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TipofTheWeek

 

 

 

 

 

The most common string types available to acoustic guitar players are Phosphor Bronze and 80/20 Bronze. What’s the difference, and which should YOU play?

 

 

acousticstrings

 

 

First, let’s look at the basic differences. Phosphor Bronze strings use a wrap wire that is composed of roughly 92% copper and 8% tin with a small amount of phosphorus. The wrap used for 80/20 Bronze strings, on the other hand, is composed of 80% copper and 20% zinc.

 

So what do these differences mean to you as a player? Phosphor Bronze strings tend to be warmer, rounder, and more full-bodied, while 80/20 Bronze strings have an overall brighter, more bell-like tone.

 

Which type fits your playing style? Let us know in the comment section below.

 

Dunlop Strings are carefully crafted at our own built-from-the-ground- up factory in Benicia, California. They break in fast and tune up quickly, and they hold their “sweet spot” for a long time. Just put on a fresh set, tune up, and play. With innovative wrapping techniques and custom core-to-wrap ratios, we’re moving guitar strings forward and empowering you, the player.

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Category: Dunlop Strings, Tip of the Week

Slash_Classic&Fuzz-Header2

 

 

In 2012, Slash teamed up with Miles Kennedy and the Conspirators to record Apocalyptic Love, delivering the stripped down, straight up hard rock that the Man in the Top Hat does best. Critics and music fans alike dug the album, and it debuted at #4 on the Billboard Top 100 with two of its tracks becoming #1 rock radio hits. Two years later, the gang is at it again with World on Fire. It drops today—you can get it from all major retailers, digital and physical.

 

To celebrate, we’re re-releasing the much-demanded SF01 MXR Slash Octave Fuzz and the SC95 Slash Cry Baby Classic Wah. These pedals were first released on a limited basis back in 2012 in conjunction with Slash’s Apocalyptic Love record, but players all over the world have been clamoring for more ever since. So we decided to give you another shot at these great pedals, and what better occasion?

 

Check out our interview with Slash, below, about the development of each pedal, updated with some words about the new record, World on Fire. After that, we’ve got some sweet vids for you to watch.

 

What did you want with the Slash Octave Fuzz?

There are some octave fuzz tones on records that I love, but the pedals that created them are very unpredictable. They’re hard to use live and even hard to control in the studio. So I talked to the guys at Dunlop and I told them that there should be a pedal that can just nail those sounds reliably. That’s where the Slash Octave Fuzz comes in. I worked with them and we made a fuzz that’s controllable, with a low octave that didn’t warble too much—that took a bit of work—plus a vintage high octave fuzz and the ability to mix the two.

 

Do you play differently when you step on the Slash Octave Fuzz?

I’m using it right now in rehearsals for the upcoming tour. The big thing for me is this feeling of confidence—knowing that the tone you’re going for, you can rely on it. You can get into the zone that you need to and play what you want to play. If you have something that doesn’t work properly and reliably, it really interferes with and distracts from what you’re doing. When I step on this pedal and it works so well, it allows me to really play my ass off.

 

Will you choose different registers to play your lines when you’re using the Octave Fuzz?

No. We designed and voiced this pedal to work over the entire range of the guitar, so I feel like I have the freedom to go anywhere on the fretboard.

 

Talk about the Slash Cry Baby Classic. What do you look for in a wah pedal in terms of sweep, tone, treble response, and output?

I don’t know if I can verbally describe it, but I need the highs, when the pedal is wide open, to be bright but not out of the stratosphere. I need the sweep to be smooth. I need a nice smooth arc, from the midrangey sound on the bottom—which can’t be too bassy or overly throaty—to the highs, which need to be sweet. I need to be able to hear the note all along the way. The note can’t get lost in the lows and it can’t get lost in the highs. That gives me a fully pronounced wah tone but not that processed sounding wah, which is hard to describe, but you know it when you hear it.

 

How is this wah different from your last signature model and why the changes?

My first signature wah was very much a professional recording and live wah. You had to spend some time with it and know what you were doing to really control the distortion and use it. This one is much more straightforward.

 

World on Fire is your second album with Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators, and you’ve spent some serious time on the road and in the studio since Apocalyptic Love was released in 2012. How has that affected the music you guys have created this time around?

