NEWS AND UPDATES
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06/19/18: Off to India, I won't be able to ship until after July 17th and I apologize for any delays. Fully available via email and phone if you want to call me in India though. It's a one person show here so not much I can do and traveling to India is a VERY necessary thing so I pick the summer as it's usually slower here. One exception though, I can ship DVD only orders while gone direct from the manufacturer.
So I managed to get the pics of the light single color version of the Naeem Ravi Shankar style deluxe sitar up. He likes to change things up at times which keeps my camera busy! Thinner light polish showing the gourd more, nice tone. And speaking of nice tone I just got a 2004 (approximately) Hiren Roy/Barun sitar in on consignment! Imagine buying an instrument when a maker was at their peak, not playing it and storing carefully. Not cheap mind you but it is one of the best ones I'd ever received from Barun. Was bought from us back in the Sitars Etc. days for those who remember.
As for the Aparajita incense.....I originally bought a whole case a number of years ago. Packaged in boxes of 20 by Mavana and all was fine. Ran out and to my surprise they're no longer making Aparajita for export and not packaging. I managed to get a few kgs of it in bulk from them and so all is ok again. It's quite popular still so I'll keep doing this while I can get it. Also look for some other types soon, I'm quite fond of good incense but all the types I enjoy are not available in the US so working on it as well on this trip to India.
06/03/18: Sitar Technique Vol. 3 ~ Raga Pilu 2 disc set is now available again! Will be off to India from 6/20 to 7/18 so not able to ship during that time. If there's anything folks need please get your order in by 6/18 to be safe! Have just listed a nice used Sanjay Rikhiram tamboori that made its way back to us! Very nice, more detailed penwork and less expensive than a new one....
05/20/18: Just added the latest Swaranjali harmonium, the 828S. A standard concert model, equally as well made as the others....check it out! 4 models here in stock, about 6-ish more coming.
05/12/18: Blow out prices on a couple of things. The obscure Mrdangam Talam machine, the Peterson tuners and other items including the LR Baggs Gigpro pre-amp. And the Newtone strings will be discontinued as well, they're not taking care of their dealers at all so ok, bye! And it's Mapes wire from the US anyway which I have plenty of. And most of the CD's as well. All of these things will be taken down after I'm out of stock, only posting this here for those who bother to check it!
05/12/18: The first 3 of many models of Swaranjali harmoniums now up and available! I'm working with some talented people in India to produce these and extremely happy with everything. These first ones are portable kirtan type instruments. The 509D, the 509 regular, and 509M. About 7 or more models should all be here by the Fall after this summers trip to India. Also just arrived ~ 2 Mohan Lal half decoration sitars, should have the Hiren Roy consignment surbahar up before leaving in June and possibly the sitar. Am regenerating them completely to as new condition due to the state of the legendary Barun shellac. Always a good time (not!) Speaking of Surbahars, I finally listed the Naeem Sitarmaker Surbahar. Its been sold, next on here in August.
05/05/18: Ok, so the initial release of the new instruction DVDs was plagued by a few issues and 2 of them now remastered and ready to go! Rageshwari and Bharavi links are up and in stock. Unfortunately still waiting on Pilu/Technique 3 to be fixed and not sure when/if it'll get done but will post here when I've got them. Have just found some incredible harmoniums, 3 already in and should be gettting 5 more over the summer. Best I've ever seen, really lucked out! I'll have the site updated and pics asap. Off to India in late June so any requests feel free to email me.
03/02/18: Just added 2 titles in our Sitar Performance Series! Sitar Technique Vol 3 & exposition of Raga Pilu along with Introduction to Raga Bhairavi. Its been 5 years since our last releases and just as good as ever! Raga Rageshwari is in the works, waiting to re-master it as time allows.
01/13/18: Just added pics and details of a preowned Rikhiram gandhar pancham (Sanjay). Ordered and brought over to the US by Hidayat Khan for a student, very nice sitar for this style. Also have a few more types of fret thread on the Sitar Accessories page and the 2018 calendars are up on the India Gifts page. Outer case covers coming soon for Naeem cases as well as surbahar gig bags! Rumor has it a preowned Hiren Roy sitar and surbahar will be here soon, will post as soon as confirmed! Owned by someone who is not playing them, originally from us here and pre-2015 so good wood and construction.
01/02/18: Just added pics and details of the Mohan Lal teak surbahar. Have 2 here but both sold, the soon to be happy owners waited almost a year! The design of the Naeem Sitarmaker half decoration standard has changed and new pics are now up. Be sure to refresh your browser to see the updates. Pics and details of a gandhar pancham Rikhiram sitar (Sanjay) will be up within a week, just rejuvenating it and making an extra main bridge which will be included. Happy New Year!
12/17/17: Just added a Srishti standard gandhar pancham, this is one only....I found a nice structure on my last trip in India with a good tone so bought it and had it fitted.
12/16/17: Been a little slow updating, sorry! Working for the local school district so less time for fun these days. Anyway, how about a Naeem Kashmiri sitar just added and a new design for the Naeem Ravi Shankar style deluxe. Also added a new gourd cloth in the sitar accessories page, I've had them made so an alternative to the Indian ones, a little less slippery and more multi-purpose. Find them near the bottom of the Sitar Accessories page or here. Be sure to refresh your browser on each page to see the updates, more coming within the next 2 weeks!
09/12/17: The owner of the Hiren Roy half decoration which is on consignment here has lowered the price by $200 so the page is updated. A very fine instrument. I also just got the Srishti standard gandhar pancham style in which is a more simple design without top gourd in Vilayat Khan tuning. I was impressed with the quality of the structure on my last trip to India so ordered a few, very nice. Pics and details up soon, it'll be $815 with fiberglass case. More updates and pics coming soon, the Naeem Ravi Shankar style deluxe is in and has been resdesigned. A new Kashmiri design also coming soon from him.
