Custom Barden/Fralin Tele-Sitar
Here’s the first of two killer “sitar guitars” we picked up in the US on our latest buying trip. This one was purpose-built from scratch, at one of Portland, Oregon’s best known pro shops, utilizing only premium components, with an outstanding result.
First up, a hefty, solid Maple body – weighing 9lb 4oz / 4.2kg – was matched to a single-piece, Fender-licensed Maple neck by Allparts. The neck and board is one-piece, vintage tinted, with a rounded C-profile, 21 medium frets and a 7½” radius. Satin-finished, it plays very smoothly indeed.
The body has been finished in Sky Blue, with an extremely nice aged look, (see close-up view in pic # 7). This is an expensive and time consuming process, involving hand applying a layer of shellac before spraying the clear coats, eventually producing a highly desirable, vintage-looking crackle finish. The two-tone pinstriping completes the look beautifully.
Hardware and electronics. A single, custom over-wound Lindy Fralin ‘Tele Broadcaster’ bridge pickup. The Fralin pickup features vintage style black fibreboard bobbins; vintage-spec 42-gauge enamel wire; and vintage-style cloth-covered leads. Custom ordered over-wound an extra 5%, the output is noticeably fatter, which prevents the sitar tone from becoming too sharp.
The single pickup, (Broadcaster/Esquire style), is mounted in a heavy duty Joe Barden bridge, (see right and pic # 3), which is fitted with a set of Rockinger brass sitar saddles, precision engineered in Germany, each with highly accurate four-way adjustment screws. The bridge features the modern ‘Danny Gatton’ cutaway on the treble side, allowing for easy playing near the pickup – and you don’t catch your knuckles, either!
CTS pots, heavy duty CRL 3-way switch, Gotoh locking tuners, plus the previously mentioned, vintage-style cloth wiring – this great axe has been assembled with incredible attention to detail and sound. Speaking of sound, the 3-way switch delivers ‘normal’ tone in the middle position, a ‘rhythm’ sound in the front position, and a slightly meatier, boosted tone in the ‘bridge’ position.
We have adjusted the Rockinger sitar bridges to what we believe delivers the perfect electric Sitar sound; no sitar effect on the two low strings, then increasing slightly with each string from the D across to the high-e – exactly how electric sitar should sound. (If you want, you can also adjust the saddles so there is no sitar effect at all)
Get ya Steely Dan or vintage Stones on, with a very, very cool Tele-Sitar! Fully custom built, there’s only one of these, so you won’t just be the only kid on the block – you’ll have the only one, period.
Ships FREE, ANYWHERE IN AUSTRALIA, complete with the hard shell case shown in pics 2 & 8
Price: AUD$1560.00 GST Included