Need help in chosing Zither strings

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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Musicmaker
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Need help in chosing Zither strings

Post by Musicmaker » Wed Jun 13, 2018 11:45 am

I want to restring my Meinel Zither.
I have seen a complete set of 36 in Munich tuning and it states for a scale length of 41.5.
Both my Meinel and Framus Zither have a scale length of 43.5
Are there a myriad of different scale lengths?
Will 41.5 fit? And work okay?
I am confused now as i assumed all zither scale lengths would be the same.
Pete

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Dave
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Re: Need help in chosing Zither strings

Post by Dave » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:39 pm

Other vendors may have similar options, but Lenzner offers fretboard strings in 3 lengths.

Concert zither: fretboard length 41.5 cm
Harp Zither: fretboard length 43.5 cm (also suitable for concert zithers, extended and luftresonance zithers)
Psalter Zither: fretboard length 45.5 cm

Sounds like the middle option is what you need.
We do not take humor seriously enough. —Konrad Lorenz

kenbloom
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Re: Need help in chosing Zither strings

Post by kenbloom » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:22 am

Strings are designed to function at a specific pitch for a particular length. For years, it was simply two different ones, Concert zither (short) and Harp zither (long). Meinels use the Harp zither length. That little bit extra makes a big difference in tone. I use the Bergefe. Green on my Perfekta as the Blue puts too much tension on the rather delicate design used for the contra bass strings. They sound great and last a long time. Zither strings are unlike other strings I've encountered for plucked instruments. They are a rather complex construction. You may have to try several brands to find out which ones work best on your instrument. Sofian Zapf recommended the Bergfe brand to me many years ago for both my Schuster and Meinel zithers and I have been happy with them. YMMV.

Ken Bloom
http://www.boweddulcimer.org

Andy
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Re: Need help in chosing Zither strings

Post by Andy » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:39 am

I started off with the Bergefe Red myself, but decided to change them out after reading one of your previous posts on tension Ken. The contra base arm of my zither had warped slightly from decades in a closet strung with steel strings. To prevent any further warping I switched over to Bergefe Greens. Took a hot minute to adjust to the different finger feel between the two, but they sound just as good in my humble opinion.

- Andy

Musicmaker
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Re: Need help in chosing Zither strings

Post by Musicmaker » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:21 pm

Thanks guys for your help.
My Framus strings were ordered direct from Lenzner who are currently making the Contra bass strings for my Meinel.
They do not stock every string.
Damn it......I have to wait longer.
Just dying to play the Meinel.
I must be patient
I must be patient
Good news is.......
Im Heimgarten band 1 and 2 arrived yesterday
Delightful old tunes that i love.
Really Zithery!
They are great for sight reading and finding the notes on the Griffbret.
All slowly slowly but i am getting there.
Pete

Rudy Mueller
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Re: Need help in chosing Zither strings

Post by Rudy Mueller » Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:13 pm

The Meinel & Herold Klingenthal Father's Day gift has been re-strung. This is a 27 (accompaniment and bass) string beauty. The first 24 accompaniment strings are the usual. The strings purchased included the contra bass strings F, Eb, and E.

Since most of my playing is in C, G, and F, the F and E contra bass strings were tuned as such, and the Eb between them tuned to C contra; this could also be tuned to D contra for selected pieces.

Any comments?

This near-perfect quality instrument is a Godsend; I am merely the caretaker.

Rudi

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Re: Need help in chosing Zither strings

Post by NutmegCT » Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:22 pm

A near perfect instrument is truly a godsend!

Would certainly be nice to see some photos of your new instrument, and a video of you playing it!

Tom M.

Kennethpauls
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Re: Need help in chosing Zither strings

Post by Kennethpauls » Wed Jul 11, 2018 7:51 pm

I'm certainly not an expert but I will put in my 2 cents.
I like Lenzner Fisoma because its easier on my fingers when I play a long time. I just put them on my Meinel- actually Sasha did it for me as...well he's just really good at it. He also shortened my fretboard by 5 frets so it doesnt produce that metallic sound from strumming on the fretboard/ so a warmer sound is produced as the pivk moves away from the far right end of the instrument. The Soloklang strings also sound lovely- but according to Anne have higher tension; but they work well for the Griffbrett (fretboard).

Musicmaker
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Re: Need help in chosing Zither strings

Post by Musicmaker » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:10 pm

On the subject of Zither strings, I have today strung up my Adolf Meinel.
It has seven contra bass strings.
Because I am new to Zither playing, I have not yet included the contra bass strings with my playing but thought it would be nice to just use them as the last note to end a piece of music.
I paid for them so why not use them?
I have a C to end pieces in C.
I do not have a G but have an F.
Would I be stretching it too far ( sorry about the pun) to tweek the F contra bass to a G so as to be able to end pieces in G with a nice contra bass?
Pete

kenbloom
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Re: Need help in chosing Zither strings

Post by kenbloom » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:11 am

Hi Pete,

Sincer you have seven contra basses, you could just run them down diatonically and leave out ones you don't think you'll be using. Zither strings are designed to work for a specific length and pitch. There isn't a whole lot of leeway, especially if you are using the lower tension Bergfe Green. I've gotten my best results using the specific string for the specific pitch and just skipping the ones I dont' need. These days all my zithers have 42 strings so I don't have to make choices like this any more. Just my 2p.

Ken Bloom
http://www.boweddulcimer.org

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