08/24/17: P & Brothers studio sitar now up....will do a write up on Suman Karmakar (Pbrothers) soon, I spent a lot of time with him in India this trip and really impressed. He's probably the only maker I know of that does all the work right in his shop. He has 2 very experienced and talented workers as well. His idol is Hiren Roy and with the decline of Barun Roys quality now he is filling a needed gap for this type of sound. His only stipulation is that I give him time and he will deliver a good instrument, so we never rush him. You can see some pics on our Facebook page of course if you like.
Also I just got in a pre-owned Ibrahim Sitarmaker sitar. Owned by a local player I first saw it when he got it and it was through the SPK academy and setup by or with Shahid Parvez. Had a nice sound and here now a few years later the owner has moved on to other things. Given that SP now sells these at 2K it's a reasonable price for a seasoned instrument with not much use. Check it out here....
08/23/17: Back from India, still catching up! Pics done, will list the P & Brother acoustic studio sitar along with the Ibrahim Shahid Parvez style (used) sitar in a few days. Waiting on many others to arrive. All P & Brothers instruments now in stock. Unfortunately most of the Mohan Lals are getting sold ahead of time but he's hard at work, spent a lot of time with the makers I work with and very happy with whats going on. Look for changes in the bone parts which are now almost gone due to the ban on cattle slaughter in India. Will adapt to synthetic (not plastic!) where possible and have changed peg woods, etc. as well to a different hardwood due to the rosewood restriction now in place worldwide.
06/20/17: Ok friends, off to India. Has been over a year! Lots happening and coming end of the summer from all our regular partners. Will be gone through the end of July but Becky will be shipping anything that doesn't require my attention. Instruments will ship when I return. Just listed the Naeem concert sitar with all geared tuners, a first as far as I know? He and I worked on the design for a long time. Check it out here. Just in is a sitar from the Shahid Parvez folks from Ibrahim, quite nice for those looking for this style. Will have it up in early August. If you want to follow the India adventures you can find me on Facebook via link above or Instagram as well.
06/11/17: Just finished setup and listing of a very nice Hiren Roy half decoration sitar from 2010, originally sold by us. New pics up of the Naeem Ravi Shankar design regular style sitar which will be the normal style for this as we've had a number of structures made that are quite decent. A good choice for an instrment between Naeems top of the line models and say the Srishti Standard. Look for a deluxe version soon as well. Mohan Lal mahogany surbahar now in stock!
05/28/17: Just got the latest Mohan Veena up here (it's at the bottom of the page). Pine body version with upper gourd. Also updated the Bass Ektara/Dotara pics as they're now a little different and include a fiberglass case. I'll be gone from 6/21 through most of July to India so keep in mind if you need anything, Matt will be here to ship small orders but instruments and custom work will have to wait until I return. More updates soon!
05/27/17: Just got a fantastic Hiren Roy #3 half decoration in, originally came from us and mostly unplayed. Will do a full overhaul with polish and it'll be up soon. Naeem made a really nice custom sitar with a special headstock design, kind of a cross between the old Srishti Sindh design and the Floral from Naeem. Check it out!
05/22/17: Just put up the details on the Mohan Lal gulab patta sitar. Like most of his instruments this was sold before I even got the site updated but will come again! Up soon will be a few from Naeem and just got in a Bhabasindhu Mohan Veena in a different design. And the bass ektara/dotara in stock and now with fiberglass case! Added a book or two and a few minor things.
04/17/17: Have been hanging on to this vintage Hemen for about a year now! Carefully refurbished and minor wear, fresh jawari, really nice for this type of instrument. And having been asked for student level sitars for 15 years or so I worked out an agreement with Musicians Mall to carry a few here. Fully obsessively setup by yours truly and should have no issues. Box tanpuras and Swarsangam now back in stock.
04/11/17: Has been awhile, sorry. Am getting ready to remake the entire site this year on a Mac platform so stuck with an old XP laptop to edit in the meantime! 1st world problems, right....Updates and things added to the Sitar Accessories page and the India gifts page. Starting to clean up the in stock instruments to get them up to date. Just got in a pre-owned full decoration Hiren Roy sitar, was made right before Barun ran out of wood and lost his structure maker to retirment. Thicker construction in the style that used to be preferred by professionals, fully refitted and comes with a replica jawari! Great tone character, needs someone to break it in! More sitars up in a few days......
1/28/17: New liquid peg rosin now available, produced by us with a great recipe and all US sourced environmentally friend ingredients. Also a fancier sympathetic string hook available, you may have wondered what was done with bad pegs, now you know! All on the Sitar Accessories page. Also now have looped sympathetics from Newtone in stock in both .009 and .010 sizes on the Sitar strings page.Also our 2017 calendars now available on the India gifts page.
1/11/17: Slashed the prices on a few remaining in stock tanpura and tabla machines, etc. These are previous models, etc. and all new. Machines aren't very popular anymore so I'll just stock the main two that people ask for. They are still quite convenient but the new apps available are really nice. I've only listed this info here so if you're looking for a good deal they are here. Due to the currency crisis in India I'm experiencing a few delays from the makers, working on it!
12/21/16: Just added the P & Brothers instrumental tanpura. The maker, Suman was very inspired by the legendary Hiren Roy. He uses the same craftsmen for decoration and the results are very nice in his instruments.
Would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, not much new coming for a bit as the currency crises in India has hit all the makers hard so delays on everything. Hopefully the New Year will be better!
11/26/16: Just added a very beautiful addition from Naeem Sitarmaker and also a necklace teak gandhar pancham sitar as well. Both sound wonderful! Also don't miss our latest Sruthi boxes which come fully tuned to your specs (A440 and above please) and we've made custom plush gig bags for them too! Look for delays for Mohan Lal instruments due to the currency crises in India, hopefully it'll get resolved soon. We have 6 instruments due during the next few months.
11/01/16: Finally the Naeem Sitarmaker Sarangi has arrived! Very well made, full professional setup! Updates have been a bit slow, am gearing up to redo the whole site soon. In hand and up soon will be a beautiful floral inlaid sitar from Naeem that he has been working on, no carvings at all, all inlay! And also a necklace design Burmese teak in gandhar pancham style.
