Login / Register
 
Manufacturing Guitar Strings
New Reply
Subscribe
RichCovs
Thread Starter
#1
25th July 2013
Old 25th July 2013
  #1
Gear Head
 
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: South West England
Posts: 60

Thread Starter
RichCovs is offline
Manufacturing Guitar Strings

This may be a bit of a long shot but there are lots of experienced people on this site so it's worth a shot!

I'm a struggling student (living in my overdraft for the summer) and I've decided that I want to start some sort of small business, just to try and make a little bit more cash.

Problem is the only thing I know is music, so I wanna do something music related.

One idea amongst my huge list of terrible ones is to create my own brand of guitar strings. Problem is I have no idea how much they cost to make, I imagine the gear you need to make them costs a lot.

Anybody got an experience, or got any info that could help me out?


Thanks a lot!
#2
25th July 2013
Old 25th July 2013
  #2
Gear addict
 
CrankyChris's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 467

CrankyChris is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichCovs View Post
This may be a bit of a long shot but there are lots of experienced people on this site so it's worth a shot!

I'm a struggling student (living in my overdraft for the summer) and I've decided that I want to start some sort of small business, just to try and make a little bit more cash.

Problem is the only thing I know is music, so I wanna do something music related.

One idea amongst my huge list of terrible ones is to create my own brand of guitar strings. Problem is I have no idea how much they cost to make, I imagine the gear you need to make them costs a lot.

Anybody got an experience, or got any info that could help me out?


Thanks a lot!
D'Adarrio is an American string manufacturer. They not only produce strings for their own companies but many others. So (kinda' like with a lot of other businesses like beer, mattresses, etc.) they make and sell their own strings and they also manafactur other companies strings based on their specs..

CNN Talks with Jim D'Addario About US Manufacturing Jobs - YouTube
D'Addario Strings - How It's Made - YouTube



RichCovs
Thread Starter
#3
25th July 2013
Old 25th July 2013
  #3
Gear Head
 
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: South West England
Posts: 60

Thread Starter
RichCovs is offline
Oh really? that's quite interesting, I'll have to do a bit of research on d'addario making strings for other businesses, thanks!
RichCovs
Thread Starter
#4
25th July 2013
Old 25th July 2013
  #4
Gear Head
 
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: South West England
Posts: 60

Thread Starter
RichCovs is offline
Unless you have somewhere you can point me haha
#5
25th July 2013
Old 25th July 2013
  #5
Gear addict
 
CrankyChris's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 467

CrankyChris is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichCovs View Post
Unless you have somewhere you can point me haha
No, I just always buy D'Adarrio strings b/c they're made in the USA...and I also did my master's thesis on the "Lean Manufacturing" process referred to in the video. That's how I heard about it.

FYI: Boutique beer companies do this all the time btw. They homebrew and get their recipe like they want it...then farm out the actual brewing to a larger beer brewer. This way, they can focus on the marketing, sales, distribution aspects rather than having a a huge upfront investment in capitol/expensive equipment, etc.

Also a company called Leggett and Platt makes something like 90% of all mattresses sold. They make the beds for Simmons, King Coil, and many, many, many others. They also make tons of other stuff.

Best wishes.
#6
25th July 2013
Old 25th July 2013
  #6
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2005
Location: A stoned throw from ground zero
Posts: 12,355

FFTT is online now
Do something in music?

Design a modular residential-commercial building system with soundproof walls and windows.

You can buy a modular home, modular garage, why not a modular studio?
__________________
Don't look at me in that tone of voice

Put music in your heart
and heart in your music
Quote
1
#7
25th July 2013
Old 25th July 2013
  #7
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Apr 2013
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 291

John Wells is offline
I'd advise against it. There are too many string manufacturers as it is now, and every guitarist in the world already has his/her favorite strings. Also, the market place is limited; there are many multiples of the number of people who eat eggs for breakfast than the number of guitarists. You want to bang up against the likes of Martin, D'Addario, Elixir, and even Ernie Ball? Each of them have their own proprietary production techniques, metallurgical processes, and chemical coating formulae. I suggest you think this over before you invest your resources and your time.

You want to go into business making something musicians want and need? How about a small pulsating metronome that fits comfortably in one's shoe for no more than $30 coin? It wouldn't have to click or make a sound, just give a student a tempo that can be set and felt. As it is, our mini-brain's internal audio circuits have our ears overloaded listening for the proper tones. I know that Peterson has a "Body Beat," but the coin is too much.
#8
26th July 2013
Old 26th July 2013
  #8
Gear addict
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 479

Dervish Riff is offline
They don't mow grass for hire in England?
#9
26th July 2013
Old 26th July 2013
  #9
Gear maniac
 
BluegrassDan's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2007
Location: Elizabethton, TN
Posts: 202

BluegrassDan is offline
Nearly all of the wire for the major string companies (D'Addario, GHS, Elixir, etc.) is made by Mapes Wire Company (Mapes Strings) in the town where I live. The owners are nice folks.

I'd have to ask them, but I think they might advise against it. Too hard to break into the market with Guitar Center supplying the world with the big name brands. The machinery in their building must be worth millions and much of it dates back 50 or 60 years. Probably nearly impossible to get that type of machinery built custom.
#10
26th July 2013
Old 26th July 2013
  #10
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2005
Location: A stoned throw from ground zero
Posts: 12,355

FFTT is online now
Strings won't do it, but indirectly you're basically on the right track.

