Vintage ZETAs and ZETA Alternatives
ZETA Jazz Bridge
Evan Fourness, former lead luthier for ZETA, has begun making his own instruments under the name of Fourness Violins. Evan has taken the design of the ZETA fusion body as well as the silky smooth tone of the ZETA Jazz pickup and retooled both to make a gorgeous looking and sounding violin he calls the Fourness Fuse. Jean-Luc Ponty, the jazz violinist who made the ZETA Jazz fusion famous with his own signature model, has adopted the Fourness Fuse into his touring arsenal and says of it, "The Fourness is the best solid body electric violin I ever played." If you are here looking for a ZETA Jazz Fusion, perhaps what you really need is a Fourness Fuse! You can read our review of the Fourness Fuse here on our blog.
ZETA Strados Bridge
The ZETA Strados bridge is known for its edgy tone, which is more acoustic and brilliant sounding than the Jazz bridge. Its design features two pickup elements per string with the strings isolated from one another. While no pickup system on the market is identical to this design, perhaps the closest in tone are the Barbera Transducer Systems bridges, which also use multiple pickups for each string.
Similarly the placement of the pickup elements is very near to the string itself, so that the chiff of bow changes is heard more so than with the Jazz bridge adding another element of realism. Finally, the Barbera bridge, while shaped differently than the Strados, does a good job of isolating the strings from one another. Barbera bridges are sold individually for installation on the instrument of your choice.
ZETA E-series Bridge
ZETA 'E-series' or 'Educator'
The most naturally acoustic sounding of the ZETA bridge designs, the ZETA E-series bridge was featured on the ZETA Ensemble violins and violas, which came with a headphone output jack for silent practice for $1295. The Yamaha SV-200 is priced similarly and has the same neutral acoustic tone with a headphone jack as well for silent practice and in ear monitoring.
The ZETA 'Modern' body shape
Lastly, for the customer attracted to the ZETA 'Modern' body design, consider instead MSI violins. MSI instruments are the work of Dan Maloney who was at one time the lead luthier for ZETA Music Systems and in fact created their 'Modern' body design. The design he uses on his own instruments is certainly reminiscent of that older design though in many ways it is more elegant given its rounded curves and edges and slight asymetrical shape. Dan's craftsmanship is second to none and his violins have an artistic focus on detail.