View Full Version : Lenzners in the US

Jim Garber
May-05-2004, 9:59am
I have been checking with Steve Miklas at Acoustic Music Works, LLC in Pittsburgh, PA who carries the violin line. He checked for me on the Consort strings but it seem like there is no distributor in the US who carries them. He contacted Lenzner directly and they wopuld sell to him directly.

He will try and find out the exact price but it looks like the price is prob close to $15, more or less.

Just wondering how many folks would be interested in buying and at what quantity? I will let Steve know. He might order 4 dozen or base his quantity on what we want.

Also, since I haven't been able to find much info on the strings themselves, we want the Consort set, but do they come in different gauges?


May-05-2004, 10:08am
There are also the Lenzner "lights", i.e. those with solid-steel A's, not the uncommon, flatwound A's of the "Consort" set.

I have the lights on my de Meglio and love them! I would surmise that others, too, would want this type of string. I would, in other words, ask the distributor to bring roughly an equal number of the two types, say, two dozen of each.

At the risk of apparent hypocricy, however, I must say I have ample strings myself, at least for the time being, and therefore cannot jump on the bandwagon of this "joint order". Eventually...

Jim Garber
May-05-2004, 10:20am
Do the "lights" have less tension than the Consorts? Would the Consorts be suitable for the vintage bowlbacks? What is the type that were ordered right before I joined this list a few years ago?


May-05-2004, 10:28am
I ordered one of each. I think it was Bob who organized the whole thing. I used the "Consort" set on my Martin and liked them very much. The sound was excellent and the durability was much better than lesser bronze-wound strings (like the GHS "Classical" set, Dean Markley, or Ernie Ball). The tension of the whole "Consort" set (especially the wound a') struck me as probably being a little much for lighter bowlbacks like Vega. I don't know the exact gauges or tensions; this was simply an impression. I still have Lenzner's unwound "Special" set and am planning to put them on one of my non-Martins with my next string change.

May-05-2004, 10:32am
According to the manufacturer, who labored under close guidance of our own Alex T., the "Consort" set is e-x-p-r-e-s-s-l-y made for vintage instruments.

My affection for the lights does not stem from any sense that the Consort set is too heavy; not at all. It's just that the lights, with their plain A's (and, of course, E's) accentuate the tinkle of my de Meglio to jolly perfection. I would surmise that others may also like that folkie tinkle on their Neapolitans. Just my guess, of course...

May-05-2004, 11:02am
I would like to try out two sets.

Alex Timmerman
May-05-2004, 12:40pm
Hello all,

That´s great news!

You are exactly right, Victor!

The 'tinkle' of the plain a strings is (unfortunately) damped a bit by the wound a strings in the "Consort" string-set. We accept this because the wound string stays tuned much better and because of the balance between all strings of the mandolin; the a always being a little to ´klanky´ far away of the wound d strings.

Another important reason was that the wound a string gives less to no problems in getting all the mandolins (1st & 2nd mand.) of a mandolin orchestra ´in tune´.

The tention of the Lenzner "Consort" strings and more specific that of the wound a string, is in my opinion not to heavy for ´healthy´ vintage mandolins as that is about the same - or even lighter - than that of the Italian strings manufactured at the time.

However if you play solo repertoire on the instrument or duo pieces with a guitarist etc. and you are not sure about what the mandolin can carry best, I would recommend to use the light Lenzners with the plain a strings.



Bob A
May-05-2004, 1:08pm
I have strung my Pecoraro (Embergher clone) with the Cosort lenzners, and am quite pleased. I still have two sets of the unwound Lenzners which I plane to put on the very light Italian bowlbacks, one of which is now strung with Dogals, the other with GHS.

I can envision getting a combined order of half a dozen sets, half and half, though I still have several sets of the Dogals and a couple Daniel Mari. Given my preference for buying a new instrument instead of changing strings (costly perhaps, but ultimately more satisfying) that should hold me for a year or two.

May-05-2004, 1:17pm
I disagree with Alex on these strings. I would never use the "Het Consort" Lenzner strings on a Vega, Vinaccia or other lightly built and braced mandolin. Embergher's (Het Consort's preferred mandolin type) are built very strong and can take the extra tension. I tried several mandolins (Embergher's) with these strings during my visit with Het Consort and I generally found a balance problem in the original sets (A too strong, G too weak). Since then, I was able to get a modified set of these strings upping the G, lowering the D and using either a plain steel A (which I don't find problematic) or another wound type using aluminium or steel winding rather than the bronze alloy. This gave a much better result with my Larson (more strongly built than the Vega but much more lightly braced than most modern mandolins or the Embergher. What I like about the Lenzner strings is their longevity (I hate changing strings) and well focused sound. I use Black Diamond and Dogal strings as well and only these strings (in the light version) for my Vega or equivalent mandolins.

