Surbahar or Bass Sitar
I have always liked the sound of Indian classical music, so about 4 years ago I started having Sitar lessons. I started with the sitar but on a visit to Hobgoblin Music in London they had a very impressive looking bass sitar or Surbahar cost £400. The instrument seemed to be incomplete with no bone bridge or strings. I asked the shop if they would reduce the price and they said the cost included re stringing and that they had all the original parts. I asked for first refusal. When the instrument was ready John Mayer my sitar teacher had a look for and he said buy it.
Scale length bridge to bridge 103.1cm Total length of instrument 151.8cm. The neck appears to be made from teak. The second detachable gourd is made from wood. The fret ties are plastic. This surbahar is finished with more of a natural gloss not the cheap high gloss of some cheap instruments. There is no makers name so I have no idea who made it. I tune the surbahar to G sharp or A.
Here is my new surbahar marked Kanailal Bros, Upper Chitpur Road, Calcutta-7, India. I collected this instrument from near Preston in Lancashire. It came with a flight case on wheels "just as well as it is bigger than my wife". This surbahar is the more typical animal head type, with three birds at the top. The middle bird has been broken off and at first I did not think it matched the other two which are part of the main body, but I think it is meant to match the instrument's tuners.
This surbahar had not been tuned for a while, so I have set the pitch to SA as G sharp. My other instrument tunes to Sa A, I am just being careful!
Rare gramophones and records wanted
c1909 Edison Home model D Phonograph: plays 2 and 4 minute cylinders, with Diamond B reproducer SOLD.
There are lots of HMV portables still to be had, most are in black cases. It is best to look out for the ones in coloured cases. The best one to be had is the 101 in real red leather with gilt fittings.Not for sale.