This is the first Vilayat Khan style sitar of our “vintage” section.
The sitar belonged to a student of Ud. Vilayat Khan Sahab for about 50 years but the musician retired and decided to sell it.
Of all sitars by Hiren Roy ji that I have acquired through the years this is one of the best preserved and with better sound. The extreme care and respect that its owner took can be noticed in just a glimpse.
No defect has been noticed in the instrument: the neck is not bent, tumba in perfect conditions (though is not perfectly round as it was originally left in its natural shape). However I have to mention that the celluloid has become yellowish with the years.
Paying attention to the tabli’s wood it can be seen that the grain is exceptionally straight, indicating that this is a high grade musical wood, very rare to be seen nowadays.
The weight is just perfect and the neck and tumba proportions are in good balance making it an easily playable sitar.
The tabli is thick but it has no effect on the powerful sound of the sitar.
Actually, every aspect of the sound is good: good volume and long sustain. The exceptional quality of the wood used, perfectly dried, gives as result deepness, expansion and clarity to the sound that shows the soul of this sitar.
While analyzing this unique piece I have understood that instruments like this were made to have a long life, and that its sound would come through the years, while the wood would dry. Only through time and after a long drying process of the wood can the sound become so good.
Sympathetic response in both “MA” and “SA” is perfect and in balance: all the sympathetic strings vibrate with the same volume, making the sound harmonious.
In my opinion this instrument is to sitar what a Stradivarius is to violin, and I undoubtedly qualify it as one of the best Vilayat Khan style sitars I have ever had. Considering the excellent conditions in which it is, I am sure this is the best investment a follower of this gharana could do.
Vilayatkhani Hiren Roy sitar + Fiber case: Contact for further information