Alex Timmerman
May-05-2004, 1:43pm
Hello Richard,

We did listen to you (and others) and I thought you were aware we (Lenzner and Henk van den Broek and myself) took out the old set with the wound bronze bronze a strings (this is not for sale any more) because of it´s tention.

So there is no need to refer to those, since they do not exist as Lenzner "Consort" string sets anymore.

Instead of the old set we put together a lighter tentioned new "Concort" set with flat-wound a strings that have an aluminium winding over a steel inner core (to my knowledge the lightest flat-wound a string available).

The modified set you are refering to is the only Lenzner "Consort" set available today as such.



May-05-2004, 1:52pm
GREAT! By the way, tomorrow I take possession of my Cremonese mandolin (by Larson) and will be lent a Strad. mandolino copy for the coming year. Now, might I trade a nice tshell pick for one of those cherry bark picks you've so beautifully crafted?

Alex Timmerman
May-05-2004, 1:58pm
Wonderful Richard,

Yes, I send one or two of them to you tomorrow!

Stay tuned, I must find an image of one that I also like to send you.

Alex Timmerman
May-05-2004, 2:07pm
Here it is:

One is 6 cm. and the other one is 3.5 cm. long. The smaller one is very nice also. I oil them once a week or so and it is just great on gut. I hope you´ll like them!

Do you like to have a hard or a somewhat flexible point?


May-05-2004, 2:13pm

Not sure because I've never played a pick of this material. With quills, I like a bit of firmness and a well worn tip (the 'barbe' that the French describe as giving a special warmth to the sound). What do you prefer?

Alex Timmerman
May-05-2004, 2:23pm
I understand what you mean, but that was said of the quill made of a birds feather to be used on the metal strung Neapolitan mandolin. On this quill type I like a bit of wear because the overal sound becomes less "klanky". #

With these cherry wooden quills the signs of wear at the point looks like that it has been polished with leather. The point is shining. The quill stays as it is more or less and the sound can probably only be regulated with changing the quill´s thickness. I have used a thin and a thicker one (the 6 cm. models) and liked best the latter. Not so much because of the sound which is richer with the thicker one - but more because of the string attack noise produced when playing with the thin one.

I will send you both models and I am curious to hear what your experiences are.



PS. If you have time to make some, I would love to see some photos of your Cremonese Larson mandolin.

May-05-2004, 2:43pm
I would certainly like to try some of the Consort strings with wound A's.

May-05-2004, 3:25pm
Hi Jim,

I would be interested in 4-5 sets of the Lenzner strings. I'd prefer the lighter variety if there is a choice. Let me know what I need to do.



John Bertotti
May-05-2004, 6:21pm
So is it determined now that the Consort set is suitable for light bowl backs. IE my soon to arrive Vega? I like a bell like tone, would the lights be a better choice?
Jim I'm in for 2 sets depending on the answer to this question, probably the lights but if the consorts will work then 1 of each. Of course this all depends on what they can get.#Thanks John http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

Bob DeVellis
May-06-2004, 2:02pm
I'd also like a couple of sets of the Consorts. I'm totally fed up with the GHS strings on my Martin and, because of them, it seldom gets played. The Lenzners sound like a far superior choice.

May-06-2004, 3:49pm
They certainly are, Bob. #Have you tried Dogal's RW-92b set? #I like their behavior on Martin instruments. #They start out a little to brash and klangy, but mature nicely and last forever. #I admit that if Lenzner strings were widely available here, they would probably compete with Dogal for my favor. They certainly would on an aural basis, but I wore out the Lenzner wound a' a little more quickly than I do Dogal's plain steel.

Jonathan Rudie
May-07-2004, 4:26am
I would be game for two sets of the consort strings and two sets of the lights.

Jim Garber
May-07-2004, 6:53am
I am still waiting to hear from Steve as to the final price and whether this all will actually work. For expediency's sake, we can prob just order individually directly from him. I'll let you know the details when I know them.

Barring all that, I suppose then we could attempt to bulk order them from somewhere in Europe. I am sure that Alex has a source we could order from.


May-10-2004, 8:34am
Alex, (or anyone....)
I ordered some "Lenzner" strings from Trekel - I didn't know about the "consort" word and the strings I got seemed more like the Tomastik "flat wound" strings....did I get a completely different set? Or are these the strings you are discussing?? I am a little confused now!

May-10-2004, 8:43am
[QUOTE]"are these the strings you are discussing"

No, Ali, I am afraid they are not. Lenzner being a German company, they also (predominantly?) make flat-wound strings for German-style instruments.

