayan with no extras excluding shipping? Thank you for your assistance, I'm certain that other potential customers would also appreciate this information and since your instruments have already been positively introduced on this forum I feel it would not be considered unwelcome solicitation on your part to provide this additional information.
Prafulla Athalye.
Re:Dear Mr. Athlye Jul 11, 2003 01:44 a.m.


Unfortunately, I don't get made standard dayans or bayans. Whatever tablas I get made are of professional quality. Please write to me at for further details if you are interested in professional tablas.

Prafulla Athalye.

Re:Dear Mr. Athlye Jul 11, 2003 11:49 a.m.

Prafulla Athalye,
Thank you for your response.
I am concerned about this issue because at present there seems to be little or no criteria
about what constitutes a quality made tabla. It is also my understanding that for many reasons including global marketing competition and complicated cultural and economic pressures the knowledge and materials for making tablas as a cultural heritage and an artform is in serious decline, and may be lost forever.
Unfortunately, there are tabla dealers ( the number is increasing every week) who aren't as reputable as you, who also advertise "professional" or "professional grade" tablas and accessories. So much so that the term 'professional tabla' (or sitar, or tanpura, or harmonium, etc.) isn't much help at all to the discriminating consumer/musician.
To complicate matters the purchase of a set of tablas comes with no gaurantee of satisfaction. As your website states: "3.Refund : Under no circumstances will there be a refund given once the transaction is complete." I understand the reasoning behind this common disclaimer, as Indian instruments are not made on an assembly line as most other consumer products are, and that you cannot be responsible for a product if it has been misused or damaged by the consumer.
However, this leaves no recourse for the consumer except to weight the financial risk of losing $300. - $500. or more against the advertisers claims and word-of-mouth recommendations.
I have little doubt that your tablas are indeed of professional quality and that your primary intention is not so much to make a profit as it is to raise the standard of the quality of instruments that are available to both professionals and serious students alike, and at a reasonable cost. I would be the first to applaud those efforts.
My only suggestion is that you would underscore that committment by making the details and prices available in public to the consumer on your website. To do so would be both a service to the tabla community as a whole and to yourself as well. This would also help greatly to relieve the doubts that someone may have about blindly purchasing an item with no gaurantee. Perhaps your tablas would become the highest 'standard' by which all other tablas are measured?
I sincerely hope so.
Also, I would encourage everyone who owns a tabla set of exceptional quality to please treat them with exceptional care. It may be the last good tablas you'll ever own. More importantly do not support tabla wholesalers who do not have any documented expertise or who cannot account for the source of their instruments.

Yours truly,
[Bill Roseberry]

Re:Dear Mr. Athlye Sep 29, 2003 11:30 p.m.

I think a number of people have bought from Mr. Athalye, why not ask them for a recommendation? Shawn?


Re:Dear Mr. Athlye Sep 30, 2003 10:00 a.m.

pb (Sep 29, 2003 11:30 p.m.):
I think a number of people have bought from Mr. Athalye, why not ask them for a recommendation? Shawn?


I have spoken directly to Prafullaji since I posted this. If I had to choose from any mail order supplier I would probably choose him. I haven't purchased anything from him so I cannot make a recommendation. Recommendations are indeed helpful, however...terms and prices given by a retailer over a telephone conversation cannot be legally binding.

Actually, my initial question was somewhat rhetorical and directed not only to Mr. Athalye, but also to all of the mail order suppliers, for the benefit of our readers.

My concern still remains:
"However, this leaves no recourse for the consumer except to weight the financial risk of losing $300. - $500. or more against the advertisers claims and word-of-mouth recommendations."


Re:Dear Mr. Athlye Sep 30, 2003 02:31 p.m.

that is where this forum excels. I noticed a post a while back where a consumer was not happy with his purchase and told the story in the forum. Very soon the seller responded and there was an offline resolution.


Re:Dear Mr. Athlye Oct 01, 2003 01:48 a.m.

I ordered a tabla set from Prafulla this summer and I was very satisfied with the set he selected/supervised/approved (Sadanand is his supplier). They are sent directly from India.

I have a friend who used Prafulla's services as well who is very happy too.


Re:Dear Mr. Athlye Oct 01, 2003 10:09 a.m.

<<how much did you pay? I want to buy there but not sure about quality. What kind of set do you buy?
Re:Dear Mr. Athlye Oct 03, 2003 09:34 a.m.

Hi all,

I think that I've posted about Prafulla's tablas previously. Basically, I know two people here in Montreal who have ordered from him, and I have one dahina from him that I got through one of these two people. All the drums are of high quality, and the buyers had positive experiences.

For my personal tastes, the skins are a little thin, and could use more syahi, but they still sound very nice. It's just because I play Benares baj that my tastes are a little different...


Re:Dear Mr. Athlye Oct 12, 2003 11:00 a.m.

I can recommend Mr. Prafulla's services to everybody. He sent me two tabla sets, a dholki and a ghatam, all of them are very high quality. The bayans and dayans are very heavy and the puries are really carefully made so they give a clear and melodious sound. Everything was safely packed, the instruments reached me in perfect condition, so there's nothing to worry about. Prafulla is a very reliable person (and an excellent tablaplayer), I think he's one of the best online suppliers at the moment.
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