07/09/16: 2 new sitars from Naeem just up. Affordable with extra large gourds and 14 1/2 inch tabli. Also added the limited edition DMS 4b portable harmonium. Also added the 'Wisdom of Raga' book which is a classic by S. Bandyopadhyaya that I've always kept as a good reference. It's near the bottom on the books page.
07/08/16: Just finished up a full regeneration of a preowned market sitar. Cheap and works great! One harmonium and 2 sitars going up within a day or two.
06/03/16: P and Brothers #2 and P and Brothers #3 sitar now up. He seems to be the only Kolkata maker now making in the warm parlor type sound favored by Nikhil Banerjee. Really happy to have his main models here and more should be coming soon. Also found some antler beads, made for us in the US. Have a wonderful late 60's Hemen here, will have it up in a month or so as I wanted to make a new matching top gourd for it. Many sitars now in stock, more than usual for a June. Will have a new Ravi Shankar style from Naeem shortly and then chill a bit until the Fall.
05/30/16: Just reorganized the sitar main page, was long overdue sorry! Some are gone or archived and others added. Starting to feature P&Bros instruments with 3 of them now here and will have all pics and details up shortly. Should satisfy any Hiren Roy enthusiast as he has been heavily influenced by their construction technique and has shared the same craftsmen for decorations. I find them to be much better bodies even and half the price or more. Dark and warm tone. So keep an eye on them, I'm keeping them around! 3 preowned sitars added, they come from our friend Harry Om locally who's one of 2 people that buy instruments from me where they sometimes come back in better condition that when they left. Very little time on all of them and old enough to have a bit of seasoning as well with good sound and response. All 3 are from Bashir Sitamaker which I carried for a time a number of years ago. At that time all the fitting was done for them by Nausad Sitarmaker (Naeems Dad) so they're quite proper. You can see all 3 of them here.
05/04/16: Mohan Lal studio sitar back in stock for the moment! And it has some siblings with it, 2 Natural gourd studio sitars which I've been waiting a long time for! Complete with a ganja patta motif, very unique instruments in a higher key. Also just listed a pre-owned Srishti surbahar, we only made 3 of them. Has a top tumba and and extra top tumba with matching penwork.
05/02/16: Some more added to the Tabla accessories page from what I brought back from India. And one item on the India gifts page, see if you can find it (hint: it goes in your mouth). The cult classic Supreme Acoustic transducer is back along with a really inexpensive Turkish transducer I found on the Sitar Amplification page. Just got in a pre-owned Srishti Surbahar, the largest ones I've ever seen. Anyway it's here and nice, pics up soon. Some new small carved oil boxes too on the Sitar Accessories page. A few sitars are in, going up soon.
04/29/16: Has been awhile, on Desi time I suppose! The first of a number of updates is done, have reorganized the tanpura page to reflect changes in what's now being made. Also have a local arrival, a pre-owned 70's Rikhiram female tanpura which is just wonderful. Brought some more accessories and instruments from India, will get to it a bit each day!
03/08/16: Lots of updates coming as we're out of a few things and have other things in again but first, off to India for 3 weeks. Back on the 30th. So there will be some delays in shipping obviously for which I apologize but this is why it all works so well! I've changed the sitar bridges to the new resin bridges, a whole page or two will be devoted to these and other parts by late Spring.
01/20/16: Have a very nice 1/2 decoration Mohan Lal sitar lightly used, sounding quite nice. The owner wanted to change to a double gourd full decoration so gladly took it back. No difference from the new one except the sound a little seasoned of course and a bit less expensive.
01/06/16: Just put up a very nice 1971 Radha Krishna Sharma sitar, fully 'regenerated' with fresh jawari, etc. A wonderful instrument!
01/02/16: Happy New Year everyone!!! Naeem Shahid Parvez style just in, very nice! Also in stock are the half decoration and full decoration new Sengupta sitars. Waiting on the Naeem Superteak GP and a few more Srishti standards and then all set for a month or two until after the March India trip.
12/31/15: Just updated our Shehnai offering if the Indian oboe is your desire....Also our 2016 calendars available. They're free with orders over $35 as well, extra shipping applies as they have to go in tubes unless there's room. Large gourd cases back in stock too! Added some simple temple rakhi as well in the Sitar Accessories page.
12/28/15: 2 new Senguptas here, will have pics and info up in a few days. Also just in again is the Naeem Vilayat Khan style and half decoration standard. His decorated teak GP sitar in the works and shipping soon. A few more small things coming after the New Year when I get some time and of course all the resin bridge and parts info. Have made about 100 bridges in the past year, having too much fun!
12/24/15: Mohan Lal Munda teak and half decoration are now in stock as well as the Mohan Lal full dec tun sitar. His Studio and another full decoration teak sitar in the works! The 1971 Radha Krishna already sold before it even went up. A nice surprise is I finally got some fantastic incense in that's up on the India Gifts page. Those of you who know me well also know I really enjoy great incense, stuff that's hard to find. I found this via a longtime friend in Vrindavan. Hand rolled, plain wrappers and meets Hindu temple purity requirements as they're wood sticks, not bamboo. All natural so they say and made by a family in Vrindavan. Beware, you'll get hooked!
12/17/15: New pictures of the recent Srishti standard now up, be sure and refresh your page to see. The Mohan Lal full dec tun sitar is back in stock also. His Munda teak and half decoration are enroute. Also enroute are 2 from JK Sengupta! The full and half decoration models. Here in the works I've got a 1971 MINT condition Radha Krishna Sharma sitar. Just going to do our usual setup and fitting and then will get pictures. It's $1350 if you want to get it before listed. (Does anyone actually read these updates?).
11/25/15: Just listed our DMS 24a harmonium which is their version of the Bina 23b, the most popular harmonium style out there. Also have a refurbished Paul & Co. 9 scale changer at a last century price!
11/25/15: How about an original 1973 Rikhiram sitar?
11/23/15: Just put up a wonderful Sarangi I brought back from India. It's 100 years old! Nicely refitted and restored by Altab Sitarmaker who knows these instruments well. Was a little expensive but once I heard it there was no choice. Hopefully will go to a good home where it will get played for another 100 years!
