Buying a sitar begins with determining which type of sitar an individual is interested in owning. There are two main types of sitars: Ravi Shankar (R.V.) and Vilayat Khan (V.K.). The R.V. sitars are equipped with bass melody strings in addition to sympathetic strings and an extra smaller gourd at the top of the neck. Due to their design, R.V. sitars produce deep bass-filled sound. On the other hand, the Vilayat Khan is known to be smaller in size and less decorative than the R.V. The top smaller gourd is removed and the bass strings are replaced with one string known as a “Chikaree.” This design allows for a fuller more chordal sound.
Shoppers can buy sitars online through standard sites like Amazon.com or Ebay.com which offer a combination of both new and used sitars but some may argue that the sitar for sale on these sites may not be the best quality. So it is often suggested to shop at specialty online stores devoted to musical instruments, mainly sitars. Some online sites to consider:
Rain City Music : Sells new and used sitars in addition to sitar accessories, dvd’s, cd’s, and repair services. Rain City Music is located in Washington state in the USA and receives high quality made sitars from India and offers custom-made services. Sitars sold through this site can run well over $1,000 US Dollars.
TablaSitar.com : Their mission is to offer quality musical instruments, most sourced from India, at affordable prices. Shoppers can navigate to their Buy Sitar page to view available sitars, most of which are between $400 – $800 US Dollars.
Stores that shoppers can visit to buy sitars can be difficult to find in the US but GaramChai.com is a website that offers a collective list of sitar stores within the United States.
Another useful resource for shoppers is the Sitar Buying Guide available at Sitarsencat.com which informs individuals how to inspect and test each part of the sitar before purchasing. Shoppers considering a used sitar should also review the Used Sitar Buying Guide at the Ali Akbah College Store.