I just think that its been a really natural evolution for the song writing team that is Myles Kennedy and myself and the band in general. We’ve definitely grown leaps and bounds from our first record, which I thought was pretty good, and I’m just very pleased and satisfied with where it’s gone and where it’s going.

 

How did you incorporate the Slash Octave Fuzz and the Slash Cry Baby Classic Wah into your sound with this album? Which songs best demonstrate your use of these two pedals?

There’s a song called “Shadow Life” that definitely utilizes the octave fuzz pedal. You can hear it in the main riff of the song, especially toward the end where it’s up louder in the mix. It’s got a really great unique character, and I love it for that.

 

The wah wah I used a little more sparingly on this album, but where I did use it, it really shines. I got different textures in the “Safari Inn” solo  just by stepping on it for a minute, playing a couple licks and then stepping off. Then, in another place, I would step back on it again just to added some different tonal qualities. The SC95′s voice really shines during the solo on “Iris of the Storm”—it’s the great wah pedal moment of the album.

 

Get the MXR Slash Octave Fuzz and the Slash Cry Baby Classic Wah, in stores now! To whet your appetite, we have a couple videos for you to look at. The first is a Dunlop TV episode where Slash talks about these pedals among other cool tidbits, and below that is our MXR white room demo with the Slash Octave Fuzz. Dig it!

 

 

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Category: Artist News, Cry Baby, MXR

TipofTheWeek

 

 

More and more guitar players are using active pickups these days, and some of the world’s top guitar players—including Zakk Wylde and James Hetfield—have been using them for some time. What’s the big deal? What’s the difference between active and passive guitar pickups?

 

For this Dunlop Strings Tip of the Week, we’re going to give you a brief run down. None of this is hard and fast—pickup makers in recent years have been designing both passive and active pickups that attempt to have the best of both worlds—but hopefully this will set you in the right direction.

 

Output

Active pickups tend to have a much higher output than most passive pickups, which is attractive to some players who want to use the extra gain to push their amps that much harder. Higher output also leads to higher headroom and greater clarity—handy if you often throw down flurries of notes.

 

Dynamics vs. Balance

Passive pickups are responsive to the intensity and technique of your attack. In other words, your sound will reflect whether you play lightly or intensely. With active pickups, the overall sound is much more even. Whether you play lightly or intensely, and no matter where you fret, the tonal character of each note will, more or less, be the same. This has to do with the fact that…

 

Compression

Active pickups compress way more than passive pickups, which, in addition to balancing out overall playing response, also controls unwanted noise and feedback. The tradeoff, according to some guitar players, is the more organic sound and dynamic range of passive pickups.

 

But really, it all comes down to what sound and playing experience you’re looking for. Neither pickup style is better than the other—they’re tools, and it’s up to you to pick the right tool for the job. Zakk Wylde’s shredding and pinch harmonic wizardry benefit greatly from the clarity and boost provided by his active pickups, but that setup doesn’t fit in with Joe Bonamassa’s smoother blues-rooted sound.

 

Bottom line? Experiment. Changing out your pickups is a great way to change up the sound of your instrument. EMG is probably the most prominent company as far as active guitar pickups goes, while Seymour Duncan is probably the most prominent passive pickup company. Both companies make both types of pickups, though, so check out all their options. DiMarzio is another great pickup company, and there are a ton of great boutique companies out there, such as our friends at Arcane Inc and Nordstrand Pickups in that category.

 

Dunlop Strings are carefully crafted at our own built-from-the-ground-up factory in Benicia, California. They break in fast and tune up quickly, and they hold their “sweet spot” for a long time. Just put on a fresh set, tune up, and play. With innovative wrapping techniques and custom core-to-wrap ratios, we’re moving guitar strings forward and empowering you, the player.

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Category: Tip of the Week

CM95-Header

 

Invented by Brad Plunkett at the Thomas Organ Company in 1966, the wah wah guitar effect was named after the similar sounding muting technique perfected by jazz trumpeter Clyde McCoy. Thus, the very first wah wah pedal available to the playing public was named the Clyde McCoy Wah. That pedal’s throaty sound and highly expressive sweep is legendary, and the pedal itself has become a rare and expensive collector’s piece that many players are unwilling to play much less take out on the road. So what do you do if you want the legendary Clyde McCoy wah tone both in the studio AND on the road?