11/20/15: Just listed the half decoration standard from Naeem Sitarmaker! Many of you will recall a few years ago we tried this model via Srishti but it was never popular and required a lot of setup. This model from Naeem is really quite good, will meet the needs of beginners and those on a budget. But yet it's not too basic for a seasoned player to use, fitting and everything are just great! All made from start to finish in Miraj, not a Kolkata imported ready made sitar. Hard to find them at this level where a maker is confident enough to put his label on them so really happy to see them arrive.
11/12/15: 2 sitars now in stock from RA Sitarmaker. One is the latest version in similar design. And another is a unique design he just made for us. It features all wood inlay and his favorite bird carvings as well, all work done by Ayub himself. One more new design coming in a month or so. And if that's not enough I just put up all the Bansuri flute information, I have 3 in stock here currently. Fantastic professional level bansuris tune to A440, made from Assam bamboo and had my friend Partha Sarkar do a demo video. It's all right here.
Another addition that warrants its own paragraph is an organic cotton practice mat, the inside zippered layer has kusa grass (Dharba grass) in it and nestled inside a larger cover. I discovered these about 2 years ago and have tried like hell to get them, finally succeded. I use mine everyday when practicing or working on instruments since I work on the floor. Check them out here, love them!
11/06/15: On a roll this week! We have 2 of the DMS 18 teak harmoniums in stock now and have updated the harmonium page which was long overdue. As for harmoniums look for a DMS 4 reed scale changer soon as well as an overhauled Paul & Co. 9 scale changer that's about ready. Will be really cheap and it's a great harmonium, won't be carrying anymore Paul & Co. as they've become too expensive and quality control not so great. I also just added a Dotara/Bass Ektara from Naeem Sitarmaker. These are really unique instruments used in kirtan circles by Bhagavan Das and others. Had never seen one as nice as his so we had them made! Lots more coming over the next few days, keep an eye out!
11/05/15: Put up a few goodies like the Turquoise tuning beads. Found these quite by accident and bought all 30 of them. You know how it goes...so that's all there will be probably. And some inexpensive zippered purse thingys for the ladies and whoever else for only $4! The recently arrived and sold Mohan Lal studio sitar now up, sorry it's waiting list now. Sometime next year for the next one....The Mohan Lal munda teak and the full decoration mahogany will be here in about a month. No waiting list for either yet.
10/29/15: So last month in India I picked out this Naskar full decoration sitar. It really stood out and so that was that. Hand carried it back with me. These will be rather rare here so won't be shipping from India as I get them personally only but really happy with this one. Go check it out, it won't last long!
10/28/15: Been a long month....! Starting to get back on track after the long India trip which was very productive. A lot is coming, I have 2 from Ayub (RA Sitarmaker) here, a Naskar, new standards, and much more to put up as I get pictures and info. If you're in a hurry or curious please feel free to call! Some of the instruments like the Sengupta Vilayat Khan style and Mohan Lal studio sitar already sold before I got a chance to list them. It's like this sometimes...Many instruments coming anyway over the next month from Naeem, Sengupta, and Mohan Lal. Oh...our new calendars are here too along with some cool accessories. Will also have all these resin bridges and parts up soon.
10/05/15: Next batch of instruments due in a few weeks, More standards, a few from Ayub and Naeem, etc. Just back from India and have a few things will put up on the gifts page as well shortly. Brought back a nice Naskar, pics and details up in about 2 weeks. Many Naeem and Mohan Lal continue to sell out well ahead of arrival even which is great, trying to keep up! Have a few nice gems in stock though from Srishti , Naeem, and SenGupta. Also just got in some .0125 wire from Pyramid which was quite popular, a little heavier baaj string.
08/31/15: Just listed the 2 vintage sitars from Jayanta SenGupta! Just fantastic, no words really. Don't let these go by if you're looking for an 'as new' vintage sitar from one of Indias best makers.
08/22/15: August madness replaces a somewhat boring summer! Getting ready for the India trip, lots to do and arrange for the Fall/Winter. I just got back one of the Bashir sitars from long ago, has a Jaipur top gourd and really nice sounding now that its broken in and with a custom moose antler bridge from Scott Hackleman. Do check it out if you're looking for a Ravi Shankar style sitar at a great price. Mohan Lal gandhar pancham sitar in stock, very nice as always. Both of the vintage refitted SenGupta sitars have arrived, will get them up next week. $1900 each if you want to jump the gun and give a call. An older sitar that's in new condition from a great maker is a rare thing. Will be in India from Sept. 4 to 27th so unable to ship during that time but your orders are of course welcome still and I'll be online daily during that time. If you think you might need something before please get your order in before the 3rd of Sept. And if you want to see pics of all the makers and various things I'll be posting a lot on our Facebook page for your enjoyment.
08/11/15: Mohan Lal 1/2 decoration just arrived, check it out with sound clip link in the page. His VK style is on the way, here in a few days. Also on the way are 2 vintage SenGuptas refitted to as new by them. Coming soon! We're phasing out the Srishti models although keeping them in the archives, you can still get the designs if you like them but will have Naeem make them in the future under his own label, he did a great job on a Jaipur style recently. More coming soon....
07/17/15: Just got the latest and greatest in from India on the electronics. Also many of the less popular models prices greatly reduced. In the future I'll keep the basic popular models but probably not the others as no one ever asks for them. So what's the latest and greatest you may ask? It's the combination tanpura/tabla machines like the Soundlabs Sangat and the Radel Milan. At first I though these might kill all the other machines but while they're great (and I use one) they're best at lower volumes. So great for acoustic practice, there's more info in the updated Q&A page. Also got in the Taal Tarang Power tabla machine. Many of the Srishti models here are the last ones, being discontinued for now although any design there or really anything you have in mind can be made custom for you as always. Mohan Lal 1/2 dec and Vilayat Khan style on the way from India, not spoken for yet. And soon the refinished vintage instruments from SenGupta will arrive as well.
