INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: Mangla Prasad Sharma or Srishti???


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Mangla Prasad Sharma or Srishti??? Jul 03, 2003 04:37 p.m.

Hey all,

I'm going to be looking for a better sitar in 6 mos - 1 yr or so (saving the $$ and also sometimes there's a long wait for some models to be made). I like what I've read about the MPSharma sitars, has anyone out there tried the Srishti sitars featured at They look nice, but I've yet to hear any reviews.

Also, I've read some posts (on the Usenet) about customer service dropping off a bit at Buckingham. One guy posted a review and said his MPS sitar wasn't even set up before it shipped-but I find that hard to believe.

Just looking for some feedback before I plunk down a grand and a half to two grand (US$). If the Srishti sitars came w/ that extra bridge like the MPS sitars, it might be easier to do a comparison, but any advice from anyone out there would be appreciated!



Re:Mangla Prasad Sharma or Srishti??? Jul 03, 2003 04:38 p.m. more thing: I'm looking for a tun (mahogany) sitar, if that helps.

Unless of course someone out there can sell me on switching to teak!!

Re:Mangla Prasad Sharma or Srishti??? Jul 03, 2003 05:50 p.m.

We've certainly been up and down that teak vs tun road before on this forum! If you get a chance, go back to around early last year and take a look at some of those threads. A few of us have both, and there's pro and con to owning both types.

I'd like to see a review on those Shristis also. It was because of a review that I tried out and bought a teak Mangla in 2001. I also wonder how it compares to an equivalent Shristi.

Re:Mangla Prasad Sharma or Srishti??? Jul 03, 2003 06:18 p.m.

Hey Dan,
Sounds like we're in the same boat - I'm saving up for a new sitar as well, and will *hopefully* have enough by late fall.
Prior to the rollout of sitarsetc, I was going to go for a Mangla. The service I received from Buckingham on some small items (strings, etc.) was fantastic, but I wasn't very happy with their urgency and response time when I was trying to buy a tanpura. I ended up buying one from sitarsetc, and the service has been and continues to be top of the line. (BTW, I'm a customer service manager for an insurance call center and just can't tolerate substandard service anywhere. )

I've talked to Lars via email and several times on the phone about the Srishti and am more than comfortable buying one sight unseen. That's what service is all about! I'm definitely going for the Jaipur or Manipur.

Plus, I like the idea of having a unique, uncommon instrument (not that having a sitar isn't unique or uncommon enough).

Re:Mangla Prasad Sharma or Srishti??? Jul 05, 2003 02:52 p.m.

If not for Sitars, Etc., I would have ended up with a Mangla, more than likely, only from lack of any quality options.........

The Srishti Teak Garland I have is top of the line, She sounds great (altho I suck), I wouldn't trade Her for a hundred Manglas, not kidding at all here......

What Matt has to say about support and customer service is also true.......I think it's important to buy from someone who really knows sitars.........the other competetion, man they couldn't even keep cd orders straight, that should tell you something.....

The only regret I have is that I've allowed my older kids to bleed me dry and I can't afford to buy her tun sister

I also agree it's sweet not having a run of the mill sitar that everyone and their dog own......I love my Srishti with all my heart and wouldn't trade Her for anything, she sounded great right from the get go.......straight out of the box.......for a teak, that's impressive

Nope, I'll never regret the choice I made, darn grateful I was able to get the one I got, I could have NEVER got a better instrument for the price anywhere, I have no doubts about that whatsoever.........

I know Lars will play 'em for you over the phone if you want.......I'm not sure the competetion can even play anything?
Do what you like, but you can't go wrong with a Srishti from Sitars, Etc., best deal you're gonna fine anywhere

That's my opinion, for what it's worth (all 2 bits)


Re:Mangla Prasad Sharma or Srishti??? Jul 05, 2003 06:52 p.m.

That's one positive testimony I do believe!

A great teak right out of the box is more than unusual, its downright amazing. Mind you, the Mangla teak is a high-quality sitar, and I don't regret buying it. But I have to keep telling myself it will most likely take 20 years for it to mature and get up to full speed.

Yeah, Lars will play for you over the phone if you ask. He did for me. And he's a good player too I think. But, you just can't really tell over the phone or sound file. Got to take a chance and hold it/ play it for yourself.....

If you're talking about who I have in mind, the best days of the "competition" are probably over. Those guys won't even answer my emails. So, they're history.

Re:Mangla Prasad Sharma or Srishti??? Jul 05, 2003 07:23 p.m.

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Still haven't made a decision, but given my lack of finances, I'll at least have some time to make up my mind!!

....I wonder if SitarsEtc could be talked into providing a "second bridge" deal for the Srishtis like the Manglas have. That'd help the decision-making process (not too many jawari-wallas 'round here...and I'd be willing to pay the extra dollars).


Re:Mangla Prasad Sharma or Srishti??? Jul 06, 2003 06:12 p.m.