 

Look no further than the CM95 Clyde McCoy® Wah by Cry Baby®. We used all of our experience and resources to pay a proper and authentic tribute to the original Clyde McCoy Wahs. In 1982, the wah wah torch was passed to Dunlop. We inherited all the original tooling and machinery used by the Thomas Organ Company and Jen Electronica to manufacture the very first Clyde McCoy pedals. We’ve spent the past 30+ years—longer than any other company—designing and manufacturing wah wah pedals. This inheritance and hard work empowered us to faithfully represent the tone and spirit of the very first wah in a way that no other company can. And we did it in a form that provides gigging players the modern consistency and convenience they need on the road, from true bypass switching and AC power to high quality components and a specially designed Halo Inductor.

 

The CM95 is a tribute to the first production wah wah ever made. This modernized classic captures the throaty voice and expressive sweep of the original while offering gigging players the consistency and convenience they need on the road. How did we do it? Let’s hear from Dunlop engineers Sam McRae and Jeorge Tripps below.

 

When was the decision made to produce a Clyde McCoy Wah?

 

Jeorge: The idea to recreate the Clyde McCoy wah has been around for several years. The original pedals are highly sought after, and they’re expensive and difficult to find. We wanted to make that great sound available to all players, not just the collectors.

 

Does the CM95 use a Halo inductor? Does it sound and behave like the originals?

 

Jeorge: The CM95 does use a Halo inductor—that’s the key to its tonal character and its very expressive sweep. But the originals had this habit of creating unwanted microphonic noise, so we designed our own.

 


Sam: We created the HI01 Halo inductor after carefully analyzing vintage Halo inductors and using those as our blueprint. From there, we stabilized the cup core, minimizing the microphonic noise you often get with vintage Clyde McCoy Wahs.

 

Jeorge: It sounds as close to the originals as you can get, only more controlled and more musical.

 

What can you tell us about the CM95′s housing?

 

Jeorge: The housing used for the CM95 is based on the original JEN-manufactured design. The only difference is that we chose to have a black top instead of a chrome top to keep the look of a Cry Baby wah wah…much like the original Cry Baby version of the Clyde McCoy. It also has a steel bottom plate like the originals.

 

How is the Clyde McCoy Wah different from other Cry Baby pedals?


 

Sam: The CM95 makes use of the halo inductor with a slightly lower “Q” with a larger band pass characteristic than the other wahs for a more musical flavor and balanced smooth response like its vintage brethren. It also has the identical input and output impedance characteristic as the original Clyde McCoy but with the advantage of true bypass switching.

 

How does the CM95′s sweep range compare with the original Clyde McCoy Wah?


 

Sam: The originals usually, if not always, had to have the felt removed, the switch lowered, and the rotation of the pot adjusted to get a wider sweep range. The CM95 has this taken care of right out of the box.

 

Which amp and pedals are best matched with the CM95?

 

Jeorge: This is a classic pedal, so I would recommend classic amps and classic pedals such as a Marshall Super Lead, a Fender Deluxe Reverb, a Fuzz Face® Distortion, a Uni-Vibe® Chorus Vibrato, a Phase 90, and so on.

 


Is this a reissue or something new?

 

Jeorge: Our goal was to preserve the sound of the original and offer it to players in a package that’s more convenient for their modern needs. In that sense, it’s not a straight reissue. Nobody wants to take their original Clyde McCoy out on the stage—it’s too valuable and too fragile. With the CM95, you will get authentic Clyde McCoy sounds because of the Halo inductor and two-transistor circuit, and you will get basically the same look with its aluminum JEN-style housing. But you will also get true bypass switching and a power supply jack—perfect for today’s players to use both in the studio and on the stage. This is the definitive recreation of the Clyde McCoy circuit and sound, and now it’s available to all players to suit their modern needs.

 

Before you go, check out the gracious video review of the Clyde McCoy Wah from Guitar World‘s Paul Riario, below.

 

 

Visit these online dealers to get the Dunlop Clyde McCoy Wah by Cry Baby…

 

Musician’s Friend

 

Sam Ash

 

Pro Guitar Shop

 

Sweetwater

 

Gear Tree

 

Or CLICK HERE TO FIND A RETAILER NEAR YOU.