07/02/15: After a short hiatus I'm back to updating the site. Lets do it up right ok? Here's the latest gandhar pancham sitar from Naeem. I told him to surprise me, and he did! And I finally found the nylon fret thread again. Only this time it's actually a little better than the Conso thread we carried for years until they went out of business. Have a few different colors even! About a dozen instruments in the pipeline for the next visit to Bharat Mata this September. Instruments coming from Naeem, Mohan Lal, SenGupta, P&Bros, & Naskar.
06/21/15: Naeem full decoration mahogany in stock again, very nice! Also 2 Srishti standards here, now with an option for extra large top tumba @ $65 additional... as large as they get and case included!
06/19/15: Most of the regular bulk wire coils available again! On the Sitar strings page, it's near the bottom. The first of Naeems new designs is here, quite incredible and such a great sound. Gandhar pancham teak sitar, look for it in a week or so as we get time to do the pictures, etc.
06/09/15: Srishti standards in stock again....well, 2 at least. Look for 2 vintage SenGupta sitars coming in about 2 months. They're being refitted for us by Jayanta himself, looking forward to it. Also look for 3 more new instruments from them towards the end of the year. Naeem is busy getting his newer designs ready for us, looking forward to the first of them which is a special decorated teak gandhar pancham sitar, should be here in 2 weeks or so. I finally found some of the upholstery thread for frets as used by Rikhi Ram and a few others so it's up next to the regular fret thread now, it's a 77yd. roll so same price as the Indian fret thread.
05/10/15: A few small things just up. We've been asked for practice pillows so found some nice ones from India. And a few really beautiful ebony narkas (tuning wrench) just in. Also have a Radhey Shyam Sharma Rose teak sitar in as new condition, pics up soon!
05/09/15: Whew! Ok, some instruments have arrived! From Suman @ P& brothers: A beautiful kharaj pancham concert sitar. They use the same craftsmen for bodywork and penwork as Hiren Roy but the polishing (shellac) is from a different source, fantastic bodies...
1 pre-owned Hiren Roy full decoration here in stock, it's a custom sitar ordered by yours truly. I've got way too many personal sitars and mainly play an older Hiren Roy so thinning the herd. Made when Barun was at his peak and comes with an extra fitted resin bridge. It's the last one I'll have as we've discontinued carrying any more unless we can find decent older ones.
A few more things coming soon!
03/26/15: I have redesigned the Indian instrument repair page. As some of you know I've been doing in house repairs on mostly our own instruments for a very long time. I didn't offer repair online as I had Scott Hacklemans info there but now Scott has his own site here. So please update your bookmarks! He's a good friend and I wish him well with his own site. He is extremely talented especially in woodworking and making complete instruments. On the repair side there are so few qualified people in North American doing this professionally that I've finally put my own horse in the race and we all have our own individual talents in things. I've had a lot of training from Naushad Sitarmaker (Naeems Dad) and valuable advice and guidance from other makers espcially Rajesh Sharma of Mohan Lal. The best advice I ever got was actually from Sanjay Sharma who said to learn jawari you just practice. So after 10 years of practice lets see how it goes 8^) And don't forget I offer complete harmonium tuning and repair, more tedious but not quite as mystical as jawari.
03/20/15: As promised, here it the pre-owned Hemen sitar. Ravi Shankar types better grab this one quick!
03/19/15: Finally got the Mohan Lal surbahar up! And my apologies but I had to keep it....it was that good. But another due in Fall and waiting list already. 1 or 2 per year is it, he's a one person operation. We've been asked for the tassles you put on the second string. So I got some smaller ones, they're called Rakhi Bracelets in India and are available during the Rakhi Banda festival (brother-sister). So I have a few on the Sitar Accessories page for you, more coming in August. Also some inexpensive easy to play end blown flutes on the India gifts page as well as a few Saraswati posters. Just in are a 40+ year old Hemen sitar that's incredible Ravi style, and a custom from Ayub (RA Sitarmaker) who is making a few of his old style Miraj sitars for us per year, really nice. Also the latest Gandhar Pancham from Naeem in and a Mohan Lal 1/2 decoration that's sold already. Pics of the new sitars up shortly.
02/25/15: Will have the regular string coils again soon, the only solution was to make them here so working on it. Have the .0285 bronze already available. Be patient it's all coming......Also after about 12 years of procrastination have put up a harmonium tuning and repair page. Have been doing it for as long and before that I was tuning other free reed instruments so it's ABOUT TIME. More things coming, won't be long!
02/23/15: It was long overdue but the tabla page has been updated finally! A big welcome to Vijay Vhatkar who is making some fantastic tablas for us! If you just need replacement heads we have those too now....Parampara was discontinued, will try and stock Vijay Vhatkar sets and the occasional Mukta Das and Shyamal Das sets. I've known Vijay for awhile now and decided it would be a good thing to stock them all the time, if you get the chance to play these I'm sure you'd agree....more things coming soon!
02/17/15: Had a successful trip to India, met with most of the makers I'm working with. Continue to play catch up from the holidays and have a number of instruments in stock but still awaiting arrival of some of the popular ones. Mohan Lal, SenGupta, & Naeem continue to go out as soon as they get here so best to get on the list if you have one in mind! The most recent from Sengupta is here....it's sold already, we have 3 due in the fall. Just put up a full decoration Mohan Lal Sharma full decoration teak sitar that was brought back by me personally. Quite the instrument and still available for the moment. The full decoration Mohan Lal tun sitar didn't survive shipping unfortunately which was quite sad but fortunately it's a rare occurence. Picked up a few elephant oil boxes again, they're back on the India Gifts page. And also after roaming around I found a great place to maker our 2015 calendars which are on the India Gifts page as well if you want to order one. The next Srishti's are running late, will update when I have them. 2 standards are due in about 3 weeks hopefully and the others sometime around the end of March. Also I had a nice surprise in India, found out that Ayub Sitarmaker (RA sitarmaker) was making a few of his original style all Miraj made custom sitars. One will be here in a few weeks, was quite nice. He'll do 3 or 4 a year for us.
