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new Baby Sitar - intonation not included?

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Re: new Baby Sitar - intonation not included?

Postby forumuser641429 » Sat Nov 17, 2018 7:15 am

Hey, mine arrived last week and I almost sent it back. I didn't find this discussion until tonight, and so far have not had a techie look at it, but on my own I figured out that the three screws on the bridge need to be balanced just right in order to have perfect (well, it's hard to tell with an electric sitar) intonation across all strings up and down the neck while also idealizing the buzz per string. Even just barely touching the screw without noticeably turning it, is enough to radically change the relationships.

I'm thinking of putting flatwound strings on mine and even going up to 11's (maybe not if I go to flats though; D'addario makes a '1" set also).

I freaked out initially, because the third string was a half-step flat by the 12th fret but then got back in tune by the 18th fret. The other strings barely had an issue, so that was when I noticed the three screws on the bridge and began to speculate their might be a very intricate relationship that could cause just one string to go out of tune (there were minor intonation issues with the neighbouring 2nd and 4th strings as well).

I will print this discussion before visiting a technician though, in case they find issues I didn't notice and it helps them decide what to do. The suggested replacement bridge is a good idea as well.

BTW I also bought the Ravish Sitar pedal from Eleectro-Harmonix, but haven't really perfected the sound yet. It's too much with the Baby Sitar, unless you use it almost strictly for the sympathetic string emulation. But if I go to stiffer strings, I may find a tiny amount of sitar modulation on the core pitch might help. I do feel the 10's are a bit too light overall. But the flatwound sets use a wound 3rd, which maybe would cause more issues with bridge height adjustment for intonation, yet might also help with a more balanced sound.
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Re: new Baby Sitar - intonation not included?

Postby Martin Walker » Sun Nov 18, 2018 1:28 pm

Hi forumuser641429, and welcome to the SOS Forums! 8-)

Thanks for such a helpful 1st post as well - you're bound to become popular here ;)


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Re: new Baby Sitar - intonation not included?

Postby Studio Support Gnome » Tue Nov 27, 2018 1:08 am

work out what gauge the strings need to be to fit the bridge position.....


then live with the compromise....



also worth noting that usually the string on them when you buy them "new" are utterly shagged and incapable of stable intonation.....

start by fitting brand new set.... and seeing how it goes....

then increase or decrease the mass of each string according to the intonation requirements.
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Re: new Baby Sitar - intonation not included?

Postby forumuser641429 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 8:56 pm

I just got it back from setup work today.

The flats are PERFECT on this instrument -- intonation is better across and up the neck, and the timbral balance is even, with just enough buzz from the special bridge but without the fret noise and other contributors to competing high frequency resonance that tarnished my initial impressions.

The specialist I brought it to, says this is a way better and more interesting instrument than the Jerry Jones models were.

Note that the top "E" string isn't very useful other than for added resonance, but a real sitar specializes the purpose of each string anyway. One needs a light touch with this instrument.

I haven't had a chance yet to see which amp it likes best. Surprisingly, it is now louder acoustically than with the round wounds, so probably can be practiced unplugged.
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Re: new Baby Sitar - intonation not included?

Postby ManFromGlass » Sat Dec 08, 2018 2:32 pm

If you don’t mind sharing - what were the final gauges you ended up with? Your experiences have rekindled my enthusiasm for the instrument. I found it fun and inspirational to play!
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Re: new Baby Sitar - intonation not included?

Postby forumuser641429 » Sun Dec 09, 2018 3:54 am

.010”, .014”, .020”w, .028”w, .038”w, .048”w

I'm glad I didn't go to the heavier 11's now, as this set is just the perfect tension.

This is the D'addario ECG23 set.
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