TransTablas are intended to serve the user for a lifetime. All parts are guaranteed against defects, and if we create an improvement to the TransTabla components, existing customers are eligible to receive the new parts free of charge. If for any reason you are dissatisfied with your TransTabla, you may return it to us for a refund within 10 days of your purchase, provided it is in the same condition we sent it in.
The patented TransTabla system uses a robust mechanism installed in the bottom of the tabla shell. Using a provided tool, the mechanism tightens or loosens each strap simultaneously. The system allows fine control over the tension applied to the “pudi” or drumhead, and makes the re-heading process much less strenuous to perform.
Tablas are sensitive instruments, so it’s critical to maintain even tension and balance. Transtablas use an advanced material for Tabla straps known commercially as Vectran. This polymer strap is derived from liquid crystal, has no stretch, incredible strength, won’t rot or mold, and is cut resistant. Transtablas also use a Stainless Steel base ring to give even more stability to the Tabla head, and a smooth surface for the straps to weave around.
Instead of pulling straps over pegs when you need more tension, simply turn the mechanism on the bottom of your Transtabla. Users can keep their drum on the balanced configuration of 2 or 4 straps indefinitely.
Tabla pegs are used to compensate for stretch and maintain balance, and are why Tabla shells are tapered wider at the bottom. Tablas that are pulled by hand are configured with 1 strap over each adjustment peg to start. Once stretching causes the pitch to drop, another strap is placed over the peg. This continues until the slack in the straps needs to be taken out by hand again, and then put back on 1 strap. This pulling process is hard on the hands, requires technical skill, and high physical strength. Because of this, many newcomers to the instrument would simply stop playing once their Tablas went out of tune. Others would buy a completely new drum.
Pegs on Transtablas are only used for balance adjustments. Once the pegs are set, they may only need minor adjustments from time to time. Overall tension is handled by the base mechanism, which tightens or loosens each strap uniformly and simultaneously. The heads being of organic material will stretch in a non-uniform way. Proper use of the balancing pegs will remove this imbalance and keep the Tabla in tune. For more on the topic of tuning, please see our tuning video.
Normal stretching of the head over time is now removed with a small twist of our provided tool, which anyone can perform. It is this same method by which entire pitch adjustments can be made and allow a single TransTabla to replace 3 or more Tablas in a players repertoire. Initial balancing such as in the case of a re-head, can be done under little to no tension and requires minimal physical strength to accomplish. All TransTablas ordered as complete drums will come pre-tensioned, balanced, and ready to play.
Tablas are still tuned with a hammer. Unfortunately the hammering process causes the shell and pegs to be covered in nicks and gouges making fine wood finishes impossible to maintain and a waste of time for the makers. With the TransTabla making peg striking unnecessary, shells can now be smoothed and polished for a lasting professional appearance. Tabla players can now own a truly unique and beautiful instrument.
TransTabla is a product of VNO Design & Engineering. Our founder David Yovino, studied for 10 years under Tabla master Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri at the Ali Akbar College of Music in San Rafael, CA.