The ones we are in fact discussing are round-wound, bronze winding on the G's and D's. Lenzner's flat-wound strings are excellent but, of course, inappropriate for vintage Italians.

Jim Garber
May-10-2004, 8:46am
The Consort strings are the ones we are discussing. They are difficult to get them in the US since there are virtually no distributors. US players on this board ordered some from Europe last year.

Alex has info on this page (http://www.mandolineorkest.nl/informatie/eninformatie02.htm) on his site. Scroll down to the subhead "Strings."

Sounds like you got another kind of Lenzner mandolin string, similar to the Thomastik ones.


Alex Timmerman
May-10-2004, 10:17am
Hi Alison,

If you like to have the Lenzner ''Consort'' string set or an other bronze round wound set, you can best order them through Hendrik van den Broek. His telephone number is:

00 31 - (0)33 277 1087


00 31 - (0)33 277 8408

Or you can contact him through his e-mail address:


Also you can - although I believe they prefer, because of larger quantities - to deal with music firms and shops - try to order directly from the Lenzner Musiksaiten firm. Their Email address is:


To view their Web-site click on the smily: #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif (http://www.lenzner-saiten.de/)

Because the strings have not yet been published as part of their string assortment, it is best to refer to them as
´The Lenzner ''Consort'' strings für historische Qualitäts- Mandolinen´. That should be enough to avoid being send the wrong strings again.

I hope you will be more succesful now.

Best regards,


PS. If you like I can send you a Lenzner ''Consort'' set along with a cherry wood quill.

May-10-2004, 11:03am
I think it is particularly interesting that these strings were developed with an ear for the tone of quality Roman-type mandolins. Am I correct here, Alex? I would be keen to hear your assessment of them on your Embergher, Ali.

John Bertotti
May-20-2004, 8:17pm
Any updates yet? Do we have a source in the US now? John

Jim Garber
May-20-2004, 8:29pm
I have to figure out how many of us are committed to how mandy strings. I emailed Steve and he will order but I think he wants to order the right amount and not lose money on the deal.


May-20-2004, 9:07pm
I just realized I still have a spare set of Lenzners and no mando to put them on at the moment. This is the lighter plain A set. Anyone wanna take them off my hands, maybe trade me some high-tension classical guitar strings?

John Bertotti
May-21-2004, 7:42am
Hey Jim if he is willing to order them maybe he could list the types/ sets available. ie.. lights or consorts etc.. and list a phone # or email that could be posted here. Everyone could then order as they see fit and this gentleman could do an annual or biannual order for those interested. I don't know about everyone else but I'd be willing to place a order one or two months in advance and even pay first. Especially if it drives this store to offer them regularly or at least order them regularly. Just a thought. John http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

May-21-2004, 8:33am
[QUOTE]"...I still have a spare set of Lenzners and no mando to put them on..."

Ergo, my friend, that what you absolutely NEED is a m-a-n-d-o-l-i-n! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif

Jim Garber
May-22-2004, 10:20am
Here is the deal for those in the US who want to order these. #Steve #at Acoustic Music Works will put together an order based on what foilks here want and at $15 per set + shipping for the Consort strings (´The Lenzner ''Consort'' strings für historische Qualitäts- Mandolinen´). Everyone should email him separately to commit to ordering. Hopefully he will become a dealer for these and perhaps the sole one in the US.

Steve Miklas
Acoustic Music Works, LLC
guitars, banjos, mandolins & good company
2142 Murray Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15217

May-22-2004, 1:08pm
[QUOTE]"...I still have a spare set of Lenzners and no mando to put them on..."

Ergo, my friend, that what you absolutely NEED is a m-a-n-d-o-l-i-n! #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif
I'm definitely in the hunt... but if I do buy a mando while still in the States and it needs restringing I figured I'd try the Black Diamonds.

Jim Garber
May-25-2004, 7:50am
Just so we are not confused here or, at least, I am not confused...

The Consort strings (´The Lenzner ''Consort'' strings für historische Qualitäts- Mandolinen´) are the ones with the wound A. These were specially made and do noit appear on the Lenzner Web site (http://www.lenzner-saiten.de/)

However, what is the proper catalog number for what was referred to as the "light" set? #Here is what is listed on the page for Lenzner mandolin strings (http://land.heim.at/podersdorf/221887/mandolin.html).


Martin Jonas
May-25-2004, 9:41am
However, what is the proper catalog number for what was referred to as the "light" set? #Here is what is listed on the page for Lenzner mandolin strings (http://land.heim.at/podersdorf/221887/mandolin.html).
Jim, I share your confusion and can confirm that being a native German speaker is no help to resolve it. From the link above, one would consider that the "Bronce" set is the appropriate one (No. 3020). However, that one has the remark "In medium gauge" (whatever actual gauge that may translate to) and it is not clear to me whether that is what has been referred to as the "light set". I am also confused by the fact that the flatwound strings (No. 3050) have the remark "available in various strengths" without a list of what these strengths might be and apparently all under the same catalogue number. Very ungermanic, such confusion...

