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Old 01-17-2020, 11:11 AM
Twitch Twitch is offline
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Default Why are strings wound with brass?

Just curious ... from my understanding higher pitch strings are plain nickel/steel. Lower pitch strings are plain nickel/steel wrapped in brass/bronze. Why is brass/bronze the material of choice and not more nickel/steel?

Also, is the only reason to wrap a string instead of making it all solid is that it provides flexibility while adding mass?
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:15 PM
hermithollow hermithollow is offline
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Originally Posted by Twitch View Post
Just curious ... from my understanding higher pitch strings are plain nickel/steel. Lower pitch strings are plain nickel/steel wrapped in brass/bronze. Why is brass/bronze the material of choice and not more nickel/steel?

Also, is the only reason to wrap a string instead of making it all solid is that it provides flexibility while adding mass?
Wrapping brass around a thin steel string increases the mass while allowing it to be flexible as you have mentioned. Greater mass allows the string to resonate at a lower pitch while the steel core is closer to it's breaking tension.
Brass has several qualities that make it a better choice than steel. It doesn't rust. It is heavier per volume (S.G.) It is more malleable. It is softer, so creates less fret wear on nickle silver frets (steel is harder than nickle silver).
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Twitch View Post
Just curious ... from my understanding higher pitch strings are plain nickel/steel. Lower pitch strings are plain nickel/steel wrapped in brass/bronze. Why is brass/bronze the material of choice and not more nickel/steel?

Also, is the only reason to wrap a string instead of making it all solid is that it provides flexibility while adding mass?
Hi T

Brass, Bronze, Phosphor Bronze - church bells (and other bells) are built out of them.

If you scout out the string-supply-community you will find many other formulations of metal as well.



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Old 01-17-2020, 12:56 PM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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Originally Posted by Twitch View Post
Just curious ... from my understanding higher pitch strings are plain nickel/steel. Lower pitch strings are plain nickel/steel wrapped in brass/bronze. Why is brass/bronze the material of choice and not more nickel/steel?
Agreeing with the above posts, you can also try out nickel steel by putting electric strings on your acoustic. They typically sound sort of dead and lifeless. So, there's a tone component in here as well.

Bob
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Last edited by Bob Womack; 01-17-2020 at 01:31 PM.
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Old 01-17-2020, 01:24 PM
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Hi Tw…

I've tried out all the exotic formulations, treatments, frozen, etc strings, and I keep coming back to either 80/20 (Bronze) or 92/8 (Phosphor Bronze).

It's cheap to experiment (cheap in terms of prices of guitars and considering strings wear out and need changing).

These days I'm more interested in the guitar and the music more than the strings. If I had a guitar which had to have a specific formula and weight of string it's not as useful to me. I want flexibility.



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