Most Americans became acquainted with the sitar via maestro, Ravi Shankar, and his affiliation with George Harrison. Shankar's high profile in the late 1960s even resulted in the sitar being featured prominently in rock music of the time. Today the sitar enjoys a less mainstream following, though a devoted core continues to use it to play Hindustani classical music, and new players seek out the instrument when looking to explore new sounds. Known for its distinctive, warm, resonance the sitar is a perfect gift for a musician who's already mastered western string instruments and is seeking a challenge. The Hiren Roy Sitar at Musician's Mall, which sells for $2,500, is a gorgeous instrument of dark brown wood and faux mother of pearl inlays. Hiren Roy was a master sitar maker and the tradition now lives on through his son, Barun Ray, whose specially designed synthetic bridges give each note a round, rich sound.