Anyway, I have ordered one set each of the "Consort" set and the "light" bronze set from Hendrik van den Broek at the address given by Alex above, and assuming I get the right strings I should be able to give you a catalogue number when they arrive. Hendrik has e-mailed me to say that he is running short on the Consorts and has to reorder from Lenzner, so this may take a little longer (and I have to wait to try out my Ceccherini).


May-25-2004, 11:06am
Ha, ha... it would be MOST untypical of the Greek-in-residence to disentagle the confusion of a German manufacturer. # http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif

The "mediums", however, are not the "lights". "Medium" in this case would apply to the Consort strings; and "bronce" (sic), of course, refers to the bronze winding on the D's and G's which, in turn, is common to both the lights AND the Consort set. Clear enough? http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

As regards flatwounds, yes, of course, they come in light, medium, and heavy; I agree however with Martin that it would be nice to spell out the gauges.

Also, the overall catalogue of Lenzner does suffer from what G. B. Shaw, in his The Awful German Language, called "overclassification" (this hilarious commentary, of course, is more a spoof on the English language, not German): Too many subclasses, subcategories, microsubdivisions... I bet an American retailer would find the masterful way of pointing out the obvious, e.g. Model 1A, 1B, etc... #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif

John Bertotti
Jun-04-2004, 9:49pm
Hey Jim have you heard from your source steve@acousticmusicworks.com
I tried emailing but never heard back from them. My next question is would the consorts be to heavy for the Vega? Thanks John

Jim Garber
Jun-04-2004, 10:01pm
Hi John:
I emailed him also back then telling him that folks will email him with their wants. I will try him again.

See previous postings about your other question. I think that the Consorts were originally heavier gauge but Alex assures us that they are meant for the vintage instruments. My friend who owned that vega before I did had D'Addario J-62s on it. Those are considered Light gauge (std bluegrass gauge is medium) but I generally go even lighter to ultralights. You may want to try the Dogals from Classic Bow classicbows@nethere.com attn Greg. Ask for the 92b set Calace by Dogal.


Martin Jonas
Jun-08-2004, 4:37am
The "mediums", however, are not the "lights". "Medium" in this case would apply to the Consort strings; and "bronce" (sic), of course, refers to the bronze winding on the D's and G's which, in turn, is common to both the lights AND the Consort set. Clear enough? #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif
I have just received two sets of Lenzners, and am now wondering whther they are actually still manufacturing the "light" bronze-wound set.

I ordered one set of "Consort" and one set of "Light". What I got was the Consort set and another set labelled "mittel"/"medium". As far as I can tell from holding them next to each other, the only difference between these sets is the wound "a" string on the Consort. Maybe Alex can confirm whether there are other differences in manufacturing that are not obvious to the naked eye. Unfortunately, there is no information on the actual gauge of the strings at all. I would like to know whether, say, the e-string is 0.009" or 0.010", but the packs don't tell me. It might be worth mentioning (which I hadn't been aware of) that the wound strings of both sets are polished after winding, similar to the Addario Flat Tops.

During the wait for the Lenzners, I have strung my Ceccherini up with Newtone lights (bronze round-wound, no polishing, gauges 0.008 to 0.030), which is the lightest set of mandolin strings I've ever seen. The Lenzners are certainly heavier than those and I'm going to try them soon to see how they compare.


Jun-08-2004, 11:58am
The very fine, unwound Lenzners I have on hand (and haven't managed to use yet) are labeled "Special" and, I believe, intended for delicate antiques. Unfortunately, I don't know the gauges.

John Bertotti
Jun-27-2004, 2:43pm
Jim did a great job working with Steve from Acoustic music works. He ordered 48 sets of the Consort strings and said it will still be a couple weeks before the arrive, minimum. 28 sets are already spoken for so if you want them email him before it's to late. He said if these move well he may order more again and possibly some others, like the other lights discussed earlier in this thread. Jim posted a link to Steve earlier also. Just an fyi for those interested. Thanks Jim for getting the ball rolling. John http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Jim Garber
Jul-09-2004, 2:57pm
To the folks in the US.
I just got word from Steve Miklas that the Lenzners are in. You can contact him at steve@acousticmusicworks.com (steve@acousticmusicworks.com" target="_blank)

The price is quite reasonable and he will order more if he can sell these easily.


Alex Timmerman
Jul-09-2004, 3:54pm
Great work, Jim!



Jim Garber
Jul-09-2004, 5:48pm
Really... Steve M did all the work. I merely made the request.