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Shirl

Dogal strings?

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I think these were mentioned in an earlier "strings discussion" posts. I contacted Dogal Strings in Venice, Italy for a tryout set. They told me that they sent me a violin set ... on September 1st. Still waiting... Or better yet, stopped waiting.

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Yaumnik - Hmmmm. I guess I won't try ordering direct, anyway. I will try again to find the reference to these strings in the archives. Thanks! Shirley

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Shirley,

 you will find a blurb about Dogals here:

http://www.stringsmagazine.com/issues/Stri...overstory.shtml

I hate to give negative feedback based upon one test, however I

bought a set of Dogal violin strings and found them not to be very

durable. I think I have read this before. The sound and response

was fine however.

Fritz

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Thanks, Phantom and Fritz - from the commentary on the Strings site, and your impressions, Fritz, I believe I will wait for a bit (at least) before I order Dogal strings. I really appreciate yur responses, and your info.

I do wonder if Yaumnik ever received his order?

Shirley

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Being the new exclusive US distributor for Dogal Strings for their orchestral line, I hope that I can add something of value to this discussion.

The Strings Magazine article mentioned above was written by Richard Ward a good number of years ago. I actually had the opportunity to speak with Richard at the last NAMM show about this very article. Although he remembered little about the strings after all these years, I was happy to informed him that his comments about the aluminum D string had prompted a change in the product for the US market. All Vivaldi violin sets in the US are sold with a silver D string as standard.

Regarding Fritz's comment about finding the strings "not to be very durable", I am unable to comment, because I don't know which Dogal product he is referring to. What I do know is that Dogal is not standing still and are constantly making improvements to their products in direct response to player's needs.

It is not my intention to be commercial in this posting, but hopefully if anyone has questions about the products they will feel free to contact me directly.

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dogal - I'm glad you posted, thanks. I will keep my eyes and ears open now for more information concerning Dogal Strings. The fact that Dogal changed their D strings in response to a review, is very interesting!

Shirley

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Shirl,

I did receive the strings after I contacted Dogal again. Tried the strings. IMO, they are just OK, i.e. good enough for up to intermediate student grade fiddles. I also talked to a couple of friends who are violinmakers - they tried Dogals and rather quickly discarded them going back to Doms, Tonicas, Visions et al.

That was like 3-4 years ago. I am not aware of any new improvements Dogal put into their products. I just quickly moved on.

FWIW, I since tried Warchals and Larsen's new "Tzigane". Liked Warchal Brilliants on my #1 violin, but Karneols just were not a good match for it. The same fiddle "loved" Tzigane, but those turned to be not too durable, and once they started loosing it, the drop off was huge and quick. Currently, I am trying out Pirastro's "Passione". Personally, I really like them, but my fickle fiddle keeps singing to me to put on bright solo strings, i.e. Titaniums, Pirazzi, etc.

ATB, Gary

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Hi Gary,

Do you recall which Dogal product it was that you tried?  As

with many string makers, Dogal has different grades depending on

the target audience. 

I will make the assumption that you tried the Vivaldi synthetic gut

violin strings.  In the time since you tried the product,

Vivaldi has had improvements to the D and A string, with the D

being upgraded to silver.  Forte tension was also introduced

which can be mixed with the medium tension strings as needed.

 With the help of customer feedback like yours, we are

continuing to evolve the product.  Current developments are

also happening in the cello space with the new Montagnana and

Goffriller lines.

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I contacted them and inquired about a evauation set. I was given the following response.

"You can imagine how times we are ask for sets of strings, we cannot possibly grant every request."

"Give us a chance to earn your business"

Hum, doesnt seem like it to me

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Nick, doesn't Dogal's response make a lot of sense from a business

standpoint?

Particularly if they're struggling to make a profit, as it is.

 I think it's wonderful that Pirastro often does this, but I

think they must make a particularly large profit on each set

of strings sold to be able to do so.

How many businesses do you know of that like to give things away

for free?  

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It is good business and the way business is done in Europe. I have 4 violins one I use Obligatos on I recieved a sample set and have buying them ever since. The same for violin #2 I use Tonicas also a sample set. So it is good business I have bought dozens of sets from those 2 sample sets. I have one violin I having difficulty find just the right string I am presently using Dominants and they are not quite right. You remember the companies that take care of you and also the ones aren't willing to try.

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It might be nice if they did send you strings for free, but you

don't know what their financial situation is like. They need to put

food on the table, just like you do.  You said this is

widespread in Europe.  If you go to a doctor for the first

time, do they perform services for free?  If so, forgive me, I

wasn't aware.  

They may have concluded that giving away sets for free isn't likely

to win them business more than selling sets for profit.

 Maybe not, but I think it's a possibility.  

I just don't think it's reasonable to conclude that not giving away

free string sets is universally a bad business practice.  

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quote:


"How many businesses do you know of that like to give things

away for free?"

Honestly, we enjoy giving away our products for evaluation, but

unfortunately it's just not always possible. Customer feedback on

our products is crucial to us, and we are striving to find the best

ways to collect and evaluate that feedback.

Since this thread contains a paraphrased version of our response,

I'll include the actual response here for context.

Hi Nick,

As you can probably imagine, we get multiple requests daily

for sample product. Although we would like to be able to

accommodate every request, it is simply not possible.

We do appreciate your interest and look forward to earning

your business.

