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Thread: String confusion for L&H model A

  1. #1
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default String confusion for L&H model A

    Although the TI mittels are great, I am wanting to experiment with strings on my L&H Model A.
    A little earlier today I tacked on a question about Dogals to another thread. I continued to dig through more and more old threads trying to discern viable, sensible options for my L&H A. The more I dug the more confused I got. After looking over this article on string tension, I knew I was over my head!

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/news/pu...s_001640.shtml

    There are so many variables that come to play, I feel that only hearing voices of experience will get me to a sensible short list of strings to experiment with. Can you who have been there comment on the following strings in terms of safety for the instrument, playability, and tone. These are the strings that seem to get mentioned the most often in relation to classical.

    Dogal Calace both R92 and R92b
    Any Lezner strings you might suggest
    Any GHS strings you might suggest
    (TI's I already know about)

    Perhaps I am getting lazy about digging through threads, not sure - but I do know that I'm confused and want to avoid using strings with unsafe high tension. Thank you for any potential input.

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Phoenix Neoclassical Europa III #623
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin - in progress!

  2. #2

    Default Re: String confusion for L&H model A

    For what it's worth, I only think of the GHS "classical" set in the do-no-harm category. I'm not at all fond of the sound, their intonation seems less consistent across the set's gauges, and they don't seem to stand up to extended play, not in my hands.

  3. #3
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: String confusion for L&H model A

    Quote Originally Posted by Eugene View Post
    For what it's worth, I only think of the GHS "classical" set in the do-no-harm category. I'm not at all fond of the sound, their intonation seems less consistent across the set's gauges, and they don't seem to stand up to extended play, not in my hands.
    Thank you Eugene. There is no available string tension info for the Dogal strings, but the gauge info is:

    Dogal R92 (medium)
    .010 .015 .025w .037w

    Dogal R92b (soft)
    .010 .014 .024 .034

    and my current TI mittel info:
    Thomastik mittels:
    .010 015 .021 .033 (guage)
    17.4 15.4 15.4 15.4 (pounds)

    Do you have any thoughts on trying these out? I do currently have a spare set of the R92 mediums. Thank you for your thoughts. I appreciate it!

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Phoenix Neoclassical Europa III #623
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin - in progress!

  4. #4
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: String confusion for L&H model A

    I have continued to dig and believe that the following thread has as good answers as I may possibly get. If you, the reader, are exploring this question I recommend this thread:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...tage-mandolins

    This thread might also interest a reader:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...-Steel-Tension

    And finally this thread might also interest a reader:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...D-addario-fw74
    Last edited by Tim Logan; Jul-18-2020 at 1:44pm.

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Phoenix Neoclassical Europa III #623
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin - in progress!

  5. #5
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: String confusion for L&H model A

    I don't think you need to use ultra-light GHS or Dolce Dogals 92b on your L&H. I don't think the super-light strings will move the top properly. Of course, you can try.

    I have had PB strings (D'Addario J-74) on my L&H early longer scale and I did try medium Dogals on it as well but they really didn't quite make it tonewise to my ears.

    I am assuming that you don't like the tone you are getting from your T-I strings on the L&H? As I have mentioned before the only vintage mandolin I do like with T-Is is my L&H/Washburn. The only other mandolins I have liked with them are those modern ones specifically voiced for them like Phoenix Neo-Classical. You have one of those in fact the rarer Europa.
    Jim

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  6. #6
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: String confusion for L&H model A

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    I don't think you need to use ultra-light GHS or Dolce Dogals 92b on your L&H. I don't think the super-light strings will move the top properly. Of course, you can try.

    I have had PB strings (D'Addario J-74) on my L&H early longer scale and I did try medium Dogals on it as well but they really didn't quite make it tonewise to my ears.

    I am assuming that you don't like the tone you are getting from your T-I strings on the L&H?
    Jim, thank you for responding. Actually, I love the tone of me L&H. I play it much more than my other three mandolins because I enjoy the tone so much. That being said, I am simply curious about how other strings might sound. I am pretty sure that my experimentation would send me right back to the TI's, but don't really know. I guess you could say I was thinking of increasing my knowledge base. I have WAY less exposure to such things compared to most on this forum I believe LOL. Most non-TI strings are reasonably priced so there is not a downside to experimenting UNLESS I unwittingly put on a string with inappropriately high tension. The kind of thing I get curious about, for example, is "would the LH lean much more to a bowlback sound with R92's or would it be a totally unique sound?" What are the cliches - curiosity killed the cat and if it ain't broke, don't fix it? I do get a slight impression that most folks use TI's because it seems to be a generally accepted match - not because they experimented. Probably should just quell the desire to experiment!!!! Thanks again for chiming in. By the way I listened to you on a Soundcloud recording - really outstanding. I enjoyed it very much. Tim

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Phoenix Neoclassical Europa III #623
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin - in progress!

  7. #7
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: String confusion for L&H model A

    All very interesting and certainly I have experimented however IMHO: once I find what sounds good to my ears I would much rather work on my playing than spend loads of time playing with my tools, if you know what I mean. Make some music and make some more. Just my 2 cents. :-)
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  8. #8
    Timothy Tim Logan's Avatar
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    Default Re: String confusion for L&H model A

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Garber View Post
    All very interesting and certainly I have experimented however IMHO: once I find what sounds good to my ears I would much rather work on my playing than spend loads of time playing with my tools, if you know what I mean. Make some music and make some more. Just my 2 cents. :-)
    Won’t argue with that a bit!

    “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” ― Albert Schweitzer

    1925 Lyon & Healy Model A, #1674
    2015 Phoenix Neoclassical Europa III #623
    2018 Carlo Mazzaccara Lucia
    2020 Burgin Shanghai Octave Mandolin - in progress!

  9. #9

    Default Re: String confusion for L&H model A

    When Brian Dean set up my L&H A, and my 1883 Calace, he specified Lenzner Consort strings, and I haven’t looked back.
    I change them when the A gets unwound.
    He also mentioned that changing string gauges and makers can impact the intonation at the bridge.
    I have also noticed that a very key element to this conversation is how high the strings are off the keyboard - the higher they are, up to a point, the more they drive the face and affect the volume and tone. Another element regarding tone is the swing of the pick through the strings and the thickness and shape of the pick.

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