Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Insight into Newtone Strings!

Who uses Newtone Strings? This week, we bring you a blog post written by Neil Silverman - String Maker & Production Manager at Newtone Strings, who provides great insight into how their Strings are made and why they help your guitar sound so good!

This summer, I will have been working here at Newtone strings for 13 years, unlucky for some, but for us things seem to go from strength to strength.

We approach things our own way and I very rarely tell people I’m a ‘Production Manager’, but rather I’m a ‘String Maker’. Being a small firm, a simple job description does not fully quantify the work I cary out on a day to day basis. From making strings, to answering the phone and replying to emails, I am able to communicate directly with our customers and do my best to help them achieve the best they can from their instruments, be it players or luthiers.

One question that is commonly asked is ‘why does it say not to cut your strings before putting them on the guitar?’ This is quite a simple question and answering it gets to the very heart of what we do here at Newtone.

Most strings, even some of our own, are made using Hexagonal cores, and as you know they have an angular circumference. When the soft wrapping wire is wrapped around the core it molds itself around the shape of the core and grips to each vertex of the Hexagonal core. So with every wrap the outer wire makes, it grips and stays in place. When using a Round core, the wrapping wire molds itself around the core as it is wound, but without an angular surface it has nothing to hold it in place, and once the tension is removed from the wrapping wire it will spring back on itself and you can quite easily slide the wrapping wire up and down the length of the core. 

When making our strings we create a small rectangular cross section in the core where the winding of the strings will end, and when the wrapping wire passes over this it grips to it in the same way as a hex core, but only for that small section, and is enough to keep everything in place down the length of the string. If you cut the string to fit your guitar, there is no longer anything to hold the wrapping wire in place and the wrapping will come loose and result in a very dull, thud of a dead string. Next time you are string up with our strings, try running your fingers over the last few inches of the string and you may be able to feel this flattened section, it is often more noticeable with the thinner wound strings. Once the string is installed on the instrument and is up to pitch, the tension on the string being wrapped around the machine head is enough to hold things in place, making it safe to cut off any excess string.

I hope this helps you understand a little better how we do things here at Newtone, and gives you something to think about next time you look down at your guitar and see all those wraps of wire, vibrating together making your music come to life

- Neil Silverman

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