SonoTone, the boutique guitar string company who specializes in high quality strings for vintage guitars, has introduced a new line.
Their Concert series strings for acoustic guitar use a premium brass wrap which they find allows users to reproduce the the bright tone and tactile responsiveness of the brass wraps used in the 1930s and ’40s. By making their strings in small batches for limited distribution, SonoTone feels that they can control a number of factors throughout the manufacturing process to optimize string behavior, playability, tuning stability, and longevity. They also avoid the use of coatings to allow the string wire to ring naturally along its full length on your guitar.
This company is a project of P.K. Pandey, a studio engineer and designer, who has dedicated several years of his life to discovering why the quality of guitar strings has diminished over his 25 year career. Working with top pros on the electric guitar side like Joe Perry and Jeff Beck, he was able to pinpoint what was different in modern, mass manufactured guitar strings, and after considerable experimentation and prototyping, was able to produce the sound in the studio that he remembered from a generation ago.
Pandey has spent nearly three years working on rediscovering the sound for acoustic guitar players as well, replicating the brass amalgam from an earlier time, actually an 80/20 bronze, that offers the bright rich sound he was trying to reproduce. He has measured the response of the Concert Series strings in the studio on collectible vintage guitars, and says that he sees and hears the bright and balanced tone he was after.
Since all of the SonoTone strings are made in smaller quantities in the US with careful oversight over the process, their cost is a bit higher than mass market strings, but by selling directly to consumers, they keep the end price in check. Their Concert Series strings are offered in three gauges for $18.99 per set.
Players who prefer the sound of phosphor bronze should investigate the SonoTone Symphonic series strings.
More information about the company, the many types of strings they offer, and the many players who use them can be found on the SonoTone web site.