View Full Version : Lenzner strings-measurements

John Bertotti
Jul-16-2004, 9:55pm
I'll have the measurements on these shortly. Need to find my mic this evening. I was going to put them on the Vega today but they were visibly heavier then the GHS that are on it now. I will post the info off the back of the pack also if anyone wants it. I believe it is possible to have a smaller or greater actual size of string with the same tension all depending on the tensile strength of the core wire so even with a different core size they may still be of similar tension to the smaller sized strings. I imagine a jig could be rigged to measure the pounds needed to tune the string but I won't have time to do that for a while. If no one is interested I won't post the info. Thanks John

Jim Garber
Jul-16-2004, 10:16pm
I believe that Alex, who was instrumental in designing these strings intended them for the light weight italian instruments. You can read about it at his site (http://www.mandolineorkest.nl/informatie/eninformatie02.htm). Scroll down to strings.

I am sure it would be good to know the gauges tho. The Lenzner "Bronce" set I have measure in inches: .035, .023, .014, .009 vs. the GHS A240s: .032, .020, .013, .009 -- only slightly heavier.

I am awaiting my shipment of Consorts.


John Bertotti
Jul-17-2004, 6:58am
Cool Jim, saves me some time I was curious about the sizes. They looked a bit bigger to my eye. Once curiosity sets it starts a new mission in me until I figure it out. Jim you said"I am sure it would be good to know the gauges tho". Which gage standard would you want. There are a bunch and they are all slightly different? I don't think maybe one of these is a direct gage size all the others will be off a bit. Thanks John

Martin Jonas
Jul-17-2004, 12:09pm
I have both a Consort and a "Bronce Medium" set, which I think is what Jim has measured. Holding them side-by-side, I am sure that they are precisely the same except for the wound A-string. In fact, I currently have mixed e-strings on the Ceccherini: one from the Consort and one from the Bronce set. They sound and feel exactly the same. So, the gauges Jim has posted for the Bronce set should be the same as for the Consort set for E, D and G. The A will be different, but as it's flatwound, you can't compare it with the GHS or Dogal gauges anyway. Another thing when comparing with other brands is also that the Lenzners (both Consort and Bronce) are polished after winding, similar to the d'Addario Flat Tops. Thus, the D and G string started out as round-wound strings of slightly greater gauge which would have lost some diameter in the polishing.

All together, I don't think the gauges themselves are that much help in assessing whether you're comfortable putting them on your Vega instead of the GHS set. You'd need the string tensions at pitch for that. Again, that's something that most string manufacturers readily publish on their packaging or their web site, but that Lenzner are silent about. I can, however, say that I feel pretty confident that they're suitable for the Ceccherini and obviously they're fine for the Emberghers and other antique Italians that Alex and the Consort are using. In view of that, I'd think that they should be OK for the Vega as well.

I'd still like to have a decent online source for Lenzners -- ordering them from the Netherlands to the UK was a rather awkward procedure (sending Euro banknotes around) that I'd like to be able to do without. An online source for Dogal's "Calace" set would be nice as well -- anybody got any ideas for that?


John Bertotti
Jul-17-2004, 2:48pm
Jim posted this for the Dogals in another thread. "Dogals from Classic Bow classicbows@nethere.com attn Greg. Ask for the 92b set Calace by Dogal". I am amazed at the information some people have at there fingertips sometimes. John

John Bertotti
Jul-17-2004, 3:05pm
I just spent 5 hours working on my Vega. Took the tuners off but couldn't get the machines apart for an experiment so I cleaned and lubed them. Some are still lose some are tight and some are both depending on the gears being used at the time. I could see the wear on the gears, I am actually glad it's there to me it means this instruments be used good. I used a warm water with just a smidgen of dawn to clean it. Man did the gunk come off the top. Looks a lot better. Found the lower screw on the tailpiece lose so I snugged it up. Now for the moment of truth I installed the Consorts. The sound to me on the D and E is very similar if not close to the same as the GHS classical. I'm working from memory here not a side by side comparison or even a recorded comparison. The G was a bit, deeper and fuller, to me. The A was the biggest change with the GHS it had as much tinkle as the E. This Consort A has less tinkle but seems to be a better balance to the D. All in all they sound good, definitely different. They feel the same to me but my fingers are numb anyway so that isn't a reliable observation. The polish is nice, the grooves on my fingers don't catch the string as bad. They do bind a bit in the nut and the bridge. I'll probably have to rework them, or since it is a vintage instrument save them and make new ones. John #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/cool.gif #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Martin Jonas
Jul-17-2004, 3:25pm
Jim posted this for the Dogals in another thread. "Dogals from Classic Bow classicbows@nethere.com attn Greg. Ask for the 92b set Calace by Dogal".
Sorry, I should have said that I meant a European source for the Dogals -- ordering from Classic Bows for posting back to the UK seems a bit unnecessarily roundabout to get Italian strings in the UK.


Jim Garber
Jul-17-2004, 5:50pm
I found this site (http://www.stentor-music.com/catalogue/html%20general/78.htm), which lists:

Mandolin - Dogal RW92 Set, 8 strings, nickel wound carbon steel.

They are distributors but perhaps they will know where the retailers in the UK are.


