INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Tabla Forum: vishnu heads???


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vishnu heads??? Nov 25, 2003 09:52 a.m.

can you explain the difference between calcutta, bombay and vishnu style head?


Re:vishnu heads??? Nov 25, 2003 03:36 p.m.

The difference between calcutta and bombay heads is the Cal. heads are made from thinner skins producing a very sharp long sustaining tone usually immediately after the head is put on, the gob generally has more concentric circles than on the Bombay heads.

Bombay heads are made with thick skins that usually have a more "woody" or warm tone. Since the skins are thicker they take some time to break in and will continue to improve in sound for months after they are put on. I find that the bombay heads consistantly last longer and can take more abuse than the more delicate calcutta heads.

Vishnu is one of Bombay's most respected tabla makers, there are other high quality, respected makers ( Swami, Sadanand, Hari Das, etc.). We find that Vishnu provides the most consistant quality for export.

I have put thousands of heads on in the last 15 years, one thing I have found is that you can not tell for sure what a head is going sound like until it is put on.The best you can do to predict the sound of a head is look at the quality of the gob and the consistancy of the skin, and be sure it is from a reliable maker.

Swapanda usually plays Calcutta heads, Zakirji usually plays Bombay heads.

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