String Sources, gauges, types

Skip
Skip
@skip
one week ago
292 posts

Another source of strings;

https://www.stringsbymail.com/

I've used both

Ken Longfield
Ken Longfield
@ken-longfield
one week ago
815 posts

The hitch pins on Folkcraft dulcimers can accept either ball or loop end strings. While I prefer the ball end strings on my Folkcraft, loop ends will do in an emergency (for me). Just make sure the hitch pin is thin enough for the ball to fit over it if you should use ball end strings. If you have a supply of loop end strings use them. I've found that for me the best gauges for the 27 inch VSL are: 0.011 melodies, 0.013 middle, and 0,024 bass.

Ken

"The dulcimer sings a sweet song."

John C. Knopf
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
one week ago
277 posts

Art, you can use loop-end strings on anything.  Ball-end strings are hard to use on some dulcimers, but you could always break the ball out with heavy pliers, or run the free end through the ball to make a loop, though it doesn't look very good.

Art S
Art S
@art-s
one week ago
11 posts

Can I use loop-end strings on ball-end pegs? "New to me" Folkcraft coming from Ebay, but it looks like it has pegs rather than screws.

Art 

Don Smith
Don Smith
@don-smith
3 weeks ago
19 posts

Robin Thompson:

I second Ken H's suggestion to pluck a string then turn the tuning knob.  It is so easy to be turning the wrong tuner-- I've done it enough times.  ;) 

Have been there and done that with my banjo's and my wife's dulcimer


updated by @don-smith: 09/29/21 06:28:07PM
Robin Thompson
Robin Thompson
@robin-thompson
3 weeks ago
1,238 posts

I second Ken H's suggestion to pluck a string then turn the tuning knob.  It is so easy to be turning the wrong tuner-- I've done it enough times.  ;) 

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
3 weeks ago
1,864 posts

johnpat -- here's another mental note for you -- never tune a string that isn't 'singing'.   Grab the tuner knob, strongly pluck the string you want to tune -- a quarter turn only.  LISTEN  If the sound doesn't change, Stop!  You've got the wrong tuner.  Try again.  Lots of people break strings because they just keep turning the knob even though the sound doesn't change, and Snap!

johnpat27
@johnpat27
3 weeks ago
5 posts

Thanks, everyone!

I had a set of guitar strings laying  around so i was able to meet my immediate need and it worked fine. I suspected, as Ken said, a string is string.... But I wanted to make sure before I tried. I already broke a string and I didn't want to break the dulcimer, too!

(Mental note to self: tune down, not up. The strings won't stretch that far...).

@ Ken Hulme- that's the way it came, as far as gauges go. It sounds nice so I've no reason to change it at this time.

robert schuler
robert schuler
@robert-schuler
3 weeks ago
249 posts

Online company called Just Strings sells every kind of string for every kind of string instrument. Including individual strings ball or loop end...Robert

Ken Hulme
Ken Hulme
@ken-hulme
3 weeks ago
1,864 posts

JohnPat -- Strings are strings are strings.  The only things that matter are the gauge and the end type(ball or loop). 

I agree with John Knopf -- go to www.juststrings.com  They have single dulcimer string for about $1, string sets for $3-4, or you can buy a dozen strings of a given gauge in the gauges you need (which is what I do).  Their JustStrings Bulk Loop End strings are $4 a dozen.  That way you'll have strings to last for quite awhile.

What's the VSL and the tuning on your 5-string?  That .009 string you list for the light side of the doubled bass course seems extremely light to me.  If you're tuned Dd A dd then you don't need a .009 for the d on the bass course, just another .011 like the melody course ds...

Don Smith
Don Smith
@don-smith
3 weeks ago
19 posts

Just checked it was Amazon

I just realized the set i posted was for a four string set and you need 5


some of the strings you need are banjo gauges AND MANDOLIN, I would just purchase banjo strings in the gauges you need

Mandolin strings are in those gauges also EJM74 -D-Addario strings 11 11 15 15 26 26 40 40  for mandolin

als D'Addario XT BANJO STRINGS --10 11 12 20 10




updated by @don-smith: 09/28/21 02:26:07AM
Don Smith
Don Smith
@don-smith
3 weeks ago
19 posts

johnpat27:

Where is a good source of strings?

I am able to get them from the luthier, but I'd like to have a backup plan in case he retires.

Its easy to find 3 & 4- string sets, but I have a five- string with the following gauges:

.011

.011

.013

.009

.024

Are these basically banjo strings? Guitar?

Does it matter, as long as the gauges match?

Should I buy a set of something plus singles? All singles?

When I purchased a Dulcimer for my wife it needed the strings replaced I ended up purchasing 5 sets of strings for dulcimer from I think Strings and beyond or amazon cant really remember, I will look at my back orders and see exactly where I did purchase them from and post it here for you

John C. Knopf
John C. Knopf
@john-c-knopf
3 weeks ago
277 posts

You could shop at www.juststrings.com for some great prices and quantities!

Matt Berg
Matt Berg
@matt-berg
3 weeks ago
76 posts

I mostly just shop the acoustic guitar string sales from wherever.  Depending on gauges, the 1-2-3 or 1-2-4 strings make up a three string dulcimer.  Yes, I have many leftover wound strings in a box. I shop the sales at CB Gitty for multi-packs of singles to make up the rest.  If I am looking for extra light strings, I will look at electric guitar strings, but never use the wound strings in those packs.  But that is just the way I buy strings. Others do it differently.

johnpat27
@johnpat27
3 weeks ago
5 posts

Where is a good source of strings?

I am able to get them from the luthier, but I'd like to have a backup plan in case he retires.

Its easy to find 3 & 4- string sets, but I have a five- string with the following gauges:

.011

.011

.013

.009

.024

Are these basically banjo strings? Guitar?

Does it matter, as long as the gauges match?

Should I buy a set of something plus singles? All singles?


updated by @johnpat27: 09/29/21 06:25:53PM