Alex Timmerman
Jul-17-2004, 5:55pm
Hello all,

I just found my old Lenzner measurements back and also measured them again.

First IŽd like to tell you about the reasons behind developing the Lenzner "Consort" string set:

The special Lenzner "Consort" strings set was made with the idea to have a set of strings that was well balanced over all the four string pairs ànd a 2nd string pair that stayed Žin tuneŽ over a relatively long period. The 3nd reason here was very important for me because of tuning problems. Plain a strings on a mandolin are problematic because of their pitch, length and thickness.
The force that is needed to get the plain a-string tuned at pitch is relatively speaking higher than those of the three other string pairs.

This is why the 2nd string pair gets easily out of tune compared with the rest of the strings on the mandolin. Something that becames obvious when one really plays his/her mandolin.
It speaks for itself that when this problem in the 1st- and/or 2nd mandolin section of a Plucked Orchestra occurs during a concert, it is a real disaster!

For the early 20th century Italian mandolins in my orchestra we liked to have strings that were very close to the original Roman and Italian mandolin bronze wound steel strings of that time.
The Lenzner string company (with roots as such already starting in the early 20th century) still produced this kind of strings and were willing to work with us. We had custom made several tensions (including a light one) and one experimental set with a bronze wound 2nd string.

Unfortunately the thinnest inner steel core they were able to make of a 2nd string was to thick for one that could be wound with bronze to match with the D and G strings. The complete thickness of the steel core with the bronze winding of such a string would result in a thickness of ±0.47(5) mm. With such a thickness and high tension it would not particulary ŽblendŽ with the rest of the strings.

The solution was found in adding a thin flatwound steel core 2nd string in a ŽBronzeŽ Lenzner string-set. To make that work as a balanced set however, the other string thicknesses had to be adjusted.
The set should not be seen as a FLAT Bronze wound string set; only the 2nd string pair is a flat-wound example. The 3rd- and 4th are ŽpolishedŽ, while the 1st string pair is made of plain steel.

For your information, here are the thicknesses of the Lenzner "Consort" strings and - to compare - the Medium (Mittel) Lenzner set:

Lenzner "Consort": # # #Lenzner Medium:

E = 0.25(5) mm # # # # #E = 0.26(5) mm
A = 0.36(5) mm # # # # #A = 0.35(5) mm
D = 0.53 # #mm # # # # ##D = 0.60 # #mm
G = 0.80(5) mm # # # # #G = 0.84 # #mm #

As you can see the Lenzner "Consort" set does differ slightly and is a little bit lighter in overall tension.

# # #
Best regards,


PS. By the way MartinJonas, there is hope for you: Belmando in the UK is trying to import the Lenzners ànd Dogals to sell them all over the Globe.

John Bertotti
Jul-17-2004, 10:38pm
So did I interpret the back of the package correctly in that it has two part #s one for mandolin and one for mandola? The consorts have a mandola set? Alex are there mandolas in the Het Consort? John

Martin Jonas
Jul-18-2004, 8:20am
Thanks Alex, that's very informative. Clearly I can't rely on my eyes when comparing the Consort with the Mittel set. #This probably means that I should swap one of my e-strings in order to have a matching pair. #When I put on the Consorts, I broke one of them and replaced it with one from the Mittel set. #Only problem is, I can't remember which one and the two look identical (0.01 mm difference according to your table).

Thanks also for the Belmando heads-up -- Marc had told me a while ago he was looking into that. #It would certainly make things much easier.


Bob A
Jul-19-2004, 9:01am
I thought I'd posted some measurements somewhere, but I can't find them.

The Lenzner sets we imported last year are identical, at least in the eyes of my dial gauge, except for the a-string. I get (in inches): 0.009; 0.014 (unwound); 0.015 (w); 0.023; 0.035.

To go a step farther, Dogal Calace, RW92b (light): 0.010; 0.014; 0.024; 0.035. Medium (RW92): 0.011; 0.014; 0.026; 0.038.

I use the medium Dogals on a Lyon & Healy.

Of course all measurements are +/- 0.0005, with allowance for aging eyeballs.

Alex Timmerman
Jul-19-2004, 11:43am
Hello all,

Thanks Bob for your measurements.
Here is also a good choise for mandolin strings: the CALACE Dogal Bronze Carbon-steel set (RW92B DOLCE) with plain 2nd strings. They are not named as such in the advertisement at the Dogal Webpage. (http://www.dogalstrings.it/pages/frames.htm)

The thicknesses of these (RW92B DOLCE) strings are in milimetres:

E = 0.25 # #mm.
A = 0.35(5) mm.
D = 0.61 # #mm.
G = 0 87 # #mm.

This Dogal Bronze Carbon-steel set is still a tiny bit heavier in overall tension than the Lenzner "Consort" string-set.

If the Lenzners werenŽt there, I would most likely go for these strings.



Jim Garber
Jul-19-2004, 12:28pm
I use the Calace Dolces on my good bowlbacks -- recommended to me by Eugener -- and they are quite nice tho they give a different sound than the std phosphor bronze strings.

I look fwd to hearing how the Lenzners sound on my mandolins.


Alex Timmerman
Jul-19-2004, 1:48pm
I hope you will like them, Jim and look forward to what you think of them.