Hi all, I’m looking to buy a Raven shamisen relatively soon, and since this will be my first time purchasing my own shamisen, I’m not entirely sure what I should be looking for with each one. I’m mostly looking for functionality here, too, though if anyone has any recommendations for what would look good with the Raven (other than just black, which is what all the official pictures show) I’ll take those, too.
Bachi: I’m pretty sure I should just go with the faux-bekkou bachi, but if the acrylic ones become available again soon, how do those compare? They were at a slightly lower price point, which is nice, but what about their quality for playing?
Koma: There are a lot of options here. I assume that bamboo is just the standard one? Should I have multiple?
Ito: These look mostly interchangeable to me, so I really have no idea what I should go with here. Any recommendations?
Doukake: What’s the functional difference between leather and lacquered ones?
Fukuro: What do I need? I have no real sense of the advantages to the different options right now, I just know I used a dou bag when I lived in Japan. I live in quite a dry climate, now, if that matters.
Cases: I was planning to get the pack case, but I’m curious why it’s cheaper than even the soft case and if it’s worth getting a mitsuori case. Being more compact would be nice, but disassembling (and I assume destringing) the shamisen every time I go anywhere seems awfully inconvenient. And do I need any of the other dedicated storage pieces, like the bachi case, or can those just be stored safely in the pack case?
Other accessories: What of these should I get? Obviously I need a neo and a yubikake, and I’ll probably get a fujaku, but other than that? (I already have plenty of microfiber cloths for instruments.)
Thank you for any information or advice you may have!