According to Prof. Sambamurthy, the maestro had some rare veenas in his possession including one made of sampangi wood and another, a gift from the Maharajah of Mysore that had a “metallic spring suspended from the under side of the top plank of the bowl. When necessary the instrument was just tilted and the spring gave a ringing melodious series of sounds.” Wonder what happened to these?
A nice piece; it also mentions about the practice of holding veena vertical while playing it:
Venkataramana Das followed the now almost extinct tradition of holding the veena vertically while playing. Today, this practice is followed only in the Srirangam temple during the Ekanta Seva.
Take a look!