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Danelectro Sitar

Electric Sitar

  • Poplar body
  • Bolt-on neck: Maple
  • Pau Ferro fretboard
  • White dot fretboard inlays
  • 21 Frets
  • Scale: 648 mm
  • Nut width: 42.0 mm
  • Pickups: 3 Alnico Lipstick single coils
  • Chrome hardware
  • Colour: Red crackle
  • Suitable case available under: Article number 284273 (not included)

Note: As a standard tuning we recommend the 6 normal strings on dropped-D and the sympathetic strings on D7sus - (D, F#, G, A, C, A, G, F#, G, A, C, D, D)

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Audio Examples

  • Jammin 1
  • Jammin 2
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Further Information

Colour Red
Soundboard Poplar
Neck Maple
Fretboard Pau Ferro
Frets 21
Scale 648 mm
Pickup System SSS
Tremolo No
Incl. Case No
Incl. Gigbag No
10 Customer Ratings
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
4.2 /5
  • features
  • sound
  • quality
Janice, 03.02.2016
I was a little nervous about buying this instrument online and untried. These things have a bit of a reputation for being unruly and difficult to set up, with poor intonation and uneven response.

I shouldn't have worried!!! First off, the instrument is well built with a decent fingerboard and frets and good hardware. Electronics are noise free. In addition the instrument arrived very well set up, and after a quick tuning tweak it was plug and play - the buzz response is even across all strings and all up and down the fingerboard - no choked notes, or undesirable clean ones either! Intonation is a tiny touch iffy above the 12th fret on the bass strings, a bit more tinkering with the bridge and the string gauges might improve this, but even out of the box it was possible to play lead runs, double stops and chords in higher positions without too much problem. The "Balrog-burst" err, eye catching, but it's durable.

The only downside build and setup-wise is with the harp strings. They work fine, but tuning is via a peg and wrench system (like an autoharp). You have to go easy with the (supplied) wrench whilst tuning as it's very sensitive. Having said that, once the harp strings are tuned, tuning is pretty stable.

The guitar (yes it's a guitar, not really a sitar) is pretty easy to play with a flattish uncramped fingerboard and a comfortable satin finish neck. The floating plastic string guard over the harp strings acts as a comfortable arm rest.

Sound- wise, there is quite a range available, albeit always a bit buzzy. The lipstick pickups can give plenty of jangle and sizzle but also plenty of body if required. Anyone who thinks this instrument is a one trick pony should think again. Especially for recording it adds a very useful set of tonal options to the player's palette and it's great for doubling lines to add colour. There is so much more you can do with this than the obvious ethnic/psychedelia stuff. You just need to be inventive.

The harp strings do add an extra shimmer when left to ring, especially when recording. They can be tuned chromatically, to a scale, or to a chord. Or turned off!

This instrument is robust and stable enough to be played live too, as long as you don't throw it around too much. Be prepared for lots of comments about it! A downside in a live situation is that as it takes more than a little time to retune the harp strings, you'd need to limit yourself to one tuning.

Highly recommended for any guitarist who likes something unusual. Good value, very useful, and lots of fun.
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Wonderful instrument
Alexandra Zerner, 22.10.2020
I have dreamt about this instrument since the 90s after I saw it being used by some of my favourite artists like Steve Vai and Pat Metheny, also by bands like Yes and Genesis and I am happy that Danelectro reissued it and it's now available on Thomann.

I think the quality, in general, is very good - the neck is straight, feels nice to the hand and it's comfortable. I could say that it's pretty much like a Stratocaster neck.

The finish of the body looks very appealing and the plastic guards are nice too although one needs to be careful with them because they seem a bit fragile.

The volume and tone controls are wisely designed and they give a wide variety of sounds one can choose from.

There are just two downsides I see so far and because of them I gave only 4 stars on "quality:

1. if one needs to make truss rod adjustments, they need to remove the plate of the neck pickup and this might be a bit annoying.

2. The sympathetic strings are difficult to tune precisely and it might get annoying too if one isn't patient enough.

Besides that, the sitar sounds very nice even purely acoustically and this was a pleasant surprise to me because I didn't really know that the body is actually hollow just like on a real Indian sitar.

My overall impression is good so I think this instrument is worth the investment.
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It's a Reproduction of a Classic Guitar
EchoNET, 14.09.2020
You probably wouldn't believe just how many records the original Danelectro Coral Sitar guitar was on, but there are many. If you want to get your sixties groove on or just want something weird and wonderful to try, this is the guitar for you. It delivers that classic sitar inspired tone in a relatively cheap package.

My only criticism is that the buzz bridge is almost impossible to intonate properly, but I guess that comes with the territory. Also the plastic guards that adorn the instrument aren't exactly sturdy and could possible crack if they took a knock.