Regards,

DogalUSA

 

We do offer promotions and incentives to try Dogal products, both

motivated by Dogal Corde Armoniche and by us. Customer suggestions

for contests or promotions are always welcome.

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Hi, DogalUSA.

I did indeed eval'ed Vivaldi strings.

As far as Dogal's approach to free evals and feedbacks, I will give you an example. I purchase quite a bit of strings products in part supplying members of my orchestra. Through my eval sets supplied with generosity of Pirastro, many of my orchestra peers are now playing on Obligatos, Olivs, Eudoxas, Golds, etc. Once they tried the product and liked it, they keep coming back for the same.

It's called an effective marketing strategy, market penetration (for new products), etc. Look at what Bohdan Warchal did. Besides ads in industry mags, they had that free E-string promo in the Strad mag, continuous promos - in other words anything to bring product awareness out to the (buying) public. Marketing 101.

ATB, Gary

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Gary

You hit the nail on the head. We own 3 businesses and marketing can be the determining factor on sucess. If nobody knows you have a good product or service it is very hard to sell.

Nick

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Nick, not to rehash, but that's exactly what it is, or rather what Dogal is not doing. C'mon, a quarter page ad in Strad and not much else just want cut it. I know that string margins are quite thin, but it really boils down to either you spend money and all out market your products (and in a well designed campagns) or might as well give up and close up the shop.

I always bring up Microsoft's approach to marketing. When hard times hit and customers slow down their spending, Microsoft INCREASES their Marketing and Advertising push instead of cutting the budget.

Dogal should keep in mind that the graveyard of the great ideas and products is overflowing with the ones that failed precisely due to subpar or failed marketing. And that's before we get into the discussion how good their product is (I am not convinced at all based on my Vivaldi experience) or how much their products supposedly improved.

ATB, Gary

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I haven't tried the Vivaldis yet, but I recently gave the Marchio Bleu set a whirl. I think they're a perfectly adequate string. They wouldn't suit all instruments, just as the popular brands don't suit all instruments, but if you're partial to a brighter sound or your instrument is a bit too dark, I think these strings would be a good candidate. They take a couple of days to fully settle in, as do most, but once they have, I find them quite pleasant under the ear. I haven't heard them from a distance, but I have no reason to believe they wouldn't perform suitably. I don't really understand how a person can make the immediate assumption that a set of strings are poor after experiencing them on one instrument. Granted, I know many only require strings for one instrument, but I wouldn't close a door on a brand just because one set didn't suit one instrument. I might try 5 different sets before deciding on the most suitable pairing. The resulting set may include more than one brand, depending on the instrument's requirements. I think some people can get locked on to the tone qualities of their favourites. Different is often good.

Incidentally, I was sent two sets as samplers. I saw an ad in The Strad and sent them off an email. I'm always keen to try new products. Maybe they're just trying to get their hands on the Australian market. Whatever the case, they were freebies. Mind you, I can also potentially buy quite a few sets and I'd imagine they take this into consideration when deciding who to send samples to. I think that's totally fair enough - especially for a small company. I agree - freebies are an essential component of marketing products like these, but you can't give every member of the general public who requests them a free set. That would be silly. I can also guarantee that the bigger brands have far greater profit margins than Dogal. Their capacity to absorb the cost of free samples would be far greater and they've likely budgeted for it and built the cost of the practice into their margins. That Dogal is a small family business in Venice, manufacturing strings by hand, is very appealing. I'd imagine the bigger brands started out in a similar fashion. Who knows - Dogal could be a dominant force in 10 year's time. I'm always happy to give the smaller guys my business, even if it means paying a bit more. Naturally, as a business grows, so too do the resources to improve upon the existing product.

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What about offering a set of strings for evaluation at a reduced price? I've learned that, in general, people will take almost anything as long as it's free, even if they don't really need or want it! Charging a small fee would keep out the riffraff, so to speak. People with only a mild interest in the strings won't be bothered if they have to pay something.

Mary

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Free strings! What a great idea. Only once in the many decades I've been playing has anyone ever offered me a set of strings for free (for cello). My singloe request years ago (probably to Pirastro) went unanswered.

It does not seem to me to be particularly good business, these days, to offer free strings. In a sense I feel that "I never change my strings" because there is always a new brand to try before the old ones have died (or broken). Therefore any free strings would face the same onslaught of future compteting brand choices.

My set of Dogals is in the mail today (I understand); my Passiones are in the case, while I'm waiting for 2 sets of Evah Pirazzi Stark to age out - and those strings can be very long-lived. I have strings on 9 fiddles, so something is bound to get restrung in the next year or two. If a set of strings is not good on one of the instruments it's bound to work on one or more others. Two of the violins even do better with Larsen Tziganes than anything else that has ever been on them, but those strings are dreadful on all the other fiddles.

My old, used (or replaced) strings get given to students or saved as the emergency replacements I almost never seem to need any more. Fifty years ago it would have made sense for companies to offer free strings, because once you found the right ones (of corse, they were gut-core) you would likely stay with them forever -- until the current and continuing proliferation of synthetic core strings began.

It seems to me it is "my sound" that I am trying to affect with string experiments; only if I were famous would it make sense for a string company to offer me free sets for possible endorsement.

Changing a string is something I will do at the drop of a new set into the mailbox -- but only if I'm not completely satisfied with what I now use. If I am satisfied, those new strings may sit around as potential replacements for quite some time (and during that timed do the manufacturer's marketing efforts no good at all).

Andy

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