When you set out to buy a new Sitar, do consider the fact that there are many things that go into crafting a good sitar like, the quality of the wood for the face and neck, the gourd for the body and the bone for the bridge. All these make a crucial contribution in the making of the instrument. Then comes, the skill with which it’s all put together.
Most people end up paying more for a sitar from a well-known maker. Thus they feel assured of getting a certain quality and a certain resale value for it. However buyers should keep in mind that the best craftsman are small, family units where the knowledge and secrets of crafting an original and a unique piece is passed from one generation to the other.
Are you buying a new sitar or a used one? If you have found an old, vintage sitar on sale check out a few things like whether there are cracks in the gourd and neck (fixable), check to see if the neck is bowed. A bowed neck will effect the intonation. See if there are grooves worn in the bridge.