An overview of the differences between the Traditional and S.R.I Tablas

S.No. Conventional Tabla S.R.I. tabla Advantage of the S.R.I. Tabla
01 The drum heads use skins of goat and camel No animal skins are used as the drum heads are synthetic Ethical, as no animals are harmed
02 Shells are made of wood Shells are made of fiberglass Environmentally friendly, as no trees are required to be cut
03 Heavy weight Lower weight Light weight and highly travel friendly.
04 Pitch may sometimes change suddenly due to variation in temperature and humidity Pitch does not vary appreciably with temperature and humidity No need for frequent retuning during a performance
05 Tonal qualities vary from instrument to instrument Excellent tonal clarity, sustain, and resonance Consistent tonal quality
06 Difficult to tune over a wide tuning range Can be tuned over a range unachievable in the traditional Tabla Wide tuning range
07 Syahi is made of boiled rice and other materials like iron powder. The adhesion of the Syahi to the skin is through the starch which acts like a glue. This necessitates the frequent replacement of the Syahi The Syahi is chemically bonded to the drum head membrane so that it does not fall off or wither away with time This eliminates the need for Syahi replacement. The head is also impervious to hand sweat.
08 Heads are fixed to the shell permanently. So re-heading the shell has to be done only by a Tabla craftsman. Heads are detachable and assembling the drum heads is very simple If the heads get worn out they can be easily replaced by the users themselves
09 In case of the nut bolt Tabla, the hooks project out of the shell; they may hurt the fingers while playing The nuts and bolts are placed in a way that they are completely non obstructive. Furthermore, the tuning hardware, except the tuning nut that needs access, is completely covered and protected. Aesthetic appearance with complete protection for hands while playing
10 Heads cannot be cleaned easily Heads can be cleaned with a moist cloth Heads can be cleaned with a moist cloth, which is unthinkable in the case of the animal skin heads