"tinney" sounding "a" strings

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Rudy Mueller
Posts: 361
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:33 am

Re: "tinney" sounding "a" strings

Post by Rudy Mueller » Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:45 am

Still "meditating". On examination, it appears that the second, third, and fifth frets of the griffbret are noticeably worn down under the two a and the d strings. This could possibly mean that the situation is really a "low" spot on these frets, rather than (or in addition to) high spots further to the right.

Is this griffbrett just plain "worn out"?

"Honing" essentially drops the plane of the top surface of the frets. Should the pins and machine be removed, and the left hand ("0") fret be honed a similar amount?

Rudi

NutmegCT
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Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2014 10:31 pm
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Re: "tinney" sounding "a" strings

Post by NutmegCT » Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:45 pm

Grüetzi Rudi.

If the metal frets are worn down, but the wooden board is straight and not warped, I'd think that replacing the frets would be the first line of attack.

To my grossly inexperienced brain, the second, third, and fifth frets are the most used, and thus most likely to actually be worn down by the metal string continually pressed down into them.

Here's an overview of removing/replacing frets on a guitar:

http://www.fretnotguitarrepair.com/repa ... etting.php

Tchau.
Tom M.

kenbloom
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:50 am

Re: "tinney" sounding "a" strings

Post by kenbloom » Thu Sep 28, 2017 2:31 pm

Zithers have very high frets for a reason, so they don't have to be replaced. Doing T-shaped guitar frets is easy. Doing the bar frets that zithers have is not so easy and I would not attempt it. To do the fret leveling, you would be best to leave the 0 fret alone. You take whatever abrasive thing you are using for the leveling and keep moving it back and forth until all the frets have been touched. You should be able to get the ruts out of the ones that are worn. I start at the high end of the fretboard and work my way back toward the machines. You certainly don't have to remove the machines to do this. If you have any questions about this feel free to contact me either here or at kbloom1@triad.rr.com

Ken Bloom

Rudy Mueller
Posts: 361
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:33 am

Re: "tinney" sounding "a" strings

Post by Rudy Mueller » Fri Sep 29, 2017 9:18 am

Thank you both,

Honing it is. Here we go.

Rudi

Rudy Mueller
Posts: 361
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:33 am

Re: "tinney" sounding "a" strings

Post by Rudy Mueller » Fri Sep 29, 2017 11:08 am

Yoohooo!

This Seith zither sounded good when I received it, developed some problems, but now sounds better than ever.

Both the ACE Hardware 6 inch sharpening stone (#21163) and the Smith's 4 inch diamond sharpening stone were tried. Best results seemed to be with the ACE stone, starting off with the coarse side, and finishing off with the fine side. Time from start to finish, included string removal and re-installation, was just under 2 hours. Definite wear spots were seen all the way up to the 10th (g) fret under both a strings.

The fret side edges were rounded slightly using the ACE stone, fine side. A future purchase might be the guitar fret rounding tool when new strings are installed.

Thanks to all for your patience. In the past, this instrument had such a quality tone, I was hesitant to do permanent damage to it. You've given it a new life.

Rudi

kenbloom
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:50 am

Re: "tinney" sounding "a" strings

Post by kenbloom » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:05 am

Hi Rudi,

I'm glad it all worked out. Leveling frets is not difficult but it does require patience and careful observation. There are a nuimber of fret rounding files available. You can check out either Stewart-MacDonald or Luthiers Mercantile for these handy tools. For a better feel, you can polish the frets with succeeding wet and dry sandpaper, starting with 320 and going down to at least 600 or even 1200 and then 0000 steel wool. Some people go even further. If you need more info on any of this don't hesitate to get in touch. Once again, I echo your WooHoo!

Ken Bloom
http://www.boweddulcimer.org

Rudy Mueller
Posts: 361
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:33 am

Re: "tinney" sounding "a" strings

Post by Rudy Mueller » Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:46 pm

Was this griffbrett worn out?

How many hundred hours of playing can be expected from the average griffbrett, before it needs a tune-up? I try to do an hour per day.

Is my experience out of the ordinary?

Rudi

The F. Seith continues to sound well.

Rudy Mueller
Posts: 361
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:33 am

Re: "tinney" sounding "a" strings

Post by Rudy Mueller » Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:53 pm

Consider the numbers:

Three years at + or - an hour/day is roughly ~ 1000 hours.

Any comments?

Rudi

kenbloom
Posts: 126
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:50 am

Re: "tinney" sounding "a" strings

Post by kenbloom » Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:56 am

Not being a math person, I just play the instrument until problems begin to show up. I also play quite a bit but I have only had to do the fret leveling a couple of times over the decades that I have been playing. Admittedly, these all on Meinel zithers and I don't know if the nickel silver material that they use is any tougher than some of the older stock. When I visited Rudy Wacek, decades ago, he had sheets of nickel silver in varying thicknesses that he cut his frets from. Rudy was a very skilled person, both in woodwork and in electronics.
Having a fret file for rounding over the tops is very handy. I have two. One has interchangeable insertws for three diffrerent widths of frets and the other is a diamond file with two different grits. I use the former more often but if I just need a touch up the diamond file is great. Having the zither frets flat on top makes things much easier as opposed to the curved fretboards that I usually work on. Congrats Rudi!! You are one step closer to being your own zither tech!

Ken Bloom
http://www.boweddulcimer.org

Rudy Mueller
Posts: 361
Joined: Thu Sep 08, 2011 8:33 am

Re: "tinney" sounding "a" strings

Post by Rudy Mueller » Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:12 am

Thanks Ken,

The Seith still sounds great!

Given enough time, I will probably re-finish the Förg this winter. The top lacquer/varnish surface is looking "scaley", and the bottom has burn marks on it, probably from Paul Ederegger's cigars.

Rudi

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