Circa-1978 Rikhi Ram Gold Medalist Gandhar Pancham Sitar
Updated: Feb 10, 2022
This sitar came to us with some major issues. It had been sold to the previous owner by AACM. It was in such poor cosmetic condition that we took the unusual step of replacing the strings and bringing it up to pitch to test the neck joint before starting the restoration.
The neck was rock-sold, and, based on its sound before commencing any work, we're confident that this instrument's tone will be sublime after the repair and with adjustment. The neck is arrow-straight. This instrument is more than worthy of restoration and will be a gem when completed.
The tumba had had at least one major repair. Following the repair, it had been coated in very thick layers of epoxy or bar top lacquer. The only way to evaluate this repair is to remove all of the epoxy and finish, down to the bare gourd. We also suspect a neck repair based on visual inspection.
The tarab grommets had been replaced with orange-red hard plastic eyelets, which we assume came from a craft store. The eyelets had been sloppily epoxied in place.
The eyelets are shown below, after having been partially drilled out. The missing strip of mother of pearl has been replaced with a reasonably