12/5/06

Guitar - Gold Wound Strings

Normal guitar strings (Low E, A, D, G) are wound with bronze. However,
there are occasionally on the market, gold wound strings. Not pure gold,
but gold alloy. Pure gold is too soft, and way too expensive. Gold alloy
does the trick.

Gold wound strings offer benefits over bronze. First is that they bring a fuller,
richer sound to the lower strings. You'll notice it immediately. It's pronounced
and beautiful. It improves the sound of an acoustic guitar, and any guitarist would
want that. Second, they're impervious to the corrosive action of the oils, dirt,
and acids present on the guitarist's fingertips, which react with the bronze,
causing them to corrode. By avoiding this corrosion, gold strings stay fresher
and continue to deliver a rich sound for a much longer time. The fingers don't
have that disgusting bronze stench after a session. And your fingertips won't
turn black.

As I glance over at my Takamine F312S, I'm reminded that the golds continue
to look brighter than the corroded bronze strings. Golds cost more, but since
you have to re-string less frequently, they aren't that much more expensive.
It's a superior string, but the public doesn't seem to know about them.
Neither do most retailers. Try mentioning gold wound strings at your music store
and see them look off into the distance. Does not compute for them.
As cutting edge, in the know and hyper-modern as they consider themselves,
the music community has an annoying conservative streak to it.

Silver wound string sound a little better than bronze wound strings and are a
worthwhile purchase. Gold wound strings sound better than silver wound strings.
The only thing to remember is that the lightest guage gold wounds don't deliver
the difference in sound quality as the medium or medium/lights do.

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