INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: 3/4 size sitar question


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3/4 size sitar question Apr 28, 2003 08:09 p.m.

Hi guys, I'm really interested in getting asitar, but unforunatley, I have aVERY TIGHT BUDGET. I looked at alot of sitars, and saw how expensive they were, but than I saw the 3/4 size sitar atThump Music ( I was wondering if any of you guys have ever had experience with it. I'm by no means a professional, so I'm not interested in a professional sitar, but rather a baisc begineer sitar. Thanks alot. MIKE
Re:3/4 size sitar question Apr 29, 2003 12:45 a.m.

I have one of those, bought it for my little one years ago but it's unplayable. Better to save up and get a decent instrument, with a cheap one you may get frustrated and the odds are that you will have to do some modifications to it to make it playable, but the 3/4 size is not worth it except to hang on a wall.........


Re:3/4 size sitar question Apr 29, 2003 01:41 p.m.

For the record, my no-name came from Mid-East. It's quite playable, which from what I've heard is the exception to the rule. I've added additional tuning beads, Pyramid strings, chalked the pegs, and drilled two small holes in the tabli. It sounds decent, though it doesn't even compare to pro models. I've been playing for about four months and the limitations of the instrument are becoming more apparent, so I'm saving every dime for that sweet Jaipur on Lars's site. Not sure what I'll do with my current instrument, as there isn't much of a sitar market in Iowa.

Going into this venture, I wasn't sure of my level of commitment so I didn't want to spend a LOT of cash. Now, I'm hopelessly addicted, so you could say that it was good investment either way.

Re:3/4 size sitar question Apr 29, 2003 11:29 a.m.

Got to agree with the guys. Most people have horror stories with those mid-east ripoffs (although there's one guy on the forum that loves 'em...OK whatever). I actually have one from mid-east that's quite playable, but it had to be worked on (tweaked) over the course of a week by a pro player at high expense to me. So, I still can't recommend them. Like some have said, there are good full-size sitars in the $500-900 range to be had. That's not bad, and I would shoot for that as a beginner.
A friend
Re:3/4 size sitar question Apr 28, 2003 10:52 p.m.

Your intention is to start off with a low price/cheap sitar may forever turn you away from ever playing another sitar again.
The sitar you have chosen is the one that is sold by a mass importer, mideast musical, BE CAREFUL!

ps...why would you want to buy an instrument that only 3/4 the size anyways? there are plenty of Real music stores selling the full size version.

Good luck in your quest!

Re:3/4 size sitar question Apr 29, 2003 03:04 p.m.

Maybe it's a good idea to look for a teacher in your neighborhood. I did the same thing and she had a couple of sitars for sale. She had checked and tweaked them. So I have a great playing sitar and a fine teacher!



Re:3/4 size sitar question Apr 29, 2003 03:09 p.m.

Mikeb: Ditto here on all the advise previously posted. If I couldn't save up for a more expensive instrument, and had to gamble on a web-purchased or ebay sitar, I think I would wait until a used sitar became available. The owner might be a able to give you some information on the playability of the sitar.

MATT: If all you had to do was add strings, extra beads, chalk the pegs, etc. then you got REAL lucky.

Re:3/4 size sitar question Apr 29, 2003 04:22 p.m.

One last comment and I'll get off here. Matt, I was going to school in NW Missouri when I bought my mid-east sitar thru the net, so I understand your Iowa situation. Not much different than the deserts of New Mexico where I'm at. Only way I found to sell a half-way good sitar is through a dealer acting as a "broker" for a commission. They would have better exposure than just locally. Perhaps contact them when you're ready.
Re:3/4 size sitar question Apr 29, 2003 06:10 p.m.

K.K. - yeah, I talked to Lars on the phone and he told me that only about 1 in 10 were actually playable. So, I really did luck out. My teacher thought it was fairly decent for what it is, so I guess that counts for something.

Russ - Don't know what it is, but I have a hard time parting with instruments. It just about killed me to sell two of my electric basses a few years ago, but they had become obsolete compared to my better instruments, and they went to good homes. It may end up on the wall!

Re:3/4 size sitar question Apr 30, 2003 12:10 p.m.

Heh heh, yeah I know what you mean. My 33 year old humble sitar is essentially obsolete now, pegs almost worn out, etc. But there's that many years of memories from many places and people associated with it, so I can't part with it. It will probably be buried with me someday. Too big for the wall!
Re:3/4 size sitar question May 01, 2003 06:14 p.m.

its better that u save some money and buy a good one
in india it will only cost u bout 200 $$ for a sitar a good onle like one that of radha krishen sharma.....
but its really advisible to get a good sitar even if u have t wait it willbe a wait worth while!!!!!
Re:3/4 size sitar question May 07, 2003 05:03 p.m.

I can speak directly to dealing with Thump Music -- my wife recently bought me a sitar from them for my birthday (a full-sized one), and they were close to three weeks late sending it. Because this is my sitar, I don't know much yet about what separtes a good one from a great one, but I can tell you that it has some obvious problems from the get-go: the Kunti for the highest chikari string doesn't sit right -- it doesn't seem to properly align with the far hole on the neck, and so it remains crooked. It miraculously stays in tune, but in the long term this'll have to be fixed.

As a whole, the instrument doesn't stay in tune too well, although the action is pretty good. But I fear the intonation is going to be another problem as well.

My recommendation is to buy from Buckingham Music ( Their prices are a bit higher, but you can count on getting an instrument that'll work properly, since they tweak every instrument they get from India. I would avoid Thump Music like the plauge.

Re:3/4 size sitar question May 07, 2003 08:36 p.m.

Hey Michaelnace: Have you searched the forum archives for info on tuning, tweaking, setting up intonation, etc? There is a veritable plethora of info here on these topics. What you might think are problems with your sitar, just might be the normal "growing pains" that EVERY new sitar goes through, including the more expensive �concert� quality instruments. Also, you might want to pick up Ashwin Batish�s �Tweaking Your Sitar� video. It really has some good tips & tricks on it. You can pretty much learn everything in one or two viewings, so it�ll still be in ��like new condition� when you�re done with it
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