The Straight Up Strings product line, developed by luthier and acoustician, Roger Siminoff, now includes steel string guitar strings. Straight Up Strings for Guitar, in light, medium and heavy gauges, will debut at IBMA’s World of Bluegrass in Raleigh, NC, and will be available at the IBMA Business Conference Trade Show, Booth #106, Wednesday, Sept. 30 and Thursday, Oct. 1.
The Straight Up Strings product line, which includes strings for banjos and mandolins, is based on engineered string gauges and core-to-wrap ratios to optimize the relationship between strings, and how the strings react to the soundboard. The result is string-to-string balance in tone, sustain and timbre, across different brands and even builds, of instruments.
“With the feedback we’ve received on Straight Up Strings for Banjo and Mandolin, it was clear we needed to address the guitar next,” Siminoff notes. “Not only were our customers clamoring for guitar strings, but when we analyzed existing (guitar string) sets, we saw something missing: We then calculated tensions and torque loads on a bell-shaped curve, which optimizes balance, sustain and brightness.”
Those familiar with the the bridge and soundboard relationship of moveable bridge instruments, like banjo and mandolin, will find a different application with regard to guitar. On the guitar, the significant force is the torque (twisting) action of the bridge, rocking forward toward the peghead as the strings are played. (Contrast this to the downward or “pumping” force at the bridge required to move the banjo and mandolin soundboard up and down). Strings toward the center of the guitar require greater torque, and therefore are higher tension, compared to those on the outer edges; hence the smooth bell-shaped curve; a first in the industry.
Roger Siminoff, developer of Straight Up Strings and founder of Pickin’ Magazine and FRETS Magazine, has been focused on strings for nearly 30 years, and was a driving force in convincing the major string manufacturers to post guitar string gauges and tensions on packaging. Kali Nowakowski and Amy Sullivan, Siminoff’s daughters, have owned Siminoff Banjo and Mandolin Parts since 2013 and are responsible for day-to-day operations and bringing Straight Up Strings to market.
Straight Up Strings will be available September 30 for guitar in light, medium and heavy gauges. They’re already available for mandolin in medium and heavy gauges and for banjo in light, medium and heavy gauges. Guitar strings will be available as a single pack ($9.95), 3-pack ($25.35) and 6-pack ($48.35) at http://parts.siminoff.net/ and Elderly Instruments (www.elderly.com); and in-store at Gruhn Guitars (Nashville) and Sylvan Guitars (Santa Cruz, CA). Shipping October 5.
Luthier’s Tip: Bridge Alignment