INDIAN MUSIC FORUM ARCHIVES: Harmonium Forum: Bina VS Signature 23


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Bina VS Signature 23 Dec 15, 2003 12:42 p.m.

Hi - I'm new to Indian music and about to get my first harmonium. I am a keyboard player - but never bought a harmonium. On a business trip to the East Coast I visited a shop and went in about a Bina 23B. The owner of the shop had them but steered me towards a "Signature 23". It looked like a mirror image of the BINA. I was very suspicious. Especially when he started telling me how much better it was. But he opened up a Bina and one of the others and right away I could see a difference. The bottom of the (I don't know what it's called) section that houses the reeds, was made from composite board and the the Signature one was made from real wood. Same with the bottom of the instrument. So my first question is: does it make a difference if real wood is used in the reed area and the bottom of the harmonium?
The other things he showed me with a chromatic tuner, was the Bina was "15-20 cents sharp". It was badly tuned - but he said he wouldn't sell it until it was in "justified tuning". Not sure what that means. Also, the keyboard on the Bina was very stiff. Maybe it's supposed to be that way? I would love to get some feedback on this before I buy. I see that someone in California is selling Binas very cheap, but I don't want to save a few bucks and cheat myself of a good harmonium. Also, is there any good harmonium players in this forum I could get some playing tips from?
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