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Determining String Composition

Discussion in 'Strings [BG]' started by Bongolation, Oct 12, 2002.

  1. Bongolation


    Nov 9, 2001
    No Bogus Endorsements
    In the absence of any help from the manufacturer, is there a sure, non-destructive way to determine the composition of string windings? It's remarkable how many sets have NO indication on the packaging or websites, plus one always accumulates mystery strings.

    I can usually tell stainless steel by the dark gray, dull finish, but I'm not too clear on separating nickle from nickle-plate. There are often strings that are not obviously one thing or the other, too.

    Stainless steel roundwounds are so ruinously destructive of frets that I won't have them in my house, but nickle-plate over steel doesn't always assure any less damage as the plating can be very thin.

    Thanks for any help on this.
  2. DW


    Jun 22, 2000
    I don't know of any way to tell for sure, since it really depends on the manufacturer and how they finish the outer wrap.

    But AFAIK the stainless steel grades used in string manufacture are much harder than the carbon steels used in nickel-plated steel strings. So when the outer wrap is rough, like roundwounds, the stainless will damage the frets pretty quickly.

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