Develop something extremely useful for any musician that is affordable enough to buy
with pocket change up to about $20.00 You find something super handy in that market
and you'll be tapping into serious money.
#11
26th July 2013
Old 26th July 2013
  #11
Gear addict
 
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 359

Sinner is offline
Build an affordable durable vst/vsti. Multi fx pedal,.
#12
26th July 2013
Old 26th July 2013
  #12
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2005
Location: A stoned throw from ground zero
Posts: 12,355

FFTT is online now
It is never too early to start getting familiar with all the stuff you'll need to know
about patents and trademarks on the USPTO.gov web site.
#13
26th July 2013
Old 26th July 2013
  #13
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Apr 2013
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Posts: 291

John Wells is offline
RichCovs
Thread Starter
#14
28th July 2013
Old 28th July 2013
  #14
Gear Head
 
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: South West England
Posts: 60

Thread Starter
RichCovs is offline
Thanks for all the tips and stuff guys! (and also that one guy who gave the worlds most pointless post)
#15
29th July 2013
Old 29th July 2013
  #15
Gear maniac
 
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Austin
Posts: 157

ripgtr is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichCovs View Post
Thanks for all the tips and stuff guys! (and also that one guy who gave the worlds most pointless post)
I wouldn't normally comment, but I see the comment about mowing grass, which is what I suspect you might be referring to here and I have to say something. I don't know that it is really that useless a comment.

Ok, I am a guitar playing, been playing a long time. I have used a lot of different strings over the years. You want to sell me strings? Well, why would I buy them? Are they cheaper than Ernie Balls? Better? How are they better? Why would I give up using DRs, which I can currently using, to try yours?

If you can get them out cheaper and they are as good as, or almost as good as, the major brands, cool. If you have something special or at least have something different, like Thomastik or Snake Oil, ok. How are you going to convince people to spend the extra coin?

If you have a better mouse trap, great. Let's see it. If it is the same thing I already have, why change?

So ... the point is, what is it about your business that would make someone buy your product? That is the first thing you need to look at, as, if there is no market, there is no business. I am not saying don't do it, I am saying, find something to sell that people need and can't get.
#16
29th July 2013
Old 29th July 2013
  #16
Gear addict
 
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 317

mishagolin is offline
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrankyChris View Post
No, I just always buy D'Adarrio strings b/c they're made in the USA...and I also did my master's thesis on the "Lean Manufacturing" process referred to in the video. That's how I heard about it.

FYI: Boutique beer companies do this all the time btw. They homebrew and get their recipe like they want it...then farm out the actual brewing to a larger beer brewer. This way, they can focus on the marketing, sales, distribution aspects rather than having a a huge upfront investment in capitol/expensive equipment, etc.

Also a company called Leggett and Platt makes something like 90% of all mattresses sold. They make the beds for Simmons, King Coil, and many, many, many others. They also make tons of other stuff.

Best wishes.
Professional correction that has nothing to do with music. Leggett & Platt makes wire and the low cost innerspring components and box spring components. They do not however make mattresses for Simmons nor do they make the Pocketed Coils in Simmons Beautyrest products. Those have been manufactured exclusively by Simmons for almost 100 years. Simmons held all meaningful patents on pocketed springs until 2007.

Leggett does make spring systems for Sealy and Serta. In other words, they make cheap/inexpensive mattresses. Sealy does produce their own springs for their Stearns and Foster line on REMEX based equipment, most likely from wire purchased through Leggett.
#17
29th July 2013
Old 29th July 2013
  #17
Gear addict
 
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 317

mishagolin is offline
Back to the topic at hand.

String making is not simple. There is a lot of technique to a proper wrap. The testing equipment alone will run near $20k. Our Instron runs about $60k but it is fitted with a lot of fixtures for all the parts and materials we test.

Leggett would be a good supplier for high carbon steel core wire. I'm not sure how they handle selling small amounts though. It might be a really fun project, especially if you can come up with an innovative design.
#18
29th July 2013
Old 29th July 2013
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,728

nedorama is offline
There's a technique for figuring out where companies, brands should expand into new areas called a void analysis. Look at a category, and see what needs are being unmet. That represents a void in the category, and could either be an opportunity to develop and bring something to market, or may be too unprofitable or unwanted for a reason.

Example - there's currently not a lot of portable travel battery powered pepper grinders. This is probably more the case of a product no one wants...

With strings, what needs aren't being served by:
Cheapest brands
Brand names people are familiar with (D'Addario, Fender, Ernie Ball)
Coated strings (acoustic)
Specialty strings (flatwound, colored)

Look to something that doesn't benefit from mass production - woodworking, for instance is a craft that people can pay a premium from.

As for mowing grass, don't knock it. Back in high school I mowed lawns, washed windows and plowed driveways for $.
__________________
nedorama
Monkey Boy Studios
Summit 2BA-221, TLA-50
mBox Pro 3, Pro Tools 11.1.2, OSX 10.9.2
Radial JDI x 2, ProD2, ProRMP
'59? Bogen Challenger CHA-33, '65 Fender Tremolux, Bandmaster & Showman; '74 Princeton, '77 Princeton Reverb, Dr. Z. Mini Z, pedals, George L's cabling
'65 Farfisa Compact Duo
www.facebook.com/thetoysband
#19
29th July 2013
Old 29th July 2013
  #19
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 
Joined: Dec 2005
Location: A stoned throw from ground zero
Posts: 12,355

FFTT is online now
For a small business with relatively low investment.

Learn all you can about setting up guitars, intonation, neck adjustments, fret dressing, re-fretting, electronics upgrades and replacement.

Millions of guitars are sold every day, somebody has to set them up right.
New Reply Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+ 
 
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.