Why so expensive?

Discussion in 'Strings [DB]' started by TenorClef, Nov 26, 2004.

  1. The answer to me is not at all obvious, for example my classical guitar i restring about once a month at a cost of $5 for a set of decent nylon strings, nylon/other strings for my double bass $150 more or less. (I don't restring my bass monthly!)

    I don't thing the costs are justified, who decides the prices anyway? I'll be on to my 3rd set of bass strings shortly, enough to have experimented briefly with steel, synthetic and gut(Thomastik 'Superflexibles', Euronsonic 'Lights', Clef 'Gut') and i'm aware their are a host of strings in each category.
  2. Francois Blais

    Francois Blais Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 1999
    Québec, Canada
    Cello strings are almost as expensive, and they're much shorter, so they need less material.
    Guitar strings are sold in billions of units a year, so they're much more profitable for a company. Theyre much less complex too.
    Bass string construction is complex, requires several different materials, and they are not sold in huge quantities...
  3. bassphase

    bassphase Supporting Member

    Jul 26, 2004
    San Francico Bay Area
    Don't forget that the dollar is sinking like a stone against the Euro---both Pirastro and Tomastik have had huge price increases this year in the US.

    How is the £ faring agaisnt the Euro??

  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    1.00 EUR Euro = 1.32603 USD United States Dollars

    1.00 EUR Euro = 0.700564 GBP United Kingdom Pounds

    1 GBP = 1.42742 EUR

    1.00 GBP = 1.89217 USD

    I think that DB strings are worth the money as they sound so much better and last so much longer - I bought some Pirastros neary 2 years ago and they just get better!! I can't imagine ever breaking them?
  5. Samie


    Dec 13, 2000
    Madrid, Spain
    Yeah!! I am enjoing the HOT euro!! it means great online added discaunt plus!!! :hyper:

    Things are still expensive over here anyways
  6. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001

    Please, Samie, this is a family forum :smug:
  7. Thomguy


    Oct 15, 2001
    New York, USA
    Bass strings are generally more expensive because, as it has been stated, there’s a lot more material used in construction and the construction is more complex than a guitar string. A nylon mono-filament string (usually the top 3 trebles) does not have to be wound and the bass strings are wound with copper, silver-plated copper or another relatively inexpensive material.

    A string like Spirocore for bass has a multi-wire core, synthetic material interspersed with multiple layers of wrapping for inner cover-wires and outer wrappings of chrome designed specifically to be both smooth but flexible; all done by a skilled technician as T-I’s are handmade. When comparing a guitar-scale string to an upright bass scale string, if all things remained equal (the type and amount of materials used, etc.) you’d see that the cost ratio is about the same. Plus, Spirocore longevity is legendary so this adds up over the years to quite an affordable set of strings, really.
  8. Gut cello strings are sometimes more expensive than gut bass strings. Also, I think Pirastro sells the obligatos for cello for more than the bass version. A lot of it is supply and demand, and what the market will bear. Apparently cello players, being used to things like ridulously priced Larsens, are willing to spend more for strings. Cello players are also notorius string fetishists as well, and are forever experimenting with different cominations of strings. When steel strings first came out, they were more expensive than gut strings because they were new and not as popular. If you wanted steel strings, you would pay whatever was being charged. This was despite the fact that steel strings are cheaper to make than gut strings. The reverse is true now for some of the same reasons. Sometimes companies will flood the market with underpriced strings to get players hooked or to take a chunk out of another manufacturer's business. Later on the prices start creaping up. One american company is possibly guity of this with their popular bass strings. Pirastro can't be making as much profit on Obligato's as some of their more established strings. Just wait though.