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Hi, there are plenty of these on ebay, but given the age of them I would rather get one that has been properly restored by a luthier who knows about this instrument - is this possible?
Hi Ritchie - are you in the UK? I think you're right that any Ebay Zither will probably need some luthier set-up/restoration work. They often seem to have really high string action. I collected one from an Ebay seller when I was in Kent last year and took it to The Banjo Works (Andy Banjo) who did some work: replacing the vellum, lowering the string action and tightening the machine heads. I put on the correct bridge and strings (sourced from Clifford Essex). Another recommended banjo luthier is Dave Stacey (in the UK)
You could also try and message David Wade and Keith Wilson as they know about banjos and often have zither banjos for sale at the classic banjo rallies.
Thanks, Carrie, buying from ebay makes me nervous, you just dont know how many problems there could be. I will follow up the names you mentioned.
I am constantly looking for zither banjos on eBay. The trick is, I guess, is to take your time and most importantly, be lucky! Of course it also helps to know what to look for, in the case of problem areas. For instance, a high action and a low bridge is a sign of the instrument having a forward bow. In most cases that is a no no.
I have been very lucky buying zither banjos from eBay. I spent all in all about 450 punds + shipping for all 4 zither banjos I have and three of them are really good players that needed little work. The third would need quite a lot of work to make it well playable and even then I don't think it is a very good instrument. But, as I said, I think I have been very lucky. Maybe I'll make of video of my zither banjos one day, to show what one can get with a bit of luck and patience. Sometimes I have the feeling, zither banjos is the only area on eBay where one still can find a good bargain.