So you’re probably asking what makes our strings better, and not just the same old stuff in a different package.
We at MJC believe that our combinations and core-to-wrap ratios achieve the sound and dependability that working musicians are looking for and can trust to deliver a full bodied sound and a long life.
Core-to-huh? Combinations? Well, to understand what makes us different, you have to understand the way that strings are manufactured.
Most companies have their own “secret formula” trick bag. Depending on the company, those tricks might work better for the manufacturing process but lead to a sacrifice in the actual sound of the string.
The manufacturing process of strings from company to company is basically the same – in the way they wind strings. Most all plain strings and core strings are extruded to a particular size and shape and coated with tin or other metals (tin is used because it is a low cost metal that when applied properly, resists corrosion.)
The bulk wire is spooled and shipped to the manufactures and the spools are put on ball end machines to add the ball. Companies that do not have the equipment to add the balls have another company do the job or order the plains from the wire company who makes the wire.
The plain (round core) strings are coiled and await packaging.
In most cases the core wire is hex shaped and will be wound with a wrap wire. (Some companies wind on a round core, but the process is a bit harder to wind and can cause larger amounts of scrap wire.)
The core wire is attached to the winding machine (the ball fits on to a pin, the plain end is inserted into a chuck at the other end and (in a modern facility, can control the pull pressure) the wrap wire is inserted through the V space at the twist where the ball was attached. The machine is started and the machine winds the wrap wire on the core creating the finished string to its required size.
Most all guitar, mandolin, acoustic etc. and smaller diameter strings have one wrap over the core wire.
Core to Wrap Wire Ratio
The difference in the size of the core wire diameter as compared to the wound wire diameter can have a big impact on the sound of a string.
Suppose you had two identically made strings – except for a difference in the size of the core versus the size of the winding. The larger core and smaller winding will have greater volume, sustain, and tone life. The smaller core will be less stiff and easier on the fingers and would have greater flexibility making it easier to bend.[/box]
Some companies strings use a procedure called composite gauging. Composite gauging is done on their 5th and 6th (A and E, or the largest two) strings. With this procedure, the core and winding are made of the same diameter wire. This insures that neither the core nor winding is dominant in its vibration.
The benefits derived from this process are a string with greater volume and a sharper, more precise tone.
String winding machines
The function of most all string winding machines for metal based strings is basically the same. A core wire is attached to a spindle and a wrap wire (single for smaller gauges and multi for larger gauges/bass) is wound on. The trick here is how to manipulate the different pressures and tensions involved in the winding process to achieve the best combinations for the best sound and ease of manufacturing or duplicating the process.
This is where the rubber meets the road – or the skin meets the metal. This is where the core-to-wrap ratio and the manufacturing process makes a huge difference in the sound of your strings. In larger gauges (primarily Bass) you have a core wire and up to 4 wrap wires that intersect with each other to achieve the final diameter. This is a much more demanding and tedious process and sets the mark of the manufacturers. Some companies have very stiff strings and some have the opposite.
Our strings are designed around a balanced tension that is not wound tighter then the string at pitch.
We started with Bass strings to develop the harder and more complex part of the puzzle so you can enjoy the fruits of our labor. We are in the process of developing Guitar, Acoustic, Orchestral etc and the rest and will bring them to market soon.
Enhance your creativity and let your fingers do the talking with MJCIRONWORKS strings.