|indian instrument repair sitar repair tanpura repair jawari sitar jawari|
SITAR AND INDIAN INSTRUMENT REPAIR
Repair services specializing in Sitar jawari and general repairs covering instruments as Surbahar, Tanpura, Dilruba, Esraj, Sarangi and others.
History/Bio: I have been involved with Indian instruments in one form or another for over 30 years. Due to the nature of the business with importing from India I've dealt with many instruments, some of which have required setup to be finished. In the past I have not offered these services except to customers who have purchased instruments from us but am now extending to all who need it due to the influx of instruments via ebay and elsewhere that are in need of setup and repair. I have been fully trained and received guidance along the way from Naushad Sitarmaker of Bharatiya Tantuvadya Kendra (Naeem Sitarmaker) and Rajesh Sharma of Mohan Lal Sharma as well as Scott Hackleman. We had hosted Scotts 'site' and info here in the past, he now has his own website here and I highly recommend him as well.
There are no one size fits all rates since each instrument is unique and I don't want to overcharge or undercharge, I have given general estimates for some services below.
Most of the work I do is done exactly as I learned in India with the same tools they use there.
Also, qualified people who do repairs on Indian instruments are quite scarce this side of the world but if I feel you'll be better served locally near you I won't hesitate to recommend someone.
Repair services are $40/hr. plus materials and return shipping, etc.
Here's how it works:
Send me an email with photos of what you need done along with detailed descriptions of any problems in playing, hardware, etc..
I will give you a rough estimate of what's involved time-wise to repair it. This will include a packing charge of 1 hour @ $30 per hour for packing plus any materials. The estimate will be accurate to within an hour if your description of what's needed is correct.
After confirming the estimate we'll arrange for you to bring or ship your instrument to us, I will also assist with packing instructions which are quite specific. If you're bringing your instrument then we'll work out the details once we figure out what's needed. For simple problems you can usually wait while I repair it.
You will be kept up to date as much as possible during the whole process, your instrument is safe with us!
What to expect for common repairs:
SITAR, SURBAHAR & TANPURA:
Jawari cleanup: 1/2 hour ($20). For regular jawari wear, the bridge is filed to the original shape of the maker. You can send just your bridge.
Full Jawari: Anything that involves shaping, action height change, opening, closing, etc. is by the hour. Expect around 2 hours or so. To do an accurate jawari it's necessary to sit and play as you're working. It is best to send the whole instrument in but in some cases if you own an instrument purchased from Rain City Music you can send the bridge only as usually I will have another instrument from the same maker which I can use. This requires about an extra hour but well worth it.
Full string change: 1 1/2 hours ($70 includes strings)
Other services by the hour including: Full jawari, sympathetic jawari, fret setting (for buzzing frets), retie frets, raise or lower action, fix pegs, new pegs, "chasing the buzz" for phantom buzzing sounds, chikari posts, broken langot posts, replace nuts, regroove nuts and bridges, french polish gourd (polish only), recolor gourd, gourd cracks, & more.
ESRAJ, DILRUBA, & SARANGI:
Full string change: 2 hours ($90 includes strings) Other services by the hours include: Regroove and bridge and nut jawari, Dilruba sympathetic bridge jawari, refit pegs, replace pegs, french polish, etc. Some parts on these instrument will have to be ordered for replacement if not in stock.
If you have an aptitude and willingness to do basic repairs you can also consider a Skype session and I will walk you through it. 1/2 hour minimum and basic tools will be required. Skype sessions do not cover jawari services however as it's a little more specialized, sorry.
For more info please feel free to call 253-678-2605 or email.
A few things to consider: Indian instruments are hand-made and will never be factory perfect. Even the very best makers tend to leave things at 95% sometimes, if something isn't working right there's no need to panic though. If you've gotten a quality instrument from an established maker most fixes are relatively minor. A new instrument often has to settle in and can get a few quirks especially if they haven't set the neck bend in (we do this on our own instruments).
Be realistic in your expectations. Many instrument makers in India actually have nothing to do with the structure of your instrument as it's made elsewhere. So they don't really know how to get the best sound. The problem for someone here is that you want a super-charged Ravi Shankar open sound but you've got an instrument with the thickness of a plank. Or you want a 5 minute sustain but got a booming loud boutique sitar from Delhi with a paper thin tabli. Neither situation is optimal and may require sacrifices in volume or sustain. I will do my best!
And also to minimize repairs the most important thing is to get a good instrument!
Thank you so much, Lars! I just played the
bina, and it is sounding lovely!
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