String material

Interested in learning how to play the zither and wondering where to start? Use this section to post your questions.

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String material

Post by maxwareham » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:12 pm


I recently purchased a beautiful old zither, which is currently being repaired (will send pics when I get it back!). When I purchased it, it was quite beat up, out of tune, etc. I seem to remember that all the strings were steel, similar to the type used on a guitar. Are zither strings exclusively silk-and-steel or some type of nylon with a steel core? As I'm looking into purchasing a new set, that's what seems to be the case. If that's true, I'll make sure the repairman doesn't try to tune it up with the current strings on it. Wouldn't want to immediately undo all the repairs.


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Re: String material

Post by DonO » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:47 pm


I have two old zithers, both of which have been refurbished back to beautiful condition and sound characteristics (no cracks). One is an Alt Zither that is outfitted with Lenzner Soloklang, and a Concert Zither that is staunch with Pyramid Blue. There is also the Bergfee brand which you might consider. I personally like the Pyramids for a bright sound.

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Re: String material

Post by Dave » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:27 pm

Hi Max, you won't need steel core strings, unless you're planning to use your zither with an electromagnetic pickup. Everyone here has a personal preference, most likely, but I would recommend nylon strings for your replacement. Because they're longer, you can buy harp zither strings and use them on concert zithers, but your practice will be delayed trying to go the other direction. ;-)
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Re: String material

Post by jbug_zither » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:40 pm

I recently acquired a Schwarzer that had steel guitar type strings. It may have been all that was available at the time, but it can warp a zither. There are plenty of sources for the correct type strings if you do not presently have a source.


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