INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Sitar Forum: Tanpuras/Tambooris


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Tanpuras/Tambooris Jan 28, 2004 05:19 a.m.

Hey all

Im thinking of getting a five string instrumental tanpura. Who reckons makes some nice ones with lots of sustain? I don't really want to buy a heaps expensive one, like a Rikhi Ram. But a friend of mine who is indian vocalist, she has a five string Radhey Shyam Sharma tanpura (flat back). It sounds good and she said it was only like 150 bucks! What do people think of RSS instruments?

By the way lars, remember my mate with the lefty sitar? He's ordered a new Vilayat Khani style one from Inni Singh of Delhi Music Stores. He got a lefty version of the No.7 , there most expensive one. It's coming over to Australia now. Heres a link.

Anybody know anything about these instruments?


Bad Ustad
Re:Tanpuras/Tambooris Jan 28, 2004 10:05 a.m.

You get what you pay for. A decent instrumental tanpuri should cost about what you would pay for a decent pair of pro tablas. Pay less than $275.00 and you are sure to end up with crap. When buying a new instrument try to strike a balance between not overpaying and not going K-mart. If someone is selling you a tanpura for $150.00 he probably paid about $17.00 for it in India. Even in the Indian economy that's going to get you something that belongs stacked up in the aisle at the drugstore next to the stale dietetic wafers and no-name paper towels.
Re:Tanpuras/Tambooris Jan 28, 2004 10:25 a.m.

that RR tampora you mentioned really growls nicely. I think it is worth the money if you will use it.


Re:Tanpuras/Tambooris Jan 28, 2004 12:56 p.m.

Ditto on Bad Ustad's advise "You get what you pay for."
Buy a Rikhi Ram or a Mangla. I've seen and played both (my wife owns a 6 string Mangla and my friend owns a R.R.) and they both sound great. The R.R. has more elaborate engraving and is a bit more expensive. I.M.O. if you're on a budget, go for the M.P.S. at $275. The R.R. sure is nice though.
Re:Tanpuras/Tambooris Jan 28, 2004 06:48 p.m.

Paddy, are you talking $150 US or Australian? That might make a difference.

I have a 5-string Mangla tanpura that I bought used from Sitars Etc. about a year ago - it was originally purchased from Buckingham and is the very same one that Manilal Nag commented on. It's a very nice instrument. Strange thing is that it can be very relaxing to just sit and drone away...

Re:Tanpuras/Tambooris Jan 28, 2004 09:13 p.m.

Yeah I think 150 US dollars. Its a Radhey Shyam Sharma five string. The finish is really really cherry red. I'm doing a gig in Brisbane playing my mates (new) sitar, and he's playing Dilruba and the women with the tanpura is singing and playing harmonium. We are using an electric tanpura though. Hey tell you what, i'll take some pics and sounds of her tanpura and post them for you to see what you think.

Yeah another mate of mine has a really old RR tanpura and thats a great one. What do people think of Radhey Shyam Sharma in Benares? LArs had a couple didn't he?


Re:Tanpuras/Tambooris Jan 29, 2004 01:22 a.m.

Hi Paddy,
If you can actually try the tanpura out and you like it, then.....go for it. My experience with Radhey Sharma was less than satifactory, had 2 great sitars and then got a lemon which I had to replace the bridge, etc., turned out nice and my brother actually got it.........but that was enough for me. If you were having to order one directly from Benares then my advice is don't, get one from Inni if you're looking for something in that price range.....have fun and let us know how it all turns out?
Re:Tanpuras/Tambooris Jan 29, 2004 08:03 p.m.

I will let you know, don't worry bout that!

Hey lars check this out

HAve a look at No.7. Thats what my mate's getting.
Thats a nice looking VK sitar, but it doesn't blow wind up the ass of the tun rikhi ram on your site.
Can you put some sounds samples of them on your site?


Re:Tanpuras/Tambooris Jan 29, 2004 09:38 p.m.

I think everyone has a budget, there must be a hugh difference in price too, rite?

im more neutral in this case, rikhi ram could be good now, who's to say the hype will last? I mean, didn't his father do it the same way? and what are we telling the other young 'kids', buy the instrument with the best looks or for the most fancy name.

thats my 2 euros.

Re:Tanpuras/Tambooris Jan 30, 2004 04:24 a.m.

I think it's pretty hard to "hype" quality craftsmanship..........especially in a hand built can't fake or "hype" that

Just my 2 pesos worth

Bad Ustad
Re:Tanpuras/Tambooris Jan 30, 2004 10:44 a.m.

"HAve a look at No.7. Thats what my mate's getting.
Thats a nice looking VK sitar, but it doesn't blow wind up the ass of the tun rikhi ram on your site.


These kinds of misguided comparisons belong on a streetcorner being mouthed by teenage boys talking about muscle cars. The Rikhi Ram sitar while quite good - costs about $1,000.00 more! Of course it's a bit better. Duh!!!

Re:Tanpuras/Tambooris Jan 30, 2004 01:39 p.m.

Hey Baddy Ustaddy, seems you are jumping down people's throats more often than usual. are we supposed to acknowledge that you are now the reigning authority on this board?? many of the regulars I had seen from 6 months ago have been edged out by unwelcome snobbiness and inappropriately negative criticism. chill out.


Bad Ustad
Re:Tanpuras/Tambooris Jan 30, 2004 05:05 p.m.

Will try and park the sardonicism. (Sound of motor idling) Apologies if anyone's feelings are hurt. I'm all for the "no question is a stupid question" mode of thinking. It's just that it's such drag when people start dragging the conversation down to the level of "Hey Dude, my Dad's sitar can kick your Dad's sitar's ass". That said, should I take a time out? Speaking of people dissapearing, what ever happened to Beenkar?
Peace Out
Re:Tanpuras/Tambooris Jan 30, 2004 05:23 p.m.

I personally feel that the tanpuras from the miraz area in india are the best for the wonderful sustain they have and they are lot cheaper too
now my maker has come up with the a jawari made of coconut works reallly wonderfull
so thats new as well
if your a little generous you will get a wonderfully crafted one as well
better to go for the tone than the design
warm reguards
Re:Tanpuras/Tambooris Jan 30, 2004 05:42 p.m.

Bad Ustad (Jan 30, 2004 05:05 p.m.):

"Hey Dude, my Dad's sitar can kick your Dad's sitar's ass".
-----I DONT THINK SO!!!!------

Speaking of people dissapearing, what ever happened to Beenkar?
Peace Out

That good 'ol moral foundation and all around KNOW IT All "Beanturd" most likely in all probability fell so far into delusion-ality that I fear we may never ever see our little buddy again.

I for one am shocked and horrified how everyone here (except me) ran-off my little buckeroo!

The least we can do for our good Ted since he gave so much to this forum is three Cheers! Ready? Everyone!

Hip Hip HooRay, Hip Hip,,,,,
Ah forget it!!!!!

Keshav Das
Re:Tanpuras/Tambooris Jan 30, 2004 07:47 p.m.

The Miraj made travel tanpuras that I have seen - have improved bit by bit over the last 10 years. The use of wound guitar strings has simplified the task of creating a satisfying jawari. I've had tanpuras arrive from India with the strings completely slack and when I set them up it made almost no difference where I placed the bridge. It sounded great anywhere! Unfortunately the Miraj tanpuris set up for female voicing pretty much always need western made strings and substantial jawari before they are playable. Someone should write a "Jawari For Idiots Book" while there are still lots of good guys out there doing it.
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