01/07/15: Just got our Gandhar Pancham / Vilayat Khan style sitar in from Mohan Lal Sharma. Will have a full decoration teak in February. His instruments are basically disappearing as soon as they arrive with so few available. A really good maker! Also just got in a full decoration single color penwork Hiren Roy sitar, probably our last new instrument we will be getting from him due to all the issues mentioned in the past. The structure has been fully checked and verified and I had it repolished elsewhere in India! Another gandhar pancham sitar is in from Naeem which sound very nice, will have pics and info up soon.! I'd like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!
12/06/14: We have Newtone sitar strings available now! Really great quality strings equivalent to Pyramids and a little easier on the pocket. Check them out here.... We are continuing to run out of stock of Naeem and Mohan Lal instruments. More on the way!
12/06/14: Where to start? Running a bit low on instruments end of this year, got a surprise run on inventory in November for which I say a big thanks! But given that we don't do mass imports it's 2 here and there and so we wait!. Coming soon: 1 from SenGupta in February and hopefully a sitar from Gurdial Singh. I'm going to India the second half of January to sort it all out. Also you'll notice we've discontinued Hiren Roy instruments. This is not due to his ability as a maker but because of absence of quality control, we've been running about 50% defect rates for the past year and so finally had to call it quits unfortunately. You can still get them, will just be harder and not from us as I've had enough fun there. I'll do a buyers guide next year to help you should you choose to try and find one.
10/30/14: Meet the latest from Rajesh Sharma of Mohan Lal Sharma here! Just fantastic, which I could keep them all actually....Some sad news in that we've discontinued carrying instruments from Hiren Roy due to really high defect rates. Tired of throwing out sitars, hopefully it can be resolved in the future but not looking too bright at the moment. I'll do a buyers guide to help those determined to buy one in the future, for now it's best to go there and order it, wait a year and then pick it up.
10/16/14: Pictures are up of the refinished Srishti Nikhil Banerjee style sitar. Customs did a number on it so has been refinished in my own avant garde way and thoroughly gone over. A fantastic sounding and playing instrument! Also up is the lastest arrival from Naeem, the Natural wood full sized studio sitar. Lots more updates coming soon....
09/12/14: Just a quick update this time, a lot of the string coils are now gone in the odd sizes. Have a full dec Naeem flatback sitar getting ready for pics/etc. so up in a few days. A refinished NB style Srishti also in the works, will be quite a deal. Also a few tabla accessories going up, etc. so just stay tuned. 2 Hiren Roy full dec concert sitars coming, 1 is already sold. If you have an interested feel free if you want it guaranteed. And no one has wanted this fantastic pre-owned Hiren Roy teak sitar with Kalka carving yet?
08/03/14: Just listed a pre-owned Hiren Roy teak sitar with Kalka carving....very nice sitar with a great big top tumba too. Have a new policy of check or money order only for used/consignment instruments sorry to say. Have been the victim of credit card fraud this year and we just can't cover this situation on consignments please understand...Speaking of top tumbas, just got in our latest Mahogany full decoration sitar from Naeem Sitarmaker, with a HUGE top gourd. In stock pictures of it here. He has stocked up on the gourds from us, there was a shortage for awhile as the farmers in Pandharpur didn't plant many before. Give the sound a nice depth and Naeem continues to impress me with the direction he's headed.
07/26/14: Had a small shipment from Kolkata, only 1 Hiren Roy 1/2 dec left. At this time we don't know when anymore full decorated will arrive. Trying to get 1 in September. From Barun though another 1/2 dec, a Surbahar, and tanpura due in Sept. Also possibly a SenGupta if it can be arranged.
Our string coil selection is changing, might be a little jumbled at the moment but starting to add and replace the regular coils with the larger 1/4 size coils of Roslau. Will have them in the most common sizes. The supplier of all the coils is no longer and trying to manage things. Bad news is bronze wire will no longer be available in coils, we will carry the common sizes by the piece but the hard to find thick wire will be quite expensive, sorry. If you need a LOT of bronze I can get 1/2 kg. spools from Pyramid for you still.
Got an extra large top gourd just put up and a few nick-nacks in accessories, nothing too exciting. Over the next month or two look for a few offerings from Naeem Sitarmaker who is continuing to impress!
06/26/14: Ellora sitar strings just arrived, Ravi Shankar style only at the moment. Not bad for the price. The ever popular Naeem studio sitar is back in stock, quite a nice one he sent....will have a surprise or two from him over the next few months, be on the lookout! With the last news about no more string coils I'm working on some other options so don't give up hope! But your favorite wire should be available in the future and am trying out the India sources for coils also, will bring in some more options from Pyramid shortly too. Hope everyone is enjoying the summer!
06/11/14: Sad news about bulk coils, the owner of the business who supplied us with bulk wire is no longer with us. He was the only one who would sell smaller coils so short of buying 25 lb. coils and coiling myself (not going to happen) there's nothing I can do. Will have some options for steel wire shortly but phosphor bronze will not be available in bulk coils. Will work on another solution, bringing a new string set maker out of India on board which are decent strings and of course there's Pyramid which is what I use personally. If you liked our coils better get what's left now on the sitar string page.
06/10/14: New tun/mahogany Radhey Shyam Sharma sitar up here, just follow the link to new pics. Also just put up a new DVD called "Cloth Paper Dreams" which is a short 20 minute film by Greg Davis, really well done and gives a nice perspective of the Kumbha Mela festival in India and personalities involved. Once I saw it, had to carry it. Finale music courtesy of Indrajit Banerjee. And for cheap fun stuff finally put up the embossed OM stickers for sitars and other Indian instruments, I finally found ones that would hold up and work. Next updates probably in July sometime, hope everyone is enjoying nice weather!
06/04/14: Just up on the site, a pre-owned P and brothers half decoration sitar in very good condition! And while they're quite late this year, we finally have the Rain City Music shop calendar. Check it out, shipping included in the price. Also got in a Ganesha inlay flatback tanpura from Radhey Shyam Sharma and a very nice Angoor teak sitar with penwork. The munda teak sitar from Mohan Lal is now in stock and his half decoration will be here shortly. More updates coming next week!
