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You can see on this link that Mapes Piano String company makes specialty wire for most major string suppliers. I'm wondering if many of these different brands are just the same string under a different name.
While I wouldn't be surprised to learn that there are some companies that private label/brand strings you can rest assured that TI's are not Pyramids are not D'Addario
There are different winding techniques/machines as well as cores/tentions all leading to very different strings.
I visited CF Martin some 15 years ago or so and at the time, they were winding their own.
Dru Lee Parsec
However, many of the companies do indeed buy their strings from the same factories. There is a company called webstrings.com that buys their strings from the same place everyone else does and they sell them really cheap, ususally less than $3 a set. I use them and I like them. I wouldn't be surprised if they turn out to be the same product as D'Addario. They're at www.webstrings.com
I'm not affiliated with them at all, I just like their strings and their customer service.
Thomastik-Infeld does not engage in any private labeling, except for one model of John Pearse strings, but we don't make that a secret. #So, rest assured, the only way to get TI is to purchase TI.
Just to clear things up, the Thomastik name doesn't appear on the Mapes website.
Jacob, thanks for the link.
WHile they may make the core wire used, they do not make guitar strings for these companies. Several of those companies listed, including Gibson, have their own string manufacturing companies. While they may buy wire from any number of companies, that has little to do with the finished product. For example, many of the builders of mandolins may get their wood and materials from the same people. That does not relate to an exact finished product. It's what's done with the wire after the string makers get it that counts.
Michael H Geimer
I work in the packaging industry, and have many years experience with private label brands, as well as the national brands that ... yep, you guessed it ... that supply the chains with their private label products.
To be clear, in most cases the formula sold to the private labels is not the same as the trademark national brand formula.
So, just beacuse product comes from the same source, does not always make it the same product. Nevertheless, the 'generic' route can often be a great deal.
- Benignus ... who is currently reviewing alergen information ... ohhhh ... exciting stuff. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif