Carbon sitars have numerous advantages over traditional sitars, and we’ve redesigned nearly every aspect for better performance, comfort, durability, and of course, sound.
On full-size sitars, we use Pegheds planetary gear tuners. Pegheds are designed to turn at a 4:1 ratio, giving you smoother and more precise tuning capabilities. Once the string is at the correct pitch, a braking mechanism is engaged by pushing the peg head in, locking the string down for very stable tuning.
On our travel sitars, Gotoh tuners are used for the main strings. These tuners are solid, very precise, and add a gorgeous look to the sitar.
All sympathetic pegs are made from woods which have been precision-turned and fitted on a lathe. They are held in place by a composite sandwich wall and internal rail system, which allows the pegs to turn smoothly and hold the strings to pitch. The playing hand side has no exit hole, making for a less bumpy ride along the neck.
Our standard binding material is made from hand-buffed ABS, which provides a durable and attractive trim for your sitar. If you would like something more flashy, we have access to dozens of different celluloid styles for you to choose from.
Our standard finish for all sitars is an acrylic urethane which is tough, beautiful, and best of all, environmentally-friendly. Many other finishes are available, such as lacquer, shellac, and oil. If you prefer the feel of one finish over the other, you can specify that for custom orders. Our urethane finishes are available in any Pantone color you like.
Our frets are made from 316L stainless steel, providing superior corrosion and scratch resistance over brass alloys. Strings are far less likely to wear down and scratch them, and you’ll never have to worry about polishing your frets again.
What can we say about carbon fiber? Without it, there would be no Carbon Sitars.
Carbon fiber is stronger and lighter than steel. It is impervious to environmental changes. Highly resonant just like wood, it is a fantastic material for just about any stringed instrument. Carbon fiber instruments can be made very consistently, so chances are if you like one, you will like the other 20 sitting beside it. If you’ve ever picked up your most cherished sitar at baggage claim, only to open the case and discover that cases really don’t protect much after all, then you might consider touring with a carbon fiber instrument.
Our bridges are made from the finest hardwoods available, and the jawari surface is made from our own bone-substitute composite. Not only is the jawari long-lasting, but it’s available in your choice of ivory or black for custom orders. Bridges can be made in a wide variety of styles.
Our innovative string clips not only lock the bass strings out of your way for jhalla playing, but can be easily snapped on and off the frets for repositioning, giving the player the ability to create different tunings on the clipped strings, for unique playing techniques.
No fishing line here. We use a tough nylon thread which will last for a very long time, and is available in dozens of different colors. We can even use different colors to mark specific frets, which works well for 22 or 24 fret sitars.
For both travel-sized and hybrid sitars, we have many different tonewoods to choose from: Sitka spruce, Spanish cedar, mahogany, and many more. We work closely with the customer to help them choose the right wood for the tonal characteristics they are after. Neck woods have little bearing on the overall sound of the sitars, and a large variety of exotic woods can be selected, based largely on their looks.
No luthier is an island, and sometimes we must stand on the shoulders of giants. Our carbon fiber instruments use a lattice bracing system pioneered by the great classical guitar luthier Greg Smallman. A very thin carbon fiber soundboard is louder and more resonant, but ultimately too flexible once the pressure of the strings are applied. The lattice bracing adds rigidity back, and more efficiently distributes the energy from the strings across the whole tabli, making the sitar more responsive and giving it greater forward projection.
On our wood-topped sitars, parallel bracing based on hundreds of years of refinement of Cremonese violin making traditions is used. This allows us to make much thinner, louder, and more sensitive tablis, while adding much-needed strength back into the top.
Our own internal bracing is based on these tried and true designs, and gives our sitars their beautiful sound, better volume and sustain, great sympathetic response, and a tabli which will react to the most nuanced touch.
Our upper tumbas are made from carbon fiber as well, and add little weight to the sitar. On sitars fitted with one, our unique wide-mouthed ABS joints efficiently transfer sound from the neck to the resonating chamber. Unlike many sitars, you can actually hear the sound emanating from the upper tumba, creating a lovely stereo effect for the player.
Our nuts are made from the same composite bone substitute material as our jawari surfaces. They are super tough, and filed to allow for correct intonation across all the strings.
For acoustic sitars, we use Pickup The World’s fantastic piezo system with their built-in preamps. These give our sitars a clean, transparent, and uncolored sound which is perfect for recording or live situations.
In addition, most of our sitars can be outfitted with Carbon’s own custom-wound thin profile rail humbuckers. These are wound for the right frequency response of our sitars and are a high-output pickup, which gives them an aggressive colored sound which is perfect for achieving a more veena or guitar-like tone for effects and soloing. Our humbuckers are not recommended for players wishing to have a natural, pure, and uncolored sitar tone.