 

 


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Category: Cry Baby

TipofTheWeek

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve done a few setup-related Tips of the Week, so we decided it was time for give you a little somethin’ for your next setup. With help from our friends at Nordstrand Pickups, EMG Pickups, and Cruz Tools, we put together a killer giveway package. Here’s what’s up for grabs:

 

TotW_Giveaway

 

1 Box of Dunlop Strings

 

Your choice of 1 set of pickups…

*Nordstrand NMT Modern Tele Set

*Nordstrand NVS “Vintage” Style Strat Set

*EMG 57/66 Active Humbucker Set

*Nordstrand NJS4 Hum-canceling Split-Coil Jazz Bass Set

 

1 Dunlop Deluxe Stringwinder 

 

1 Dunlop System 65 Guitar Maintenance Kit

 

1 Dunlop Trigger® Capo

 

1 Cruz Tools Groovetech Guitar or Bass Setup Kit

 

How do you get your hands on this sweet prize package? All you have to do is go down to the comment section below and tell us 1) whether or not you’re comforable tinkering around with your guitar or bass and 2) why. Seriously, don’t forget about the “why” part. Next week, we’ll choose one of you at random to be the winner.

 

Dunlop Strings are carefully crafted at our own built-from-the-ground-up factory in Benicia, California. They break in fast and tune up quickly, and they hold their “sweet spot” for a long time. Just put on a fresh set, tune up, and play. With innovative wrapping techniques and custom core-to-wrap ratios, we’re moving guitar strings forward and empowering you, the player.

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Category: Tip of the Week

Phase90_Box-Header

 

Here it is—the little orange phase shifter that started it all.

 

In case you haven’t heard, we’ve been celebrating MXR’s 40th anniversary this year with blog and video content to provide players with an informative, inside look at one of the most iconic stompbox brands in history. The crown jewels of our celebration have been our vintage MXR pedal giveaways. You see, we tracked down each of MXR’s four original core pedals—the Phase 90, the Distortion +, the Dyna Comp Compressor, and the Blue Box Fuzz—in vintage form and had one of our engineers give them a close inspection. Last month, we put up the Blue Box Fuzz. Now it’s time for our final vintage MXR giveaway: the Phase 90.

 

The Phase 90 was first designed by engineer Keith Barr in 1972, revolutionizing the entire guitar pedal industry and launching MXR with a phase shifter that sounded amazing, looked cool, and was built like a tank—the three pillars of  MXR’s operating philosophy. This little orange box went on to become the sole iconic example of its effect category, and it has been used by the world’s greatest guitar players—such as Eddie Van Halen and David Gilmour—to record some of the most iconic songs ever cut to vinyl.

 

How would you like to own a genuine vintage example of this iconic phaser? Take a gander at it below. We want YOU to have it. Turns out this particular example was built the same year MXR was officially incorporated.

 

 

 

Phase90_Angle

 

 

 

This particular pedal has been inspected, tested, and approved by Dunlop Senior Engineer Bob Cedro, our resident Phase 90 guru—our ’74 Script Phase 90 reissue is based on his own pedal, and he worked tirelessly to design the EVH90 to Eddie Van Halen’s specs. After a bias trim adjustment for proper phase modulation and a PCB foam replacement, this pedal is in proper working order. Bob dated it using the serial numbers inscribed on its potentiometer. We took a few shots of the inspection process, which included the removal of decades old foam on the inside of the bottom plate.

 

Phase90-closeup

 

Phase90-inspectHeader

 

Phase90-inspect2

 

Getting your hands on this piece of history is as simple as answering three questions in the comment section below. You see, we recently asked many of our official Dunlop Artists about their connections, as players and creators of music, to MXR and its effects. We also want to hear about your connection to MXR. All you have to do is answer the following three questions, and we’ll choose one of you at random to receive this pedal. We will also use our favorite responses in an upcoming blog post.

 

Now for the questions…

 

When did you first hear what you knew to be an MXR effect, what was it, and who was playing it and/or what song was it on?

 

What was your first MXR effect?

 

What’s your favorite MXR effect, and why?

