I have just aquired a second hand pair of tabla. The bayan is fine, but the TA note on the dayan is very flat. It is worse in some parts than others.
I'm thinking of having it restrung but thought I'd get a bit of unbiased advice first so that I knew what I was talking about when I spoke to the repairers about it.
Any comments would be very much appreciated.
Rashid in Brisbane
Rashid, There could be any number or combination of reasons why the dayan is "flat" - from 'the puddi/straps just needs to be pulled up tighter' to 'the puddi is ripped or torn and needs to be replaced'. If you know and trust the repairers ask them first for an estimate before doing any work. Ask them if the puddi can be saved, if it only needs to be pulled, if there is any other damage to the tabla such as a crack or a serious warp to the wooden shell. In some cases the shell may look fine but if it wasn't properly constructed, such as those that are sometimes hollowed out on a lathe, the shell can be 'dead' - in other words, it's a lemon and even the best puddi in the world won't make it sound any better. Chances are more likely that the puddi needs to be replaced, especially since it was a used instrument. But get the repairers to show you exactly what they plan to do and how much it will cost for each item including labor. Compare that to the cost of a brand new dayan and don't leave the shop with it until you are completely and totally satisfied. You can save more money by becoming more familiar with tabla consrtuction and maintenance of the instruments you already own: https://chandrakantha.com/tablasite/articles/repair.htm than you can buying used equipment cheaply but indiscriminately. Seriously, it takes a lot of experience to recognize the difference between an tabla and something to sit on the bookshelf that looks like a tabla. If you're at all serious the difference is worth knowing.