Are all strings made by the same company(ies)?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Rotten, Oct 26, 2008.

  1. Rotten

    Rotten Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,322
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Location:
    Encinitas, CA
    For the umpteenth time, I went to purchase my usual strings, D'Addarios, and the shop only had Ernie Balls. The owner insisted that they were the same thing - that there are only a few companies that make strings, which are sold through different brands. Anyone know the truth?
     
  2. John Hurtt

    John Hurtt Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,583
    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Location:
    Northern California
    Yes and no....There are a few companies that make strings, and some make strings that are sold for others.
     
  3. derekd

    derekd Supporting Member

    Messages:
    34,718
    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Location:
    In a van down by the river
    Kinda like car batteries and tires, lots of brands, only a handful of makers. I was told by a D'Addario rep a couple of years ago that they make strings for a variety of companies, but the difference is the wire type, alloys, core type, etc. Lots of variables.

    He also said that every maker gets their wire from the same manufacturer. Dunno if all that is true, but sounds likely.
     
  4. Mayflower

    Mayflower Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,459
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    My guess is yes.
    I think SIT makes strings for several different companies.
    I bet you could have your own brand as well.
    Min. order would be pricey
     
  5. Bill Brasky

    Bill Brasky Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,422
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    I read/was told that there's only 3 or 4 actual string factories in North America. D'Addario, GHS, SIT, ?. Gibson, Fender etc. don't have a string factory so obviously they're just made under contract by one of the big 3/4 string makers. Just like all these microbrews that are actually made in the Coors/Budweiser plants but advertise as if they hand craft their beer in their own basement brewery.
     
  6. Shark Diver

    Shark Diver Member

    Messages:
    1,370
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
    Location:
    So. Ca.
    Which would be the key. So, even with the same maker the strings would be very different.
     
  7. HHB

    HHB Member

    Messages:
    6,643
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2002
    Location:
    East Flat Rock NC
    the wound strings are not the same from EB and DaD, you can easily see and feel the difference, the question is are they all microbrews from the same factory. I've been using Fender super bullets and their wound strings feel different as well, I suspect that all plain strings are the same
     
  8. Bill Brasky

    Bill Brasky Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,422
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan, USA
    Don't D'Addario use a hexagonal core? That would make them feel different from a round core string. I read that some of the more well known, pricier brands, will pay to have their strings treated to remove tarnishing, so they're shiny when you take them out of the package. The cheaper strings skip this step but it's really just cosmetic and doesn't affect sound quality.
     
  9. edwarddavis

    edwarddavis Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,102
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2005
    Location:
    Bristol Connecticut
  10. cbstrat

    cbstrat Supporting Member

    Messages:
    415
    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2005
    Location:
    Raleigh/Durham, NC
    I took a tour of the Martin Factory in Nazareth, Pa. several years ago. I seem to remember seeing their sting making operation.
     
  11. PedalFreak

    PedalFreak Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,417
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007
    Location:
    Rockford, IL
    Martin, Ernie Ball, D'Addario, GHS, SIT are the big ones. Then there are all the "little guys": Curt Mangan, SOB, etc.

    Gibson use to make their own strings. A year or so ago, the machine that made flat wounds died. They had it since the 50's and they said it would cost to much to repair it, or buy a new one. Just last week my Gibson rep told me that D'Addario will be making the Gibson strings now. Also, last I heard Ernie Ball makes Fender's strings.
     
  12. Tone_Terrific

    Tone_Terrific Member

    Messages:
    25,270
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2004
    Location:
    Canada-GTA
    Sounds nasty.

    GM made Corvettes and Chevettes at the same time. Easily confused, dontcha think?

    Specs are everything.

    The results, to you, will probably not be as great as the hype suggests. What is?
     
  13. Trandy

    Trandy Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,205
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Location:
    Here and there....
    The main ones are D'addario, GHS, Kaman, and E.O Mauri (sp?). Until recently Arkay was also doing some OEM work but I hear that they recently sold that end of their business.
     
  14. Rockin J

    Rockin J Member

    Messages:
    1,806
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Location:
    Texas
    Don't believe everything you hear. I was told that Fender absolutely did not manufacture strings and bought their strings from others. Then a few years back, Guitar Player did a feature on the Fender Mexico facilities and showed pictures of some really large string winding machines in the string manufacturing portion of the plant and stated this is where all fender strings came from. Fender strings sound like fender strings and nothing like any other strings. The same can be said of Daddario, Ernie Ball & GHS. I'm sure all these companies might produce strings for other brands but I bet most are off brands and not the majors.
     
  15. Redhouse-Blues

    Redhouse-Blues Member

    Messages:
    2,521
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Southwest MI.
    The reason I like DR strings is they make their own.
     
  16. Dean_E

    Dean_E Member

    Messages:
    318
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Location:
    The mountains of Arizona
    Till you drive one. ;)

    Dean
     
    jimmie2dog likes this.
  17. SarasotaSlim

    SarasotaSlim Member

    Messages:
    1,404
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2005
    Location:
    St. Pete-A-Bug FLA
    Black Diamond was resurrected by the Cavanaugh Company that makes Super Sensitive strings for orchestra instruments. I've taken the grand tour of the factory just outside of Sarasota, FL and the downstairs is all classical oriented and the upstairs is all Black Diamond. The also have plenty of new modern string winding machines and use the same basic core steel that all the others use. According to my tour guide who was the artist rep he says that the difference is the core size vs. winding size. Bigger core and smaller wrap makes for a tighter string vs. smaller core with bigger wrap makes for a slinkier feel. However - there has to be a balance of each because too much wrap will not sound good due to the lack of steel for the magnetic pickups and too much core is too stiff. Anyway I'm thrilled to have a string factory so close to my house and yes I use them.
     
  18. Bryan T

    Bryan T Guitar Owner Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    16,899
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2002
    GHS, D'Addario, Ernie Ball, Fender, D'Aquisto, Rotosound, Thomastik, DR, . . . all make their own strings. There are plenty of brands that are manufactured by other companies. As far as I know, Snake Oil doesn't make their own strings.

    Bryan
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2016
  19. Sweetfinger

    Sweetfinger Supporting Member

    Messages:
    10,275
    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
  20. mc5nrg

    mc5nrg Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,232
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Location:
    DC, Philly, Asquared, Upper Michigan
    Who used to sell there own brand of guitar strings. Mapes, that is.

    I heard stories about the Gibson flat wound string machine being temporarily out of commission 15 years ago. Keeping it running would let them market vintage flatwounds just like in the olden days.
     

Share This Page