Santa Cruz Guitar Company Santa Cruz Newsletter Divider SCGC Forum

SCGC Strings

Inside the Shop

Santa Cruz Guitar Company is pleased to announce the release of Santa Cruz Parabolic Tension Strings.

When it comes to strings, it’s all about tension. While gauge is simply the measurement of the string’s diameter, the tension of a string determines its relative volume to the other strings (EQ). String tension is determined by its core to wrap ratio, which can vary greatly among manufacturers. This can create multi-pound differences between brands and an illogical EQ within any given set.

Diagram

Santa Cruz Strings are engineered to do what others cannot, to put the exact tension on each individual string to create the appropriate download pressure. These calculated tensions determine the optimal relative volume between strings, or EQ, for your instrument.  Santa Cruz Strings require precise core to wrap ratios and precision fit and finish for unprecedented tolerances of one half of one thousandths of an inch. This accurately determines the tension/volume of each string to the exact EQ that your guitar was designed for. State of the art metallurgy and micro-coating assures long life by preventing corrosive moisture from contacting the core of these nickel and lead free strings.

This project has been a decade in the making; commercially available strings were never able to truly complement the complexity of overtones and sustain that SCGC achieves by individually tap tuning and hand voicing each guitar. SCGC therefore sought out the wisdom of their friends and colleagues within the audiological sciences to collaborate on a new design that will fully drive Santa Cruz Guitar Company’s complex acoustic tone. The cornerstone of this project is the acoustic science and genius of long-time friend and advisor, Roger Siminoff.  Straight Up Strings for mandolin and banjo are available as a part of this innovative cooperation and available through siminoff.net.

All new SCGC guitars leaving our small shop in Santa Cruz will be set up with these new Santa Cruz Strings, and individual packages of both the Low Tension and Mid Tension sets can be purchased by clicking below. SCGC finds that most players prefer the Low Tension Strings for smaller bodied guitars, OOO, OM, H and F Models, and the Mid Tension Strings for dreadnought models. If you prefer to use Mid Tension Strings on smaller bodied guitars, it is recommended that the guitar be set up to accommodate the added tension.

Santa Cruz Guitar Company String Subscription

But there’s more! Imagine never running out of strings again, thanks to a timely delivery of your desired number of string sets and tensions arriving directly to your door from your pals at Santa Cruz Guitar Company. Sign up for a Santa Cruz Guitar Company String Subscription and we’ll deliver the number of sets you need when you need them. Two sets of Mid Tension once a month? Three sets of each tension every quarter? Customize a subscription that fits your playing schedule. Each delivery comes with fun giveaways and promotional items from SCGC, and shipping is included. Click below to sign up.

 

SCGC Parabolic Tension Strings Testimonials

I just finished putting a set of your low tension strings on my guitar for the first time and I am stunned. As soon as I picked it up to play I instantly felt the the back and sides of the guitar vibrating in a way they never have before. I change strings regularly and have used all sorts of high quality makes but yours are obviously better than the others. I can’t get over it. My guitar has come to life! The tone is sweet and musical too. Just thought you’d like to know.  Thanks!!!! – Guy


I tried the strings and all I can say is wow! These strings transformed my guitar. Everything is so much better!  I don’t know too much about the theory behind different tensions and everything so I can’t really comment on that, but concerning the general tone of the guitar, just WOW! I don’t know how I will ever go back to other strings now until these are released! They are truly amazing!!  Thanks again!! Met vriendelijke groet/Kind regards – Maurice Gregoire


 I play mostly fingerstyle, and the first thing I noticed was how even the feel was from string to string. Second, the volume across the strings was even as well. Third, they sound great!  I’m looking forward to changing to the medium tension set, as I suspect they will sound even better (at least louder).  My previous strings for comparison were the D’Addario EXP 19’s, which are their bluegrass coated PB set.  Job well done! – Gary L.


WOW! I feel like a have a new guitar! My D-PW with the Medium Tension strings sound simply amazing! It raised my action a bit and it was what I needed. I had lowered the action too much and the Mediums make it feel better and the sound makes me all emotional :-)! I want to order a few sets as soon as you have them! Cheers! – Bobby S. 


