Top 5 Most Unusual String Sets

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Top 5 Most Unusual String Sets

D'Angelico Electrozinc strings

While D'Angelico is largely known for their guitars, they have recently debuted Electrozinc strings—a unique string engineered by D'Addario—and there is a rich history behind them.

Back in the 1950s, the D'Addario and D'Angelico families experimented with different alloys to produce a string with enough volume and tone to be heard over big jazz bands. Eventually, they began producing zinc-plated Bethanized steel strings, made from a special alloy produced only by the Bethlehem Steel factory in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The strings had the distinct, resonant sound that D'Angelico and D'Addario had been looking for, and became a favorite of thousands of guitarists worldwide. However, when the Bethlehem Steel factory was closed, production of the string was discontinued.

Only in the last year, D'Angelico and D'Addario have re-joined forces and managed to find a factory in Europe that manufactures the exact same alloy, allowing them to resume the production of those famous vintage-sounding strings, so the legend can live on.

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Thomastik-Infeld Classic S Rope-core strings

One of the strangest and most expensive guitar strings is this “rope core” set from Austria’s Thomastik-Infeld.  The gauges are weird: .016 through .039! And all six are wound — the trebles feature nylon tape wound on a rope core, and the basses are flatwound, silver-plated copper on a rope core. Sounds bizarre — but they don’t sound bizarre, if you follow.

As you’d expect, they’re quieter than bronze, with a warmer, softer timbre. Yet there’s far more treble animation than you might suppose — you’d never call them “dark” or “dead-sounding.” You don’t get the nasty, scraping top-end of bronze, yet they have a lovely open/airy quality, paired with strong, clear fundamentals.

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Hannabach 825 Pure Gold Classical Guitar strings

Few things can top PURE GOLD, right? Well, it's not really pure gold, but coating, otherwise, it would cost a fortune, not $25, which is still a lot. Unfortunately, gold tarnishes very quickly, especially on the D-string but it's gold and that is to be expected. 

Spider Web strings

A Japanese researcher has used thousands of strands of spider silk to spin a set of violin strings. The strings are said to have a "soft and profound timbre" relative to traditional gut or steel strings. That may arise from the way the strings are twisted, resulting in a "packing structure" that leaves practically no space between any of the strands.

"Several professional violinists reported that spider strings... generated a preferable timbre, being able to create a new music," he wrote.
"The violin strings are a novel practical use for spider silk as a kind of high value-added product, and offer a distinctive type of timbre for both violin players and music lovers worldwide."

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Dental Floss strings

If you're not into harvesting cobwebs here's a DIY everyone can enjoy. Canadian fingerstyle guitarist Ewan Dobson made a string set out of dental floss! 

Here's a guide on how he did that:

Number of floss stands you'll need for each string:
1. First string = 1 long strand of floss folded in half (any more stands and the string will break when tuning to high E)
2. second string = 2 long strands of floss folded in half
3. third string = 3 long strands of floss folded in half
4. fourth string = 4 long strands of floss folded in half
5. fifth string = 6 long strands of floss folded in half
6. sixth string = 7 long strands of floss folded in half

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And what's the most unusual string set you've ever seen?

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    "Gold tarnishes very quickly ... but it's gold and that is to be expected." You failed high school chemistry, I guess.
    Lower carats gold tarnishes. You would need pure gold to prevent this to happen or at the very least 75% gold content which would cost a fortune.
    I'm disappointed, I thought this article would review the legendary air guitar strings. Many people talk about it but information is nowhere to be found.
    Ive had the Thomastik-Infeld Classic strings. They sound nice but break out of nowhere all the sets of them I tried the high E literally unraveled itself right infront of my face. I mean I sat there and just watched it come apart like a cruel joke after how much they cost. Again sounds great but wait till they come apart. Wouldn't recommend.
    I think you have the wrong video for the Thomastik strings
    Optima also produces a gold plated string (equally expensive from my recollection). Also, I thought it might be worth it to mention that C.F. Martin is releasing a Titanium Core/Nickel Wrap acoustic string in the near future (I think this month, in fact). Can't say I have a lot of faith in the Titanium, as I'm not sure how it will handle the constant attack of a pick. As it was explained to me, Titanium works well under gradual and continuous pressure, but it isn't the best when introduced to sudden strain. I'm done nerding out...
    I've got some gold Optima 24k bass strings on my bass at the moment. They sound pretty great and still have good zing to them a month later!
    I like the D angelico/D addario strings. I was not aware of that story about the strings from 50s. and heck Ive been playing D Addario strings for years. So that was interesting. Might go look for these strings now.