05/02/14: Our mailing address has changed! Please make a note of it....new mailing address. I'll be in India starting today and returning on the 14th so just a short trip. Will still be available via email but orders won't ship until the 14th......
04/27/14: We've just produced and released the latest CD from Indrajit Banerjee with Anindo Chaterjee on tabla. We went all out on this, was very costly so if you're a fan please consider purchasing it. As some may know I first met Anindo when he was touring with Nikhil Banerjee in 1982 and it's what planted the seed for my journey in Indian classical music. Kind of a nice feeling to do something worthwhile, the playing is fantastic as is the whole production. Also features Indrajit on surbahar playing Raag Lalita Gouri. You can view/purchase this and other CDs on our CD page here.
04/26/14: All Pyramid strings in stock now with the addition of a .050 & .062 flatwound as requested by some Rudra Veena players. Teak munda sitar and half decoration due from Mohan Lal in a month, Hiren Roy Surbahar and another Garland KP due end of June. More Radhey sitars in stock, a student model, the kachuwa, a teak and tun with penwork and another instrument tanpura. Details and pictures of new instruments will be up soon. Starting to stock more tanpura and tabla machines again given our (& others) discovery of latency issue in the popular (but great sounding) software apps.
04/06/14: Srishti Standard Deluxe model here, pics here...features a little more fancy penwork, hardware and delrin bridges. We only have one of them but will get more as they're available, usually designs will vary on this model. A few more symp peg options in Sitar Accessories and Dilruba pegs in Indian instrument accessories.
03/27/14: Waiting for a few Hiren Roy's still, due in about 2 weeks or so, same time frame for the next Radhey Shyam Sharma shipment which will have 1 tun sitar and 1 teak with different styles that I checked out back in January and another Kachuwa sitar. Have 2 new books to put up and a gift item or two, coming soon!
03/13/14: Might have lost an update or two, sorry. Had to reload the site over the new year and well....So here's what's new. A full decoration studio sitar with geared tuners from Naeem Sitarmaker. Has been in the works for almost 6 months and will get 1 or 2 a year. Finally put up some sympathetic plectrums that are locally made on the Sitar Accessories page. And....a few more oil boxes, etc on the India Gifts page.
NEWS: The often asked for Hiren Roy's are coming, we're expecting about 12 instruments this year so all that are on the waiting list don't worry will be in touch when they're in and ready to go. I continue to be out of some of the Srishti and Naeem models that are selling ahead of time, due dates for some of the models updated on the main sitar page. For this Spring we expect 2 Hiren Roy Garland w/colored penwork, more from Radhey Shyam Sharma and 1 or 2 from Mohan Lal Sharma as well.
Tablas continue to be elusive, have been doing custom orders for Vijay Vhatkar (brother of Haridas) but working out the logisitcal 'kinks' and basically breaking even on them. So don't know what the future holds for tabla at the moment but as always, working on it!
Look for another book title or two shortly as I can get to it. Still planning on filming more DVD's hopefully this summer.
12/23/13: We got in a Hiren Roy full decoration in kalka style which you can check out. It sold before I could list it, we have a waiting list for Baruns sitars that keeps growing. Look for the next ones around March/April including a vintage restored one from his shop that we've already confirmed. We now have a setup allowing us to direct ship very large vocal tanpuras from Miraj. No extra shipping charges for the US, Canada, and many Western European countries. Shipping from the shop here available as well, they're well made, sound great and come with fiberglass cases.
12/11/13: All instruments up to date (I think!). The Srishti Manipur teak, Nikhil Banerjee style, and Calcutta Special all came in with the largest oversized top gourds I've ever seen. Only the Calcutta Special is still available though, the other two sold right away. The latest Naeem sitar is here, the custom mahogany concert sitar. We worked on the design together in Miraj last summer and it has just arrived. Srishti Standards back in stock again too and bridges, etc. Would post a picture of our 'sitar room' but to be honest they're in several rooms so wouldn't work too well. About 50 or so last count....
12/08/13: The latest from Radhey Shyam Sharma are here and pics are up for the 1/2 decoration, Tun/mahogany concert #1, & the Surbahar. Also have an instrumental sized tanpura in Female tuning from Radhey now up! Added a neat Tibetan singing bowl on the India Gifts page, it's completely handmade and have access to a few a year now, lots of fun! A new beautiful mahogany sitar is here now from Naeem, we came up with the design awhile ago and it's finally here, pics up soon! Most Srishti's will be back in stock this week, shipment arriving on the 10th....
11/08/13: The latest shipment from Radhey Shyam Sharma is in with pics up soon, most of his instruments are now in stock! We have the Celtic oil boxes in stock again, all different and unique styles. Found some handmade tibetan singing bowls, too cool to not carry and will have them up soon probably on the gifts page. Big shipment due shortly from Kolkata and most Srishti instruments will be back in stock.
11/08/13: Have a new super tuner from Peterson, a few iphone accessories for tuners and software if you're recording, tuning, etc. Peterson makes some really great products and I've tried to carry anything from them that would apply to our small world. What's coming soon? Well....some more sitars and a surbahar from Radhey Shyam Sharma, 1 new model from Naeem, a whole bunch of Srishti instruments. In January we'll start full on with the Mohan Lal Sharma sitars which we've carried for years a piece at a time, have worked out the logisitcs in order to stock these instruments from both Varanasi makers. I actually order and stock them and for what it's worth to anyone (means a LOT to me!) am the authorized rep for them here in North America.
10/30/13: Padded practice mats available again! We though they were gone forever or at least that's what the distributor told us but several of them now available again. They went up in price a few bucks but that's it. Also now listed are the single tumba fancy padded gig bags, no pics yet and they're almost arrived. I tried these out in India and really liked them, very thick padding and velvet lined. Also the special oil boxes from England will be arriving again soon as we found another source for them.