Daminal: The fact that a sitar comes with an extra bridge should have no effect on your decision to purchase one. Yeah, having a second bridge is nice, but that�s all it is, an extra. Although the second bridge is specifically �made for that sitar,� it too is going to need jawari when it�s installed. And anyone who is capable of doing jawari is more than capable of fitting a new bridge to a sitar. Don�t get me wrong, I own a MPS teak sitar purchased from Buckingham Music and I love it. I recently had the opportunity to compare it with a new sitar custom made by RR for Anoushka Shankar. Happy to say, the Mangla �runs with the big dogs.� Unfortunately since owner Peter Cutchy passed away, Buckingham has not been the same. But I don�t think the quality of the MPS has changed because of this. The real deciding factor should be how the sitar sounds, not who made it, what it looks like, or what �extras� it comes with. My two cents.
Re:Mangla Prasad Sharma or Srishti??? Jul 06, 2003 07:58 p.m.

Speaking of Buckingham - I noticed that John is no longer listed as a contact on their website. Anyone know the story?
Re:Mangla Prasad Sharma or Srishti??? Jul 07, 2003 12:30 p.m.

I got an email from Paula (Peter's wife) that JOhn was no longer with Buckingham. She and another partner are running the business. No explanations were provided. I think they plan to move also to a different location in Austin.

As for which maker..the jury is always out on that. But I must say, I have never seen the amount of focus given on looks Everyone's needs and expectations are different. The ultimate test comes when a professional drools over your instrument and wants to buy it from you !

Besides the tone..even-ness of sound, smoothness of pegs, weak/strong spots, feel,range that can be played on fret, etc. should also be factors.

As most folks have described before, one can get lucking/unlucky from any maker. But some makers have a better consistency in quality.

Re:Mangla Prasad Sharma or Srishti??? Jul 07, 2003 07:15 p.m.

The explanation Paula gave me about John was that after Peter passed, John (a family friend) stepped in to help the business and get her on her feet.
The arrangement was that John would go on his way after this was done.
Thats all the info I got about that.
I also talked to her about repairing my top toomba gourd. I had dropped it while taking it off and it cracked. She mentioned someone named Brian about fixing it. I dont know if this is someone at Buckingham or Brian from SilverBush.
Re:Mangla Prasad Sharma or Srishti??? Jul 07, 2003 08:15 p.m.

Am quite positive that that is Brian from Silverbush. Don't recollect any Brian from Buckingham...
Re:Mangla Prasad Sharma or Srishti??? Jul 07, 2003 09:57 p.m.

I have to say I agree with the post about me the more "plain" looking sitars, be they teak or tun, look the best.

However, I feel the same way about my guitars.....never cared for all that inlay, but to each his/her own.

How do you guys/gals test drive these different sitars??? For me this would involve multiple plane flights to Austin and the West Coast of the U.S. I cannot really stroll down to the local sitar shop in Miami, FL and compare the Shrishti and the MPS.......but I suppose if that's the hardest problem I'm faced with, life is prety good!

....ain't this fun?


Re:Mangla Prasad Sharma or Srishti??? Jul 07, 2003 11:45 p.m.

Hey Danimal, I'm the same way with my Git'Tars, I dont like a lot of fancy inlays or strange body shapes, although I am smitten with the body style of 'MusicVox' guitars (
A far as sitars are concerned I like fanciful carvings or plain although I've only had one really nice sitar, my MPS rose petal, I have 4 others from plain to elaborate (RKS, G.Rusol and a no name). I think they are all beautiful to my eyes.
Though some sound kind of crappy is nothing a good jwari cant fix. I tried this once myself a few months back with diasterious results. So these sitars just sleep peacefully in their cases 'til the day I can have it done correctly.
Re:Mangla Prasad Sharma or Srishti??? Jul 08, 2003 12:30 p.m.

I also play a vintage (1972) Gibson ES335TDC hollowbody electric. Its not that fancy looking, but it has that characteristic Gibson sound, like a "real" guitar should. So I have to agree that looks is not #1 in my book either. Sound and playability is.

If Mohammad can't go to the mountain, then have FedEx ship the mountain to Mohammad. Test drive a sitar by ordering it. Most places will let you try it for a few days, and if you don't like it, send it back for full refund. Yes, it will cost you some money for shipping and insurance, but its a lot cheaper than driving or flying long distance. This really becomes apparent if you're buying directly from India!

Re:Mangla Prasad Sharma or Srishti??? Jul 19, 2003 09:48 p.m.

I have a few sitars and although I'm no great sitarist by any means I think I can comment about the Mangalas.
The workmanship seems first class and playability and tone seem above average or even superb.
Cant wait to compare it to one of Lars' Srishtis though.
I cant wait till I tell my wife about the preeminent garland tun I see in my near future. Then I can do a true comparison.
Re:Mangla Prasad Sharma or Srishti??? Jul 24, 2003 10:46 p.m.

Finally took the Srishti Manipur Tun will be here next week. I'll write a review under a separate post.

Now, what am I going to do until it gets here?

Re:Mangla Prasad Sharma or Srishti??? Jul 25, 2003 07:34 a.m.

Do yoga.
Re:Mangla Prasad Sharma or Srishti??? Jul 25, 2003 07:14 p.m.

Grow your fingernails.
Re:Mangla Prasad Sharma or Srishti??? Oct 01, 2003 09:44 p.m.

See if the lightbulb in the fridge actually shuts off when you close the door?
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