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Microphone Month

Coral Sitar

During the psychedelic ’60s, musicians began searching for brand new sounds and textures to use in their recordings. The most famous of these was the sitar, which George Harrison brought back from his trip to India with the other three Beatles. Unfortunately, real sitars were out of the reach of most guitar players, so the Danelectro Company decided to build a solidbody electric guitar that would play just like a guitar, but produce a convincing sitar-like sound thanks to a special bridge designed by session guitarist Vinnie Bell. Along with the melody strings, the Coral Sitar actually had a set of sympathetic drone strings that would resonate when notes were played on the instrument. These instruments sold well at first, but eventually the interest in sitars faded away. More recently, Coral sitars have appreciated in value thanks to the “retro” movement in modern music. Today, it’s not unusual to find a Coral sitar in decent condition selling for many times the instrument’s original price.

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