Other than that, the cheapest way to get that far-out sixties sound in a tribute instrument! Recommended!
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Lange auf der Suche - endlich gefunden!
rekla, 19.06.2016
Seit ich in den 80er Jahren zum ersten Mal das Sitar-Solo von Denny Dias in Steely Dan's "Do It Again" gehört hatte, war ich auf der Suche nach diesem Sound.
Lange Zeit dachte ich es handele sich um ein Effektgerät, das diesen Klang erzeugt. War er doch in so vielen Hits und Rockklassikern zu hören wie: Cliff Richard - Dreamin', Lenny Kravitz - It Ain't Over Till It's Over, Ugly Kid Joe - Cats in the Cradle, Pur - An so nem Tag, Stevie Wonder - Signed, Sealed, Delivered, Elvis - Stranger In My Own Home Town, Lemon Pipers - Green Tambourine, Paul Young - Everytime You Go Away etc.
Es dauerte bis in die 90er als mich schließlich ein Musikalienhändler aufklärte, dass es sich hierbei um ein spezielles Instrument handele, nämlich die Coral Sitar, die aber leider nicht mehr erhältlich sei. Dieser freundliche Mensch gab mir dann den Hinweis auf Jerry Jones, einem Gitarrenbauer in den USA, der diese Instrumente nachbaute. Zur damaligen Zeit konnte ich mich allerdings nicht durchringen das viele Geld für so einen einzigen, speziellen Sound auszugeben. Gewartet hatte ich letztlich zu lange, nämlich bis Jerry Jones seine Produktion einstellte und in Rente ging. Aus die Maus dachte ich - haste zu lang gewartet und hab mich geärgert. Allerdings nicht allzu lange - denn mit Freuden stellte ich vor 2 Monaten fest, dass Danelectro das Original wieder aufgelegt hat und das Instrument in Deutschland erhältlich ist. Ich hab's mir sofort bei Thomann bestellt und da gab's erst mal gemischte Gefühle. Der Sound - super! Fast 30 Jahre hatte ich danach gesucht, jetzt hatte ich ihn - den "Do It Again" Sound.

Aber: die Sitar kommt im Pappkarton, sie macht eher den Eindruck einer Zigarrenschachtel als einer soliden Hollow-Body. Die Kunststoffplatten und Pickups sind per primitive Holzschrauben in den Korpus eingedreht und die Kunststoffränder nicht besonders glatt geschliffen. Zudem ein ganz großer Nachteil: um an die Halsstellschraube ranzukommen muss der Hals abgeschraubt werden! Es war definitiv nötig dort Einstellungen vorzunehmen, da der Hals nach hinten gebogen war. Hat 'ne Zeit gedauert, bis das gepasst hat. Eine Bedienungsanleitung liegt dem Instrument leider nicht bei. Somit weiß man auch mit den 13 Sympathetic-Strings erstmal wenig anzufangen. Es hilft nur googlen, oder wie ich es getan habe beim Kundendienst von Thomann nachfragen, wie diese Saiten gestimmt werden und wie sie ggf. zu ersetzen sind.

Um der Sache jetzt wieder etwas Wind aus den Segeln zu nehmen: Danelectro ist ja die Firma, welche das Original in den 60ern gebaut hat, und ich vermute die Konstrukteure haben sich bei diesem Reissue Modell am Originalbauplan gehalten. Und genau deshalb klingt sie wohl auch so authentisch. Bespielbarkeit und Bundreinheit sind übrigens sehr gut (sofern die Gotoh Bridge korrekt eingestellt ist).

Einen letzten großen Nachteil muss ich anfügen:
Die Sitar ist beim Spielen mit Gurt extremst kopflastig. Der Hals fällt ständig nach unten. Ich habe mir damit beholfen, indem ich in eine der Halsbefestigungsschrauben einen zusätzlichen Gurtpin integriert habe. Hierzu empfehle ich das "Harley Benton Gurthalteknopf Set Chrome" und eine Senkkopfkreuzschlitzschraube 5x45 aus dem Baumarkt. Damit ist die Balance perfekt (auch bei glattem Gurt). Bitte auch meine Rezension beim o.g. Gurtpin lesen.

Wer so wie ich, lange auf der Suche nach diesem speziellen Sound war, kommt um dieses Instrument nicht herum. Allerdings würde man sich angesichts des hohen Preises ein hochwertigeres Instrument incl. Case wünschen. Letzterer ist nämlich nicht dabei und nur im 60 EUR teureren Bundle erhätlich. Auch setzt das Instrument etwas Einstellungserfahrung und Bastelgespür voraus (siehe Gurtpin-Problem und Halsstab). Insgesamt ein Luxus, den man(n) sich halt genau 1x im Leben gönnt, in der Hoffnung, dass das Instrument möglichst lange hält.
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