I got the strings yesterday. I put them on my National El Trovador. Please, pass my appreciation to Richard. The sound is significantly better on the National even if I put by mistake the low tension ones. Like one of your reviewers mentioned, not a crackle from the cone when setting up. The sound is the best so far. He should license them to National… I tried many strings but these are the best. Also I changed them on OM Grand. Very good. – Pasi Niemistö 


Tuesday, I put on the mid tension strings you sent.  They replaced two week old Elixir Nanoweb .012 – .056 Phosphor Bronze.   I played some scales and riffs but did not initially notice much difference except for more acoustic squeak.  I put the 00-SKYE down and nocked a couple items off my “to do.” list.  Then I pick up the guitar again and started playing some pieces I am working on.  Several times, I had to just stop as the SKYE sung like I had never heard before!!  Chords sound fuller, increased sustain, more alive, with unbelievable clarity.  I then picked up my 20 year old 910 and it sounded dead to me.  The SKYE alway sounded strikingly better but not “night & day” better as it does now.   I am amazed by the difference these strings have made.   Also, I don’t know if I am playing more carefully or the acoustic squeak has subsided but I don’t seem to notice it anymore.

You have sold me.  I just signed up for a subscription. Thanks again. – Dan Griffith 


I should have said, too– I really really like the strings.  I have had three sets now, and they are indeed something different.  Warm and fat tone, to my ear, and they certainly feel great too.  They are expensive, but so far seem worth it.  They are recording really well, too.  Forgot to mention that– good job on those!! – Eric Stracener 


“I bought a set of SCGC mid-tension parabolic strings for my 2010 Vintage Jumbo.  MAN, OH MAN!!  The first impression once tuned up to pitch was the feel when fretting with my right hand fingers.  The pressure is more equal and even across all strings than normal strings like EJ-16 and EJ-17 by D’Addario.  The second impression is how balanced each string’s notes articulate and blend with all of the other strings and notes.  It takes no extra effort to “pull out” volume from one string to another.  There is no bass or treble or midrange bias.   Third “aha” is the crispness of each string, unlike many other coated strings like Elixir.   Fourth, I noticed that these coated strings are not forgiving of sloppy fingerings and can squeak like uncoated strings.  I had to clean up my act.  Fifth impression is that each note on all strings is more “rounded” and whole, not metallic or tinny.   I have no idea how long they will last, but I know I love the improvement in tone and feel already.  I also changed out the previous strings before they were old so I would not be influenced by an old set verse a new set, which typically yields more chime.  These are a big improvement and I plan to continue using them on this guitar and will try them on a couple of my other guitars as well.  I am impressed, especially since I have excellent hearing and am very picky about tone and intonation. – Chris Caddy


I didn’t want to like your new strings. I was happy with what I was using: medium-gauge phosphor-bronze, a good brand, good reputation, very consistent, nice multi-colored ball-ends, not expensive, and they sound good on my Brozman Baritones, tuned D-to-d. Your new strings cost three times as much as my old favorites, and I didn’t want to like them because I didn’t want to have to re-engineer my string budget.  So I ordered a few sets of the Mid Tension, just to try them out. They arrived yesterday and I strung up my best Brozman, Old Number 6585, the one with the most beautiful voice, and I said, “There; I dare you to sound better just because it says Santa Cruz Parabolic Tension Strings on the package.” And I played it, and it sounded better! Quite a bit better, in fact. I didn’t think that was possible – this guitar has a gorgeous voice, and I’d have sworn it couldn’t get any better with just a string change. And it feels better too; the string feel is amazing. And I swear it’s easier to tune, and tune more accurately, than with the other strings.  I’ve been playing guitar for more than fifty years, and I’ve played just about everything there is out there, and I’ve tried just about every brand of string, and I’ve never had a string change – new set for new set – make that much of an improvement in the sound and feel of an instrument. Richard and friends, you did it – my hat’s off to ya! – John Frink


I just want to say to Richard Hoover, Bravo for inventing these Low Tension Santa Cruz Guitar Strings.  I have a vintage Martin 00-18 and I was at Sylvan Music today despairing over buying another “big” brand of strings I usually become disappointed in within a few days.  They suggested these strings from you guys.   I put these strings on tonight and was absolutely delighted with them.   I’ve had a long day and have to go to bed but can’t wait to wake up tomorrow and play it again.  – Dan Frechette


Having now played with your strings for about a week now, I am very impressed with the wonderful sound they generate. The volume is amazingly uniform from string to string and the brightness is just so spot on that I feel that the strings were made for my guitar (Martin OM28-V). Thank you – Rick Oliveira 


