Exploded view of the zither

Have you constructed a zither, case, table or other zither accessory? Share your photos and lessons learned here.

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henrylrjr
Posts: 30
Joined: Thu Nov 20, 2014 8:25 pm

Re: Exploded view of the zither

Post by henrylrjr » Wed May 20, 2015 11:09 am

Thanks for the reply. I was thinking of making an ebony bridge but I got reccomendations, in an earlier post, that maple is stronger and less likely to break than ebony. I asked about ebony and the metal rod because I thought the ebony would be much less likely to break because of the metal rod. Any thoughts on that supposition?

Thanks,
henrylrjr

NutmegCT
Posts: 200
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:31 pm
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Re: Exploded view of the zither

Post by NutmegCT » Wed May 20, 2015 11:29 am

henrylrjr wrote:Thanks for the reply. I was thinking of making an ebony bridge but I got reccomendations, in an earlier post, that maple is stronger and less likely to break than ebony. I asked about ebony and the metal rod because I thought the ebony would be much less likely to break because of the metal rod. Any thoughts on that supposition?

Thanks,
henrylrjr
Again, just a surmisal, but I'd think the metal rod would prevent *anything* from cracking what's under it; the rod spreads the tension so that any one string isn't directly cutting down into the wood.

Tom M.

Rudy Mueller
Posts: 398
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:33 am

Re: Exploded view of the zither

Post by Rudy Mueller » Mon Sep 14, 2015 5:42 pm

Which is the strongest edge of the zither?

The "top" edge, curved, and composed of multiple parts with multiple glue joints?

or the "bottom" or griffgrett edge, which (looking at this rendering) looks like something a Roman aqueduct engineer would put together ?

Why is it then, that zither case builders traditionally put the top (apparently more) fragile part of the instrument at the bottom of the case, which is (intuitively) subject to more shock?

This logic issue came up while building a case for the F Seith. Asking some local experts drew the look as to ...that's just the way it's always been done....hmmmmmm

The griff edge of the instrument, in the case being built, may just end up on on bottom, away from the carrying handle....not as pretty when one opens the case, but potentially more able to withstand the shock of travelling in Wisconsin in winter.

Rudi

kenbloom
Posts: 139
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:50 am

Re: Exploded view of the zither

Post by kenbloom » Wed Sep 16, 2015 8:24 am

Ebony is indeed quite dense and very capable of excellent sound transference. The biggest drawback for ebony is its tendency to check and crack and it doesn't do that well under pressure. Plucked instruments work very differently from bowed ones. On a pucked instrument you really need a very hard singing edge for the string to vibate from, thus the metal rod on the zither. Without the rod, the string digs into the wood and the sound is very dull and short-lived. Maple is most often used for zither bridges and when it is, it is dyed black and then finished over. My Meinel Sr. Perfekta zither has an ebony bridge which has survived quite well over all these years. My Meinel Jr. harfenzither has a maple or birch bridge and that has done equally well. As long as the bridge material is close grained and well cured, I haven't noticed much difference one zither to the next that could be attributed to bridge material alone. As many of you know, the situation with a violin is very different and a change in the bridge can make a huge difference in the quality and strength of the sound. Getting a great sound out of any instrument is a compromise of so many factors but for a zither I have found that the back is so important. It is, after all, the actual soundboard and the specs of the back make a huge difference, at least in my experience. Just my 2p.

Ken Bloom

Rudy Mueller
Posts: 398
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:33 am

Re: Exploded view of the zither

Post by Rudy Mueller » Sun Jan 07, 2018 12:22 pm

Anybody ever replaced the back of a zither?

Rudi

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