Like a guitar or lute, a zither's body serves as a resonating chamber (sound box), but, unlike guitars and lutes, a zither lacks a distinctly separate neck assembly.The number of strings varies, from one to more than fifty.

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Emigration from these areas during the 19th century introduced the concert and Alpine zither to North and South America.

Chord zithers similar to the instrument in the photograph also became popular in North America during the late 19th and early 20th century.

Despite this, Fender is keen not to rest on its laurels and instead keeps the range bang up to date and ahead of the competition.

As a result, perhaps even the gap between these instruments and the more expensive American Series is narrowing.

This includes such diverse instruments as the hammered dulcimer, psaltery, Appalachian dulcimer, guqin, guzheng, tromba marina, koto, gusli, kanun, kanklės, kantele, kokles, valiha, gayageum, đàn tranh, autoharp, santoor, yangqin, santur, swarmandal, and others.

Pedal steel guitars, lap guitars (where the neck serves no separate function other than to extend the string length), and keyboard instruments like the clavichord, harpsichord and piano also fall within this broad categorical use.The word has also been used in conjunction with brand varieties of other string instruments, for example the zither banjo.Similar instruments along this design were developed over the following centuries, for example: the Japanese silk strung koto, the siter of Indonesian gamelans; the Qānūn (or Kanun) of the Middle East; the valiha, a tube zither of Madagascar; and many others.A maple-necked Strat will probably always sound a touch brighter than a rosewood, so it's worth A/B testing both versions before choosing.While the middle and neck pickups are not exactly oozing woody spank in quite the same way as a good vintage example or Custom Shop Time Machine, there's more than enough of the essential Stratocaster character to do the business in any of the myriad genres in which this instrument excels.That there is no more iconic electric guitar design than the Standard Stratocaster is a given, but it's reasonable to say that the periodical reorganisation of the Fender range and its demarcations might leave some prospective buyers scratching their heads.