It seems a lot of people are really enthused about some rather poor quality instruments on ebay, for starters let bring the MPS sitar up for discussion. I am suprised to be the first person to say this, but that sitar is a very standard, low quality instrument. Let me explain some details...... The pattadar on the tumba doesn't match at all, and neither does the upper tumba. They may seem like small details, but if the workshop failed to fix those details, then they probably skipped out on a lot of other items too. Rember when there is the name Mangala Prasad Sharma on it, it simply means that it came out of his workshop, he makes a few instruments himself still, but it is cheaper for him now to have other people train from him and do it. Next up is a supposed teak sitar that has been bid for and relisted several times now, I remember when it was first listed, the owner claimed in was one of Raviji's personal instruments that was given to his grandfather, and that he had pictures to prove it. I contacted him about that and got no response. The second time he listed it I contacted him again, and he told me he made a mistake and it belonged to Vilayat Khan, but he couldn't provide pictures. The third time, now, he has a whole bunch of info that Tony gave him about the instrument. Rule of thumb, the seller is a scam artist, and even though it looks like a solid instrument, I bet you once you get the strings on the instrument will start showing all sorts of signs of damage. There is one more auction I saw recently of a sitar that supposedly belonged to Ashwin Batish, and was used on the cover of Ragopedia, well I looked at the sitar and noticed a sticker from Bhargava & Company, and then I looked at the cover of Ragopedia, that sitar had no such sticker, nor did have the crappy Radha Krishna Sharma, made for Bhargava & Company label on it. I hope this shows you how many scams there are just for sitar. In all seriousness, if someone is selling a sitar on ebay, they probably are just expecting someone to find the novelty in it, or be desperate enough to settle for a poor quality instrument. All of the above makers I am not giving a bad wrap, in fact if you go to the shops of them personally you can have a somewhat professional instrument built, but what you see here in the US, is basically a decoration, because most of the market is just for the sound and novelty, much like a lot of hand drums are.
Beenkarji, with all due respect: As it states in the Ebay ad, this sitar was refinished (perhaps not so expertly) by Buckingham Music. I saw this sitar when I picked out my Teak, and there�s nothing low quality about it. It had some nasty heat damage; the packing material was actually stuck to the shellac. Unfortunately, this is a problem that EVERY importer gets stuck with occasionally. I�d be willing to bet that the original buyer got a good deal on this sitar from Buckingham because of this.
I just bought a sitar on e-bay. It has 7 upper and 11 sympathetic strings. It also has a double gourd - I bought it from thumpmusic. There is a label on top of the bridge which says bhargava & co. I have not been able to tune it yet so I do not know what sort of quality it is - your message makes me nervous - can you offer an opinions about this model
First of all, the finish color could not have changed during transit, that just never happens, and second of all it is not made by Sri Managal Prasad Sharma himself, so there is no need to defend it. Yes it may be a good starter instrument, if such a small detail as that is missed, then a lot of other things also could be missed. About Bharagava & Company sitars, they are not exactly a piece of trash, in fact for an absolute beginer, they can be okay. Once you start really getting into the music, you will find that you will want a more durable, and responsive instrument. I have to admit, my first sitar was a Bhargava, that was when I was 12, at 16 I switched to the rudra veena, and now at 18 I finally have a Kanai Lal rudra veena. So it shows you how either your instrumental choice will change, or your style will. So dont throw out your instrument, if you have specific questions about it, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, I think it was the Bhargava & Company sitar that brought the Been-Wallah, out of me...lol
I've owned at least 10 Sitars since 1991, I don't clame to know everything about them. I've found Roys that were worse than Binas. Its all about playability, Tones. Straight neck. After saying all that, I guess what I'm truly trying to say is if you can save your bucks up, Lars will hook you up with some very nice Sitar that is playable, as well as enjoyable for many years. I'm very Impressed with his site, and the quality that he offers.............Peace