Perfekta Zither/Anton Brauer

Is your zither in need of repair? Do you have questions on how to best maintain your zither, or have advice? Post your questions and advice here.

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quincemothman
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Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:23 am

Perfekta Zither/Anton Brauer

Post by quincemothman » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:26 pm

Anton Brauer Perfekta Zither.jpg
Anton Brauer Perfekta Zither.jpg (184.27 KiB) Viewed 1174 times
Hi, this is Quince in the UK. I have a Perfekta zither by Anton Brauer of Schonbach ( with original case ). Unfortunately it needs some repairs. The bridge has lifted at the contra end, the frets are worn and some of the pins are loose. The good thing, the body is not bowed or cracked and the fretboard is strait and all the binding is in place. I've got my eye on one or two people in Germany who I hope may restore it, though I have not contacted any one yet as I want to wait till I have some funds to finance it first. Hopefully I can send it to Germany by Currier. I have heard these zithers are rare and collectible. Does anyone have any info regarding this. Also, I wonder if the lifting of the bridge on this kind of zither is a common problem. Incidentally, I found some old photos on the internet of the building where Anton Brauer had his business in Schonbach ( now called Luby ) I looked it up on Google maps and I found it, it's still standing though it looks unoccupied.

kenbloom
Posts: 171
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:50 am

Re: Perfekta Zither/Anton Brauer

Post by kenbloom » Thu Feb 15, 2018 9:08 am

I have two perfekta zithers and I regularly play on the Adolf Meinel Sr. one. The thing to watch for is the scroll lifting from the tension of the contra basses. I use the Bergfe green strings to keep the tension on the contrabasses lower and this seems to have worked. I don't have a problem with the bridge lifting or anything else. Your instrument looks to be in wonderful shape. I find it's much easier getting to those contra basses with this style of zither. I did have to adjust my right hand somewhat to make use of everything but after being able to get to those low basses so easily, I'll never go back to the standard setup. Congrats and I hope you find someone to do the repair work.

Ken Bloom
http://www.bowedduclimer.org

quincemothman
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:23 am

Re: Perfekta Zither/Anton Brauer

Post by quincemothman » Sat Feb 17, 2018 7:27 am

Hi Ken, thank you for the info. The scroll is strait its just the bridge that has come up towards the contra end. I wonder if the bridge should be removed and repaired or replaced with a complete new bridge which I assume must be difficult to replicate owing to it elaborate shape. The lower bass strings were all steel and in a bit of a mess which is why I removed them. If I can get the zither fixed I will also use the green nylon the same as on my Horst Wishes. ( no sore fingers ) I will let you know how it works out. Cheers, Quince.
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Bridge problem on Perfekta zither.jpg
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kenbloom
Posts: 171
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:50 am

Re: Perfekta Zither/Anton Brauer

Post by kenbloom » Sat Feb 17, 2018 8:48 am

Hi Quince,

I doubt that you'll need a whole new bridge made but the repair needs to be done by someone very experienced. It looks like th einstrument has been this wazy for quite a while. My best guess is that the bridge would have to be removed, the old glue cleaned off and heat bent back into shape and them reglued in place. Not something I would attempt. I'm sure there is someone out there capable of doing it and the instrument definitely looks like it would be a worthwhile endeavor. Perfekta zithers and not easy to find.

Ken Bloom
http://www.boweddulcimer.org

quincemothman
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:23 am

Re: Perfekta Zither/Anton Brauer

Post by quincemothman » Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:10 am

Hi Ken, yes, I did wonder if the bridge could be repaired rather than replaced altogether. I got the impression these zithers are quite rare as you say, especially in the UK. There is a zither builder/repairer Peter Ziegler in Germany who I found on the net. His work looks very impressive going by the photos. I'll contact him first when the time comes. At present I've ordered a 42 string harp zither from Horst Wuensche so I have to pay for that first. I may mention the restoration to them also, though I don't know if they are geared up for this kind of work but you never know. Cheers Quince.

kenbloom
Posts: 171
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:50 am

Re: Perfekta Zither/Anton Brauer

Post by kenbloom » Sun Feb 18, 2018 9:44 am

Hi Quince, Whuensche zithers are great. I have played a couple and they are right up there with the Meinel Jr. ones. There probably is someone in the Wuensche shop that could repair your perfecta. When I got my Meinel Sr. perfecta I checked around and found out that perfectas are popular in Switzerland. I find perfektas much easier to play than a harp zither and I can make much better use of the contra basses with it. Good luck with all of it and if I can be of any help to you, just let me know.

Ken Bloom
http://www.boweddulcimer.org

quincemothman
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:23 am

Re: Perfekta Zither/Anton Brauer

Post by quincemothman » Mon Feb 19, 2018 9:34 am

Thank you very much Ken, enjoyed watching some of your videos on you tube.(if that's the same Ken Bloom) I have some stuff on you tube, just type in quincemothman, see what you think. Cheers Quince.

kenbloom
Posts: 171
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:50 am

Re: Perfekta Zither/Anton Brauer

Post by kenbloom » Sun Mar 04, 2018 9:37 am

Hi Quince,

Those are beautiful tunes and beautifully played on your Dyer harp guitar. I enjoyed them very much and I think that the approach you use on the guitar will translate very well on the zither. I have had a lot of fun working out many of the O'Carolan tunes on the zither as well as a few of the Dennis O'Hamsey tunes that I also found in Bunting. The perfekta zither does very well for these types of tunes as the access to the contrabasses is so much easier. Let me know how it all comes out.

Ken Bloom
http://www.boweddulcimer.org

quincemothman
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:23 am

Re: Perfekta Zither/Anton Brauer

Post by quincemothman » Mon Mar 05, 2018 11:20 am

Thank you Ken, I find my fretless zither (The Piano Chord) is great for the slower O'Carolan stuff. I had 4 pickups made that I glued down under the strings. (you can see them quite plainly) I play it through a chorus affect, the sound will give you goosebumps. What I'm aiming for concerning the concert zither is to learn to play some of the old zither music plus some of the modern tunes like what I'v seen played on YouTube. I've already worked out a few tunes by watching what they do. One thing I would like to ask you about is the use of nylon fretboard strings. Being a guitar player I am used to a relatively low string tension. I find the zither fretboard strings a little tight so I'm going to try the Lenzner nylon cor which I presume are a little lighter. I feel that I need to free up my fingers a bit so that I can play a bit more nimbly shall we say, (but at least they don't get sore) with no buzzing and squeaks. My open strings are nylon (green) they are great and my fingers are quite comfortable. I notice that a lot of zither players appear to play lightly with little or no muscular force on the fretboard, I wonder if some players use these lighter strings. Any thoughts? Cheers.

kenbloom
Posts: 171
Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:50 am

Re: Perfekta Zither/Anton Brauer

Post by kenbloom » Mon Mar 05, 2018 3:50 pm

Hi Quince, The string length on the fingerboard is around 17" or so. Using steel strings to cover the viola range of the open strings works quite well for most people. I've never tried the Lenzner strings you mentioned but try them and see how it works out. I would still use the zither ring for your thumb so that the hand can work more ergonomically. Lower tension strings will produce less volume and that perfekta of yours was made at a time when nylon core strings were not available. Try it. See how you like it. I've been a steel string guiitar player all my life so the strings on the zither are not a problem for me. Also, they work so well when I play bottleneck. They really hold the tone. Do let us all know how this works out for you.

Ken Bloom
http://www.boweddulcimer.org

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