The absolutely convincing sound qualities and the careful, virtually impeccable craftsmanship and high-grade design make both, the Hiren Roy Sitars and the Surbahars, the unequalled highlights on the Indian market. This is the reason why they are given priority by great virtuosos such as Nikhil Banerjee or Vilayat Khan.Today, Hiren Roy Sitars and Surbahars are produced only in very limited numbers by Barun Roy, the business founder’s son, in his private rooms and are always hard to come by.
The secret of a Hiren Roy Sitar is revealed only during the break-in period. Hiren Roy Sitars are characterised by a unique, compact, singing tone with an excellent sustain which make them outstanding and fulfil the highest demands of sitarists who prefer the sound pattern of Nikhil Banerjee. Since in the Vilayat Khan style, the two bass strings of the playing strings are lost, a Sitar in Ravi Shankar style does not have the lower octave available. You should bear that in mind when you opt for a Vilyat Khan model.
It is part of the sound concept to produce a closed Jowari. The bridge has been ground with utmost care in order to produce the characteristic Hiren Roy sound pattern. The result is a clear, differentiated sound with a somewhat restrained yet distinct and clear richness in overtones. In the past, the bridge of a Sitar was ground in a way that it produced an open Jowari. The resulting overtones which sound exuberant for today's taste and the buzzing of the strings have been abandoned for quite some time now, at least for professional Sitars. Today's sitarists prefer a closed Jowari. Since the year 2000, plastic bridges are being used instead of the previously common horn or bone bridges. The advantage is that these bridges maintain the Jowari much longer and do not have to be reground because they are much harder than their predecessors. If the bridge is not reground, the closed Jowari changes over the years and, due to the abrasion of the strings on the bridge, the sound pattern comes closer to an open Jowari again. This only happens, however, when you play your Sitar intensively and regularly over many years.
For more detailed general information about the Sitar, and in this case particularly about the differences between Ravi Shankar and Vilayat Khani Sitar style, please click on the Info-Link »