10/17/13: Have a really nice pre-owned Srishti Jaipur in stock, the wood is beautiful and has a seasoned tone. We just did a clean jawari on it, antler bridges @ $1150 plus shipping. Working on integrating all the Youtube samples we did in the pages, the goal by early next year is to have a sound/video sample of every sitar and surbahar we carry. The end of November will have some nice surprises including 5 instruments from Radhey Shyam, a few from Naeem, and most Srishti models will be back in stock. Oh, and we had to change the name of the Kalamunda to the Kala-KP due to some slang inferences, sorry not up to date on my Hindi...oops....
10/10/13: Added a bunch of new things on the Sitar Accessories page. Too many to list, also a few things are now gone forever, looks like the practice mats are finished but working on something else. Got some extra thick .052 mizrabs now! New wood oil boxes and the inexpensive India oil boxes are back along with many sitar and surbahar accessories. Also got a few really nice Dilruba hardware sets for those mechanically inclined. Also updated the customer reviews section, have been a little lax so put up a bunch. Not enough room for all of them, I really appreciate the nice comments from everyone it makes it all worth it!
09/29/13: A new page with sound and video samples from many of our sitars and surbahars now up after days of work! Each sitar we have a clip of will also have the samples embedded in their respective pages too shortly. Have had many requests for sound samples and the goal is to have one of each sitar and surbahar we carry as time permits. Brought back a few things from India, look for updates over the next week as I get time!
09/21/13: Just back from India, brought back some goodies which will be up soon. Also brought back the Mohan Lal Sharma teak sitar from Rajesh that's fantastic! More sitars and a surbahar due in November from Radhey Shyam Sharma along with the Srishti models that have been delayed this year.
08/25/13: Hemen sitar now listed here. Looks just like when we first sold it, still has a nice antler bridge with fresh jawari by Scott Hackleman.
08/22/13: Check out the Naeem Vilayat Khan style sitar! We just got in a lightly used Hemen sitar originally purchased from us a few years back. Pics and info up soon or you can go to the Hemen link that's still up I think. It's an unusual sitar but I personally picked it after playing it. Has a parlor type soft volume but a nice sound. Price will be $1500 on it. Going to India the first half of September and bringing back a Rajesh teak sitar and the Naeem teak which has undergone a few design changes and also a mystery sitar (you'll have to ask)...So can't ship or answer the phone from 9/3 to 9/19 but available via email. If you haven't checked out our Facebook page please click the link above, will be posting some pictures either during or right after the trip.....
08/10/13: Hiren Roy's don't even make it online anymore almost. Travel style sitar is here but the rest that just arrived already spoken for! If you're looking for one please email and get on the list, also worth considering is one of Radhey Shyam Sharmas sitars which have a similar tone, very nice instruments.
08/03/13: Latest Calcutta shipment is due end of the week, 4 more Srishti harmoniums coming, 2 Mohan Veenas from Bhabasindu, 1 Victoria mohan veena and 3 instruments from Hiren Roy and a few other things. I'll be in India again from Sept. 3 to the 18th so please let me know if there are any requests. The plan is to do some detailed documenting of construction in Miraj and Varanasi so hoping to get a few short video clips for everyone to enjoy and pictures, etc. May have some more copies of the Jafferkhani Baaj book shortly which is quite rare, working on it!
07/25/13: The Radhey sitars are up! For those not familiar with him his family has been making sitars for a few generations in Varanasi. Probably the best carving and decoration in India, rivaling the Kanai Lal & Brother shop of old. We got 7 instruments in, 2 were sold before I could get pics, 5 instruments in stock which are: Kachuwa concert sitar (my favorite), Teak sitar with Rose carvings, Tun #1 full decoration with ebony inlay, & a studio electric sitar. More from him due in the Winter of this year, Radhey is more like Hiren Roy in the tone quality as they're 'darker' but have a nice ringing quality about them, require a little break-in of course but really worth it. We've been carrying his instruments off an on over the years and worked out the logistics finally to have them regularly which is good news.
07/23/13: And....2 more sitars now up! 4 more to go by next week. The Naeem Shahid Parvez style sitar now online along with the full decoration studio sitar which is a new model. Both sounding great! The SP sitar really impressed me having just played one that SP himself sells to students. I loved the sound of it but the price was a little high at $1400 which is his going rate.... this one is its equal thankfully and listed at $1100 with fiberglass case. Just found out a few Hiren Roy's on the way along with more Mohan Veenas and Srishti harmoniums. Look for everything in a few weeks? OH....Radhey Shyam Sharma Surbahar up too, its fantastic!
07/17/13: Sitar page updated....again! Several more of Naeems sitars will be up by next week, he's a welcome addition to the cause let me tell you! I also put up a photo gallery from Miraj with a few pictures, wanted to take more but it'll have to wait until this winter as I was quite sick when there and could only do so much....Just got our shipment of Radhey Shyam Sharma instruments and they're fantastic as expected. He has the closest sound to Hiren Roy in my opinion, dark and smooth but with a 'bell like' quality as my buddy described aptly. Will try and have them all listed and up next week too. Updated the Q and A page too.....back next week with more!
07/09/13: Sitar page updated......lots of new instruments coming from Naeem Sitarmaker & Radhey Shyam Sharma shortly, they're enroute. 3 Hiren Roy's coming in August along with more Srishti scale changer harmoniums. After years of trying we're now able to carry the AKG C-411 pickup which works fantastic for Indian instruments. Link is here...as good as the Schertler and 1/3 the price. Put up pics and info of the Naeem Burma teak sitar, of course it's gone because Ray bought it right when it got here but another one coming in August. I spent some time last April in India with Naeem and his Dad going over designs, there is a lot of talent in Miraj still and would like to see the trend turn back to locally made instruments which they are doing. Took a lot of pictures of the craftsmen and will work on a picture gallery soon from Miraj. Stay tuned!
07/08/13: Pictures and information about the Srishti Jaipur studio electric sitar now up, also pics of the refinished Manoj Kumar Sardar #1 are up here and the price greatly reduced. We have a nice Karasek Sound sitar in from 2005, still in as new condition. Click here to see it! More coming tomorrow.....