My suggestions for a beginner bansuri player are:
I make my Bansuri's from prime grade seasoned bamboo from North-eastern and southern India. This is a special variety of bamboo which has long separation between the nodes and is thin walled as compared to the general varieties of bamboo. Low wall thickness gives a brighter tone with minimal blowing resistance which is great especially for beginners. Also this bansuri bamboo is perfectly suited for the response, sonority and resonant qualities demanded of a professional concert bansuri.
My bansuri's have a range of over two and a half octaves. Though in bansuri you can play notes contiguously up to ati-taar pancham, notes above this, i.e. above two octaves, are sounded by means of cross fingerings (This true for all other varieties of flute that are capable of such playing range, including the western keyed flute). As a result of the cross fingering, meend, which is a very integral part of Indian music, is rendered impractical above the contiguous range of two octaves. However, fortunately most of Indian classical music is performed within a range of about two octaves.
If by Student model you mean an easy playing bansuri the answer is yes. I can adjust various parameters like the bore size, the tone-hole sizes, hole layout etc. to provide you with an instrument that is the best fit for you. However, if you mean a lower quality (and thereby cheaper) version, the answer is no. I give the same the kind of attention and care to each flute without any quality compromise and strive to consistently provide flutes of unmatched quality - whether it is for a student or an expert.
Take the bansuri when its cold (not recently played) and apply low viscosity cynoacrylate (instant glue) along the crack...it should seep into the crack because of low viscosity. Hold the flute and press so that the crack gap is reduced..hold for about 30 second. Now after 5 minutes or so clean off extra glue from the surface and do thread binding if you know how to do it or tightly apply several rounds of scotch tape.
Your answers to the following questions help me in suggesting a size for you: Have you any prior experience in playing Bansuri? If yes, what is the largest size bansuri that you play comfortably? Do you consider the size of your hands large, medium or small? Do you intend to play with other instrumentalists/ or will play solo?
Now as a matter of general recommendation, if you would like to play with other western instruments like silver flute, I would recommend G bass or F bass. G bass would play G with 3 holes closed and D with 6 holes closed and C# with all the 7 holes closed. Whereas F bass would sound F, C and B at these finger positions. These are generally reasonable size of flutes to handle even if you are a beginner and at the same time have a rich and deep low end notes.
A skilled Carnatic flute player can play Hindustani music wonderfully well on Carnatic flutes. Actually, because of the commonly used alternate fingerings for ga, Ga, and ma there are various ornamentation and glides you can do with Carnatic flute which would not be possible with bansuri.
The bamboo I use is Asamese bamboo which is thinner than the bamboo generally used in carnatic flutes and is universally used in making North Indian Bansuri flutes. It is not detrimental to the quality in any way rather it makes the flute more responsive and brightens the tone.
Yes, I do make large carnatic flutes up to D# bass which is a really large flute (about 36" long). My carnatic flute catalog lists only a few commonly used sizes. If you need a size not listed there, please contact me here and I will get back to you with details promptly.
The tukkadas which are compositions played towards the end of carnatic concerts are generally played on a big bass flute, many a times with transposition of notes. For example, you can play Sindhu Bhairavi on a D# flute(2½ katta) and then use a G# bass(5½ katta) flute using the fingering of panchamam as Sa to take up the melody from one octave below.
I prefer to close the end with a natural cork. That provides for better control in the fine tuning stage as you can move the cork. This eventually results in a more precisely tuned flute. In case where you use the bamboo node to close one end, the position of the closed end is permanently fixed and you lose the flexibility in fine tuning. Thereby making the overall quality a little unpredictable.
If by Student model you mean an easy playing flute the answer is yes. I can adjust various parameters like the bore size, the tone-hole sizes, hole layout etc. to provide you with an instrument that has the best fit for you. However, if you mean a lower quality (and thereby cheaper) version, the answer is no. I give the same the kind of attention and care to each flute without any quality compromise and strive to consistently provide flutes of unmatched quality - whether it is for a student or an expert.