Waldzithers

Here are instruments photos and videos from past restoration projects. It is a gallery only, for instruments available for sale please see page "Instruments for Sale"

Thuringer Waldzither

Meinel & Herold

Antique German Wald-zither made by Meinel & Herold, estimated around 1930's.

Thuringer Wald-zither is usually distinguished by Flat-back and mandolin like head stock with 5 tuning pegs on one side and four on the other side. Thuringer Wald-zither is tuned as standard CGCEG, has scale length of 460mm.


Instrument is fitted with D'addario phosphor-bronze strings composed of set EJ74 and two single strings LE018pb


Instruments measurements are as follows:

- total length 76cm - body width 28.5cm body depth 57-81mm

- from zero fret to 12th fret 230mm (total scale length 460mm)

- Neck width at nut is 40mm, at body merge 49mm

Thuringer Waldzither
Thuringer Waldzither
Thuringer Waldzither
Thuringer Waldzither
Heym Waldzither
Heym Waldzither
Heym Waldzither
Heym Waldzither
Heym Waldzither

Thuringer Waldzither

Theodor Heym

Suhl, Germany

 

Authentic Thuringer Wald-zither made by Heym in Suhl (Thuringia Region), Germany. These waldzithers were being made from 1890's to 1920's but exact date of this one is unknown. It is a very unique instrument with some original ideas like L shaped neck that has no separate fretboard, fretted unequally tempered and the C strings runs outside the neck.

The state of the instrument was structurally sound but the previous owner had a strange idea of painting it gold, this made restoration a lot more difficult as removing paint affected original painted rosette and purfling. Luckily there were some photos available of Heym Waldzithers so reconstruction of original character was possible. Missing decoration in soundhole was also replaced with original Dresdner Pappe on Gauze (Dresdner Pappe - cardboard pressed decorations popular in Dresden in 1870's).

Another unusual thing is that both Top and Back are made of Spruce and only sides are made of Maple. The condition of soundboard is quite good with no splits but back and sides had few cracks that had to be re-enforced. As for the neck I decided to leave it as to maintain all over old character, here it was only cleaned, the frets were levelled and crowned. Missing bridge was replaced with Maple replica.

The body is finished with Tru-oil throughout (back and sides stained Mahogany)


 

The playability is very good with low and comfortable action, good sustain and clean tone. Compared to Bohm Waldzither it sounds much more mellower, hopefully I'll manage to follow up with a sound sample.


 

Waldzither is fitted with new custom set of strings – Ernieball Nickel Wound

.036w - . 032w - .022w - .016 - .012 (CGCEG)

 

 

Instruments dimensions:

- total length 75.5cm, - body width 28cm, - from nut to 12th fret 205mm (total scale length 410mm)

 - Neck width at nut is 44.5mm, at 10th fret 44.5mm


 

Antique German

Hamburger Waldzither

 

Antique German Wald-zither labelled “37” which might be just a serial number rather than actual brand (or even added by someone else), possibly made around 1920's or earlier.

Hamburger Wald-zither can be usually distinguished by Preston style Tuners and “Dome” shaped back. Hamburger Wald-zither is tuned CGCEG, scale length of this particular Waldzither is 494mm (247mm from zero fret to 12th)

 

Instrument is fitted with D'addario Nickel plated strings composed of set EJ67 and two single strings LE018w nickel wound


Instrument measurements are as follows:

- total length 72cm - body width 33cm body depth 11.5cm - from zero fret to 12th fret 247mm (total scale length 494mm) - Neck width at nut is 41.2mm, at body merge 49.5mm

Waldzither
Waldzither

Bohm Waldzither

            German "Forest Zither" with Preston like tuners made in Hamburg. It has 9 strings wich usually are

tuned - C, G G, C C, E E, G G (traditional) . I got this instrument in very healthy condition though finish had to be stripped off completely and redone with french polish and tru oil. To restring it I have used 12 string guitar light tension set and manually twisted to make loops at top.

Waldzither
Waldzither
Waldzither
Waldzither

Thuringer Waldzither

Musik Helmuth – Gelsenkirchen

Germany

circa 1920-30's


 

9 String Dome back Folk Zither from Germany restored to fully playable condition – body refinished with Tru oil varnish – table had three hairline cracks which had been repaired, neck and frets cleaned and levelled, tuners cleaned and lubed and are working very well.

New set of strings has been fitted - D'Addario extra light C-0.40   G-0.30    C-0.22    E-0.14   G-0.10

Instruments dimensions are as follows:

Total length – 80cm Scale Length – zero fret to 12th fret 234mm

Neck width at zero fret 36.6mm, at 12th fret 48mm - 27-30mm thick

Side - 45mm high (at neck) , 91mm high (at tail)

Body – 42.5cm long, 33.5cm wide (measured at back)

 

Waldzither
Waldzither
Waldzither
Waldzither
Waldzither
Waldzither
Waldzither
DSC01666
Waldzither
Waldzither

Waldzither

WALTHARI MITTENWALD

© 2014 - 2020 Lucas Sobieranski All Rights Reserved

Photo by Monika Karpiej, Manchester United Kingdom 2017

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