 

Use the comments section below to answer these three questions. Again, we’ll include our favorite answers in an upcoming blog post, and choose one winner at random to win this vintage 1974 MXR Phase 90! Make sure to provide an email address that you will actually check.

 

While you think about your answers, check out our latest MXR 40th Anniversary video content as well as our Phase 90 White Room demo.

 

 

 

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Category: MXR

TipofTheWeek

 

There’s a ton of different capos out there. How do you know which one is right for you? The first thing to consider is whether or not your guitar’s fingerboard is flat, because some capos—though not all—are designed for one or the other. Second, what’s your playing situation? Playing live? Recording? And how much experience do you have using capos?

 

Answer those questions, and you’re halfway there. Let’s break down the three major capo types so you can choose which capo is right for you.

 

 

Spring-Clamp Capos

 

 

ElectricTriggerregCapos-11

 

 

These capos are excellent for live situations where quickness is key. They’re designed for fast positioning and removal, which is crucial on stage, and they can be placed on your headstock for quick access when not in use. The Dunlop Trigger® Capo is a great example of this type of capo.

 

 

Screw-On Capos

 

VictorregCapo-11

 

Recording? You want a screw-on capo. Maintaining proper intonation is a must, and screw-on capos feature adjustable tension so you can set just the right amount of pressure without bending your strings too sharp or too flat. This type of capo can even be used on higher frets. The Victor® Capo is an example.

 

 

Elastic and Toggle capos

 

DunlopElasticRegularCapo70F-11

 

 

Elastic capos and toggle capos are inexpensive and easy to use. If you’ve never used a capo before, this is a good place to start. May be difficult to use on higher frets. The Elastic Regular Capo is a great example, and it was one of the first products Dunlop ever made.

 

 

Alright, now you can make an informed decision. In the comment section below, tell us which type of capo is right for you. After that, check out our other Tips of the Week, including our most recent about how to place your capo.

 

 

Dunlop Strings are carefully crafted at our own built-from-the-ground-up factory in Benicia, California. They break in fast and tune up quickly, and they hold their “sweet spot” for a long time. Just put on a fresh set, tune up, and play. With innovative wrapping techniques and custom core-to-wrap ratios, we’re moving guitar strings forward and empowering you, the player.

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Category: Accessories, Tip of the Week

TipofTheWeek

 

Don’t put your capo smack dab between two frets. Place it just behind the fret just as you would with your finger when fretting a note, and for the same reason: to reduce fret buzz and maintain proper intonation. Try to get the capo as close to the fret as possible, and you should be good to go.

 

Check out this handy capo key chart to see where to place your capo for a specific key, and keep your eyes out for more Tips of the Week brought to you by Dunlop Strings.

 

Capo-Chart

 

 

Dunlop Strings are carefully crafted at our own built-from-the-ground- up factory in Benicia, California. They break in fast and tune up quickly, and they hold their “sweet spot” for a long time. Just put on a fresh set, tune up, and play. With innovative wrapping techniques and custom core-to-wrap ratios, we’re moving guitar strings forward and empowering you, the player.

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Category: Accessories, Tip of the Week

AkessonBlog

 

 

Swedish pioneer prog death metal act Opeth is set to release Pale Communion, its highly anticipated eleventh album, on August 26th. We sat down with lead guitar player Fredrik Åkesson to talk about the making of the record.

Catch Opeth on the road in December with fellow Dunlop artists In Flames and Red Fang—see below for dates.

 

What are the similarities and differences between Pale Communion and your last album, Heritage?

Pale Communion is more early ’80s sounding in comparison. It also has more melodies, and the drums are more prominent in the mix. Each song is very different from the others, I think. Pale Communion is, in a way, a continuation of Heritage. Some stuff is heavier, and some is more spaced out.

 

What gear did you mostly use on the recording of “Pale Communion”? Guitars, picks, strings, pedals, effects, amps, etc…?

We tried a lot of different amps, guitars, and pedals. In the studio, having the cabs mic’d up and phased right, that’s when you really can tell the difference between gear. For guitars, we used a PRS p22 , a PRS Tremonti, a Gibson junior 55, and a PRS Angelus acoustic. For amps, we used a Marshall YJM plexi 50w mode bridged over and all knobs pretty much on full. We used the MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay and the Phase 90. For leads, I used an MXR Micro Amp + to get extra juice, and we also did a lot of experimenting with the Way Huge Supa-Puss Delay, which lets you distort the feedback. That created some really cool psychedelic stuff. For strings, I used Dunlop Electric 10-52s, and for picks, I used 1.5mm Tortex Sharps.

