Persian santoor, how to replace the strings



If you'd like to replace all the strings yourself, because the moisture in the air has rusted the strings or you are no longer satisfied with the sound of your instrument, then order a complete set of strings for your santoor based on your taste.


Important attention: do not remove all the strings of your santoor at once!


The sound post is the heart of Persian santoor. The sound post is a short length of cylindrical stick made of walnut wood, which fits between the front plate and the back plate inside the santoor. The position of santoor’s sound posts is influencing the sound quality of the instrument.

Not all of the sound posts are glued into place but are just wedged between the plates and are held there by the downward force of the strings pressing on the courses. By removing all the strings at once you can cause the sound post fall down. So please replace the strings course by course.

In the next few lines, I will go through type of strings, string gauge and strings installation.



1. Diameter of Persian Santoor Strings:

The most common gauge of Persian santoor strings for the both bass and treble courses are 0.40mm. A maximum tolerance of +/- 0.02mm in diameter could be considered; In other words from 0.38mm to 0.42mm.


2. Material of Persian Santoor Strings:

Bass courses are strung with plain music wire with a minimum tensile strength of 900 N/mm². They are made from either Phosphor bronze CuSn6 or brass.

Brass strings are normally a popular choice for Santoor players who enjoy using hammers without felt as they do not produce buzzing sound. In addition to this, I believe the brass strings sound warmer and softer.

If you like to play with bronze strings, I strongly recommend felted hammers in order to avoid the buzzing sound.

Treble courses are strung of plain or wound strings from steel. Wound strings are not recommended. The plain steel strings will last for many years if they are cleaned and kept in a good condition.



3. Persian Santoor Loop End Strings and Looper Tool

Normally when you order Persian santoor strings, they will come as a continuous wire. You therefore need to make a loop at the end of the string. In order to do so, you will need a looper, which is not very cheap.  If you cannot afford this tool, you can loop the end of strings with your fingers.

The looper has been designed to create a loop at the end of different wire types and thickness. This tool makes the difficult job of looping easy.


4. The length of Persian Santoor Strings and Installation

The length of Persian santoor after looping the end of strings can vary from 57 cm to 110 cm. 

In order to install the strings, first you loop the end of your string from the free side of the continuous wire, then you hold the looped end of the string on the hitch pin, and extend the string across the left nut over the course till you reach the right nut, always add 10-20 cm extra allowance. You should cut the desire length of string in accordance with the course from the continuous wire. Cut the string by any wire cutter type like side cutting pliers.

The length of the strings after the right nut vary from 10 to 20 cm as the 1st string of the course is close to the nut and the 4th one is far from nut.

5. The Installation of Persian Santoor Strings

Hold the looped end of the string on the hitch pin, and pull the free end across  the left nut and the course to reach the right nut and then drag the string over the desire string slot and run the free side of the string through the tuning pin hole. When the string is threaded through the tuning pin hole, bend the end of the string back toward the hole, then rotate the tuning pin so that the string is wound 5 turns onto the tuning pin and pull the last turn over all turns. Now the tuning pin is adjusted to increase the string tension.