Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
one month ago
790 posts

I think Dusty is correct. In 1982 Orthey dulcimers came tuned DAA if I remember correctly. The string gauges would be as Dusty mentioned. When people moved to DAd playing, the middle string probably changed to 0.014.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
one month ago
1,836 posts

With those large diameter string pins.... if you can't find loop-end strings, you can make a loop by running the open end of the string through the ball-end and pulling it up tight.

Dusty Turtle
Dusty Turtle
@dusty-turtle
one month ago
1,458 posts

The other Orthey dulcimers I've seen had VSLs of 27".  If yours is close to that, a wound bass string around .024 would probably be right.  Middle string perhaps .012 or so and the melody string would depend on your tuning. If you are tuning DAA, then keep a .012 for the melody. If DAd, perhaps .010.  

My personal preference would be for slightly heavier strings (.026, .014, .012) but those that I list might be close to standard for that size dulcimer.

And as the image suggests, you will need loop end strings, although if all you can get are ball end, you can always remove the ball manually.  Just squeeze them gently with plyers and pop them out of the strings.




--
Dusty T., Northern California
Site Moderator

As a musician, you have to keep one foot back in the past and one foot forward into the future.
-- Dizzy Gillespie
Dave D
Dave D
@dave-d
one month ago
16 posts

It has pins. This instrument is #856 from May 1982.

20210511_164417-01.jpeg

Dan
Dan
@dan
one month ago
138 posts

The image doesn't show ball end or loop end, some hitch pits will work for either. I believe KenL knew George, he may have a better insight to  what string was originally used, if not, VSL, tuning and personal preference will all factor in.

Dave D
Dave D
@dave-d
one month ago
16 posts

Photo of Tailpiece...

Dave D
Dave D
@dave-d
one month ago
16 posts

I have a George Orthey hourglass that I need to put new strings on. Can someone help me with original string gauges?