I placed the low tension set on my Santa Cruz 35th Anniversary Cowgirl Guitar.  A very rapid acclimation from brassy newness of playing upon first tune up for about 20 minutes – to the following morning; that was all it took.  Very complementary to the Clementine.  I listen to the bell tone and it was there in spades.  I did listen for the EQ improvement – volume between strings – and I do think it was attained in this set.  I removed Elixir lights 80-20 nano.  Physically, the string wind appearance was uniform and regular, down to the wrap at the nut.  I placed the medium tension set on my Santa Cruz 1934D.  Acclimation same as above set.  the onset of this test coincides with this guitar going through a great opening up phase.  So I am loving any and all styles of playing on this guitar at the moment – however leaning heavily on thumping folk and blues fingerstyle.  I removed Tony Rice Monels to put this set on.  I believe that this set is at least equal to that set if not better.  This new Santa Cruz set will get the vote if they last as long with the sound they currently have, that the Monel’s had lasted up to that point.  All in all, equal if not better to the sets I took off.  And I buy the EQ improvement in what I hear.  Are they sets of keys that unlock the full potential of the Santa Cruz guitar?  Quite possibly!!!  I’m sold.  Great work.  Best Regards – Craig Lemieux


 I usually use John Pearce 80/20 lights on this guitar and I’m very happy with them. Over the past 20 years I have tried most brands of strings, don’t like coated strings and usually end up back with Pearce or d’addario ej16’s strings.  I’m also a finger style player using nails and flesh no picks or thumb pics.

I put them on my guitar on Sunday and straight away the tone and feel was excellent, for new strings these bend very well and they sit somewhere between 80/20 and phosphorus bronze which I prefer on my rosewood guitars. Nothing is better than new strings on an acoustic I change strings regularly on my guitars and am not a fan of dead strings.  They have been on my guitar now 5 days and still sound very fresh, I’ve tried to play every day after work. ..   – Russell Lewis 


I have never had strings last this long while still sounding so good in my 45 years of  playing acoustic guitar.    – Chris Caddy


I put this on my (gasp) Martin 12 fret D and I’m in love!  Right out of the box they sound broken in and I don’t hear strings at all.  I hear my woody guitar.  I’m absolutely in love with them.  Hopefully they prove to be long lasting, but count me in as a fan!  I’ve always found strings that I like the best on any of my guitars, but it takes time and in a lot of cases I still feel like I’m settling in a sense.  I think I”ll be using them regularly on almost all of my guitars.  I should never be shocked by you guys doing good work, but you’ve done it again!  Please pass on my praise to the appropriate parties involved in this venture.  – Mark Bennett


I’ve been playing a lot of electric guitar lately, set up with 9’s. I realized in some moment of really bad judgement that I’d put 10’s on my resonator, I tried to make like I didn’t notice how lifeless the thing sounded… I replaced them with SCGC Med tension….from the first string winding on I could tell a noticeable difference in the pressure and compression of the cone, like there wasn’t any…… with all my EJ16-17 years, I remember hearing the cone crunch and crackle as the sting tuned up, there was nothing with the SCGC’s…huh…what’s different…tension….all six strings in place. not a peep from the cone. Now the sound, rich, harmonic, sustaining, chimey, harmonic over tones from the brass slide….end result….never putting a different brand of string on the reso again, I’m done..friend for life. – Richard N. 


While I believe there is no guitar builder on planet earth as gifted as Mr. Hoover (and crew), I must admit that I believed the SCGC strings would disappoint me like all the other strings before. Honestly, I just figured SCGC saw an opportunity to make more money by selling strings. Perhaps that’s true in part – but these strings have brought balance and that “wet tone” that was missing in my 34D. In my opinion, the difference between this string and all others I have tried is like the difference between a  Sears and Roebuck guitar and a TR. Hands down the best I have ever heard, and they are amazingly easy on the fingers and I now have extremely accurate intonation from nut to bridge and beyond.. Hats off to all involved in the SCGC string project. Thank you. For the first time in nearly 2yrs I do not feel that I made a bad investment in purchasing the 34D. I can’t wait to try these strings on my TR. – David Cross 


I started with the low tension set and very much enjoy how they sound…and feel! Easier on my hand without losing any discernible tone at all. This guitar just sings! I’m going to test the other ones out this week…..  Thanks again! – David Ross


A month on and the strings still really sound good.
Normally I would have another new set on the guitar by now. – Russell Lewis