Straight Up Strings for banjo

straight_up_banjoStraight Up Strings, designed and marketed by Roger Siminoff, is following up the successful introduction of their mandolin strings with three sets for banjo, starting October 1.

Like the mandolin strings, Roger designed these sets to create even downward tension from each of the five strings, choosing gauges for a light, medium, and heavy set to suit.

If you have followed Roger’s research into the sonics of banjo over the years, particularly the response of the strings through the bridge to the head, you know that while he supports the traditional three-footed bridge, he finds problems with the fact that three of the strings are seated above the feet, and two over openings in the bridge structure. His SUS research on equalizing this tension across the strings is what has led him to these gauges for banjo.

He lists five primary advantages of his strings:

  1. Compensated downloads that adjust for the difference in energy transmission to the head of those strings that sit over feet compared to those strings that sit over arches.
  2. Download pressure of each string carefully calculated (at a 15° string break angle) to ensure excellent string-to-string balance.
  3. A unique core-to-wrap wire ratio for the D string engineered to improve the relationship between the wound and plain strings’ tone color.
  4. Chromium stainless wrap wire gives the wound D string a smooth, rust-free plain-wire feel.
  5. Application of ISO 226:2003 equal-loudness principles to enhance the perception of an evenly distributed tonal range.

The three gauges are as follows:

  • LightD .009″, B .0105″, G .013″, D .020″w, G .009″
  • MediumD .010″, B .0115″, G .013″, D .020″w, G .010″
  • Heavy: D .011″, B .012″, G .014″, D .022″w, G .0105″.

You can more details at

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.