What is my Zither worth?

Old Zithers

There are no Stradivarius instruments about. Zithers don’t improve with age. If they have been neglected or exposed to extreme climate conditions, the timber warps or cracks, the tuning pins rust and the strings break.

Here in Australia, If you see one in a second hand shop hanging on a wall or without a case, it’s probably damaged and not worth repairing or paying a lot of money for it.

If you just want to experiment a little bit playing an old instrument you don’t need a set of new strings, you can do the following:
You need the 5 melody strings, but not all the open strings (strings above No. 20 are not used by a beginner).

If the strings are very old and very much out of tune, tuning should be done gradually over several days, or the strings might snap (protect eyes).

Bear in mind that some one might have put the wrong strings on (Vienna tuning or Munich tuning or Fishing line).

Check with my diagram for string names, try to tune the red strings.

If a string is already very tight and still 2 or 3 tones away from pitch it could be a wrong string and if forced will snap.

If this answer doesn't help try other resources at the Links page, or contact me directly.

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