Over the next few days we will describe some of the new items for bluegrass folks introduced in the Exhibit Hall during the IBMA’s World of Bluegrass convention earlier this month, and a few that were new to us.
First up is Straight Up Strings for guitar, developed by noted instrument technician and researcher, Roger Siminoff. Roger has long built and designed fretted bluegrass instruments, and his company, Siminoff Banjo and Mandolin Parts, has offered parts and accessories for builders since 1967, including mandolin kits and technical instructions.
A few years ago Siminoff took up an interest in strings, trying to solve the riddle of how to put together a set that would balance the pressure loads across the strings for more consistent volume string-to-string. His first experiments led to sets for both banjo and mandolin, having worked through the testing to find gauges that compensated for the differing downward pressure resulting from unfixed bridges. Both the banjo and mandolin bridges place certain strings over the feet, directly below the source of vibration, with others offset.
These have been marketed as Straight Up Strings ,and have been well-received by the market.
But for guitar, Roger had a different set of obstacles to overcome by dealing with a fixed bridge solidly affixed to the soundboard. The issue became one of compensating string tension relative to neighboring strings rather than the question of whether each string had a direct path to the soundboard.
But as we knew he would, Siminoff believes he has achieved the desired result, as he explains in this brief video.
Straight Up Strings now offers three gauges for guitar: light, medium, and heavy. They are available directly from Siminoff online, or through selected dealers.