My Adolf Meinel Zither just arrived

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Musicmaker
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Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:32 pm

My Adolf Meinel Zither just arrived

Post by Musicmaker » Sun Jun 10, 2018 9:04 pm

My Adolf Meinel just arrived.
This is it straight out of the box .
It is beautifully made, all in one piece and A LOT easier on the left hand than the Framus.
Oh what joy.
I shall strip the strings and renew.
Remove the machines and oil them.
Fill in the small Griffbret crack.
Polish the hell out of it.
I notice there are little ruts in some of the frets.
When i have de strung it i will send a photo to ask advice on whether to re hone the Griff Bret.
I am so pleased as this one must be 100 or so years old.
It is only barely an inch thick but still knocks out the sound.
I paid €350 for it.......yes you read right ! !
Pete
https://flic.kr/p/26HQEri

https://flic.kr/p/26HQLmp

kenbloom
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Re: My Adolf Meinel Zither just arrived

Post by kenbloom » Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:19 am

It looks great and I'm glad you have it. It will make learning so much more enjoyable. I love mine and I'm lucky enough to have two Meinels, Jr. and Sr. Looking forward to more reports.

Ken Bloom
http://www.boweddulcimer.org

NutmegCT
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Re: My Adolf Meinel Zither just arrived

Post by NutmegCT » Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:22 am

Pete - could you give us some details on your comment "A LOT easier on the left hand than the Framus"?

Are the strings closer to the frets, or softer strings than on the Framus, or ...?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Tom M.

Musicmaker
Posts: 148
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2018 9:32 pm

Re: My Adolf Meinel Zither just arrived

Post by Musicmaker » Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:24 pm

Hi Tom.
All of the frets on the Meinel are set lower than on the Framus.
On the Framus the NUT fret is quite higher than the Meinel which would explain why I cheese wire my fingers when playing it.
I noticed a great difference with the Meinel.
The Action is lower.
Ken.....thank you. I have taken my tablets as instructed and now some nitty gritty questions please.
Reference the Nut fret.
I cannot make my mind up whether to hone the board or not but......
On honeing, is the nut fret honed at the same time as the other frets leading up to it?
Or is it left a fraction of a millimetre higher?
String tuning pegs.
There are quite a few of these that will not screw tight and hold the strings. Is the slither of wood we refer to a pencil sharpening?.....or?
All the old strings are now in the bin.
I have polished it up.
I came up beautiful but I noticed some cracks in the veneer.
I believe this sometimes happens.
They have not lifted the veneer so i intend to leave them alone like the wrinkles on my face.
The right hand string holder bridge from ebony had a piece chipped off so i have done some surgery on that and let in a new piece of ebony.
I can send pics if interested.
Frets.....
The first five frets on the second A string have grooves in them.
They are not huge but noticeable.
It still plays okay.
This would be my only reason for a rehone.
Pete

Musicmaker
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Re: My Adolf Meinel Zither just arrived

Post by Musicmaker » Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:37 pm

https://flic.kr/p/283z7Bb
https://flic.kr/p/KYZvLs
https://flic.kr/p/26Krd6B
You can see the new piece of ebony i have put in if you enlarge the picture.
Fret wear...
Shall i ignore it or hone it?
It seems to me to be minimal.
Pete

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

Re: My Adolf Meinel Zither just arrived

Post by kenbloom » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:39 am

Hi Pete,

With regards to the frets, if everything is playing well, I'd leave it alone. The "zero" is often a bit higher. If the playing surface is ideal it has a parabolic shape, not dead flat. The height of zither frets is that way so that you have a lifetime of room to do fret filing. Replacing frets on a zither is a nightmare. Lay a straightedge on the fretboard and see if you have some relief in the playing surface. If not, then some honing may be advised. If yes, analyze the amount and the slope. Both my Meinels have some relief and I have yet to do any serious fret filing.
For loose tuning pins, this is a very common problem. The wood in the hole has shrunk and moved away from the pin. The simple fix that I have used with grreat success is to take a bit of mahogany veneer and place it in the hole and replace the pin. Mahogany compresses nicely and you get a nice fit with just enough give to it. You only need a small piece and grain direction doesn't matter. I typically use a piece about 3/32" wide and then carefully twist the pin back in. The thread on the pin will grip the veneer. In a pinch, any hardwood veneer will do but I have found mahogany to be the best for this.
Cracks in the veneer on the top, back and sides are very common and usually cause no problems at all. Leave them alone. Above all, make sure common sense prevails. A friend of mine use to say that, unfortunately, common sense isn't so common.

Ken Bloom
http://www.boweddulcimer.com

NutmegCT
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Re: My Adolf Meinel Zither just arrived

Post by NutmegCT » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:50 am

Hi Pete - just to help out a fellow beginner, would you have time to actually measure the height of the first ("zero") fret above the fretboard, and the next ("first") fret above the fretboard? On your Framus, and your new Meinel?

Just interested in the height of the fret, as that first fret ("zero") determines the height of the string above all the other frets. I believe in violin language, that first fret would be called the "nut".

I'd like to compare with my own instrument.

Thanks.
Tom M.

Musicmaker
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Re: My Adolf Meinel Zither just arrived

Post by Musicmaker » Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:38 pm

Thanks Tom and Ken for your replies.
Ken. I will leave it alone as it plays superbly.
The only thing left to do is plug the tuning pin holes.
I have no mahoghany veneer so will have to some how get around this. How thick veneer do you mean?
There are various thicknesses.
The nearest solution i can get to is to make some thick plane shavings.
I am at a total loss regards common sense.
I unfortunately dont posses any.
My thinking is so that it almost always seems out if the box. I dont do it purposely....its just natural to me and I dont know the difference. If there is one?
Ken.
I will get back to you re the measurements you asked for.
I do have a vernier caliper and can read one but i now need a magnifying glass to determine the graduations.
I need to find that first.
Or go and buy a digital one!
Pete.

I have now come back with the measurements Tom asked for.
Framus Zero fret 5.62mm
Framus First Fret 5.20mm
Difference of 0.42mm
Try saying Framus First Fret Five times Fast.
Hee hee!
Adolf Meinel Zero Fret 3.82mm
Adolf Meinel First Fret 3.74mm
Difference 0.08mm

I know the differences appear small but on playing they are significantly noticeable.
Very fine workmanship.
Pete

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

Re: My Adolf Meinel Zither just arrived

Post by kenbloom » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:23 am

HI Pete, Veneer here in ther States is usually 1/28" thick. Don't know what that is in metric but certainly not more than about 2mm. You only need to put a small sliver in the hole to take up the space needed. If you do it with shavings from a plane, make them fairly thick and be sure it's hardwood of some sort. In a pinch you could do a couple of slivers of something. I know you can be creative!

Ken Bloom
http://www.boweddulcimer.org

NutmegCT
Posts: 219
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Re: My Adolf Meinel Zither just arrived

Post by NutmegCT » Wed Jun 13, 2018 9:57 am

Interesting figures!

My Schuster zero fret is 3.37mm high. (fingerboard to top of fret)
First fret is 2.49mm high.

At least compared to my Schuster, seems your Framus has high frets, which would require more "push" of the fingers. Of course, string tension is also a factor.

I wonder what heights our other zitherists measure at those two fret points. And I wonder what those measurements are actually supposed to be on these instruments.

Thanks.
Tom M.

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