 

What was the working dynamic like recording this record? Does Mikael Åkerfeldt dictate the parts, or do you have poetic license to create your parts?

I do have a lot of freedom when it comes to solos, and Mike usually likes my ideas. If he thinks I should go somewhere else, I don’t have a problem trying something different out.

 

How did you approach the pre-production of this record? Were all of you hashing it out in the rehearsal studio? Or at home on individual home recording systems?

I went down to our rehearsal space during the writing process, and Mike played me ideas, and I recorded some solos and riffs. We never rehearsed as a group apart from Martin Axenroth and Martin Mendez, who rehearsed for a week in Barcelona. Mike makes great demos, so everyone just did their home work. Some stuff came about in the Studio though. Recording at Rockfield in Wales was really inspiring and affective.

 

How is working in Opeth different than in your other bands like Talisman, Krux, or Arch Enemy?

Opeth covers a wider musical span. Its been a great experience playing with those bands who are quite different from each other. Also Opeth is the hardest working band I’ve played in.

 

 

Opeth / In Flames / Red Fang North American Tour

Dec. 03 – Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre
Dec. 04 – Minneapolis, MN – Mill City Nights
Dec. 05 – Omaha, NE – Sokol Auditorium
Dec. 06 – Denver, CO – Ogden Theatre
Dec. 08 – San Francisco, CA – Warfield Theatre
Dec. 09 – Los Angeles, CA – Hollywood Palladium
Dec. 10 – Tempe, AZ – The Marquee
Dec. 12 – Houston, TX – Warehouse Live Ballroom
Dec. 13 – Dallas, TX – Gas Monkey Live
Dec. 15 – Atlanta, GA – The Tabernacle
Dec. 17 – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory
Dec. 18 – New York, NY – Terminal 5
Dec. 19 – Worcester, MA – The Palladium
Dec. 20 – Montreal, QC – Metropolis
Dec. 21 – Toronto, ON – Kool Haus

 

Want a taste of what’s to come August 26? Check out “Cusp of Eternity,” the single from Pale Communion, below:

 

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Category: Artist News, Dunlop Electronics, Dunlop Strings, Events, MXR, Picks, Way Huge

TipofTheWeek

 

 

A well-oiled fingerboard doesn’t just look nice—it keeps your guitar or bass healthy and sounding its best. During a dry season or any time you use a lot of indoor heating, keeping your fingerboard oiled is particularly important.

 

In dry environments, any wood that isn’t protected by a finish—such as a rosewood fingerboard—will gradually lose moisture. As your fingerboard loses moisture, the wood shrinks, becoming lighter and more brittle. The first thing you’ll notice as this happens is a thinner, weaker sound. If you allow your instrument’s fingerboard to stay dry and keep drying, you may end up with with sprouting frets or even cracks in the wood. With finished maple fingerboards, this tends to be less of an issue.

 

 

How do you know when your fingerboard is too dry? Look for a dull, lifeless color. If you want to be on the safe side, just make sure you do it three or four times throughout the year. Here’s a really dry fingerboard:

 

dryfingerboard

 

Good news is, keeping a fingerboard moisturized is very easy. All you need to do is apply a fingerboard oil—we happily recommend Formula 65 System options such as Lemon Oil and Fingerboard Deep Conditioner—wait a minute or two for the oils to soak in, and wipe off the excess. We recommend removing the strings from the instrument before you do this. It’s just easier that way.

 

Want to see the magic of the Formula 65 in action? Check out our Hamer guitar restoration article. When your done, check out our other Tips of the Week.

 

Dunlop Strings are carefully crafted at our own built-from-the-ground- up factory in Benicia, California. They break in fast and tune up quickly, and they hold their “sweet spot” for a long time. Just put on a fresh set, tune up, and play. With innovative wrapping techniques and custom core-to-wrap ratios, we’re moving guitar strings forward and empowering you, the player.

 

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Category: Dunlop Strings, Tip of the Week