View Full Version : String of similar tension

John Bertotti
May-05-2004, 6:19am
Read on if you choose but I found answers to most of these quetions here. Link Below.

I've been googling like mad. I just bought a Vega from Jgarber and he has used ghs ultralight strings. I at some point in the future would like to some others just for comparison. Particularly the Dogal Calcae, and the Lenzners. How do you know which sets to try. Do you automatically go for the lightest? I was reading Alex's web site and see some bowl backs were capable of a heavier string. I certainly don't want to put a string that's to heavy on mine new instrument. I also don't need a blastingly loud instrument. Thanks all for helping me out. John
Lenzners in the US, Possible source (http://www.mandolincafe.net/cgi-bin/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST;f=6;t=15171) http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

John Flynn
May-05-2004, 6:43am
Based on what you said about not wanting to put anything on too heavy and not needing the volume, I would stay with the light gauge strings. A lot of the mando string listings on juststrings.com have specs for tension of different string models. Also, the webistes of the individual string manufacturers sometimes have that info, or you can contact them directly and get answers.

You can also download the Universal String Tension calculator software at:

It is a really handy tool, but I find it only works for "traditional" metal string designs. It does not seem to be as accurate for Thomasticks, Silk and Steels, etc. You also have to be really careful you pick the right settings for each string.

John Bertotti
May-05-2004, 11:48am
Thanks jlynnstl, Here is what I found about the dogals
Soft Tension (8 strings)

Steel plain

Steel plain

Carbonsteel round wound

Carbonsteel round wound
I'm curious how you know which to use. I'm more concerned to know what is best for the Vega's top.
Also the Lenzners, I would like to know if the Lenzver "Consort" strings would be a good choice. I'm not talking about sound now just compatibility with the top of the Vega. Sound is so subjective I just want to experiment with different type strings to see what difference they really make for my ear. I'm also curious why people choose different type why bronze or steel or flat or wound or round. Is it all for the subjective sound or is there a operational and relliabilty issue involved. Thanks All John

Bandersnatch Reverb
May-05-2004, 5:20pm
Ernie Ball makes an Earthwood set that are .009's, the lightest on the market. There are quite a few makers offering .010's and higher.

Bob A
May-05-2004, 6:02pm
Neither the Dogal Calace strings nor the Lenzners are inexpensive; nor are they easily available, at this writing. We special ordered a dozen or so sets of Lenzners a year or so ago; that was the only way to get them. The Dogals (92b) are only available from Classic Bows in California.

Dogals run about 12.50 a set, including postage, if you arder 4 sets at once. The Lenzners were even more costly, since we had to amortise a $35 wire transfer charge and shipping to the US as well as mailing to the folks once they arrived in the US.

I like both types; the Lenzners are a bit warmer, while the Dogals have more brilliance, perhaps. The Dogals are considerably rougher in texture; they are not flatwound, nor are they ground down to provide a smooth surface. They do smooth out with use, somewhat. (I use them on a Lyon & Healy A; for that carved mandolin I use a heavier gauge than one would use on a bowlback, and they are correspondingly rougher-surfaced. Slides are difficult until the wear. The bowlbacks, while by no means as smooth as the Lenzners, are not nearly so "toothy").

I have not used the Black Diamonds yet. I just rec'd a mandolin that was strung with GHS classicals: they are OK, but do not have quite the quality of the other two mentioned. I don't know how long they'll last. Both the Lenzners and the Dogals seem to last forever.

My Vega is strung with the Dogals. I have no complaints about the sound or playability. If they ever wear out, I'll try the bronze Lenzners. (I had the instrument set up with Dogals when I bought it. I'm not sure whether changing to a different manufacturer and a different winding will affect the setup, but that might be a consideration for some folks).

There are more comments on this topic in the classical section; "Lenzners in the US" is the heading.

John Bertotti
May-05-2004, 6:33pm
Bob A thanks for the reply I edited my original post above to include that link apparently just as you posted this reply. If that goes through I'll go in for some of the lenzners. Iam just uncertain as to which the Consorts or their lighter set. Thanks John